A Pedestal Too High: Is Marriage Too Good For people?

By Michael De Groote

SALT LAKE CITY, July 20 2013, Deseret News -- Ciara Vesey is an enthusiastic and newly minted lawyer in Iowa who has no plans on getting married anytime soon, thank you very much. "It just comes down to time," she says. "I don't have the time to get to know someone for a year. Then get engaged. It's a 3-year process. I have to build my career."

Vesey, 26, comes from a large family. Her parents have been married for more than 30 years. Ditto her grandparents. Her dad is even a pastor, and preaches the importance of marriage from the pulpit. Her three older brothers (ages 37, 36 and 35) all went to college and got married right after graduation.

But she and her four younger siblings are different. While they also went to college, none of them are married. "Obviously some kind of shift is going on here," Vesey said.

It's a dramatic shift that is changing the makeup of families across the country. Americans are less likely to marry today than at any time over the past four decades, according to the 2012 State of our Unions report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. The annual number of new marriages per 1,000 unmarried adult women declined more than 50 percent from 1970 to 2010. The total number of marriages dropped from 2.45 million in 1990 to 2.11 million in 2010.


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