After reading chapter five on the topic of Cohabitation, I was left with a variety of thoughts and questions on the topic and was mostly just trying to sift through my own personal beliefs, the information that we have been presented in this chapter, and the variety of different research studies that have been done on the topic. The question I decided to pursue for my thought paper was relatively broad, but yet something that I couldn’t seem to stop asking my self, which was: “Why is marriage viewed more negatively today?” and often as a second choice following cohabitation?”
When thinking about this question many different answers came to mind. Automatically, I referred to the concept of divorce and how prevalent that has become since the creation and implementation of the Divorce Act. When there was a drastic increase in the amount of divorce, I believe people growing up and watching this unfold could have been hesitant that this would have happened to them if they were to proceed with marriage, therefore, decided to avoid the potential heart break, expense, and drama and look to different types of relationships. As we’ve learned, it is in fact true that marriage is on the decline and cohabitation is on the rise. I think that with the divorce rate being so high it makes people—regardless of their age—more hesitant and less secure when making the decision to commit to a relationship that they don’t expect to last forever. I think that it is also a possibility that
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Modern, contemporary society’s mindset on marriage has shifted considerably over the years. Some research has noted the increase in early sexual experiences, greater acceptance of cohabitation and the increase in narcissistic tendencies, are complicating and muddying the ideals of what marriage means to people today. Research done on this subject resulted in several studies that found that spouses who did not believe that marriage would last forever, were less likely to commit to the relationship financially and were more likely to have extramarital affairs.
Today, alternative long-term relationships are growing in times in heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships. Cohabitation is defined by “Recent Changes in Family Structure” as quote: “an intimate relationship that includes a common living place and which exists without the benefit of legal, cultural, or religious sanction.” Between 2005 and 2009 2/3 of relationships approximately were preceded by cohabitation (“Rise of Cohabitation” 2014.) This arrangement is less committed and therefore it takes longer to end, without much emotional devastation of a pricey divorces. Most marriages still begin with cohabitation. However, it is becoming less and less likely that cohabitation will end in a marriage. Marriage is still common in today’s culture, with approximately 60.25 million married couples in 2016 (“Number of married couples in the United States from 1960 to 2016 (in millions)” 2016.) This is evident why it is killing the nuclear family standard. People are having less desire to fully commit to a marriage in the first place. 1950 social standards would have never accepted an unmarried couple as a part of a normal life so only can a legal marriage constitutes the ideal set forth. Another, way to break the standard is remove some components.
In The Cohabitation Epidemic, Neil Clark Warren talks about the two sides of cohabitation which are those who do not have thoughts or intentions of marriage, and to those that want to benefit “a trial marriage”. One of the reasons of forgoing or delaying marriage is “Marriage has lost a lot of its luster in our society. The truth is, many people have never seen a successful, thriving marriage, mainly because great marriages are becoming scarce.” (pg.505-506). This would be a fallacy of appealing to an emotion and tradition since many children these are born to unmarried parents due to divorce, or there is lack of understanding of marriage. Because the children live with unmarried parents, this would lead to a tradition of not having to be married
Many couples find themselves cohabiting today because it is cheaper and more convenient while others take it as a step forward in their committed relationships. Regardless of reason cohabiting has become a union of choice. In recent years cohabitation has transformed from an act of deviance to a norm in many societies. We will be focusing on how time and social change determines cohabitation and divorce.
In this essay, “The Cohabitation Epidemic,” by Neil Clark Warren, is talking about why many people decide to live their lives in cohabitation instead of getting married right away. Older generations would look at cohabiting as being something bad or even immoral. In this century, this epidemic is something common and, notwithstanding, normal. Over the years, the U.S. Census Bureau has kept up with how this lifestyle has evolved. In 1970, they had 1 million people that were “unmarried-partner households,” and that number rose to 3.2 million in 1990. In the year 2000, they had 11 million people living in those situations.
