This article analyzes the key concepts of cheating, sex, marriage and monogamy, in the light of current events and news. Discusses the eternal conflict between nature, intelligence, ethics, religion and traditions. Brings into focus the historical evolution of various values persisting in different societies and cultures. Continue reading
Finance is often cited as being influential in modern instances of separation, but this notion is particularly vague and offers only minimal insight to the potential causes. One may assume that this is simply due to general economic concerns, and that divorce and separation are merely inevitable consequences of the global recession and an enforced period of fiscal hardship, where couples are rendered without capital and vulnerable to subsequent social pressure.
However statistics suggest the opposite, and actually reveal that the national divorce rate dropped appreciably during the recent global recession. This is chiefly due to a fall in the amount of marriages commenced, but also because the concept of divorce becomes entirely impractical once wealth is scare and a financial stability needs to be sustained. Therefore, it is likely that more pertinent and specific reasons subsist behind the guise of independent relationships.
The Excesses of Freedom
As an example, irresponsible spending is a common problem within contemporary relationships, but this is an entity that is unique and entirely specific to each individual circumstance. It typically involves an individual within the relationship spending an amount of money that is disproportionate to their actual income, which fosters further issues between the couple that surround both mistrust and disrespect.
If you were to believe everything that you were told about contemporary culture, then you may well consider that marriage and long term union are increasingly irrelevant amongst the citizens of today. As the divorce rate in the US remains one of the highest in western civilization, with a rising number of couples also choosing not to marry before they commence a family, it is easy to draw the conclusion that individuals are finding it harder than ever to begin and remain in a stable and committed relationship.
While the situation is not as bad as often reported in the media, there are still concerns surrounding modern relationships and the evolving structure of family units. In particular, these concerns focus on the vast numbers of failing marriages and subsequent swathes of broken families, which impacts heavily on affiliated children and creates a distorted view of family for the younger generation. What further complicates the issue is that a different perspective is often held by different genders, making many problems potentially divisive and extremely difficult to resolve.
The Evolution of Equality
Ironically, one of the main issues in modern relationships is also something that has been of huge benefit to society as a whole. This is equality, which has evolved gradually over the last century to deliver equal rights and living standards to female members of society, and subsequently served to change the accepted dynamics within a relationship. While no fair minded individual could deny the positive impact of equality on society, it has posed issues to couples of a particular generation with regards to their roles and expectations.
There was a time when marriage was considered to be an integral part of society, and something which was the ultimate stamp of conviction and commitment for any relationship. However, as social conventions have changed, so too have the prevailing attitudes towards marriage and marital values. It is no longer seen as a necessary assertion of a relationships value, and in fact appears as something of increasing irrelevance to most young couples commencing a union.
Although many theories have been advanced for this, there is a common understanding that women in particular are deciding to devote more of their time and effort into cultivating a career. This ensures that concepts such as marriage and raising a family are deferred, or in some instances neglected entirely in favor of more financially prosperous pursuits. While this is supported by certain information and statistics, it is also countered by others that suggest that the true issues lie with the concept of marriage itself rather than its practicalities.
Not an Issue of Pursuing a Career
In terms of corroborating the idea of marriage becoming less compatible with contemporary culture, the average age of those who marry for the first time has risen considerably in the last 30 years. The average male gets married at the age of 27, which is an increase of 2 years since 1980. Similarly, the average female now enters wedlock when they are 25, a figure which has risen by 3 years within the same time period. This is a clear statistical indicator of men and women choosing to defer marriage until later in life.
The paths of economic recovery are often traversed with understandable caution. Although 2011 is promising to continue the positive trends in employment and job creation displayed at the close of 2010, there is still and underlying sense of apprehension amongst consumers and households. With this is mind, it is logical that many citizens and family units within the US are still keen to make financial savings where possible and also secure the best possible value for their hard earned money.
It should not necessarily follow that those in a relationship would be best placed to make financial savings, but the course of union can boast many economic benefits. From the pooling of income and resources to a diverse combination of money making skill sets, a romantic coalition or family unit may well be able to strive towards a shared goal or aspiration. As well as the benefits of boasting a wider strength and range of skills, tax legislation and legal documentation is often designed to support the concept of marriage in the US.
The Financial Truth for Married Couples
There is much consternation about the financial benefits of marriage, and the marriage penalty that was first implemented in 1969 has caused many to believe that marriage or union is conducive only to financial loss. However, the fact remains that even before the government introduced legislation to tackle the effects of the marriage penalty in 2001, there are statistics to suggest that couples were still in a more favorable financial position than those of a single disposition.
Various governments across various civilizations have eschewed the virtues of marriage and long term union in contemporary society, and some have even introduced legislation and incentives to encourage marriage and the development of a family unit. However, as the global rate of divorce spirals towards a troubling 50 percent, and the rate of divorce in the US alone stands at approximately 48 percent, there is an increasing concern as to the relevance of union in a modern society.
The thought processes involved in attempting to create marital and relationship harmony is simple. Governments regulate society, to make its citizens law abiding and maintain their safety. The concept of the family unit, and all of the values of clean living and moderation that are incorporated within, ensure that it is used as a tool with which to govern and maintain a social equilibrium. This abates the concern that single individuals are more vulnerable to external influences and corruption without the support of family or their communal values.
The Modern Relationship
While this trend of government thinking is clear, it is also a little misguided in contemporary surroundings. The nature of relationships and union has changed dramatically over the course of 4 decades, and the relevance of marriage slowly diminishing alongside the revolution in dating and methods of courtship. Quite simply, the encouragement of traditional family units and values becomes less pointed in a society where couples no longer begin their relationship in the traditional way, especially where marriage is often seen as an expensive luxury or a mere title.
