Marriage is perceived as an institution that is based on truth, trust and happiness. In a marriage, both women and men are complementary to each other because of the biological concept that reproduction can only take place when the man and woman come together. However, the concept of marriage has significantly changed, and it is no longer defined by the reproduction aspects that a child requires both father and mother. The concept of marriage has been redefined; today, marriage is understood differently. Marriage in the Western culture is no longer perceived with great significance as it were there before. Marriage in Western culture is regarded as the end goal of any relation, mostly, between a man and a woman and it sometimes has some religious aspects, but low marriage rates, single parenting, and high divorce rates have significantly reduced the viability of marriage today. This paper will examine how marriage is no longer considered viable in Western culture.
Marriage is regarded as the end goal of every relation in Western culture. Marriage is a universal culture that exists in every culture across the world. Marriage serves in different ways; for example, it serves for procreation and responsibility of a person as well as enables the married couple to raise their children. Every relationship starts just with the basic of sharing emotions and ideas, but it all leads to marriage as the end goal. Moosa (2014) argues that marriage is the end goal of a relationship between a man and a woman. According to the author, marriage has some form of religious component. From the religious perspective, marriage is considered a sacred institution. For instance, in the book of Genesis chapter 2 verses 22, it is written that a woman was made out of a man's bones and flesh; therefore, man will leave his father and mother and unite to his wife as they become one. A similar idea can also be found in Proverbs 18:22 which states that "he who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord." However, this religious aspect has since been lost in the Western culture due to the increased abandonment of the religious traditions as a whole (Moosa, 2014). The concept of marriage has significantly changed; it is no longer the same thing that existed many decades ago. Today, people's understanding of marriage has changed and with it the desire and importance of marriage as well. Mcginnis (2013) explains that marriage was considered, many years ago, an institution. It was everyone's goal to be married once someone gets into a relationship. Mcginnis (2013) explains that unlike many perspectives, marriage is not a horrible deal for those who decide to get in it. The author further notes that marriage in Western culture is revolved around memory. People enter into marriage to share the good memories that they had when they were in a relationship. People get into a relationship, and after some time they start planning weddings to officiate their union. Marriage is no longer considered viable today because people have lost its meaning and importance. Today, the goal of being married or getting married is no longer viable. As such, people who are already in a relationship for many things but not marriage. For instance, people are getting congratulated for basically being engaged. But, many people do not pass the engagement level.
Low marriage rates witnessed in Western culture today is an indication that marriage is no longer viable to many people from the Western nations. Many people do not perceive marriage with the great importance that it used to many years ago. However, Mcginnis (2013) explains that the cultural factors have contributed significantly to the anti-marriage view that is today witnessed in many Western cultures. According to the author, many people are not bothered by the issue of marriage today because it is no longer considered the "only option" for many women and men (Mcginnis, 2013). The dynamics shift in the Western cultures in the past recent decades has also shaped the perception or view towards marriage. Mcginnis (2013) explains that in Western cultures is no longer considered as a dominant force. These dynamic shifts include the decreased financial and legal risks as well as marriage-minded men. According to Mcginnis (2013), the sudden change in these contexts has lessened the possibility and viability of people getting married. Further, people's desires not to bear children have also reduced people's desire to be married. Weiten et al. (2014) explain that the Western countries have the highest childlessness which also contributes to low marriage rates. People get married to have children, but when no one is willing to have a child the possibility of getting or becoming married extinguishes slowly. Weiten et al. (2014) note that the United States has the highest childlessness rates worldwide. Many women are today in the workforce, something that has significantly changed the women's perception or view towards marriage. Weiten et al. (2014) estimate that approximately 90% of the American population has the desire to marry but the decision to marry is influenced by many factors. Weiten et al. (2014) explain that the diversity of the modern western cultures has changed the viability of the marriage. As a result, the traditional marriage does not exist anymore because people have realized that it is not the only acceptable lifestyle that can be used to determine a family.
