Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Yes, "We" Can Still Handle Marriage, As We Always Have

A friend asked me to comment on this article, in which the author, Anthony D'Ambrosio, claims that "marriage doesn't work today" and that "we" (young people) can't handle it.

I don't think this young man understands marriage very well.  

He thinks sex is the most important aspect. He imagines that couples in the past did not struggle with financial problems together. After his divorce, he is hoping for "true love" which somehow counteracts all the problems that he mentions.  

And he does not even consider the core task of marriage from time immemorial: raising children.  

I don't think the problem is his generation, or today's technological distractions, or even student debt. Plenty of young people make excellent marriages in the customary way. They work out a way to deal with these challenges together. 

Marriage is a way for two people to mature together - which makes everything else possible.


Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink said...

Any thoughts on why this young man doesn't understand what marriage is? The impression I get from recently reading Unhooked by Laura Sessions Stepp and Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecke is that young adults are being told (by an older generation) not to get married young as this interferes with them living their life fully and feeling pressure from their own generation (and the media) to have sex within non-marriage relationships, which shifts the focus to sex more than marriage. As people are encouraged (by parents and peers) to hold on to relationships (and having sex does not necessarily mean there is a relationship), this also seems to contribute to an inability to know how to work through the challenges inherent in making a relationship work.

Gruntled said...

I think young men have always been prone to think that marriage is mostly about ready sex, and to be not very realistic about "living comfortably" while paying the bills. Former college students, in particular, are likely to have spent some years living this delusion while de facto cohabiting. These are exactly the people that Regnerus and Uecker got their interview data from.