Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Value of Marriage, and How Society Can Promote It, Or Not

I just found this article about marriage (it's from 2008, but still timely).  The information that caught my attention:
In the six centuries up through Austen’s lifetime, Clark found, English women didn’t marry on average until age 24 to 26, with poor women often having to wait until their 30s to wed. And 10 to 20 percent never married. Judging from the high fertility of married couples, contraceptive practices appear to have been almost unknown in England in this time, but merely three or four percent of all births were illegitimate, demonstrating that rigid premarital self-discipline was the norm.

OMG!  (I really should change that, as it's disrespectful to God.  Maybe Oh, My Zeus! would be better?)

OMZ!!!!

No!  Couples using abstinence to prevent children?

I thought that simply wasn't possible!  That it was a physical and psychological impossibility for humans to abstain from sex for an extended length of time!

Apparently, the levels of marriage in different areas of the country vary widely, with the most marriages taking place (and, at a younger age) in the less expensive places to live:
The simplest explanation is that GOP “family values” resound more in states where people can more afford to have families. In parts of the country where “Families can be easily supported, more Persons marry, and earlier in Life.” And where it is economical to buy a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent public school, you will generally find more conservatives. It’s a stereotype that marriage, mortgage, and kids make people more conservative, but, like most stereotypes, it’s reasonably true. You’ll find fewer Republicans in places where family formation is expensive. Where fewer people can form families, Republican candidates making speeches about family values just sound irrelevant or irritating.

So, maybe Republicans need to stop talking about how marriage is so good for the economy, and start talking about the ECONOMY needs to be good for marriage.

Number 1 way to promote marriage - improve the economy, a LOT!

FYI, you DON'T need to have the most lavish, expensive wedding on the planet to be married.  You just need the money for the license, preacher/priest/judge, and maybe a small restaurant dinner for immediate family and 1/2 dozen or so close friends after.  Honeymoon optional, but can be as simple as a nice hotel in a nearby city for a few days.  (other than the first 2, even those are optional).

Cost?

License                                                                                    $   60

Officiator (this won't include organist, flowers, etc.)    $ 100

Charlotte       The Ballantyne      2 days                            $ 450

Dinner            Olive Garden           15 people, $ 12.95      $ 250 (with a generous tip)

Total                                                                                           $ 860

Without the admittedly fancy hotel                                     $ 410

It IS do-able, and if couples would just stop aiming for a David Tutera wedding, they would be able to start their married life out RIGHT.

Don't waste money trying to impress people who already KNOW you don't have it.  Use that money to start your life off together in the right way, and with care for your future.

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