I have to wonder what’s happened to my generation at times…and then I look at our influences, and it all makes sense.
While the Gen Z– Millennial crowd do seem pretty crazy, it adds up when you think what we’ve been taught and exposed to over time.
I was always the partially sheltered, homeschooled, Christian kid, but I still hear myself say things these days that people from 100 years ago wouldn’t have said…or maybe 150 years ago, the 1920s were kind of nuts too.
But one trend in the Millennial world, at least in the West, that is really concerning to me is how most of them no longer like the idea of getting married.
I always thought that the “marriage is a societal convention” line was something only people who were terrified of commitment would use to get their SOs to agree not to marry them.
I think actually that might be true, and people in their 20s-30s are all just terrified of commitment now.
We’re not the first generation of humans to have this problem, but the first in a while, and the older generation can be pretty hard on us.
To be fair, some of the reasons I’v heard do seem convincing, and heartbreaking, in some cases…and others just seem pathetic.
So let’s unpack each one–though this is not an exhasutive list, I’m sure ther’es more, but I’ve heard 3 or 4 consistnently.
1: Marriages often don’t work out and/or divorce is expensive, and usually favors the woman.
Mostly it was men saying this, but their concern is that if the wife does wnat to laev ethem, they will lose their money, their kids, and everything else.
This is by far the most legitimate reason out of the ones I’ve heard, and the only one I would probably take that seriously.
I mean, of course, no one wants that.
It is also true, Divorce tends to favor women. Whatever the Feminists say, the culture we live in paints women as the victims and in the need of the most financial support.
It is also true that many women have become so entitled because of hearing this crap their whole lives that they are not fit for marriage with a man who has any self respect. They are whiny, demanding, and immature about their part in conflict.
But, I think men should just be not marrying those women then. Here’s the thing,
If you’re going to still have sex, and have kids, and live with said woman, even if she’s not marriage material…then she should be partner material either.
If you are going to use a woman like a wife, but not give her the financial or emotional security of one, and basically say “I can walk whenever I want, and leave you, and the kids, or take them with me” then…you’r basically subjecting her to the same fear as divorce.
And someone is going to say “no, because with two mature people, that won’t be a problem.”
Well, if it’s not a problem…then marry her!
If you consider your relationship is the same thing as a marriage, but not on paper, then put it on paper.
Because it sounds to me like you are just trying to remove all risk from it. A marriage will at least make you think more carefully before you split.
Furthermore, while divorce is hard on fathers, if things did go south between you, and you are not married, then how do you decide who gets the kids, and for how much time? Is a court of law going to be kinder to a father who is not even married to the woman who bore his children?
I think adoption agencies also favor legally married couples.
The point still stands, legally, not being married doesn’t guarantee you anything if you split, so marriage, even if you have the mind frame of divorce being an out, at least will get you some rights. Doesn’t that make much more sense?
Maybe I’m missing the logic here…I just don’t know, if fathers really care about their kids, then wouldn’t they want to guarantee them at least some financial support, as the law requires. You can appeal if the woman is not holding up her end of the deal, but if you are not married, then what?
I’m not sure if the law currently allows for illegitimate children and claims on that, but even if it does, the idea seems kind of ridiculous, talking about who legally has the right to kids when they didn’t even commit to each other enough to make it legal….
Think about that.
Furthermore, if you’re not gonna marry their mom, why do you deserve time with the kids? You didn’t put enough effort into getting those kids into a stable, secure home that marriage would provide. Put whatever name on it you want, it still seems selfish to me.
2: Women are not marriage material.
A lot of men love bashing on women now, on Tiktok and Reddit, and so on. Saying that they don’t want to get married because the woman are entitled, and treat them badly. A lot of them don’t even want to date anymore.
I don’t know how else to say this delicately so….
If you are wiling to bang women who you hate, and have zero respect for, just because you somehow think that you are better than them…that makes you just as immature and entitled as those women.