High divorce rates experienced in the Western cultures is another indication that marriage is no longer viable today. Weiten et al. (2014) explain that after getting married, the new couple decides to settle into their new respective roles, but sometimes, these new roles may be troublesome. As a result, the married couple is often faced with numerous problems due to the disagreements between them. Problems in a marriage can be caused by many things. However, the most common is associated with the balancing work and financial concerns (Weiten et al., 2014). When these problems cannot be sorted out, the couple may choose to separate or divorce. Hill (2012) estimates that the current divorce rate in the United States is at 50% and the figure continues rising with time. The Economist Report (2017) shows that many married couples increasingly file for divorce petitions. The report estimates that about 38,000 and 48,000 men file for divorce petitions annually in Britain (The Economist Report, 2017). This means that the men have become less objectionable in marriage in Britain. Unlike the past when marriage was considered a fulfilling union, today, marriage in Western cultures is considered a triumph where people compete for the responsibilities. Further, less income has also been associated with increased rates of divorce in the Western cultures. The Economist Report (2017) further shows that people with annual income of more than $50,000 have fewer chances of divorce. According to the Report, money is an important part of the Western cultures today. Therefore, it is one factor that can be used to determine the length as well as overall happiness in marriage (The Economist Report, 2017). Survey research has found that most of the marriages fail due to lack of commitment. The Economist Report (2017) shows that approximately 73% of the marriages in the Western cultures end in divorce due to lack of commitment. Other factors contributing to divorce highlighted in the survey include too much arguing which contributes to 56% marriage failures, infidelity which contributes 55% marriage failure, marrying at very tender age or too young which contributes to 46% marriage failure, lack of equality and unrealistic expectations which contribute to 44% and 45% failures respectively (The Economist Report, 2017). Lack of preparation for marriage and abuse have also been highlighted as some of the key reasons contributing to divorce in marriages in the Western cultures. Lack of preparation contributes to about 41% of marriage failures, and abuse contributes to 28% of failed marriages (The Economist Report, 2017).
Increased number of single parenting in the Western cultures is another indication that marriage is no longer considered viable. Mather (2010) explains that the number of children in single-mother families has recently increased. The author further explains that today in the United States, approximately 75 million children under the age of 18 years live with a single parent. It is obvious that people have lost the whole meaning of having a family or having children together. Mather (2010) explains that the single-parenting has been steadily increasing in the past decades. Anderson (2013) explains marriage in the past was based on the biological concept that reproduction depends on a man and a woman. As such, they must be together to so that they can care for the children they sire together. As Anderson explains, this idea has since changed. The concept of marriage has been redefined; people no longer see the need to stay together to care for the child. Marinchick (2014) further notes that marriage serves the purpose of childbearing and the responsibility to care for the child. This means that as much as it takes two people to bear a child, it must also take the two of them to care for the child. However, based on the current single-parenting rates in the Western cultures, it is obvious that people have lost the importance of marriage because it is no longer considered viable. However, single-parenting has also been enhanced by the increased rate of premarital cohabitation. According to Marinchick (2014), premarital cohabitation has become part of many Western cultures today. The rate of people cohabiting has increased in the past half-century; for instance, from 20% to 40% (Marinchick, 2014). Cohabiting is the idea of people coming to live together for some time to determine whether they are compatible (Marinchick, 2014). As a result, many children are born out of wedlock because most children do not grow up with both of their parents. The Economist Report (2017) explains that most of these young women who get children while cohabiting end up not marrying or sometimes marry someone else who after sometime divorce them. Therefore, this idea of cohabitation has spread across many Western cultures, and many young children grow up knowing that there is no great impact of cohabiting. As a result, they end up with failed marriages because the whole society has lost the viability or importance of marriage.
Many people live happier without getting married in the modern Western cultures; thus, indicating that marriage is not a viable option for many today. Some people stay in relationships for long because they do not want to be married. According to Weiten et al. (2014), many people engaged in romantic relationships choose not have children because of their career issues or the cost of raising children. However, some people choose not to have children or be married at all. Moosa (2014) explains that majority of the celebrities or media personalities chose not to get married but instead stay in a relationship for as long as they want because they feel happy with it. Some of these famous people include Oprah Winfrey who have remained unmarried and stays with her life partner for 20 years (Woosa, 2014). Another personality includes movie star, Brad Pitt who have decided to stay without being married to his partner, Angelina despite having children with her (Moosa, 2014). According to Moosa (2014), the majority of the people who remain unmarried for many years yet they stay in relationships do so because they live happier that way. Moosa (2014) explains that such people do not need a marriage certificate or label to stay happy. However, despite the approach,...
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