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November 18th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is marriage becoming obsolete?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

People don't say "I do" like they used to.

A new poll shows almost 4 in 10 Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete. That’s a sharp increase from the 1970s.

The study done by the Pew Research Center - along with CNN's sister publication Time magazine - shows only about half of adults are married; down sharply from more than 70 percent fifty years ago.

This decline in marriage has happened along class lines, with college graduates being much more likely to still get hitched these days than those with a high school diploma or less. This makes a certain amount of sense given the unstable economy.

As the marriage rate has dropped, cohabitation is on the rise, almost doubling since 1990. Nearly half of all adults say they've lived with a partner out of wedlock at some point, and most of them consider it a step toward marriage

This poll also shows rapidly changing ideas of what makes up an American family. Today nearly 30 percent of children live with a parent or parents who are divorced or not married. That's five times as many as in 1960.

Most people agree a married couple with or without kids constitutes a family, but majorities now also say that unmarried couples - single parents or same-sex couples - with children also fit the definition of family.

Those most likely to accept changing definitions of family include young adults, liberals, secular and unmarried people and blacks. But don't count traditional marriage out yet.

Americans are still more optimistic about the future of marriage and family than they are about the nation's educational system, its economy or its morals and ethics.

Here’s my question to you: Is marriage becoming obsolete?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Art writes:
No, America is. As our values continue to break down, our country will continue to decline. Without a family nucleus, things become ambiguous; everybody just does whatever they want, and everyone is worse off for it.

Carter writes:
Marriage, at my age (59), is as much a financial decision as it is a romantic one. Sorry to say. Do I share my retirement funds with the "love of my life", only to have them disappear with the economy and her? Or do we both travel the twilight years together, but unmarried, splitting the costs should the bloom fall off the rose? You tell me.

O. writes:
I guess I don't know. I'm from the '60s, an aging boomer who lived through 'free love' and 'pot forever' and all the stuff that was going around. We were going to change the world, but I'm sure glad that lady I wake up with every morning is my wife and not my girlfriend. A good marriage is a good thing.

Joy writes:
Who cares? Marriage is not available for everyone in this country, so perhaps it should become obsolete.

Brett writes:
Marriage is a religious issue; the church should be working to combat the situation. As far as government is concerned, it shouldn't care if people who live together are married or not. The tax codes should reflect unions, not marriages.

Lavon in California writes:
Jack, Where I live, the infidelity rate is probably higher than the unemployment rate. This town is full of "MINOs" (Married in Name Only).

Bryan writes:
Maybe they should create a new program where marriage is a 3-to-5 year contract, with the option to renew or extend?

Keith in California writes:
No. I swear, your questions are increasingly lazy and silly.

Michael in Virginia writes:
If I weren't married, I would spend the rest of my life believing that I had no faults at all. I married "Miss Right". I just didn't know her first name was "Always."


Filed under: Happiness • Religion
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Corey

    Marriage would work nicely if there were an attached renewable contract. We are a society that is in transition of redefining marriage and family. Of course, marriage has always been in transition – as has family. Why are we so flabbergasted by this fact? One hundred years ago we might have had our life partners chosen for us by our parents, our religions and our ethnicities. At least now we have some choice.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  2. Mr. D

    It appears that life as we have known it is becoming obsolete. Whether this is good or bad, only history will tell.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  3. jay starr

    'romantic' marriage as it's currently defined is still a relatively new thing, Jack. You don't have to look much further past the 20th century to find marriages of convenience, of property gain, and social standing commonplace.

    The 'traditional' marriage conservatives seem to cling to, and I'm sure will be waving flags for in their responses is extraordinarily liberal and progressive compared to marriage from the bible and throughout Christian history.

    Marriage, like all things, continues to progress and evolve- for instance, most all of my friends are married, but none of our wives have taken our last names. It's an outdated and useless tradition- my wife is not my property, and she doesn't need to be branded.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  4. david

    marriage never made sense and it never will....at least for a man

    November 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  5. Sadee K, MI

    Only fools, would consider that marriage is obsolete. It's the true basis
    of wellbeing.

    Sadee K, MI

    November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  6. Jacob

    the religious right is doing all they can in their power to make marriage obsolete for me and the rest of the same sex families across our nation. . .but it will be a losing battle for them. they like to tout slogans like "traditional families" – but what does that mean? it means they think their families are better than our families, and that is a hateful, ignorant shame! i just wish they would focus on their own families, and leave ours alone!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  7. Paul P.

    Marriage will never become obsolete so long as religion continues to exist, however alot less people will likely subscribe to it personally. Since people have empowered themselves to become more intolerant to changes, behavioural infedelity or hardships, divorces then flourish, and to me, I see marriage now as nothing more than an insurance policy that benefits the lawyers in the end. Its an antiquated fantasy that I think some people are starting to wake up to.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Art Vandelay

    No, America is. As our values continue to breakdown, our country will continue to decline. Without a family nucleus, things become ambiguous, everybody just does whatever they want, and everyone is worse off for it.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  9. Amie

    I think a big drawback to marriage in this day and age is that the tax code is written to penalize dual-income marriages. More women are working and as a result, the family pays more taxes (as an example, the Democrats want to let tax cuts expire for single people earning more than $200,000 per year, but for married couples..the limit is only $250,000 instead of two times the single limit, or $400,000). As more couples continue to have two incomes (which in this economy is almost a necessity), they're going to increasingly consider the financial implications before getting married.

    Amie
    Palmdale, CA

    November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  10. Earl

    So my kids nowadays are getting married on a whim. That alone is making marriage obsolete in my opinion

    November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Darren

    I cannot stand to see how family values are undervalued these days! Marriage may or may not be becoming obsolete, but people certainly do not treat it like they should! People need to learn to reorganize their priorities and quit putting self first!

    – Darren Erie, PA

    November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  12. D.J. Whitman

    The Encyclopedia says that mighty nations have actually thrived or died depending on rather or not the family structure stayed strong or not.
    You can see that it true in our case.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Scott Stodden

    I Think Alot Of People Feel That With Or Without Marriage You Can Still Be A Family Weather Its Two Hetrosexuals Or Same-Sex Couples! Alot Of People In These Days Don't Want To Be Tied Down And Be Together Legally Its Easier If Things Don't Work Out To Just Walk Away Without Being Married. Is Marraige Becoming Obsolete? I Don't Think So Its Just That People Don't Think They Have To Be Married To Be A Family!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  14. Sophie in Alabama

    The wedding industry is projected to be just shy of 50 billion dollars in 2011, not including honeymoons. Hard to shake an obsolete stick at that number.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Nola Pellegrini

    Not obsolete here. I thank God every day for my husband. I am truly blessed to have him by my side.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  16. David in Tampa

    As an old Bob Dylan song goes "The Times, They are a Changing". I gave up on marriage after my divorce a couple of decades ago mostly because I didn't want to be the butt of jokes about multiple marriages/ divorces and I could not find that cute little hippie chick to light my fire and put up with my bad habits.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  17. Truth77

    As marriage rates have declined...so has morality....surprise, surprise.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  18. William G.

    From personal experience I can say that marriage is not the needed pair of handcuffs to keep two people together anymore and is seen more as a formality. I know couples who have not only been together through the decades, but have raised children and grandchildren together without a ring in sight.
    Marriage is becoming obsolete indeed and with couples like that I don't mind.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  19. Denise Carmichael

    Marriage isn't becoming obsolete. It's becoming truly optional. Back in the day, most people just went along with what they thought they were "supposed" to do – get married and have kids. Or if they just wanted to have kids, they had to get married to do it. But now, considering the much greater number of financially independent women and decreased stigma in cohabitation or having a child out of wedlock, all of the options are on the table. As a 42 year old single woman with no deisre to marry myself, I am quite sure that I would have been viewed much more harshly than I am today.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  20. OC Dude

    Marriage is a religious ceremony and oath that has merely become a defacto "norm" over thousands of years. At this point it means very little as people take wedding oaths that bind them for life, but then months or years later when they decide they don't want to be bonded any longer, they break their oath and move on.

    Unfortunately, marriage has also become codified by governments that treat citizens differently based on their marital status, which brings into debate such things as gay marriage.

