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This is provided that http://www.new-jerseys.com commitment yields substantial expected benefits. It does, as is most easily seen in a culture in which divorce is strongly disapproved or even forbidden (or remarriage forbidden). For then each spouse has a strong incentive to invest in the marriage

Adem Öztaş

the marriage must built on the spirutual values i think...
if you marry someone for her or him physical beaty your marriage getting last gradually.. Because, ten years later you and your wife or husband can not be as beatiful as the time your marriage is started...
I think if you are deciding to marry becareful about:
1- is your partner educated as you?
2- is there an agreement about political and spirutual concerns?
3- what are the expactations of families???
.... etc.

Eric Rasmusen

I wonder if the biggest reason for the decline of marriage isn't simply the substitution of the State for the Father. Nowadays, a man who fathers children without marriage can avoid paying for them while resting assured that they will be well funded, if not fathered in other ways, by the government. This "cuckoo strategy" of getting other men to pay for your offspring may be quite successful.

As the post mentioned, cohabitation and marriage have become closer substitutes because of legal changes. If divorce is easy, then marriage loses much of its usefulness. It does provide a legal default for splitting assets at divorce, but it provides almost no legal commitment value. It used to be that at least an assetless man who got married was able to thus demonstrate to his wife that he wouldn't marry anybody else later (because of bigamy laws). Now he isn't restricting his options by marrying now.

Note that contract hasn't replaced marriage because the law doesn't let it. There is no assurance that judges will enforce marriage-like contracts, or even that they will order money damages for breach. Because of the lingering idea of marriage, a contract that would be enforceable in business--- e. g., money damages awarded to a party who is unfaithful--- isn't likely to be enforced between a man and a woman. Maybe it would--- but it's "equity", not "law" and you have to get a judge who likes your contract.

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While I agree that the disadvantage you cite specifically no longer apply (as with my own daughter), I can attest that cultural disadvantages still exist. In fact, many so-called cultural conservatives seem to support these disadvantages as a "disincentive" for motherhood out of wedlock.

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This post is topical as I attended a wedding last weekend.

While the traditional conception of marriage as a lifetime union has past, some form of public recognition of a relationship is likely to be a permanent fixture regardless of the child bearing intentions of people.

The demand on the part of homosexuals for their relationships to be recognized and the fierce resistance on the part of some to this proposal is evidence enough that people require an institution such as marriage and value it. While some of the motivation on the part of homosexuals may be inheritance and other legal rights granted legally recognised spouses, the rhetoric by which they advance their claims convinces me that it is as much about societal recognition of their relationships as it is about the other advantages of marriage.

What is interesting from the point of view of this discussion is that it is not for the most part about child rearing which motivation seems to be the focus of this discussion.


My two cents worth:

The health advantage of marriage in men is disappearing (you can google that phrase to find the links).

Also I appreciate Mike Hunter's comments on here. The poster who responded harshly to Mr. Hunter just did not want to see the valid arguments that Mr. Hunter wrote. True, if Mr. Posner did not welcome Mr. Hunter's post, it would be deleted.

In my situation, I had a cohabitation relationship a few years ago. As predictably, the woman wanted marriage and I did not. I can think of no reason for marriage and as Mr Hunter pointed out, I can list a lot of men I know who have been through financially painful divorces. The "til death do us part" idea of marriage is outmoded in this modern world where people are changing their values at a faster speed. Many people are divorcing someone far different than the same person they originally married.


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People do tend to sort out by race and ethnicity if left to themselves. They tend to be misled by their instincts in less salient differences such as temperament, however. That is what Jane Austen was driving at in her romantic novels, viz. we tend to overlook the person best suited to us as we are initially drawn to the wrong person in terms of compatibility in the long-run of marriage.


Searched Google and ended up here - its good so I posted the site on my Facebook account !

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thanks for your clever reply. First, while some divorces unfold as you suggest, most do not. Only a relatively small percentage of failed marriages involve high conflict, i.e. violence or verbal abuse, as well as adultery and other forms of misbehavior according to the study from George Mason and Simon Frasier Universities. There are other studies that confirm this finding.
Demin Martin

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The more unmarried people there are, the more the unmarried state seems normal.

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With increased returns to education and fewer children per family, educated people are motivated and able to invest in their children’s upbringing and schooling more than the uneducated have either the resources or felt need to do.

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Dennis "the truth"

I read that women initiated or harass their mates for marriage 70% or the time. Then I read that women also initiate 90% of divorce. It seems to me that 50% of women want a nice wedding ring, loads of attention and some lousy cake. I think its all animal instinct. Women are following their natural urge to snare as many alpha men as possible and then dupe beta men to support their off spring. The state supports this because better that a loser beta male pay for it, then some hot Alpha guy who cant get a job because he is to busy spreading his seed. Women don’t want monogamy, they want exclusive rights to a specific gene pool until those genes are no longer sought after, then they move to the next. Let’s face facts guys, eventually we are all betas. Women are vampires, men are blood.

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In a pluralistic society, widespread practices tend to become normative. The more unmarried people there are, the more the unmarried state seems normal. Between 1930 and 1990, the percentage of U.S. households consisting of a married couple (with or without children) declined from 84 percent to 56 percent. In the 1950s (and earlier)—an era of greater social conformity than at present—unmarried men in particular were suspected of being homosexual (at a time when homosexuality was strongly reprobated), selfish (incapable of commitment), or otherwise “lacking something.”

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Some believed that marriage was not invented for love purposes. It was invented for creating alliances between different groups and kingdoms, financial reasons, and religion. I think I'm gonna have to believe in this, too.


Whilst I do believe that the marriage rate will gradually drop further, I agree that it will never get close to zero. Personally, I am happy that less people are getting married each year. Why? Because a significant percentage of those that enter into wedlock aren't ready to do so. Unfortunately, they don't discover this for themselves until the 'honeymoon period' is over though.

The growing divorce rates are alarming, but not at all suprising. In an ideal world, it would be mandatory for the couple to spend a period of time discussing every single aspect of marriage before they enter into it. What they want, what they need, what their beliefs are etc etc. Some visit with their pastor beforehand, which I think is a positive step.

"There is considerable evidence that married people are happier and healthier than unmarried, but the direction of causation is unclear."

The married people that are 'happier and healthier' are those who either gave a lot of thought to the step they were taking beforehand or worked at the marriage consistently. Or both. I'm certainly happier married than I ever was single. I had to work to get here though, and I'm not ashamed to admit I was ill prepared.

In summary, I am happy to see the marriage rates drop slightly, but will be even happier to see the divorce rates drop massively.

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I believe with what Adem has said here. In my opinion people who are truly in love know that marriage is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given people.

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There are 10 success factors of a happy marriage and I will have to name the two that is very important to me. One is unconditional love. You have to learn to love your spouse even when they don't deserve to be loved. Second, you have to put your spouse's needs ahead of your own.


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This is horrible. Another reason why, in the 21st century, we shouldn't be enslaving animals and creating all sorts of excuses as to why we need them.

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What a cool place! I definitely understand why it inspired you. It's going to be so fun to read the stories!

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A very wise man once said, that sooner or later all countries are aware of the personal psychoses of their supreme leaders. We are getting to be aware of that problem with President Obama only now.

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I just realized I'll still be typing next week if I keep talking about the great stuff we've gotten, so I'm going to list it!

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