by Jason Dees

This content is part of a series.

Marriage Mystery (2 of 3)
Series: The Art of Marriage
Jason Dees
1 Peter 3; Ephesians 5; Genesis 2

In 1957, University of Michigan psychology professors Joseph Veroff, Elizabeth Douvan, and Richard Kulka released a survey that examined American attitudes to being single. The findings were stark: 80% of those surveyed believed that people who preferred being unmarried were ''sick,'' ''immoral,'' or ''neurotic.'' At a time when more than 70% of adults were married, it's not surprising that people would express a preference for wedded life. Now that was 56 years ago. Today things are starkly different I said that right now 2/3rds of all American high school students have a negative view toward marriage and think that being single and living with someone is better than marriage. Now beginning around 1957 the divorce rate began to rapidly increase. Of people married in the 1950's only about 23 percent of those marriages ended in divorce. Well beginning in the 1960s that number began to rapidly increase to where by 1981 more than 50% of all marriages that year ended in divorce. So if you were married in 1981 you have beat the odds if you are still married. Now what is interesting is that since 1981 the divorce rate has actually been slightly dropping but along with that the marriage rate has been rapidly dropping, and at the same time singleness is rapidly growing. So while in 1960 70% of all adults were married today that number is only 51%, meaning 49% of Americans 18 years of age or older are married.

And the average first marriage age has been on a steady incline.

So in 1970 the average age for first time marriage was 23.2 for men and 20.8 for women, by 2010 those ages had jumped to 28.2 for men and 26.1 for women.

And it's not just the young who are skeptical of marriage. One of the phenomena that we are seeing today is what is called the 40 year divorce. And this is that we are seeing a dramatic increase in divorces among couples that have been marri ...

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