Here’s how we imagine it will be: We stand before our beloved the people who matter to us — parents, relatives, friends — and we vow to love, honor and cherish our beloved “until death do us part.”
Except, many of us have decided to replace “until death do us part” with “for as long as our love shall last” or something along those lines, which has made some people nervous. “They have divorce in mind — they’re wary. It’s just realism,” says the Rev. Bonnie Nixon, a Torrance, California, non-denominational minister.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with realism — isn’t that better than some fairytale version of marriage? Because the latest stats indicate that “until death do us part” isn’t what a good portion of us experience. According to the Pew Research Center, four out of 10 new marriages last year included at least one partner who had been married before, and a good percentage who haven’t yet are interested in doing so.
Which seems to indicate that, no, marriage is not going away anytime soon. But when you break it down by gender, more women than men say they have no interest in marrying again.
While some may say that’s because men their age aren’t necessarily interested in women their age — and let’s face it, when it comes to marriages that aren’t the first, some 16 percent of the men are 10 years older or more than the little missus), there are a good number of women who just aren’t interested in marrying again.
I’ve already explored why those middle-aged women don’t want to the the knot again, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in having deep, intimate and, yes, sexual relationships with men. We do. It’s just that we acknowledge that marriage may not be the best way to get that.
But the new report also highlights an important fact that conservatives would do be smart to pay attention to — the people who are having second and third marriages tend to be those with high school diplomas only:
Newlyweds with just a high school diploma are almost twice as likely as those with a bachelor’s degree to be entering their third marriage (9% vs. 5%, respectively). Some 8% of newlyweds without a high school diploma have been married at least twice before. tweet
So rather than make divorce harder for couples with small children, and rather than spend millions on promoting marriage as a way to get people out of poverty (which doesn’t work, by the way), why not put that energy into helping people get college degrees? Just a thought.
Interested in learning about ways to re-create your marriage? Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press, September 2014). Order the book on Amazon, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook. Let’s Occupy Marriage!