If you want a whore, just say so, don’t try to pin this on women.
Granted, a lot of us are like that…newsflash, a lot of men are like that too.
So you can either take you bad experience in the past, which probably mean you have crap taste and don’t watch for red flags, and broad-brush all women, like a child would, or you can conclude that yes, you dated some bad apples, but you know not all Pope are the same, and you’re going to adjust your methods to find the kind of girl you actually need.
Case in point for me:
I have liked several guys, in recent years, my choices were not so smart. Luckily, I never got as far as dating them when I found this out, I simply was friends with them, and I realized it…
Which, by the way, is always a smart way to start, try getting to know a girl as friend before you date her, and maybe you’ll figure out real quick where she’s a good fit.
What I did learn from being disillusioned was first, that a lot of guys are pathetic, but secondly, that might just be what I was attracted to.
After being abused by my father, my standards for men were knee high, if that much. I expected them to have little to no consideration for my feelings, to blame me if anything went wrong, to ignore me whenever it was not fun fro them, and to make me feel weird of caring that they did.
And that was in a friendship, so trust me, you can spot this early on before you are intimate.
I clued in to it, Thank God (literally), and have pretty much cut that guy out of my life.
But it’s what I was comfortable with, and if I hadn’t heard much better stories form other women, I’d never have known that men are not all like that. Some are actually really good.
I haven’t found one for myself yet, but when I do, I want to be able to accept it, not think it’s just an act. Sound familiar ladies?
(To be fair, if you live in a country where arranged marriage is the norm, I imagine none of this seems relevant…just play along if that’s the case, I have to write from experience.)
I have respect for men, as men, as humans, but I have no respect for men who bash on women for stupid reasons.
Your experiences are not universal, okay?
And again, if you have only dated twits, then check your type. Maybe you are drawn to toxicity, maybe you think they are easy, and then when that’s not true, you feel betrayed.
But no woman is easy, even if she is loose. To really get into a relationship with a woman is never easy, and vice versa.
I want to reiterate that using a woman for sex who you have no respect for and you are wiling to defame publicly on the internet is pretty crappy to do. I suppose you’d say if she did the same, she was just being an entitled b-word.
And if your conclusion is that dating is a waste of time…fine, don’t date.
But it’s no excuse to let your poor judgment sour other young men on the idea of dating and actually trying to approach a relationship maturely.
Of course, women should not be giving sex to men who are not going to marry them, and haven’t married them.
If he says he doesn’t believe in marriage, ladies, run. He doesn’t’ want to risk it on you, why should you risk it on him?
Isn’t this just an excuse to cohabit with people who you are not sure are marriage material, because you can always get out if it goes wrong?
But what is the point at all then? You just want the ease of a two person household, two incomes, and sex…without binding yourself to it and risking it all?
What kind of attitude is that?
And then we wonder why the love dies and they feel like there’s no meaning in it anymore. We treat each other like conveniences, and then we wonder why we feel like we are just a convenience to them.
As I said before, divorce can be pricey.
But there are practical solutions to it, if you are really doing to worry that much about it.
You can get legal agreements about who gets the money and how before you get married, you can get contracts about that kind of thing.
Some people suggest that as an alternative to marriage…but it kind of just sounds like marriage with the financial steps, but not the moral and emotional ones.
You can have separate bank accounts, if you insist…might be smartest anyway, couples often fight over how they spend joint checking account money.
But is money really a good reason not to get married?
Making it an issue kind of makes it seem like you are treating your SO like a prostitute.
I do think couples should be clear about their work expectations before they get married. I think people should be clear about all their expectations before marriage.
I personally like having a job, but I don’t like having a full time one, so if my husband does, that would be great.
I mean, I’ve gotta do something with my time, I have nothing against women working if they want to, but I do think it’s kind of missing the point to make marriage about that.
Marriage was not instituted to provide financial stability. It was instituted, firstly, by God, and later by cultures, primarily for companionship and reproduction.
