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