What’s your fear: marriage or divorce?


Married couples are at an all time low in the United States. Researchers and demographers fro the Cornell University and the University of Central Oklahoma are searching for clues why couples are taking a pass on marriage – it may be that they don’t want to risk divorce.

Among polled cohabitating couples, more than two-thirds admitted to concerns about dealing with the fall out of a break up: the social, legal, emotional and economic consequences which come from the dissolution of marriage.

The study, “The Specter of Divorce: Views from Working and Middle-Class Cohabitors,” is published in the Family Relations journal. About 67% of the study’s respondents shared their concerns about divorce to co-authors Sharon Sassler, Cornell professor of policy analysis and management, and Dela Kusi-Appouh, a Cornell doctoral student in the field of development sociology. Middle class subjects had a more favorable view of marriage. Many of them felt that co-habitating was a natural step toward marriage. Their working-class counterparts felt differently. Lower-income women in particular talked about the “trap” of marriage. They feared that marriage could be hard to get out of if things didn’t go well, or that marriage would impose more responsibilities but few benefits.

Working-class couples also expressed their view that marriage was “just a piece of paper” and twice as likely as the middle-class couples to admit to fears about getting stuck in a marriage once they became reliant on the second income.

The researchers hope the findings will help educate premarital counselors appropriately for the specific concerns their demographic has.

Source: Family Relations, MedicalNewsToday


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