Is Marriage Obsolete?


Less people are getting married. In fact, research shows that less than half of us believe in it.

By Tammy Nelson, PhD

Less people are getting married. In fact, research shows that less than half of Americans believe in it anymore. Pew Social Trends found that four out of ten Americans say marriage is becoming “obsolete.”

Marriage is on the decline. And yet many of us still want to do it. Almost half of those that said that marriage was obsolete also said that they would still get married.

We do know that marriage is better for the economy; couples spend more when they are married with children. And marriage makes for better parents. Health wise, men live longer when they have a wife.

Living together as a married couple may provide many of the emotional and relational satisfaction that cannot be measured in some of the research spelled out in the recent trends.

So, this leads to a bigger question, is monogamy really obsolete, or is it the institution that isn’t working? If marriage is a trend that seems to be fading, will being a committed couple also go out of fashion? Or will love and being paired up with that special someone in a monogamous relationship of some type always be important? Maybe the way we do it will change over time, but won’t we always want to live together?

Catch my new book, The New Monogamy, due out in 2012 and find out more about marriage and monogamy and what’s happening to relationships now and in the future. Or go to for more info today.

Dr. Tammy Nelson is a sex and relationship expert and the author of the upcoming The New Monogamy as well as Getting the Sex You Want and What’s Eating You? She can be found at