    As a modern society we need to eliminate all laws dealing with marriage such that the law treats all citizens the same, and let the religious organizations deal with their religious ceremonies and bonds. Churches can perform marriage ceremonies to whomever they want, and citizens are treated as citizens.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  21. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    Well Jack, if I ever think about getting married again, I will just find some woman I don't like, and buy her a house.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  22. Rex

    No. I wouldn't say it's obsolete. Marriage is an institution, and Lord knows there are a lot of folks who should be in one. That sad thing is it's usually marriage which causes the need for the incarceration. I certainly wouldn't do away with it. While it would definately cause a decrease in divorce lawyers, it would cause an increase in the need for pest control. After all...we wouldn't want anymore divorce lawyers to add to the roach problem.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  23. Mark

    It's illegal for me to marry so, yes, I think it is obsolete. It's basically a tax dogde.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  24. Kristin

    Alexandria, VA- The problem with people today is that they expect instant gratification for everything. If things aren't working with someone, they just divorce, rather than work on things. If they can't find a husband but want a baby, they just become a single mother. If you're living with someone and want a family but don't want to get married, really ask yourself, why wouldn't you be married? You're probably with the wrong person. And just as being a single parent or having four wives is not sustainable for a healthy environment, niether is being married to one person and having eight kids you can't afford.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  25. B. M. Mojica

    It is becoming obsolete because marriage as we know it, a contract, was not the way God meant it to be. In fact, you will not find the 'ritual' of a wedding anywhere in the bible. Finally 'love' is not what we think it is. In the original Greek the word love means, 'to be in harmony and in agreement with something or someone'. Nothing to do with emotions. Now replace that definition with the word love in the first commandment, which are suggestions, not commandments because then they would negate 'free will'. You will see that it says we should walk in harmony and in agreement with God, and the rest of the suggestions become moot. Most couples do not allow their partner to be who they really are, they are always trying to change the other and not accepting them as they are. For that reason, marriage as we know is becoming obsolete!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  26. FredB

    Why not just have a marriage contract. If two people want to get married, they can sign a contract, stipulate the time limit, the renewal terms and at the end of the contract, if they choose to part, no huge divorce or anything as it will be stipulated already. Especially child support and such. Since everyone already says marriage is a contract, why not just make it so and be done with all the other crap.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  27. Tiffany J, Cinci

    I think that the monetary incentives to be/get married are waning, but that the overall concept of being emotionally &/or spiritually joined with another person, for better or worse, will never go away. The world will always have romantics that are always searching for a way to step closer and closer to the person they believe completes them. Marriage as a concept will never be obsolete. Marriage as a paperwork routine or a spiritual rite – may very well be a thing of the past.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  28. Truth77

    As marriage rates have declined...so has morality. But, people are still having just as many kids. The number of single-parent homes is at an all-time high and it hasn't been a good thing for our youth. Suicide rates are at an all-time high, and much of the developed world is flying past the U.S. in education standards.

    It all starts, and alot of times ends, in the home.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  29. Marlene Holladay

    I hope marriage is not going to be obsolete. As in a 51 year marriage I had 51 secure and wonderful years with a wonderful man. I feel so sorry for the young women and men. It seems that everything is about here and now. Not looking ahead in years to come. Oh I sound like an oldie, I better not say more. Except WHY?

    November 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  30. Pamela

    The idea of marriage in the traditional sense may be out the door sooner rather than later. However, for those of us most likely to face discrimination even in the middle of life and death situations (LGTB families, for example) marriage provides protection from discrimination. Ideally, however, marriage in any sense wouldn't be a requirement for legal protections against discrimination. Currently, protections against some forms of discrimination & violent intent is reserved for those who fit into the exclusive definition of "marriage" that is recognized at the moment. This exclusion leaves the United States as a deceitful nation that promises freedom & equality but ensures neither.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  31. HB

    Legal marriage has been obsolete for quite some time, we just didn't begin to realize it until now.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  32. Jason - (Buffalo Grove, IL)

    It is only a matter of time before some genius blames gay marriage for this.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  33. Rick from Los Angeles

    Hey Jack,

    This is more of a moral question then your polictically charged topics as of late but.

    The practice is dying. Things like Pre-nup agreements have taken the romance out of this institution and interjected Johny law. There is no more happily ever afters just the what's mine is mine drama that plays out in courtrooms across the Nation. I myself spent 10 years with my out of wedlock significant other and we were able to move on minus the attorney fees. Marriage is dying which is sad if your a Religious Conservative, but not a issue if you are otherwise.

    Rick
    Los Angeles, CA

    November 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  34. Claudia

    Nope, it's not obsolete. Not at all. Why are so many people, gay and straight, fighting so hard for the rights of gay people to be married? The fight for marriage equality is an affirmation of marriage. We so believe in the joy of sharing love and life with our soul mate, through the good times and the bad. This includes sitting together night after night watching Cafferty...

    November 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  35. Murali Behara

    Marriage as a term is rooted in religion. In future, i suspect that a progressive, more tolerant (towards homosexuals) society such as ours, will off-load the term Marriage completely, and adopt Civil-Union and a common Civil-Union-Law! But lawyers, practising family-law, will still be in business, because of the complexity of a break-up (of a union with joint assets), especially when the are children involved.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  36. Steve

    If same sex marriage were legal the marriage rate would increase.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  37. LBW

    There was a time when a date ended with a goodnight kiss at the front door. Today the goodnight kiss has become having sex with your date. Having sex and making love are two different things. When you make love you have respect with your partner, but with sex there is little or no respect. I feel that this is the reason marriage is becoming obsolete and this saddens me.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  38. Dan

    Jack, marriage is too linked to the idea of "traditional values" – a phrase that many people think means "stuck in the past" – for it to remain relevant. To avoid becoming obsolete, the institution has to be allowed to change with the times. A great step would be allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

    Tucson, AZ

    November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  39. Bill - Dallas, TX

    Marriage as "obsolete" fits perfectly with all the other American traditions that are now considered "obsolete", i.e., prayer in the classroom or at athletic events, removing the word God from the pledge of allegiance, working for a living, speaking english and on and on and on. All these replaced instead by same sex "marriage", "press 1 for english", out of control welfare for all and an attitude that denegrates one for being patriotic or religious. Sad indeed.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  40. Karen Conine

    In my opinion the only reason for marriage is for insurance, if either of them have it and need it. Marriage ruins a relaationship.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  41. what's wrong with marriage

    Marriage itself isn't the problem, but the people who are getting married. Once they realize that it's not all picket fences and family dinners, they throw in the towel.

    People get divorced for a lot of different reasons, and many of them are valid reasons, but I think the reason the divorce rate is so high is because many people are too selfish to compromise, and they have unrealistic expectations about how married life is suppose to be.

    The divorce rate shocks a lot of people into the idea that a "trial run" would be a better option. The problem with this is, cohabitation exposes many of the same issues that a marriage would, and these issues are perceived as deal breakers rather than opportunities to strengthen the union.

    Divorce is also expensive, so cohabitation seems like a better option.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  42. DCRen

    I have to wonder how much these numbers have changed. It seems that a much larger, out-of-the-closet, gay/lesbian population would contribute to the number of adutls who are not married, but cohabitating. This is a lifestyle that was a bit taboo in the 60's and 70's.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  43. Mark, OKC

    No, but marriage vows should be changed from "until death do us part" to "until I come to my senses and realize my mother was right!"

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  44. Deborah Seibert, co

    I hope not. It is the foundation of the American way of life.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  45. Paul C in Northern VA

    Is it obsolete? No. Obsolescent? Yes.

    Like any other institution, marriage has adapted and changed over the centuries to fit custom and use. Trying to "lock" the definition into a single category only guarantees that definition will become obsolete. But if we go with "marriage" roughly equaling "family" for all values of family, then it will always be current and relevant.

    (Or go Europe's way – government only sees civil unions, and only churches recognize marriage. But that's another debate.)

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  46. Julie from Tennessee

    I just got married, so I'm going to say, 'no', marriage has not become obsolete. My husband and I decided to get married as a sign of our faith in one another. I know that my life will be better with him in it than it would be without him and that no matter what hardships befall us, we'll get through them ... together. It seems a lot better than going through it all alone.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  47. Milan F

    I would rather think of it as the idea of marriage being seen as more serious now. People used to get married because of financial security (especially for women), and out of pressure from societal norms and traditions. But not all marriages last and, as we all know, America leads the pack in the divorce rate. People who decide to hold off marriage for the right reasons will most likely have a better chance of staying married in a healthy and loving relationship in the long run. If more Americans thought twice about getting married before they did, they could have avoided a lot of pain.
    New York, NY

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  48. Tensor

    Becoming? Marriage has been obsolete for decades. Were it not for ham-handed religions and government tax deductions, very few would even consider it. The only people in this country who seem able to sustain a long term commitment anymore are gays and lesbians.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  49. KH in OK

    It's already there.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  50. Rebecca Madrigal

    The question you pose brings to mind the answer given by George Burns regarding his death....".It's been done"
    Keene, NH

    PS Ya gotta be old to remember that one.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  51. Carlton

    Maybe marriage is becoming obsolete but I know sex isn't...God knows and is watching!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  52. Bobby

    And if you are married, divorce is also becoming obsolete.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  53. Russ

    Although creating love and harmony within our families is not always easy, it is vital, especially today when we and our children must withstand the growing evil influences around us. A two parent household is the best defense against those influences. The I-want-it-now generation, the I'm-not-responsible-generation will be the downfall of our society. The only path to success relies upon the support of the strong Mother-Father counseling, love and kindness our children require. Is marriage obsolete? How absurd! It is the institution our success as a people and a nation relies upon.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  54. Les

    Marriage is obsolete. According to our fearless leader, I am "rich", so why on gods green earth would I get married and end up getting hit with a marriage tax as well as having her income taxed at my higher bracket level?