First of all for companionship.
Not all couples who get married need the financial support, and it should not be a factor in divorce or marriage if you ask me. People who divorce just to get money are terrible.
It’s a factor because we have to live, but it’s not the primary concern. You can arrange it all beforehand, but don’t marry someone if they are not okay with you providing for yourself, if that is what you want, and don’t marry someone who is not okay providing for you, if that is what you want (and men do that too, by the way, all the time). Just know what you want.
But if you rush into a relationship not being clear about that, then it was your own fault, and you need to fix it, not just dump that person. Someone will have to compromise, but it’s not enough to slit over, money should not be put above things like love, honor, and a stable family for your kids.
Why do I even need to say that? How far have we fallen?
4: Marriage is oppressive to women because they have to change their name, and it make them men’s property.
Well, that has been true in many cultures and eras, but as it is now…that’s stupid.
You don’t have to change your name, but the reason that women did was to signify a new family being started, with the husband. She leaves her father’s house.
In several cultures, married couples keep both family names, to signify this, and in others cultures, people do not eve have last names.
But marraige iexist in every culture.
So, even if you want to say that in the West, and East, even, marriage oppresses men or women because they change their name, it’s not a sold argument against marriage, just against the form of marriage in this country.
You can get marreid many different ways. You cna kep yoru name, you cn atke both names, the husband can take the wife’s aname if he wants, even.
It hsa nothig to do with marraige itself.
But if you are willing to forego the commitment of marriage because you don’t want to be under a man…
Then yeah, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship, period.
Whether the man dominates or not (and personally is more of a factor then gender there, even in countries that are patriarchal) marriage, and relationships, require some submission to each other, some humility, some willingness to let the other person have their way.
Going into it with the attitude that the idea itself is oppressive to you is the best recipe for disaster I can imagine.
Like when men all women the “Ball and chain” I hate that.
My father used to refer to it as “having the training collar on his neck”
He actually dominated my mom, always unfairly, and didn’t do what she wanted at all. So I found it puzzling he’d compare it to that. More like my mom had on the collar, and he’d throw a fit if she stepped out of line.
I mean, in a way, it’s nice that all these men and women out themselves online.
Yeah, no one should be marrying you. Yikes!
But it annoys me that poeple applaud this.
Thee people are spoiled, selfish, and superficial.
They care more about their own convenience in marriage then they do about growth, or anyone else’s happiness.
Rom coms used to talk about how you want to make someone else happy when you love them, now it’s all about that makes me happy.
I’m convinced most of the people who get divorced and then tell others marriage is a waste of time, didn’t actually try that hard.
If you went into it with a selfish attitude, then yeah, it wasn’t going to work for you.
Some people are smart enough to realize that partway through and change, but most just quit, because we’ve made quitting easy.
And FYI, if divorce is so tough on men, why do so many of them choose it over working out their problems in counseling?
And women too, for that matter.
I am not married, but, I have actual relationships with people, ones I have to work at.
And here’s the kicker: If you don’t work on your family relationships, you will not work on your marriage one either.
We all have problems in our family, but most people ignoring them, they fight, they forget about it, and nothing changes.
That was my dad, he’s comfortable that way. That was what he witnessed growing up. He just thought we’d be the same as his wacked out family.
But my sisters and I actually want to be able to improve, and grow, and we had enough.
We have worked on our relationship with each other, and it’s much better now than it ever was when my dad was around.
I plan to apply that to marriage also.
Look, I have had moments of wondering if I’d ever get on good terms with my mom, or my siblings ever again, but we have moved beyond it.
If you stick with it, and the other person is willing, you can work it out.
Marriage should probably hit a rough patch after 5 years at the maximum, if you both are maturing and changing.
Oh, and that brings me to number 5, I almost forgot this one:
5. The person you marry sign going to change so much in 5 years. So you should not get married, but especially, you should not marry young.