Neil Clark Warren in his essay “The Cohabitation Epidemic” starts by using tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf’s case to mention the “cohabitation” issue and then quoting the data from the U.S Census Bureau and researcher Larry Bumpass to show that the number of people involved in cohabitation has significantly increased in the U.S in the last few decades. After that, Warren concludes that we should be alarmed over the recent increase of cohabiting couples. Before arguing against cohabitation, Warren introduces what kinds of people are cohabiting and why they are cohabiting. Followed by that, the author first uses the
In over half a century, marriage has transformed from being a social requirement to simply being an option in today’s society. What has caused this change? Many institutions in our society have changed drastically along with marriage. Although these institutions have not caused marriage to be optional, they do strongly correlate with the decreased value. The economy, education, religion, and government have all altered since the 1950s. When any institution encounters a change, all other institutions are affected. Family is a major institution in society, and I believe that marriage is an important aspect of this institution. Cohabitation, religion, women in the work world and divorce have all effected the way marriage is viewed today.
A survey of 14000 adults states in ‘A Guide to Family Issues: The Marriage Advantage’ that marriage was a pertinent factor contributing to happiness and satisfaction with forty percent of the married individuals being happy as opposed to 25 percent of either single or cohabiting individuals. The same study shows that ninety eight percent of never married respondents wished to marry and out of those 88% believed that it should be a lifelong commitment. Even though, divorce rates are rising numerous researches show that young people aspire to have a lasting marriage.
Although marriage has been a central factor and gives meaning to human lives, the change in people’s lifestyles and behaviors through a long period of social development has resulted in alternate choices such as being single or nonmarital living. As a result, cohabitation has become more popular as a trendy life choice for young people. The majority of couples choose cohabitation as a precursor to marriage to gain a better understanding of each other. However, there are exceptions, such as where Thornton, Azinn, and Xie have noted: “In fact, the couple may simply slide or drift from single into the sharing of living quarters with little explicit discussion or decision-making. This sliding into cohabitation without
Cohabitation is defined as a man and woman living in the same household and having sexual relations while not being married. There is relatively little data on health outcomes for people who have cohabitated, although there is some evidence that cohabitating couples have lower incomes (15% of cohabitating men are jobless while 8% of married men are jobless) and there may be negative academic effects for children of cohabitating mothers (Jay, 2012). Cohabitation rates are highest among those who have never married with just over a quarter of people surveyed reporting cohabitation before their first marriage (Jay, 2012). Of these, half reported that they expected their cohabitation to end in marriage; about one quarter to one third of cohabitations end either in marriage or dissolution of the relationship within 3 years (Jay, 2012). Further, cohabitation rates are highest for those who have not completed college, accounting for all but 12% of men and women reporting that they are living with their partners (Jay, 2012). Cohabitation and marriage are two significant decisions college students will make, but very little is known about what college students think about living together before marriage. Given the nearly 50% divorce rate in the United States (Jay, 2012), understanding how young adults view cohabitation as on option for life relationships needs further investigation.
When it comes to marriage in the 21st century marriage have succumbed to higher divorce rates than ever before. Divorce happens more often than not these days because young adults nowadays are quick to jump into marriage because of wanting that social status and rush into things too quickly. It has been a fact that the younger you get married the better the chance your marriage will end up in a divorce. Due to the lack of judgement and thought process of it. There has been studies of the chances of marriage lasting or end up being a divorce and the results are staggering. 40-50% of marriages end up in divorces, so the thought of marriages lasting forever are 50-50. In the online article, 10 Reasons it’s Totally Okay Not to Get
Opponents of cohabitation commonly cite statistics that indicate that couples who have lived together before marriage are more likely to divorce, and that unhappiness, ill health, poverty, and domestic violence are more common in unmarried couples than in married ones. Cohabitation advocates, in turn, cite limited research that either disproves these claims or indicates that the statistical differences are due to other factors than the fact of cohabitation itself.
I am not in any way saying that marriage is easy and I believe divorce rates are increasingly high because our generation and those past are becoming accustomed to the eases of today’s lifestyle, the marriages that last are the ones that truly understand the commitment that is being made not just seeing it as the final step in a relationship because this is not in any way true. The advancement of a relationship doesn’t end with marriage or children, after all there is a lifetime ahead of you with the person you have married, there will be trials and some of the most difficult times of your life. Marriage requires a commitment to fall in love with that person over and over again each day.