In this world, where time is moving a supersonic speed, many things are changing so fast it's hard to keep up. One of those things is how women feel about marriage. Many of our mothers and grandmothers tied the knot because they felt it would ensure their financial security, and give them access to a host of legal rights. But in 2010, is that enough of a reason to commit? Are the younger women of today thinking perhaps marriage is not such a hot commodity?
I must admit that I have always had very mixed feelings about marriage. To me it didn't make a lot of sense. Did that piece of paper really strengthen the love connection? Today, more and more younger women today are coming around to that way of thinking. And, that's because now we constitute a majority of the workforce; we’re more educated, less religious, and living longer. We’re also the breadwinners (or co-breadwinners) in two thirds of American families.
Americans are cohabitating, happily in record numbers. I was a pioneer in that area, and started living with a man in the mid 70's when it wasn't quite so fashionable. It worked for me and I didn't care that people didn't understand or approve of my moral code.
I don't have to remind you that Americans have the highest divorce rate in the Western world; as many as 60 percent of men and half of women will have sex with somebody other than their spouse during their marriage. So I laugh when some folks argue that same-sex couples are going to "destroy the sanctity of marriage". Don't you think we have done that already?
So, while little girls may still dream of Prince Charming, they’ll be more likely to keep him if they don’t expect too much. Research shows that the more education and financial independence a woman has—in other words, the more success she has outside the home—the more likely she is to stay married. This may counter what we grew up thinking, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing "Committing to one person forever is a long time.
If you want to read more about marriage from the viewpoint of two young women in their late 20's please read Jessica Bennett's and Jesse Ellison article in Newsweek entitled "I Don't". I know you will enjoy it.