You know…how young you are when you marry has never made any real difference overall, historical speaking. It’s is how mature people were when the got married. Teens have thought like adults in culture where teens have to be adults, and now we have 25 year olds who still think like kids, because they can. It does not matter.
In cultures where marriage is supported, young people can work it out as easily as older people. Younger people are more willing to learn, and more likely to compromise, if they can be made to see something is not working. They are more likely to focus on outside things, and not just their own interests, like older people do. All traits that enable growth. If you’re 35, you’re not likely to be pliable, or willing to learn.
Also, young men are way more likely to grow out of abusive/toxic behaviors, because they often od them out of immaturity, not for the power trip. And young women are more likely to become sympathetic with time, not not as demanding, because you adjust your expectations at that age.
If you get to 30 and you have not committed to anyone, you’ve had not reason to change, or realize your quirks may not be the easiest to live with, you take that into marriage, and sure, you may have less conflict…but that’s not always a sign of the healthiest relationship.
Conflict can be a good thing, if you are growing.
The time I hardly fought with my family was the time we were the most distant. We don’t fight a lot now, because we fought a lot for a while, working stuff out, adjusting, learning.
Even therapists will tell you sometimes that conflict can show you have real feelings, and the lack of it can show you’ve shut down.
Older people have less enthusiasm, but that also means they have less drive to mature. You have learned to overlook, or to just avoid.
If that come after years of growth, that’s a good thing, but if you’ve skipped that part, I have to wonder if you just didn’t want to change.
I won’t say every older couple is that way. Some people just don’t meet the right person till they are older.
My point is more that shaming people who want to get married young is foolish. If they are willing to put in the work, why shod they wait? Chances are they will get less wiling with time, not more willing.
At 23 I already like to have things more my way then I did at 18, but at 18 I lacked confidence in my own worth also.
I think waiting more time for me was better, but I do not want to wait till 30. I had good reason to wait, my dad mess ed me up good.
But if that is not the case, I see no reason by normal, people, with supportive families who are 20 or 21, and willing to treat marriage with the seriousness it deserves, should not get married.
It’s true, kids do rush into it, but that doesn’t mean it the age that’s the problem, it’s more of that lack of preparation beforehand.
Like going to marriage right after college, if you have never been responsible for anyone, never had to cook and clean for yourself or others, and never had to be on a budget and independent of your parents, that is stupid. Sets you up to be dependent on them in your marriage too, and to expect your spouse to take care of you, not for it to be mutual.
But if you have been prepared, and have made your own decisions before with success, then if you want to get after college, you should. It’s worked for many couples.
And I should say also, you can’t put all couples into one box.
Some people are not ready for marriage at 20, but that does not mean everyone isn’t.
I have had my share of snarky comments form older people about my mental readiness for anything. I have proved time and again that I can make better decisions than my grandparents did, and my parents, often enough.
Given how their marriage ended up, I’m inclined to think I could pick a husband better than they did also, but even if I picked a bad guy, now, at 23, is it any worse than my grandmother who picked bad mean 3 times in a row, even older than I am?
If you can learn from your mistakes, that is what matters.
I suggest either being friends or dating for at least 2 years before you marry, just so you really have a chance to see who that person really is.
But what matters is character, the willingness to change.
It is true, we change a lot over time.
And people who are commit to each other adapt to those changes.
It’s like people who cut off their family once they move out, clearly they let change affect their commitment.
But some of us put in the effort to talk and hang out still. Those people are more likely to grow with you.
This is all stuff to watch out for.
But as far as marriage itself being a bad idea, it is not, and it has never been.
That is alie.
And if people are questioning a thing that has worked across every culture, every time, and every moral group, then I question how big their heads are. Flouting thousands of years of experience because you think you’re just too special for marriage, well…yeah, says a lot about you.
Until next time, stya honest–Natasha
[PS: If you think I left anything out, feel free to shoot me a comment, I wouldn’t mind revisiting this subject. It’s one a lot of people are wondering about now.]