    November 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  55. Steven P

    Greetings Jack,

    Marriage as an institution has been destroyed. Wasn't that the real goal of the Great Society?

    Steven P.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  56. Billy

    Social networking may be a contributing factor to the marriage decline as well. In the past, individuals filled their need for companionship with a spouse. These days, people are able to maintain a sense of companionship through social networking sites like Facebook.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  57. Jerry

    I think we are heading back into the "me" generation; marriage requires that the individual sacrifices for the good of the union, I don't think that people are willing to give up the freedoms that they have as single (or at least unmarried) individuals.

    Women especially have more freedom and financial means then they have ever had before so they no longer need a man to take care of them and according to some recent research having children doesn't make women happier then women who don't have children.

    It will be interesting to see what the marriage rate will be in ten years.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  58. J

    Materialism is making it obsolete. We have the highest divorce rate in the world. When life was simple in our country, people stayed married for 40 years or more. Today, people get married, get into debt and then get divorced. People are seen as disposable. Kick them to the curb one minute and find someone else after a five minute search. Nobody wants to work on it. They just end it. Lawyers on speed dial.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  59. Ross

    Whenever I hear people talking about the greatness of "family values", it makes me wonder whether my own childhood, growing up in a broken family with real problems, was somehow abnormal and substandard. But it was a loving household.

    People in my generation are disillusioned by the value of the traditional family. We're looking at the mistakes their parents made (marrying too soon, staying in a bad marriage) and deciding not to repeat them. Many of us received good parenting in non-traditional families.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  60. Mike in Montana

    There is a saying going around right now and here it is.., "It pays to be single." Mike in Montana

    November 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  61. Big Bob

    I hope not, Jack!

    You listed the groups above who hold "changing definitions".
    The usual suspects I say. Younger people have been indoctrinated to think this way over the last several years. You see the black community, now suffering for over 5 generations, since they migrated from the South during the early 20th century, from Fatherless households. Liberals want to do away with anything traditional by definition. And the liberal elites in charge want the rest of us ignorant, resentful and broken up in smaller and smaller groups. Thus making us easier to control. Guess what, Jack? You're a "spokesperson" for all of the above...

    November 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  62. Andie Epstein

    From Rockville, Maryland
    Yes,I think it is-----
    Well, it seems that everytime you turn around, you hear of another divorce, particularly among the younger generation. Between my family and children of friends, this is becoming the norm. So why would people want to get married....just to get divorced????

    The word committment is not the priority in many of today's marriages, and trying to make marriage work isn't either. So why bother going into the state of matrimony when divorce causes so many difficult problems....

    I actually think more people are more connected to their iphones, blackberries, etc than they are to their spouses anyway.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  63. Marc

    Marriage is not necessarily becoming obsolete, just less of a realistic option for many in this country. There are many reasons for this: the rise in cost of living, stagnant salary levels, less time to do more things, lack of focus amongst individuals, self-interested people, a higher divorce rate coupled with more single-parent homes than ever before, and finally, too many lawyers, and the result is less and less americans who are interested in tying the knot. Furthermore, life seems to be more fun when not married, especially with the internet and cellular phone usage, which allow for constant remote contact with large amounts of individuals. It will likely take decades for this trend to reverse itself.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  64. mr. S

    Marriage is not obsolete. I work a freelance job, and as a result could only get a reasonable rate for good health care through marrying my wife who works for a major college in the city we live in. We lived together for five years before we got married, are atheists, and only saw marriage as a strategic move to get me good health care, and a better rate on our yearly taxes, nothing more. And on that note, we both agree that anyone, with any sexual preference should be afforded the same right to get married in a "free" society, and for all of the people that "define" marriage a certain way, how can those people possibly fit marriage into a perfect little box? -afterall, with the divorce rate what it is, I don't think anyone can say that man + woman = marriage, has been a success.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  65. Gigi Oregon

    Let's just hope it's a fad and not a new way of life. I do think today's America is not the America that I grew up in and that is sad. Young people seem to think they can choose career and be happy without marriage. I wonder what it says about their parents.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  66. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    No. Many people want to make sure it is "the one" before rushing into a marriage and then into a costly divorce. When children enter the picture then it is time to tie the knot to provide a stable home environment.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  67. David, CA

    Not surprising considering the way it's been treated as a punching bag, a convenience, inconvenience, and game show by a lot of heterosexuals (and the media)
    If same-sex marriage ever becomes legal nation wide, I'm waiting for the next ridiculous step by bible thumpers to invent "Super REAL serious ULTRA MARRIAGE!" for those who are desperate to think they're better than the rest of the universe and need a special name for their holier than yours union.
    And it will still be a joke.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  68. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    For some of the younger people it is, but not for people who have been married for thirty plus years no.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  69. Kathleen

    I think the idea behind marriage is definitely obsolete. People don't get married with the devotion to the vows like they used to. Now, it's just "until I get sick of you or one of us cheats." Instead of marrying for love, we marry for health insurance coverage.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  70. Luci

    No, it is a whole different situation than when we were young.
    They are not rushing like they used to fifty years ago.
    We are in our 56 years of marriage and believe me it is much better for young people now.
    There is birth control now. Back then pregnacy was more likely to happen.
    If you think that abstenence was practiced much then or today, you have another think coming. They lie. It is nature and it happens.
    The old saying was that the only way back then, was to put both feet in a quart jar. Ha!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  71. The Dude

    Marriage is not becoming obsolete......commitment and fulfilling obligations are becoming obsolete

    November 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  72. Rusty Control

    Yes, it is becomming obsolete! With Divorce rates being what they are, pre -marital sex not a taboo. Kids out of wedlock completely acceptable, I honestly don't know why the concept of marraige, which is nothing but a social contract in the first place, remains valid.

    Two people can decide to live together and announce to all their friends and family. That to me is as good as any marraige. The only weakness in the system is makes seperation easier, but most states recognize cohabitaion for a certain period as marraige.

    It would also be interesting to see the corelation of this data with data about peoples belief systems, specifically religion and god. I can make a safe bet that 40% plus of people don't believe strongly in either religion or god!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  73. chloe, texas

    Not happening. Too many lawyers would be out of work....

    November 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  74. Ed - Chicago, IL

    Yes and no. I think it is for many reasons. If the country were serious about the sanctity of marriage they would outlaw divorce. If the Catholic Church were serious about it, they wouldn't make so much money by granting so many annulments. The only ones who seem to want in on the marriage game is gays and they generally can't get in. Yet those that want them to stay out have already trashed the "sanctity of marriage". As long as there are tax breaks and other social norms around it, it will survive. I think it will even flourish again if gays are allowed in. But there is an economic sense to it all as well as a job sharing functional sense to it. However, with the breakdown of the tradtional marital roles and the ability to hire domestic help of various kinds there is less of a need for a set up invloving interdependance.....of course love is always a good reason to do it too, straight and gay.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  75. Greg in Mechanicsburg

    I've done my part to keep marriage alive. After two disastrous attempts at marriage, I'm now happily wed to wife number three.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  76. Chad

    Yes, why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free.

    Anchorage, Ak

    November 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  77. ted

    If the Marriage values are not there, what's the point?

    November 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  78. Dahni

    Those conservative family organizations that are trying to do everything they can to prevent gay couples from marrying need to open up their eyes and realize that gays are not the ones that are threatening the "institution of marriage" and focus their efforts on maintaining what little is left of this "institution"!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  79. marauder242

    Marriage, like anything else on paper, is simply that....a piece of paper. It is a false sense of committment and has no bearing on whether the individuals will cheat on eachother, split up, be together for life, be good parents, etc. Where once it was a union between families motivated by finances and security, that case no longer holds true as women are now self-sufficient. I hate to bring up another country as an example, but swedes and other scandinavians have been co-habitating for decades now and couples have been together for a long time, even raising kids in a healthy environment.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  80. BruceFLL

    There are things connected to marriage, such as the spouse becoming the next of kin to supplant all others, that supersede most factors. Marriage is a legal contract with no equal. People cannot get closer than a married couple regardless of the number of legal documents they may execute to do so. That is one lure of marriage, the legal commitment of mutual support. Religious views are a distant consideration and religious rites are not required to seal a marriage, despite those religious officials who say it is. A marriage is good for children natural or adopted since it gives the children certain rights and protections.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  81. Marlene rigal

    Absolutely 100%

    November 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  82. Sven

    Love between two people who intend to spend the rest of their lives together is timeless. The institution of marriage is just that: an institution. While "marriage" may be on the road to obsolescence, the connection that it symbolizes is still there.

