Enjoy the article below, or cringe at what it divulges, and then read my response below. Don't be scared away from the article because of the website name. They bring up some very important point that aren't getting asked.
Why are younger generations not getting married but still having children?
A recent NPR article explores this question. One brilliant interviewee says:
“‘A lot of people, I think, see marriage as a piece of paper,’ says Mellissa. ‘A piece of paper that costs a lot of money to change.’ She laughs and explains that she means divorce.”Her boyfriend says:
"‘For me,’ says Andrew, ‘it feels unsafe heading into a marriage, where two people rely on each other, to go into it unprepared. In my family, my mother never worked, and my dad's income was always very sufficient to support our family. I'd like to model that in my life.’”In other words, Mellissa figures she will likely get divorced so why bother getting married? But did she intend to have children anyway? Isn’t splitting up just as ugly with a child, possibly uglier, regardless of a marriage license or not?
Her ever so brilliant boyfriend thinks that it is a bad idea to go into marriage financial unprepared but living with his girlfriend or fathering doesn’t count?! He wants things to be just perfect for marriage, with him being the working dad and Mellissa being the stay-at-home mom. What do you think Jr. will say to knowing that he was conceived out of wedlock and his parents lived in sin while they got their college degrees?
Where do they find these people?
I wonder if Mellissa and Andrew even intended to get pregnant or if that was just an “accident” that happened due to the act of sex. Funny how sex results in children! Hmmm…never thought about that did you Mellissa and Andrew?
Putting their stupidity aside…
There are other statistics that say that divorce rates are dropping. Is that because people who would have gotten married and then divorced aren’t getting married in the first place?
USA Today makes this exact point:
“… The national per capita divorce rate has declined steadily since its peak in 1981 and is now at its lowest level since 1970...”
“Some experts say relationships are as unstable as ever — and divorces are down primarily because more couples live together without marrying…”The marriage rate has dropped by 30% and divorces are down to their lowest levels at 37%. Interesting tidbit there.
“… The marriage rate has dropped by nearly 30% in past 25 years; and Americans are waiting about five years longer to marry than they did in 1970.”
That being said, why is it that these crazy kids who want to live together but not get married want to have children? Why do they continue to have children even though they are literally planning not to stay with the other parent? Do they feel a divine right to do so? Do they fantasize that a child will unite them? Or do they just not give it much thought until the deed is done?
That is my bet right there. They aren’t planning on having children. I have no proof, but I would bet some dough that Mellissa and Andrew didn’t intend on their little bundle of joy popping before they were married.
So what about those few people who did intend to have children (putting aside the teenagers who have their heads up their rears)? Why do they not want to do get married?
I think it goes back to what Mellissa said (as idiotic as it may seem). They don’t want to be bothered with divorce. They want to pack their bags and go when the relationship no longer is worth the effort. After all, weddings are fun! Who wouldn’t want to have a wedding! Divorces on the other hand, often cost just as much or more than a wedding and nobody throws you a party…usually.
They are living in Hotel de Disneyland if they believe that it is cheaper to have a custody hearing than it is to get a divorce?
Are they concerned at all about the child’s feelings? Do they think a child would care if there was a piece of paper stating that their parents were married or not when they are having to pack up their belongings and having to say goodbye to mom or dad to go live somewhere else? Do they actually believe that a child is fine whether their parents live together or not?
Do they believe if they don’t stay together they can amicably share custody of Jr.? Do these people ever stop to think that they might not end up with shared custody because this person that was not good enough to marry wasn’t good enough to be a co-parent either? And who wants to share custody anyway? Why would you bring a child into this world only to share her 3 out of 7 days a week, 6 out of 12 weeks or just on summer vacation? Do they think the child wants to be shared between two people who don’t really care about each other or loved by two parents who love each other?
There are more than enough statistics to prove that children do far better in life when living with both of their biological married parents. Google it if you don’t believe me.
On the upside, that does free up every other weekend so that you can go out and have “adult time”.
But, you see this issue has nothing to do with what is best for their children, it has everything to do with what is best for the parents, or so they believe.
The motivating factor overall is selfishness. People don’t want to go through the trouble of staying married so they don’t get married in the first place. They don’t want to give up the act of sex either so they pretend to use “protection”. At some point the condom doesn’t work or the pill is forgotten. They end up with children they didn’t intend to have with people they didn’t intend to marry.
Let’s put this forward: If your partner isn’t worth marrying and committing YOUR life to, why are they worthy of being your child’s parent? Good genes? This person is going to be in your child’s and your life forever whether you like it or not. They are going to influence your child’s personality, habits, and values. They are going to help form and shape them from the ground up for better or worse, present or not.
Don’t you think a good test of being a parent is how good of a spouse they are? Don’t you think that if they can commit to you that would be a pretty good indicator of what kind of parent they are going to be?
Something to toss around.