Marry. Or live together. Or just get a dog.

Posted on July 15, 2010



Time to get serious. Newsweek did a piece on “The Case Against Marriage” with some mighty scary stats. They include:

1. Americans have the highest divorce rate in the world
2. As many as 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will have sex outside of their marriage (The rest are too busy being online)
3. Simply having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework each week
(Most of this involves retrieving recyclables from the trash)
4. The percentage of Americans getting married is dropping steadily
5. 75% of men vs only 63% of women age 18-34 believe marriage is necessary
(Apparently, 12% of women have heard about that extra seven hours of housework)
6. Europeans have fewer marriages and once married, they have fewer divorces
7. Non-married couples with the “intention” of forever are just as likely to stay together as married couples

There’s a lot more. In a nutshell: Marriage started as a way to protect women and children economically. Now women are increasingly more and more able to take care of themselves. And the longer we live, the less likely it is that we can maintain monogamous relationships. It’s a lot easier to contemplate spending 20 or 25 years with someone than it is to contemplate 50. Or 60.

So, what’s the upside? Beside the princess-for-a-day thing and the potential tax benefit? According to Newsweek, not much. Life in the Boomer Lane did read somewhere that married men are happier and live longer than unmarried men, so women might want to marry them as a public service. On the other hand, LBL thinks she read the same thing about dog ownership.

Her family is a poor example of the downward trend. After her divorce, she remarried, as did Then Husband.  Two of her three kids have married (albeit, after relationships of nine years apiece). The youngest has nothing against marriage, as long as the ceremony can be performed in his backyard.

LBL and Now Husband come from families who believe in marriage. Now Husband’s grandfather was married eight times. His mother was married three times, his father twice. LBL’s grandfather was married three times. That’s a lot of dogs.