    (Lakewood, Colorado)

    November 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  83. Wade in Las Vegas, Nevada

    The buzz you get from the first 6 months of a relationship is not real love. Real love is a lot of work. Nobody told me that, but I am fortunate to have figured it out and I work hard at my marriage. It is deeply rewarding.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  84. Anoymous (Chandler, AZ)

    Recently got married ensuing a 10 yr. committed relationship. Will be getting divorced in less that 6 mos. from the time we got married. Still in a happy committed relationship but because of our combined incomes, our tax liability as a married couple will increase by $8000 approx. compared to our pre-marriage tax liability. Because marriage is in part a business proposition, it pays to consult a tax atty. first.

    Still happily committed.😉

    November 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  85. vincent chiavetta

    Hi i have just celebrated my 50th anniversary and in my opinion marriage to me will never be obsolete. Young people today are leading modern lifestyles which often end in divorce leaving each other raising children by themselves. The sexual revolution changed marriage from what its meant to be. I also believe that if same sex marriage becomes the norm in this country we are really heading for the toilet. I am from the old school and we are in a downward spiral not only finacialy but morally as well.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  86. Tim Galvin

    ....We're in love with ourselves, and so serve ourselvs, as opposed to another. It's a slow, but growing trend. I am guilty myself.
    Tim in Buffalo

    November 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  87. Margaret

    I do believe marriage is becoming obsolete. In the past, many Men and Women were pressured to settle down and raise a family.
    If you weren't married by 30, Women were considered spinsters and Men..well...society just called them eligible bachelors.

    So many were not ready to settle down and often resulted in ugly divorces.

    Today, Women have better opportunies to earn a decent living and some prefer to have a child despite not being married. I have several Male friends who have been married/divorced and said they'd never marry again. Where as, my divorced female friends say they'd try marriage again. Not sure who they surveyed on this but I think majority of Men might think marriage is obsolete. I can hear the divorce lawyers crying now as they read this report.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  88. candy

    No it is not obsolete for the religious or for anyone else who values commitment and making a life together. Been with my hubby 17 years and we are both very happy and equal

    I have read that a number of men find it is a one way ticket to having your money taken away and kids made a weapon so not so interested and I have read some women who are able to support themselves well don't see the point and feel they will be asked to take over domestic duties It is like both couples are saying women are trading domestic duties for a while for more money than they could ever make.

    I do think that old husband main breadwinner and wife as domestic system is outworn and it needs to be more a marriage of equals.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  89. Matt, San Diego CA

    Jack, As more and more people turn away from older traditions, they will undoubtedly start a few of their own. I'm a happily attached boyfriend to my girlfriend. We are both Atheist, and can't really seem to find a good reason to get married in a church, and much less by a priest. As a cost saving measure we plan to get married through the court, and throw our own little party, saving thousands of dollars in the process. We also won't have to deal with long, boring, drawn out marriage rituals that we dont really identify with. While we do plan on marriage eventually, we live together and operate as if we already were. Marriage is more for your family and friends, not necessary if you already feel that way in your heart.

    -Matt

    November 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  90. Carole

    Yes, I fell marriage is becoming obsolete. I my self a mother of two and currently living with my partner/childs father am not married and have no pressure to be married by others or feel others have any less ill idea's about my families current living situation. However, I do not want this to be a situation for my daughter or son in their adult future.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  91. jalbri

    Yes , I think marriage is becoming obsolete. Probably has alot to do with the the increase in unfaithfulness between partners. Not that people were not unfaithful in earlier generations but, women are far less likley to put up with a mans crap.Women are far more independent and really need men for mothing more than a sperm donor if thats what she chooses.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  92. Mark

    From a Biblical point of view, it doesn't really matter what our society thinks about marriage becoming obsolete. From the beginning God instructed man to marry and become as one (a man and woman). Jesus spoke a lot about marriage and the Apostle Paul covered the subject as well. I have a feeling the question should be, how soon will Man be obsolete?

    November 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  93. piper

    Who complied this study? What ever pigeon hole stats....go feed the them back to un realisitic viewpoint. You have more whites that are divorce and living alternative lifestyles that anyone

    November 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  94. Jonathan

    Yes marriage is becoming obsolete. Stigma's with divorce, pre-marital cohabitation, pre-marital sex, and children out of wedlock are all but extinct. Marriage is less of a spiritual bond and more of a tax write off nowadays.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  95. C. Briggs

    Marriage is absolutely NOT becoming obsolete. People are just buying into the substandard of shacking up as we used to call it. It is only serving to erode families until children have little to no concept of security in their lives. It will ultimately erode the fabric of our society and bring down our nation. It may be a slow slide, but it is definitely slippery.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  96. E.D.

    Obsolete is a pretty harsh word. That said, I live in LA and my live in girlfriend and I have an 8 month old baby. At this point marriage is a little irrelevant for us. I think because of my upbringing I'd prefer to be married. But honestly, why mess with a good thing that is working?

    November 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  97. Cary

    I think it's very important to get married for the sake of the grandkids.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  98. Cathy

    It would be no surprise if marriage became obsolete in our society. No one wants to make a commitment any more. Even those who do are willing to throw in the towel at the first sign the relationship might take some work. Divorce is no-fault. People are so concerned about their own selfish "wants and needs" that they can't bother to take the energy to build a life with someone else. And, in the mean time, children are killing each other and themselves, sexually transmitted diseases are the norm rather than the exception, and interestingly enough – more people are unhappy than ever before. Thank goodness we live in America where we are going to be happy, fulfilled and enjoy our personal freedoms regardless of how miserable it makes us and everyone else around us.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  99. dennis in minneapolis minnesota

    Hmm. Certainly it is becoming obsolete to a larger group of people. I would hardly say the institution of marriage is becoming obsolete. I think the poll of 4 out of 10 may grow to 5 or even 6 out of 10, but then plateau.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  100. brett petracek

    marriage is a religious issue, the church should be working to combat the situation. As far as government is concerned, government shouldn't care if people who live together are married or not. The tax codes should reflect unions (man/women, man/man, women/women etc.) not marriages.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  101. explainer

    Yes, It became obsolete on January 6, 1957 when my wife said, "Yes."

    Las Cruces, NM

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  102. calaurore9

    The extravagant wedding is important, not the long term commitment, also known as marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  103. Sally

    The term obsolete, How many were polled for these records. I don't recall being asked this question. With 300 millon people in this country and counting. I doubt this article is acurate. I am aware of some religions that if you are not married you are not grown. And BTW. The law still allows more rights to married people then to cohabitors.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  104. Michael

    Let's hope marriage never becomes obsolete and let's hope this awkens us all to the need for stronger marriages in America. There is no greater joy to be created than the potential happiness produced through marriage, procreation and the nurturing up of the next generation with loyalty, trust and devotion of both marriage partners. Of course, this is the ideal and not living up to it, too often, creates some of the darkest moments known to the human experience – all of which are foreseeable and avoidable through committment and dedication of both marriage partners.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  105. OC

    I would not look at the situation as if marriage is becoming "obsolete" since people still want to and actually do get married; think of it as the definition of "family" has expanded.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  106. Stephanie

    Not to us gay & lesbian people! We want it more than anyone else.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  107. Jeanne Bowman

    The reason that more uneducated people are not getting married is because uneducated women are more easily taken advantage of by their men. Smart women know that without that marriage license
    they are nothing but sex slaves and housekeepers. No rights at all.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  108. Reynardine Greencastle

    Marriage is a sacrament, and the government has no business enforcing a sacrament. It does have a business to make certain people fulfill responsibilities to children and dependents, just as it has a duty to make sure that the dead are disposed of decently and sanitarily, but cannot dictate the kind of funeral service. Ceremonial marriage is evidence of intent to form a contract; it is not the contract.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  109. Jason T

    I believe Aldous Huxley had it right in his book "Brave New World":

    The Way Things "were"-
    "Family, monogamy, romance. Everywhere exclusiveness, a narrow channelling of impulse and energy."

    The Brave New World-
    'But [now] every one belongs to every one else,' he concluded, citing the hypnopædic proverb.
    The students nodded, emphatically agreeing with a statement which upwards of sixty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made them accept, not merely as true, but as axiomatic, self-evident, utterly indisputable."

