The US bureau of statistics stated in 2008 that the rate of divorce among Americans is 50% (Vail, 1). The high rate of divorce can be attributed to the many people who have unrealistically high expectations regarding marriage. Some people expect marriage to turn out to be extremely glamorous without any challenges. Other people have high and unrealistic expectations on how they want their spouses to treat and relate with them. People should prepare adequately for marriage in order to avoid unrealistic expectations that are prerequisite for divorce.
The expectations regarding marriage come from the observations that one makes in their society. When children watch their parents’ marriage, they absorb some silent “rules” about marriage, which can shape and cause them to expect their marriages or spouses to turn out like their parents. For instance, a girl brought up in a family where the father provided everything while the mother was a housewife might also expect to have her husband provide everything while she stays at home.
Culture and religion also shape marriage. Cultural beliefs may be outdated and unsuitable for modern marriages, and the application of such cultures may fail and disappoint a couple. For instance, the Victorian culture promoted extreme submissiveness among wives and men had supreme authority. The modern culture promotes an assertiveness among women, and some husbands may expect the ancient style of submissiveness from their wives much to their disappointment. Religion may also place high expectations of marriage through the Holy books such as the Quran and the Bible and as couples strive to live up to the Christian instructions they may place unrealistic expectations upon themselves.
The mass media may also influence people to have unrealistic expectations about marriage. For instance, when one watches many romantic movies and TV shows that depict marriage as a glamorous institution devoid of challenges, s/he may have unrealistic expectations about marriage (Galloway, III). Other people tend to have unrealistic expectations about marriage when they fail to prepare that they may fail to reach milestones that appear obvious in marriage such as the birth of a child.
The likelihood of a reduction in the rate of divorce is not foreseeable in the future. The modern lifestyles have changed the way people perceive marriage. People have become too busy engrossed in their work and thereby given less time to learn and work on their marriages.
Many people have taken marriage casually. A study published in the journal proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences studied about marriage satisfaction and status of 19,131 people who got married between 2005 and 2012. The study found out that 35 percent of the respondents met on online dating sites. Interestingly the rate of divorce among this group was 6 percent compared with 8 percent for those who met through conventional traditional avenues and settings (Reich). As such, it seems that people who meet in unconventional ways tend to work more on their relationships, thereby avoiding divorce. The researchers of the study explained that when one dates online, s/he has a wider pool of prospective partners to select from and hence there is the likelihood of higher rates of compatibility, which is a cardinal ingredient to a happy marriage (Reich). Some studies suggest that people may be more honest when they are interacting online and thereby increase chances of having successful marriages.
There are several ways on reducing divorce rates in the modern society. The first one is altering the place where people meet their marriage partners. Some avenues through which people meet their potential partners are associated with more satisfying marriages than others. For instance, those people who met at social gatherings, at school or places of worship tend to have more satisfying marriages as compared to those who met at work, a bar or on a blind date (Reich). As such, people can change the places where they hope to meet their marriage partners, and that can largely reduce the rates of divorce in the society.
The other way of reducing the rates of divorce is through premarital counseling. Premarital counseling provides couples with preventative and alternative approaches to anticipating and addressing the risk factors that cause distress and divorce in marriages (Vail, 24). Individuals can carry out deep exploration of the self and their compatibility as a couple.
The social consequences of premarital counseling and other ways of reducing divorce would be beneficial to the society. When there is a low rate of divorce in families, it means that people’s lives face less distraction. For instance, children get to grow up in a loving family context where they learn to uphold family values and can achieve more academically and in life (Vail, 2). The married people also assist each other to achieve personal objectives and goals thereby leading the societal progress.
There is a high rate of divorce in the modern society. Some people enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations shaped by the societal cultures, the mass media, and the religion to which they belong. In order to remedy the high rates of divorce, people can try to meet their prospective marriage partners in social gatherings, places of worship or even in school. The reduction of divorce in a society leads to better and happier people and therefore society.
Reich, Ashley. "Online Dating Leads To Higher Marriage Satisfaction, Lower Divorce Rates: Study." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 4 June 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/online-dating-leads-to-hi_n_3384721.html>.
Galloway Lauren. Does Movie Viewing Cultivate Unrealistic Expectations about Love and Marriage? University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 2013. Print
Vail Scott Harold. Reducing The Divorce Rate Among Christians In America: Premarital Counseling A Prerequisite For Marriage. Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary Charlotte, North Carolina 2012. Print