Why is the Concept of ‘Marriage’ declining ?

Why is the Concept of ‘Marriage’ declining ?

Marriage is an institution where you forcefully compromise, sacrifice and ultimately lose your identity and individuality.’- Married Man

‘Marriage is lifelong death sentence where you’re alive but you work as per the terms and conditions of your spouse’ – Married woman.

What are the possible reasons behind the deteriorating relationship between a married couple? Why is that marriages are no longer considered as the ‘unbreakable bond’?

The Pew Research Center recently found out that about 40 percent of unmarried adults believe that marriage is becoming obsolete. So, if you are an unmarried adult in this generation, you face a lower chance of ever getting married, a longer wait and higher divorce rates if you do get married.

While the belief in marriage as a scared institution is declining, unmarried cohabitation is on the rise. Fifteen times the number of couples today live together outside of marriage than in the 1960’s. Almost half of cohabiting households include children.

Why should we care about what may be a failing institution? Brad Wilcox, UVA sociology professor and director of the National Marriage Project, argues that the institution of marriage still symbolizes core values important to intimate relationships.

“Marriage conveys a sense of meaning, purpose, direction and stability that tends to benefit adults and especially children. People who get married have an expectation of sexual fidelity and that fidelity tends to engender a sense of trust and security,” Wilcox says. “There is no kind of similar solemn ritual marking the beginning of cohabitation.

Why is the concept of marriage declining ?

The notion today is that marriage is about love and love is about personal fulfilment. Mutual personal fulfillment is complex and evolving without the extra glue of financial interdependence. People who no longer feel fulfilled today may more easily leave a relationship.

Where’s your mobile phone? On the kitchen table? Still in the pocket of the jacket you just took off to mow the lawn? And what about your computer — did you remember to log off after paying that bill?

Perhaps you’re thinking: I’m at home — there’s nothing to worry about. But how would you feel if, at this very moment, your loving husband or wife was trawling through your private texts and messages? Not only that, but there’s a 65 per cent chance that if a husband’s messages are being read by his wife, he’s also reading hers. However, you interpret these figures — and there may be some innocent explanations — there are clearly an awful lot of husbands and wives who are prepared to spy on each other.

The truth is that over the past few decades, we’ve come to expect far more of marriage. Our husbands and wives now need to be not only our best friends, intellectual equals and co-parents but also our sexual athletes who are constantly thinking of new ways to delight us. However, if we expect to get everything we need from one person for a ‘happy marriage’, we are more likely to feel that our partner is failing us when we’re not getting what we want.

A man whose partner puts on weight after the birth of their children and loses much of her ‘go’ and vigour for life may feel justified in satisfying his needs elsewhereA woman whose husband works extremely long hours to provide for his family may feel entitled to seek emotional solace from someone else.

Reason behind the Declining Sex drive post Marriage 

At the start of a marriage or a relationship, the early frenzy of extreme sexual passion has a drug-like, intoxicating quality that makes couples feel cut off from reality. Such excitement, however, cannot last because it is based on an idealised illusion rather than on the flawed and ordinary human being we love.

The first passionate throes of eroticism cannot help but change into a very different kind of sex within a long, loving relationship, and many find this equally or even more nourishing. But there are likely to be periods — perhaps after the birth of a child, or with illness — when desire wanes.

This is natural, yet rising numbers of men and women are going to their doctors, complaining of lack of sexual desire.

According to some studies, we are growing less satisfied with our sex lives. In one survey, couples who were interviewed over the space of ten years admitted that they were less happy as time passed by . This wasn’t because their sex lives had deteriorated; it was because their expectation of sex had risen.

Sexual boredom is now considered unacceptable — the sign of a failing relationship. 

This sense of sexual entitlement is new. In 1949, the Mass Observation survey found that only one-third of people believed that sex was crucial to a relationship. Most people never saw each other naked, and pornography still had to be hidden in brown paper bags.

Today, pornography is increasingly seen as just another form of entertainment, to be consumed without consequences. Accessible on every iPad and smartphone and viewed by 66 per cent of men aged 18-34, it cranks up expectations of ‘great sex’, at the same time narrowing our understanding of erotic desire. Pornography works by detaching sexual acts from loving relationship and real people. It’s utterly unlike real sex, with its tenderness and capacity for joy that comes from giving pleasure to someone you love.

Effective Communication is one of the most effective solution to most problems couples face today. Communication is a lot more complex than most people think. It can be challenging to juggle all the information coming at you. When you are calm, take a closer look at a typical fight between you and your spouse. Try to pick out the different types of information you are giving your spouse during the conflict. Take what you learn and do something different the next time this fight happens.

Better yet, sit down with your spouse when you are both calm and talk about your communication problems for that fight (not the topic itself). This can open up a whole new understanding of the problem for both of you. Keep learning about the way you communicate to get your marriage moving in the right direction.

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