    November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  110. Harrison

    Marriage has become obsolete already in the USA. I'm mid-40s, college educated, upper middle class, divorced, with kids.

    Friends, family, co-workers, society in general aren't putting any sort of pressure on me to even date, much less have a serious relationship or get married. I don't get looked at when I'm out and about any differently if I'm alone, on a date, or with friends. The so-called social benefits of marriage no longer exist; I am accepted as a normal member of society.

    Sure, I'd love to find myself in a long-term relationship, but I won't let it define me and I certainly don't feel like I'm missing out whenever I'm amongst others, and I certainly don't miss the IRS' marriage penalty.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  111. Cameron SF, CA

    When celebrities glorify the "revolving door" of marrying and divorcing every other year, why would anyone want to be "uncool" and actually be married for life? Just another hole in the fabric of American home life and only getting bigger.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  112. Jason

    Yes, because religion is becoming obsolete.

    Marriage was originally just a permission slip from the church, giving you and your spouse the "ok" to start the procreation process.

    I would be curious to see a poll regarding people who still consider themselves "devout," in comparison with people who are becoming more lax in their interpretation of marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  113. Robert

    Short answer – No, marriage is not obsolete. The idea of marriage has definitely evolved from what many of us grew up seeing in the 70s & 80s. Blame Hollywood, rich & famous, or the others that people want to know their every movement. The reason for the blame is simple....those with disposable incomes have forgotten the line in the vows "till death do you part". Now even after 21 years of marriage (on 12/2) I never really believed in that line either but I did, and still do, believe that individuals should go into a marriage with the belief that "this is it". Maybe those with those disposable incomes aren't really to blame but it's a good start. How else could anyone explain those marriages that last 3 days, 3 months, or 3 years. The common working class marriages usually don't have the financial means to call it quits because they've grown apart in just 48 hours. Guess what folks....marriage is work....not just when things/times are tough but work 24/7/365 (366 on leap year). I would like to think that, like everything else in life, this will eventually come full circle but I'm afraid this isn't likely. Is marriage obsolete? Again, no but the definition has forever changed.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  114. Goodness

    This is just silly. A family is what you want it to be. A family can be a foster home full of kids who aren't related. Don't try to tell me what the definition of a family is. For shame.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  115. candy

    No, it is not obsolete. i have been married a lot time and am very happy.

    People need to understand marriage better though. It should be two equals working equally hard to build a life together not a romance novel. Attraction is important but is not sufficient. It means figuring out what is really important to each other so you can come up with win win solutions. It means respecting the others emotions and viewpoints instead of just always assuming you are right and have should have everything you want. Both men and women are equally guilty of this and have equally bad conflict resolution skills. This is a major reason for the high divorce rate and unwillingness to commit now. Men tend to find they get a raw deal in divorce court and they do when they marry a childish woman. Why did they marry such a woman though. Women complain that men want them to do all the domestic work. Why can't they work it out respectfully with him. And if they can't why did they marry that kind of guy. Marriage is a partnership more than a romance. It is great to get the romance the reality of day to day is partnership and friendship and respect.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  116. Kristi L

    I think marriage is becoming obsolete. Reality shows glorify unmarried couples living together and having children . What happened to getting married and having children, in that order? I lived with my husband before getting married but waited 4 years to start a family. We have taught our children to do the same.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  117. Rod Tempe, Az.

    Yep..... you don't need that piece of paper to make a relationship work or keep it together. It's funny how societal ideas try to to form us humans.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  118. Sarah

    No, I do not think that marriage is becoming obsolete. There are still too many opportunities for married couples to take advantage of that a couple that is unmarried do not have the ability to, such as tax breaks and joint credit. However, I do believe that marriage is not seen as necessary anymore. There is not the same stigma about living with someone before marriage that there was 50, even 20 years ago. I'm 24 years old, and am in no rush to get married, nor do I see it as something that is inevitably going to happen in my life. I'm in a steady, happy relationship, and the only thing that marriage would change about that is that the state would recognize my relationship.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  119. Frank

    Jack,

    I think that marriage is becoming obsolete. What real value does a federally recognized union provide? Let's level the playing field and treat everyone equally. Get rid of federally recognized marriage as we know it and treat everyone equally as individuals. That way people can form whatever kind of unions they want, and no one gets any unfair advantages.

    Frank

    Las Cruces, NM

    November 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  120. Natalia La Maestra Lueck

    I got married 4 years ago through the justice of the peace. No white wedding for us! Our marriage symbolizes commitment. At first it was hellish horrible, having to change ourselves to get along, but now it's great because we've grown as people because of each other in ways that would never have been necessary had we never married. It's important to believe in something greater than yourself – whether it's God, the universe, love, or marriage. It gives purpose and meaning to the trials and tribulations of daily living.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  121. patty

    Writing from Las Vegas, Nevada.

    If I was going to have children, I would prefer a traditional marriage. I've been through it all once and the expense of ending a marriage outweighed the benefits. Living together is a more attractive option for me now.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  122. Cathy

    The more things change, the more they stay the same

    November 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  123. Lewis

    There are a great deal of people who don't want to get married because of the financial repercussions involved with divorce. The divore rate in this country is alarming and if you say one out of two marriages ends in divorce, then there is a fifty percent chance that you will be shelling out big bucks one day.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  124. Pete F.

    No, although I guess we're an oddity. We've been married for 16 years, pushing 40 now, still enjoy spending as much time as possible with one another. We have 2 teenagers who are well balanced and happy and feel secure in their world. They have no issues about which parent loves them most and we have no issues about our relationship status. We are still in love and our kids know it.
    Our kids' friends are always around. An outsider would think we're foster parents. We're the house they come to for attention, fun, an encouraging word and discipline if they need it. They all think we're "cool". This is OUR life, not "yours and mine". If that's an obsolete life then we're both die happy being dinosaurs.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  125. MNindy

    I think the legal side of Marriage is very necessary. Spiritually, I like the idea of two people walking through life together in "holy" matromony, but the divorce rate and number of people who "believe" in this idea that are hypocrites daily even without divorce makes me think it is a sham. I am married happily now for 7 yrs I am my wifes second husband and we have 1 child together plus 4 from her previous marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  126. Ed

    no and it never will be eventually people we'll desire a true commitment again and marriage will go up. Its unfortunate that maby fail to se the need. It will include same sex couples but it will return

    November 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  127. David

    Marriage will never be obsolete. The problem is that people gets educated by Mtv and Hollywood actors who are on their 5th marriages. It's not rocket science, get educated on the principles set out for us on marriage in the bible and you will have a successful marriage!!! The issue is that "believers" don't believe in the word and want to get educated about marriage by society. Good luck to them!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  128. Brett

    Contrary to what they anti-gay folk are likely to say, this has nothing to do with gay marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  129. Arlene, Illinois

    After just celebrating our 51st anniversary I don't find
    that marriage is old fashion. Maybe too much television and
    reality shows are the problem and not enought people with
    real back bones. Also maybe too many polls being done.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  130. John in Sacramento, CA

    I am in a long-term committed, monogamous relationship. While I am straight, I am infuriated as to why homosexual couples cannot get married legally in most states. This goes back to the institution of marriage itself with its religious background. Apart from a piece of paper and recognition by the state (and a deity supposedly) what do I have to gain from entering into this bondage?

    My girlfriend and I have two beautiful children that are being raised in a loving home. We have all that we could ever ask for. The vast majority of married people that I know are unhappy; many people get married at too young of an age—before they have gotten a chance to learn responsibility and self-sufficiency. Marriage AND divorce are both very expensive and the later can be very messy as well.

