Essay about Why Does Marriage Fail ? - Essay Prowess

Essay about Why Does Marriage Fail ?


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Why Does Marriage Fail?


The report by the American Psychology association stated that more than 90% of Americans are married by the age of 50. It continues to state that a healthy marriage is good for the involved couple in maintaining a healthy physical state. The principles of modern marriage have changed as compared to those of traditional one. The current divorce rate in society has been growing increasingly for quite some time now. Statistics of individuals walking out of their marriages since the 1970s has risen to over 40% (Riley, 2014).

The number of Americans that are married now is just a mere 50% as opposed to 72% in the 60s. The age of getting married has consequently also risen by six years. According to census data, only 20% of Americans are engaging in marriage by the age of 30. This has placed the unmarried people above the age of 30 with far less chance of ever getting married and with an even higher chance of getting divorced if they ever say “I do” (Riley, 2014). The question remains, why do marriages in the modern society fail? In the contemporary society, marriages fail due to a myriad of reasons and the outcome can be catastrophic.

Violence against Women

Owing to traditionalism upheld by most of the men in the society, most of the marriages will usually result in violent outbursts between the couple. The marriages and romantic occurring in current society usually subject women to domestic violence (Birditt, Brown, Orbuch, & McIlvane, 2010). Despite laws and rules placed against the physical, mental or sexual harm on an individual while in the institution of marriage, it continues to sore on.

The same laws that have been set up against domestic violence against women have also played a hand in helping victims get out of these unfulfilling marriages (Riley, 2014). The women are given an option of divorcing their abusive spouses and gaining legal option to press charges against them. The women are given the opportunity to take care of their children that have come as a result of the marriage. This course of actions has led to the failure of many marriages in the modern society with many citing their civil rights as citizens of America and other respective countries with similar laws.


The laws that have come up in the various governments have brought about laws that are not placed by the individuals involved in marriage but by the law makers. The laws have given the state unwarranted control in the private lives of the individuals involved in marriage. The government may change these laws on the institution of marriage without the consent of the people.

However, it is important to note that these laws are the same that have led to failed marriages in modern society. The unlimited control that another person may have in the personal life makes the state’s involvement immoral and dangerous (Birditt, Brown, Orbuch, & McIlvane, 2010). The state allows legal rights for partners to gain control of property making a person unable to defend himself/herself. In case where there is domestic violence, the victim partner may be unable to run away from the perpetrator with the spouse having access to all property where the victim could hide. This has led to failed marriages with a partner seeking divorce in order to protect oneself (Lavner & Bradbury, 2012).

Symbolism of Marriage

The marriage institution has been symbolized differently amongst the society. The person who is involved in marriage usually upholds the traditional marriage symbol of a man dominating, whereas a woman is expected to submit. The equality in marriage that has been brought about by laws, and regulating statutes have brought about turmoil in marriages (Lavner & Bradbury, 2012). Naturally, the bride was expected to be a virgin before the institution of marriage, however, pre-marital sex has been encouraged in society showing the ability of the individual to do as he or she pleases (Riley, 2014).  This has led to extramarital affairs leading to divorce.

The woman dropping her maiden name and taking on the husband’s name was also a common practice. However, when the modern woman refuses to such practices, she is termed as exhibiting male characteristics which may lead to the failure of the marriage (Birditt, Brown, Orbuch, & McIlvane, 2010). The act of submission is stretched too far where men in marriage will seek sexual gratification from their wives but when it is not given, laws have given them power to sue their wives for this ensuring a failed marriage.

Men’s Right Movement

The men in the current society have also raised alarm on the prejudice laws that have been placed against them. The men have noted that laws now allow for the woman to take over almost half of their possession when divorce happens. Men have now begun protecting themselves in such cases. The men site the fact that some women will only marry them so as to have access to their possessions.

This has led many men to begin their marriages with a legal contract stating that the woman in question shall not at any cost take over any of their possession in case of divorce. This has brought about trust issues in marriage institutions leading to a consequential dissolution of the marriage (Lavner & Bradbury, 2012). Such case is common in western cultures, like in the United States (Riley, 2014). However, the practice of such institutions will usually be when the involved partners are from different social backgrounds.


