Cohabitation may be becoming more popular than marriage, especially among younger and less-affluent populations and this practice helps stop divorce after they decide to wed each other. Here are some statistics from “The State of Our Unions, Marriage in America 2009: Money & Marriage.”
Yes, it all started in the 1960s. Both good and bad came from that decade. Rebellious Baby Boomers made shacking up and getting divorced more acceptable. Movie stars and celebs made it fashionable. Now, TV shows have made it commonplace. However, it does not make much sense for everyday people to take multi-millionaire celebrities as their role models, does it? It’s just so much more glamorous to be a single mom when one can afford a nanny for each child.
Because of this trend, there were 12 times as many couples living together in 2008 as in 1960. And, though statistics for cohabitation are a bit trickier to pin down than numbers for marriage and divorce, it is estimated that one-fourth of all unmarried women (ages 25-39) are living with a boyfriend. And, that number increases when counting women who have lived with a boyfriend in the past.
Divorce divide – Stop marriage or stop divorce
Lately for a growing number of couples it is better to stop marriage than to stop divorce. They live in cohabitation and consider it not a step towards marriage, but an alternative to marriage. The trend is more common with below mentioned kind of people:
Lower levels of education
Less religious backgrounds
Divorced families or fatherless families
Unhappy childhood homes, with extremely high levels of parental quarrels and fights
Yet, the real concern is that 40% of couples, who live together, have children living in the household. (Some couples even decide to have children, before they are married, to see if the two of them are compatible enough for marriage.) And, these cohabitation trends are rising.
For simplicity, a fragile family can be thought of as a fatherless family. However, many kids in cohabitation households are also considered to be in fragile families. Not only are these children more likely to live in poverty, but the family is less stable, and the mother has less legal protection if her boyfriend walks out.
The director of Marriage Works Ohio, Greg Schutte, was quoted in the article “Couples Increasingly Choosing Cohabitation Over Marriage” then as saying: “One thing I know is that cohabitating homes are three times more likely to have domestic violence… and 60% of those who live together end up breaking up.”
Help for children
While it’s important for the government to provide the ultimate safety net for children, having an extended family, of some kind, is just as important for a child. If grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others can give a child a sense of stability, they can help the child from having emotional, social and academy problems.
What is the answer to the issue of cohabitation?
One thing would be for the media to stop glamorizing single parenthood and celebrity couples who live together. Another thing would be for the government to give incentives and more tax breaks for intact married families.
The last answer comes down to the people reading this article. Offering help, and becoming a good role model to others, may be the only action that will do anything in the long run. There are no easy answers, but there are a lot of ingenious, caring people in the United States. Don’t preach, just be there.
Divorce rates have been falling from their peak during the 1980s. And, that sounds like something to cheer about, but the statistics are a bit deceptive. The problem is that the number of people getting married is declining, as well. So basically stop divorce is not the mantra, but stop marriage.
This doesn’t mean people are remaining single; it means that more couples (over 50%) are living together in unwed unions, before marriage; or as an alternative to marriage. And, while that’s not always a bad thing, it can be disastrous when children are involved and the relationship heads south.
Divorce rates are falling in the US, though it’s impossible to get exact data, because not all states keep statistics. There are hundreds of theories about risk factors for divorce. Some appear obvious: Marriage age, education level, and household income. Other theories leave readers’ heads spinning: Weather and Major League Baseball?
Whatever the reason, the good news is: People in the US are less likely to get a divorce than they were ten or twenty years ago!
The United States shows a similar trend. The U.S. per capita divorce rates were:
Warm Weather, a Risk Factor?
Until this point everything made sense. Then, came the statistics about warm weather states and cities with major league baseball teams.
More than 60 percent of the US lives in the colder, northern half of the country. However, the colder, northern half of the country has less than half of the divorces. This sounds a bit odd. But, maybe there is more hanky panky when the neighbor’s wife is mowing the front yard while wearing a bikini.
Baseball City: Good for Marriage
According to Denver University psychologist, Howard Markman, cities with Major League Baseball teams have a lower divorce rate than cities without a team. Yes. Cities with baseball achieved a lower divorce rate after they got their game on. This happened when MLB teams were awarded to Denver, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa Bay. The average decrease in the divorce rate was 28 percent. What this means, exactly, for the civilized world, no woman will ever know how such areas stop divorce.
Divorce rates do, indeed, seem to be falling. When couples marry later, they have a better chance of making a good marriage. Some of the risk factors for divorce are: Marriage age (the older the better), education level, the weather in one’s home state, and whether or not one’s city has a Major League Baseball team. Of course, the real predictor of success in marriage is probably each partner’s commitment to each other.
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