    Love and commitment are not defined though marriage, and that is important to remember.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  131. S Callahan New York

    Jack,
    Many 'young' couples are living together in committment.......for Christians they have made their vows before God and it holds just as if they had married under 'legal status' without State interference...and it seems to be working for them without involving the government. Truth be told, It really all boils down to economics in the end.
    As well, many of the 'older' group are not remarrying upon widowhood or divorce and instead are living together with committment without legal status.....again because of economics.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  132. Lucille Rose

    Yes, and I am sad to see it happening because we've lost the true understanding of the purpose of two becoming one. We need to study the differences between marriage covenant and marriage contract. Pause and consider.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  133. Big Kitchen

    The government is pushing for traditional marriage to become obsolete with marriage tax penalties. Non traditional marriages always lead to destruction. Traditional marriages may destruct, but it is because of ungodly practices from within the the marriage not the marriage itself. Sodom and Gomorrah, Rome and other societies embraced ungodly sexual practices and all fell due to it and other sins. God's way is the best and only way.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  134. McCarthy

    Our government punishes married people who pay taxes by forcing them to pay higher taxes - the marriage tax penalty. But since only about 50% of people even pay Federal taxes, there is another side to the coin. Our government rewards poor people who do not get married by making welfare available only to unmarried women with children. The entire system is broken, unethical, and causes more children to be brought up without fathers in their home - and supported by taxpayers.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  135. Brent in Kansas

    My same-sex partner and I went to Canada to get married. This is how important and not obsolete it is to us. We have been together 18 years. I had two ladies in our store just recently that got rings for each other. They were celebrating their 50th year together. I can not for the life of me see why people want to keep people like us from marrying with the rate of decline of marriages. Seems like we could bolster marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  136. Corey

    (legal) Marriage is completely obsolete for me and my wife. We chose to have a ceremony, performed by a non ordained person. Our vows are to each other, performed in front of close friends, and does not include the State. We are not 'married' in the eyes of the State, to deal with property rights, medical issues etc. we have prepared a very thorough and legal living trust.
    This has the benefit of avoiding the marriage tax penalty, and keeps the State out of our personal affairs. This strategy has been successful for us, and we recommend this to anyone contemplating marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  137. Nathalie

    I don't think marriage itself is becoming obsolete; it's just that people are becoming more skeptical about it. For the greater part of history, getting married was more about conformity than actually finding the love of your life. People are becoming disillusioned with this approach. Furthermore, more and more people cannot fathom spending thousands upon thousands for a ritual ceremony that only lasts one day. In this economy, people see it as more valuable to put their hard earned money towards a house or other investments, rather than towards a wedding. With divorce rates the way they are, it isn't hard to see the logic in this.

    I'm from Phoenix, Arizona.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  138. Bob from Baltimore

    If marriage is becoming obsolete no one told me nor my wife of 48 years and still going strong. It has to do with commitment and listening to one another.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  139. Joshua

    It's amazing that it took people this long to realize that bonding contracts are really expensive if they need to be broken and that they are unnecessary when a relationship is healthy.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  140. Sarah from Pennsylvania

    As long as the government taxes married people differnetly with their marriage penalty tax, it will stay obsolete.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  141. Jason

    Marriage is not obsolete – there are hundreds of thousands of couples in our country chomping at the bit to get married. Those people who are for saving and supporting marriage need to realize that same-sex marriage strengthens not weakens the institution.

    Jason
    Bloomington, MN

    November 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  142. Steve Kemp from Sacramento, Ca.

    Yep. Those heterosexuals, with their agenda, destroyed marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  143. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack less then 30 years ago if a man moved in with a woman it was called " Shaking up" or "Living in sin". Now it is called living together or cohabitation. people do not have any less sex today then they did 30 years ago so nothing has really changed it is just perceived differently.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  144. Rod

    Of course it is! For many reasons, society is turning it's back in it's original moral compass. Our views in pre-marital sex and marriage in general are precursors to this attitude. It's really not surprising.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  145. Ken in NC

    Jack, marriage is not becoming obsolete. It is redesigning itself just like the stock market. In the 50's and 60's we bought stocks for long term for retirement. Today stocks are bought for short term gains and through discount brokers to keep it cheap. Marriage was the long term investment. Today cohabitation is the short term investment through the discount broker where the cost to end the investment is cheaper. NO LAWYER

    November 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  146. Ollie

    Marriage is definitely obsolete. When people lived to 30, it was fine. I can't imagine being with someone for life!! I was married at 21 years old, and it lasted for 25 years, 20 of them which were unhappy. Marriage licenses should be renewed every 5 years, like driver's licenses. Times change, people change.

    Ollie, Phoenix, AZ

    November 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  147. Rick in Houston

    Jack...Yes it is becoming obsolete. More and more men are wising up. when the marriage ends, more times than not the man ends up having to pay either alimony or child support to a wife that had extra marital affairs. Wheres the fun in that?

    November 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  148. Scott Regner

    Of course not. There will always be timid couples who'll require a public, official endorsement to do the nasty, otherwise known as consummation.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  149. Lawrie Hollingsworth

    It's ironic, as a gay woman in a committed relationship with my partner of 16 1/2 yrs I would give anything to get legally married, but cannot because "gay marriage will destroy heterosexual marriage" Looks like no one need our help to do that!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  150. Marko

    I always taught that marriage is an obsolete society creation, legacy of times when in order to survive people had to stick together in some sort of legal contract. Modern people can live a good life alone and therefore, more often, choose to stay single...

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  151. Eric Johnson

    Marriage to me will always be between a man and woman only. The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  152. thebrandsherpa

    My belief about the sanctity of marriage suggests an opposite trend.
    I know for me personally, about to make a lifetime commitment fit couldn't be more innovative and current of an institution.

    Even more to the point, I am a Lesbian. And for people like me in the Gay community in America, where not even a handful of states recognize gay marriages and NO state is obligated to, it means so much more.

    It is the art of boundary pushing that gives traditions new meaning. I think we are riding the winds of change and the sanctity of marriage has become increasingly relevant...the opposite of obsolete. If it weren't why would there be such a big fight over it?

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  153. James Wolf-Lang ovid mi

    I have been married 48 years and first met my wife some 54 years ago, when she was 12 and I was16. I cannot think what it would be without her. yes there is something wrong with Marriage obsolete no severally broken yes. its more a Morel issue than anything else the morels in this country have gone down the toilet .

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  154. Stephen from Florida

    I don't think its quite becoming obsolete. In part, I think a lot people can't afford to get married right now in this economy. I believe there should be marriage extended to the LGBT community as well as civil unions and civil partnerships extended to straight couples.
    After all we are talking about civil marriage and not religious marriage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  155. Innocent Ononiwu

    Marriage as an institution was created by God. As long as God lives (He will never die), marriage will never become obsolete

    November 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  156. lynne tracy

    Any collection of adults that consider themselves family are just that. People form family within 12 step programs, their religious community or anywhere when people love each other. Since a pet is considered family, by those who chose, there are no restrictions.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  157. John Bowman

    Jack,
    College grads know about prenups, others just know you get shafted in divorce. More importantly, look at how the tax code hurts married couples, especially seniors.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  158. JF, NY, NY

    Getting married is an expensive exercise that fuels a multi-million $ industry bent on putting people deep into debt. From the engagement ring to the actual reception cost, one is better off saving the $ and put it towards a downpayment on a home. Standards and cultural expections built up unrealistically by a greedy industry killed the magic simplicity of getting married. That and the high rate of divorce! I certainly cannot be surprised by such declining trends.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  159. MCBrown

    Hey, Jack,
    It"s a 5 billion dollar industry. That's not obsolete!
    Allentown, PA

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  160. Gerald (Tampa, FL)

    Jack the present generation that is age ready for marriage simply did not get the up-bringing you and I recieved. They were taught to think of themselves only and the heck with everyone else. Despite the gentle spoken words and random acts of kindness displayed this generation, they are only looking out for numero uno. Whatever marriage the enter won't last long.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  161. Butch from Central Cal.

    Yes.And with luck that will prove to be the European Influence that has some people so uptight only to be followed by the dreaded New World Order. Whatever that is.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  162. Ogbonna

    It is unfortunate the way marriage is going in the US. But marriage is a divine institution and needs to be honored. The rising number of cohabitation is just one the falling christian foundations of the United States that is responsible for the immorality and irresponsibility of this generation. It is also working against the progress and stability of the nation. It is unfortunate.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  163. Nate

    "Those most likely to accept changing definitions of family include young adults, liberals, secular and unmarried people and blacks."

    Jack what exactly do you mean by "and blacks" are they not part of the previous category you mentioned?

    As for your question, marriage is and will always be considered sacred, just because society, at least in the US seem to only recognize the bad ones doesn't mean that marriage itself has become obsolete.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  164. Leslie Maxwell

    Jack, I live in a place where fully 78 percent of women bear children out of wedlock.Trust me it does NO favors for the children....Unwed motherhood remains the NUMBER ONE predictor of poverty for a child. Marriage for that reason alone is a crucial institution.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  165. Who Kidding

    I experienced marriage. $700 to tie the knot at the Vegas Excalibur wedding chapel. $19,000 to untie the same knot at the feminist infested legal system of Southern California. Anyone in his right mind need to think not just twice but three times before saying "I Do"

    November 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  166. Wendell, Oakland CA

    Well Jack; Let's put it like this; Most people say that the most important thing in a marriage is love! I disagree, it's finances! Finances put the most stress on a marriage and quite frankly in times like these when people are unemployed dont expect people to run down the aile. I guarantee you of this, if you get people employed again, maybe they'll at least they'll start to consider it. Until then...got jobs? No job, no money, no marriages!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  167. Edmund, SC

    No, marriage is not obsolete. It needs only a slight change in wording instead ...till death do as apart , it should be ... till family judge do as apart.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  168. John Miller

    Just look at the birth announcements in your local paper. Here, I find that less than 50% of newborns have parents that are married. Many have only the mother listed. 30 years ago all birth announcements began with the same three words : " Mr. and Mrs.".