Of all recorded cases of separation and divorce in 2009, there are a small but not insignificant number of relationship breakdowns that have cited Facebook and other social networking sites as contributing factors. Social networking sites are of course a contemporary phenomenon, allowing users to interact and interface with friends and family on a regular and daily basis and share their lives on a global platform.
In terms of dating, the sites themselves are used with increasing regularity as platforms to meet potential partners, for either fun or a long lasting union. This evolution of the social network has led to incidents of infidelity or inappropriate flirting between friends or individual who meet through the site, and this alone is a cause of conflict in relationships. The key issue is whether the social network encourages infidelity and detrimental behaviour to a relationship, or simply makes it more likely for this conduct to be seen and discovered.
Divorce is an inevitable consequence of modern life, as evidenced through the fact that approximately 4 out of 10 marriages end in the surroundings of a court room. While the process itself is distressing, it is nothing compared to the potential fall out that follows, and which often afflicts children and impressionable family members in addition to the couple themselves.
Whatever the reasons raised and cited in a divorce petition, the emotional pain and distress incurred through separation can breed bitter acrimony. It is a widely held theory that love and hate are close and uncomfortable neighbours, and the gradual transition from life partners to separate entities often traverses these boundaries. Where children are involved, they are impressionable and perceptive enough to absorb and take on board vast swathes of these negative feelings and emotions.
Differences in relationship expectations and each individual’s aspirations in life are often a primary cause of divorce. While it may not be the cited as the main reason in a relationship breakdown, it is often the trigger for acts such as physical or emotional infidelity. This is because the realization within a couple that they are completely incompatible and without a single purpose can breed resentment and apathy between individual partners, and leave them seeking an outlet for love and affection.
In many ways, whatever conduct and behaviour is encountered during the decline of a relationship, a long term incompatibility is the most debilitating to a couples union. Where individuals that are joined in matrimony find themselves at odds over their future ambitions, there is often no compromise that can be made without leaving one or both of the individuals dissatisfied. This type of conflict is therefore the most difficult to resolve, as couples who cannot compromise with each other are unable to get their relationship back onto some form of common ground.
There is an ever increasing focus on the divorce rates experienced throughout the US in contemporary society. Though the rates for first time marriages have steadied over the last year just beneath the 50 percent figure, the rates of divorce experienced amongst people who are marrying for the second or third time is recorded as substantially higher.
The figures are startling. From 50 percent, the rate of divorce leaps to 67 percent in the case of second marriages, and an incredible 74 percent where one or both of the partners are marrying for the third time. These statistics suggest that there are many potential issues that face couples which include a partner who has already been through the processes of divorce.
The concept of sexual freedom and liberty emerged from the carefree attitudes of the 1960’s, where many nations of the world finally emerged from the debris of the Second World War and their people began to enjoy their lives. This prevailing attitude was a consequence of liberation and civil rights movements in many areas of society, with innovations in culture, pop music and politics all lending themselves to a more forgiving, tolerant and experimental weave of communities.
What is strange however, is that while the general attitudes to sex and sexual freedom have remained relaxed and liberal in western civilisation, there are more and more couples who are experiencing relationship threatening issues with this aspect of their lives. This is can be seen through the disproportionate number of divorces that are caused by infidelity and the acts of sexual promiscuity. With an estimated total of 17 percent of all divorces citing these reasons as the primary influence in instigating proceedings, there are questions as to why couples cannot find sexual satisfaction in such liberal and well informed times.
Aside from the core factors that have traditionally sounded the death knell for relationships (such as infidelity and unreasonable or violent behaviour from one partner to the other), other issues are becoming pertinent in disrupting marital harmony.
An increasing percentage of the divorce rate number is made up of couples who have cited issues with in-laws as the primary cause of the separation. Of these, conflict between the wife and her mother in-law is the most prominent, with a minimal number of cases even including instances of violence. Another common problem of this type is conflict between a partner and their brothers or sisters in-law, typically concerning jealously and the disruption of previously close sibling relationships.
Since 2006, it has been reported that an increasing number of US couples have cohabited together despite being unmarried. The estimated number of unmarried couples who share lodgings has fluctuated between 5 and 6.4 million in the last 4 years, but regardless of the exact quantities the trend is leaning towards an average increase year on year.
These statistics and the ever publicised ascent of the divorce rate (which most experts suggest is currently estimated at between 45 and 51 percent) have drawn sharply into focus the relevance of marriage in the modern era. There are various factors which deter couples from marriage and matrimony, from financial concerns to the more fundamental issue of social trends and they way that marriage is perceived by the younger generation.
Statistics have shown that since 2002 the pregnancy rates amongst women aged between 18 and 35 have risen steadily, both amongst married and unmarried subjects. In terms of the increasing rate of pregnancies involving married women, this trend has continued despite the consistently high divorce rates prevalent in the US through the current century. If these trends continue as they are, then is a chance that the number of children who grow up with a single parental influence in their life will continue to grow over time.
With an estimated four in ten US marriages now ending with divorce, the stability of marital harmony has never been more precarious. From these figures, it has also emerged that approximately 43% of marriages do not last beyond 15 years, and further examination of this statistic makes interesting reading. Of the marriages that do end in divorce with these 15 years, many suffer problems and disruptions to their relationships through the very first year of their existence.
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