According to the American Psychology Association, the best way to a healthy marriage is communication. The psychologists have defined the ways to a healthy relationship especially in marriage is the openness in communication. This openness should not be merely a conversation about the households or the children but communication much deeper than that (Lavner & Bradbury, 2012).

Most of the modern marriages have resulted in the involved partners losing touch with each other. A couple may be married for a few years, and suddenly they have run out of things to talk about. If they are not talking about the house or the children, they are not talking at all. This isolation of partners has caused many to feel unfulfilled in their marriages which results in failed marriages.


Marriages also fail due to unfaithfulness of either or both partners. However, there exist numerous reasons why a spouse may decide to cheat. First, most are driven by the urge of seeking things that they are lacking in their marriages. For example, denial of conjugal rights can render a spouse to be unfaithful. According to recent studies, married women are reported to be the ones who deny their husbands the conjugal right (Farmer, 2011). Secondly, lack of communication between spouses contributes to infidelity. However, though some spouses can forgive their unfaithful partners, a large percent opt to file a divorce, leading to the termination of that marriage.

Money and household balance

The increasing tendency of independence between genders is anticipated to be one of the contributing factors to the increase of divorce incidences in the contemporary society. For example, most married women have become financially independent while their men counterparts are becoming more domestically independent. That is, most men opt to assume some financial responsibilities such as paying house rents, school fees, electricity and water bills if their wives are working. This makes women to take care of most of the household responsibilities than their husbands, and this strain the marriage bond, which in the long run results to marriage break up. When one partner is financially irresponsible, the whole pie becomes askew (Farmer, 2011).

Alcoholism and drug abuse

Most families also fail due to the destructive and addictive behaviors of either or both married partners. For example, most men have highly become addicted to alcohol and other addictive drugs, and these results to numerous adverse effects to their families. According to most studies, alcohol and drug abuse contributes to family conflicts, squandering of family resources, and neglect of family responsibilities among others (Farmer, 2011). These makes most married women to give up with their marriage relationships, leading to the increasing rate of marriage break up.

Rushing into marriage

It is evident that the euphoria of being in love stimulates most individuals to enter into marriage. In modern society, most individuals enter in marriage within the first few weeks or months after falling in love. The aspect of betrothal and courtship is rarely applied by most couples, and this makes them to realize that they made wrong marriage decision soon after marrying or getting married. Apparently, courtship helps individuals to learn the likes and dislikes of one another, so that one can be able to make a moral decision of whether to marry or not to marry the person he or she is in love with (Farmer, 2011). Moreover, rushing into marriage makes most individuals to start families without having adequate resources, which are necessary for it to last. For example, most people marry without having a source of income, making them to encounter financial challenges, and this increases the chances of failing of marriage.

Nevertheless, failed marriages have adverse effects to most individuals. For example, divorced individuals have increased stress and depression, to the extent that most end up committing suicide or being hospitalized. Consecutively, divorced men are reported to start taking alcohol and other drugs, as a way of coping with the situation.


From the above, it is clear that marriage has changed from the traditional style to a more urban approach. The individuals have incorporated the modern approach of marriage. Many enter into a marriage institution to see where it leads as they know if it does not work out they have the ability to jump ship. This approach has caused many to desist from putting any efforts in marriage and choosing the easiest option of divorce. The consequence of such actions is passing down the culture to the next generation. Children learn from their parents especially when it comes to romantic relationships. Therefore, the ability to stop such trends in the society may be quite tasking.


Birditt, K.S., Brown, E., Orbuch, T.L., and McIlvane, J.M. (2010). Marital conflict behaviors and implications for divorce over 16 years. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72 (5): 1188-1204.

Lavner, J.A. & Bradbury, T.N. (2012). Why do even satisfied newlyweds eventually go on to divorce? Journal of Family Psychology, 26 (1): 1-10.

Riley, S. N. (2014) Why Marriages Fail: Romance Just Isn’t Enough. New York Post. Retrieved 3 November 2014 from <>

Farmer, V.,  (2011). Common reasons why marriages fail. Retrieved  from,

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