    November 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  169. Carrie Morris

    I think marriage may go the way of a renewable contract. Dare I say car lease.

    Best case, the couple will settle on a reasonble time frame from which to base their decision to renew or not, based on the satisfaction factor. Call it a business arrangement, but this way each has skin in the game.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  170. Marie (Portland, OR)

    Marriage has evolved as has everything else over my sixtysome years. But I don't think it will ever be obsolete. Today everyone seems self-absorbed, chasing the proverbial brass ring and commitment is a four-word for many who still bear the scars of our 50% divorce rate. Fidelity is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But love is eternal Jack and that gives us all hope.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  171. Nicholas Woods

    Jack,

    Marriage is antiquated and obsolete institution, which can be likened to spoiling leftovers that someone left in the company refrigerator. How long can you stand the smell before you throw it out?

    Nicholas Woods-Las Vegas, Nevada

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  172. Kevin

    Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before god; that will never become obsolete, but a marriage license is union of a man and a woman before government, and that has only been useful to prevent interracial and same-sex marriages.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  173. Cathy

    Absolutely not! My husband and I have been married for more than forty years. We still celebrate the anniversary of our first date every year. The love, friendship and passion grows with each year. I can't imagine sharing my life with anyone else. The secret is to find the right person and love the other more than self.

    Cathy
    Tariffville, CT

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  174. Barb Rieth

    When the gov't promotes ideas like: couples are rich when they make $250K and singles are when they make $200K, anyone doing the arithmetic can see that the gov't doesn't even value marriage, so why should the people.? There's always been a marriage "penalty" but this is a doozie!

    Barb
    Rochester, NY

    November 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  175. Sam

    Of course marriage is becoming obselete. We're a society that prides itself on progress, no matter the cost. That means that eventually all traditions will be forgotten and erased. The United States is a relatively new human cultural phenomenon. We have no history. We only look forward. Eventually, even monogamy will erode as people no longer find reasons against it. The United States, hand in hand with Western Europe, is leading the decline and fall of humanity.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  176. James

    Everyone I know weighs a marrage based on cost. Most say it is too expensive for a traditional marrage and find it is better to just have a get together with friends declare yourselves as a couple and move on. Soon it will be only the very religious people will get married. Without religion there is no real need for a marriage. I have been with my lady for nearly 20 years after being married for 10 years. I know many people that lived together for over ten years then got married and it was a disaster with most ending up divorced anyway. A few even got divorced and stayed together.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  177. Bill Jones

    Jack,
    As a single man considering marriage lawyers scare the hell out of me. The idea of getting married now comes as more of a financial arrangement then a bond of love, once women left the home and entered in to the work force men have been reduced to a partner in paycheck and with this comes the lawyers. I have seen men living like a bag boy on minimum wage because the wife left, took the kids and now he pay $1000.00 per month to women now living with another man.

    When lawyers take over you can expect the worst... and when you see friends both men and women burned and reduced to a miserable life of anger and personal ruin it gives pause to us that are looking over the fence at tying the knot.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  178. ALEX BEATTY

    Marriage is a necessary tool in a real civilization. Marriage solidifies and structures society and should not be politicized by goverment or deminished by media. Modern society requires order and the more we politicize it by constantly obstructing any two adults from commiting, weather hetrosexual or homosexual,the more it is removed from mainstreem American values. It remains a necessary form of order and for the sake of structure and i must add morality marriage must remain necessary.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  179. mark berkowitz

    I believe that marriage is on the decline in the USA and Europe.

    Although it may not make any sense, people will stay together as a couple longer when they are not legally forced to by saying "I do."

    The reason is that getting divorced is so painful and expensive that living together offers many of the benefits of marriage without the expense of divorce.

    Those two words (I do) can cause a world of pain if the marriage doesn't work out.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  180. Roberta

    Marriage was designed by God!If obsolete means "not caring what God thinks and teaches in the Bible for our own good", yes, I'm extrememly sad to say, like everything else that stands for godly righteousness, yes, marriage is becoming obsolete. This is a sign of the end of times, naturally!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  181. Debbie

    Sorry guys, but I think you're the problem. Have you ever heard the term, "husband up"...no, that's cause the guys have the market on "wife up". That's the term they use when they have sowed their oats, broken their share of hearts and decided it's time to get married. But that's not happening until they are at least 30, as they are going back to school after working for a while. That way, they get to put off making a committment by suggesting that they have to "focus on their future". Here's another question for the Cafferty file: Do boys ever grow up?

    Debbie
    New York

    November 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  182. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Marriage for social acceptance should become defunk because it is a fake. Marriage should be between two adult individuals who pledge to defend and support each other until death. However, especially with the anti-gay marriage people, marriage should be between a man & a woman, especially if the woman has a rich father that can help the man get lots of money so he can dump the woman he had to marry and hang out with the women he really wants. Wow–is this a rant–maybe it is– but not against my ex's but against the system that makes marriage just another business arragement.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  183. Emil Posavac

    We know that children growing up without their fathers in the home are more likely to (1) do poorly in school, (2) drop out of high school, (3) fail to get married and (4) remain poor. Yes, there are exceptions, but the pattern is clear. It seems that many in our country have a culture-death-wish. When children of unmarried mothers have difficulty, many search for answers while ignoring the obvious. The local newspaper suggested processed foods in diets as a cause of minority males getting into trouble in school. The lack of a male role model is the most important cause. An in-home biological and emotional father is a better role model than a rap singer, or TV actor.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  184. Willie

    Sounds to me like people aren't willing to make a commitment anymore. I'm 62 now and my wife an I were married for more that 40 years. Had it not been for Cancer taking her, we would still be together. I made a deal with her that if she would care for our home and our children I would take care of all of us. It was a good deal for both of us and it worked well. It allowed her to be the wife, mother, and women she needed to be and it gave me the opportunity to be the man I needed to be. This hook up, shack up, then soon to be break up is not the way we are supposed to be living. God had a strong presence in our family. But I'm not going there as so many are now ready to excommunicate even that sanctity in our lives. People better wake up before its too late.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  185. Simon

    We are unable to keep commitments of any kind these days, from the big ones like marriages, employment contracts, and oaths of office, all the way to meeting times, dates for drinks and promises to call back. Welcome to the postmodern world.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  186. Frank Malatak

    You Know Jack it's a shame that so many people find themselves in a marriage they place so little value on. I can't imagine prefering to grow old alone. Why not commit to someone you truly love. Lately Americans seem to be regressing. Women seem more objectified today than ten years ago. E.D. drugs are advertised as much as automobiles. To me it just seems that our values are becoming more shallow than ever before. I pity the fool who spends his life nailing as many mates as possible just to spend his golden years alone. What ever happened to human evolution?

    November 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  187. Andrea

    But then there are people like my parents who have been unhappily married for 35 years+ and they consider it until misory and death do they part all because from their view, their society and religion will frown upon it. I wish they'd get divorced; the things they say to one another are appalling.. However, I actually still believe in marriage and look forward to marrying my boyfriend one day, but if I get as miserable as them, I believe I would rather leave than make each other miserable. I think divorce definitely has its place and that people enter into marriage too lightly these days and should probably live together and wait 3-5 years before making that leap.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  188. Ken Margo, NYC

    If marriage was treated the way it should be, (like it's a business) We'd have a realistic approach to marriage. More people get married for non religeous reasons like for money, health care, citizenship etc.
    Combine that with how nasty divorce can be, it's a wonder people get married at all.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  189. Richard Brown

    Marriage carries weight in societies that honor God and believe that God honors marriage. In practicing our vows, we act out God's love. Even when we fail, God has not failed. God is love and love is redemptive.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  190. Will Strap

    Not having a husband or babies daddy in the home is a means for those riding the system for federal funded programs, it pays not to share vows and the responsibility of a family... at least not on paper
    I would put my 30 year marrage on the line betting if the goverment cracked down with compliance enforcement.. marrage would make a come back equal to the decrease in the programs that are making it obsoete

    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  191. Eric Vladimir

    I sure hope so, marriage is the best way to live miserably ever after.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  192. Dallas K

    Marriage is becoming optional in our society. I won't say obsolete, because that would imply it has ceased to serve a purpose. It still serves the same purpose it always did, that is to say holding families together. Just one more area showing this country's moral decline that, if you look at history, is guaranteed to come back and haunt us later. Once a majority believes nothing is sacred or holy, they'll be nothing left to fix.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  193. Jan in Phoenix

    Marriage is not obsolete, it's a sacred committment. However the marriage license is. In the 1920s, the marriage license was created to prohibit whites from interracial marriages. In 1967 the Supreme Court civil rights case "Loving vs the state of Virginia" declared it unconstitutional. Marriage is a spiritual committment instituted by God. The marriage license is simply a vehicle for the government to have jurisdiction and control.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  194. Adrian Gillem of the U.S. Virgin Islands

    The very institution of marriage through a religious perspective has not become obsolete if it is taken seriously. However, in staunch contrast to what it was like fifty years ago, we see that the modern couple has an apathetic outlook on the prospects of marriage. In other words, today's society looks at marriage as nothing more than a life of misery and depression, rather than of happiness in the rich spiritual unity of you and your significant other. Though many may consider it to be obsolete, we have to look at marriage as what it was intended to be ; as something meant to bring out the eternal happiness two can share in each other through the spiritual binding of God through the Sacrament of Matrimony.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  195. Mike Oregon

    Jack: Marriage today is only revelant as it pertains to the some 300+ laws, rights, privledges etc. that are spelled out under US, State, and local laws. That these 300+ " privledges " are ONLY extended to traditional marriage, and that the same 300+ " privledges" are NOT extended to same sex marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships etc. Then there MUST be a repeal in all legal statues of the word " marriage " as spelled out in our various laws. If one wishes to keep such statues, then the insertion of marriage, or civil union, or domestic partnership wording must be added to ALL Laws at the Federal Level. To forbid equality and sanction descrimination for some, but not to all Americans is abhorrent. So this said, Yes, marriage as is practiced today in the US is OBSOLETE !
    MIke, McMinnville, Oregon

    November 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  196. april

    Marriage and family are as old as humanity. We can change the name of it, put all sorts of legal stipulations on it, twist it around to fit some selfish agenda, etc. But no matter what social trends come along, women and men will still seek each other out, partner up for the long haul, and make babies. Without long-term male/female partnerships, we won't get very far as a species. And EVERYBODY, gay or straight, knows it.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  197. Ray Hamilton Jr.

    Not so, marriage is not being comprehended and therefore you can't ascribe true value to it's institution. I once heard it said, if you don't know the use of a thing then you will abuse it. Cohabitation is not equal to marriage b/c it's devoid of commitment. Thanks for the question.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  198. Fred Johnson

    McCarthy hit the nail on the head with this statement (Our government rewards poor people who do not get married by making welfare available only to unmarried women with children. The entire system is broken, unethical, and causes more children to be brought up without fathers in their home – and supported by taxpayers.) Since the 60's and maybe before, some folks have been breeding like bitch dogs starting at age 13 and in the 5th grade, never marry and the kids don't know who their fathers are because they have more than one. They start on welfare at 13 and when their daughter hits 13, she drops a kid and she's now on welfare. Before anyone comes back with their stupid comments please check the facts, stats don't lie and the truth aill set you free.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  199. Joe S.

    Marriage! That makes it even harder for the dead-beat dads to shirk their responsibilities. Especially the ones having 2 or 3 kids a year with different women. Marrying them would be too expensive

    November 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  200. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yes, because most people don't want to be institutionalized in a marrage.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  201. david bidlack

    i have been married for 40 years to the same person. i have three childern that i am very proud of and they are all doing well. i have 4 grandchildern and the whole family is doing well. marriage is a value other than money and i think that it will stay around for awhile. i have what a rich man can't by with money which makes me more wealthy than those who think that it is an investment that is going away. marriage is the investment you can't loose on wall street , loose to a bank or to forecloser! that sounds pretty good for and investment to me. good investments have a way of always weathering good and bad times.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  202. Scott

    Marriage has been obsolete for a long time for men who were wanting a prosperous future. Marriage will never be obsolete for women, they profit too much for it. But its going to be increasingly harder for them to find suckers willing to marry them. Men are catching onto the scam.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  203. lynnej in nc

    When you have tv shows that shows total strangers willing to do whatever to marry someone with money just for the sake of some network's ratings, you can say it is obsolete.

    Given the nasty divorces and the lawyers winding up with the money anyway, people are better off skipping the wedding and just having the reception and enjoying the good wedding cake.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  204. Joe

    The concept of a two people living together to support each other through life's trials and tribulations will never be obsolete as it makes logical sense -we do it to improve our quality of life and because we are a social species. All human designed concepts e.g., marriage, eventually become obsolete, which makes sense as we are a dynamic and innovative species.

    Joe Z. in Livermore CA

    November 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  205. Kevin K Webster, MA

    Maybe amongst straight people but the gay community is all for it!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  206. Bob in Pa

    Hmm, lots of blame to go around for this one.
    ACLU and their Fraudulent Separation of Church and State lawsuits, Welfare, CYS, the ease of divorce, and any of those other "Great Society Programs" that have stolen personal responsibility from our country.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  207. Joe

    With divorce rates as they are what is the point of marriage? I live with my G/F and we are making no plans to get married. Who wants to be a statistic...who needs to hire a lawyer and lose what they have worked hard for. Infidelity is a fact of life these days, Unfortunatly true love died in the 80's. I say let gays marry at this rate The Pope is gonna need the work!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  208. Ashley

    Isn't it funny that in the era of instant gratification, that fewer young people are rushing to the alter? It almost seems backward in a way. I for one am happily settled with my boyfriend of four years, learning as much about each other and what will help strengthen a marriage and family down the line. I was in a hurry to get an iPhone and a nice car, but for some reason I feel marriage can wait a little longer... I'm certainly committed to my partner, but I want to be financially ready and prepared for the other things that come with a marriage, a house and kids.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  209. DIANA

    it's funny, the Gay and Lesbian community want the right to marry, the straight community want the right not to get married.

    I think because the cost and ease of divorce most people think it's easier just to live together instead of making the lawyers rich when the seperate.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  210. squeeker

    Marriage, when viewed by old-fashioned terms, is indeed obsolete and has become divisive now that EVERYONE wants a part of it (same-sex couples)... people should now be able to enter civil unions that constitute all the trappings of a business partnership (share insurance, benefits, etc.) and if you wish to add the religious-ceremonial aspect to your union then that's a separate issues that can (or not) be apart of the partnership celebration. It just makes sense. Gov't. needs to be OUT of the marriage debate!!

    November 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  211. Marie Cephas

    I think marriage is not actually obsolete but is not a must for most young people these days. While only time will tell what that means for society, I do believe that all children whether their parents are married or not, deserve to have active mom's and dad's. There is no doubt that a child needs both. Do they have to be married? Probably not, but they do need to be active participants in child raising.

    Largo, Florida

    November 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  212. ithinkso

    I don't think marriage is obsolete, but the reasons why people are married definitely are outdated and irrelevant. I've gotten out of relationships with men who I thought were great, and 30 years ago I would have definitely married for the sake of security. But with them, I didn't feel it enough to let them at my savings and assets if things ended badly. A girl still has to watch out for herself, after all.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  213. Brad

    Yes, marriage is certainly becoming obsolete. Marriage was always a historically religious institution, and now we're becoming more secular as we're seeing the world from a rational point of view as more and more knowledge becomes available. Having children and passing on genes is a part of our DNA; marriage isn't.

    As George Clooney famously exclaims in 'Up in the Air', "Sell me marriage!"

    November 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  214. dan rowe

    Yes, it is. Two years after my second divorce, I experienced a relationship break up because I refused to get married, "any time soon". The family law system in this country needs to be "tuned up" just like our tax laws. Also, finances or loss of finances due to divorces has deterred me to even consider remarriage until near retirement or post retirement and the ending of spousal support and child supports. As stated earlier, one and three children are from family of divorce in todays America. More social dynamics, increase in blended families, and different extended family values, and morality, have changed the tradional marriage institution.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  215. Pat

    Prenuptial is another reason marriages don't work. If Plan B is already in place, who would put in the effort to make marriage work?

    November 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  216. Brian

    "Marriage" is a man made prison, as is the military.If you dislike someone telling you what to do and how to live your life day in and day out,it would be best to avoid them both

    November 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  217. Sara

    I agree, I am a young professional and I simply do not want to marry. The reason is simple, is a protest. I am protesting the social pressure to get marry because I just simply see a lot of unhappy people stuck together for life. People in the USA usually get marry because their antiquated pastors and parent shove the idea down their throat. Is call brain washing. Is basically pathetic to see all those people acting like their happy when in reality their kids know they are just putting a show for their neighbors. Such things don't go unnoticed and that is why younger people rather not live a lie. Thanks to the beautiful fake institution their parent built.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:50 pm |