(Closed) Millennials' negative attitude toward marriage

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
Member
307 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I’m turning 30 in a few days and my friends are a mix…I think that liberal people (and I’m saying this as a liberal) tend to prioritize individuality at the moment versus collectivity. And to be honest I never understood why people felt the need to marry until I saw my best friend marry her husband. And then I met my to-be husband and I knew I wanted to marry, share our life together, be a team and build a family.  I’d never never justify myself to anyone though. The older people get the more they learn to shut up about their convictions. 

Post # 62
Member
10549 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

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ironmaidelah :  +1 about the jealousy comments! That always makes me roll my eyes. No one is jealous of you just because they don’t agree with your decisions.

I’ve actually never encountered these types of comments (husband and I are both 26). Everyone was really happy for us and excited about the wedding. Most of our friends were married before we were though. I was more annoyed by the comments we got while we were dating (we dated for 7 years before getting engaged) from people who kept nagging us to get married and acted like we couldn’t be as committed, in love because we had chosen not to get married yet. It was so obnoxious. 

I think no matter what your opinions on marriage are, it’s not anyone’s place to comment on others’ relationships.

Post # 63
Member
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

So I’m going to give an entirely different perspective here on why millennials are getting married and having children later on in life that just briefly scrolling through I haven’t seen mentioned. I’ll do it in bullet points so it’s easier to read. I’ve actually had this conversation with my inlaws who are super conservative and religious (I’m an atheist & very liberal) I am 30 I have been married for 2 years but was with my husband for 7 before we got married (I was 18 when we met and 22 when we started dating).

  • The world is changing. More jobs require higher education than ever before, it is much more competitive and people are working way longer hours so they are essentially married to their jobs. Even just in the 1970s (when my parents and my inlaws were leaving school and entering the work force) there were more people in manufacturing jobs and unions. Things change.
  • People are living together before marriage and getting married later on in life- the divorce rate is actually declining, but the marriage rate is decreasing.
  • A larger percentage of homes had 1 parent (mostly women) that stayed home and salaries at the time supported that. That is no longer the case in our current economy and that has been declining for decades.
  • Childcare is through the roof, maternity leave is a pittance if you get it at all in most situations- so people tend to wait until they are more financially stable to have children
  • Weddings, health insurance, medicine, education, food etc- all things cost a fortune now and wages have not kept up with inflation so most people are constantly in debt due to these things. Financial stresses are definitely a HUUUUGE consideration.
  • Because of the financial stresses I mentioned above, people are not buying homes or even moving out of their parents homes/living on their own until much later on in life. For example- my inlaws bought their first home at 20 for $40,000 and kids came a few years later. My father in law had no student loans (he went to school for $745 a year at a state school). My mother in law was a stay at home and my father in law worked for a union. They are currently in the process of selling the same house for $800k. Can a regular union worker today buy an $800k house and have their wife stay home to raise the kids? NO. Can you go to school for $745 a year at a state school? Not even close. My dad went to an ivy league school in 1979 for $3800 a year including tuition, boarding and books. My grandfather made $80,000 at the time and my grandmother was a stay at home mom. Same school is now $67,000 a year without books. Can you afford all of that on $80k which is a decent salary? NO. You leave school, find a job and then pay those loans at high interest for the rest of your life. Buying/renting homes, having children, health insurance, weddings etc- are all very expensive and the average wage in the united states is currently around $42,000. It’s just not possible to participate in the economy and have time and money left over so people are choosing to postpone traditional lifestyle timelines because it’s not economically feasible for most.

These above are just some thoughts that I know are things that we millennials consider and have to contend with and they are all factors in why people are getting married/having children later. It’s not always because we want to, its because there are more pressing issues. I have never heard of anyone speak negatively about marriage among any of my friends or try to talk their peers out of it. To be honest, the only people I have heard say anything remotely negative are my husband’s conservative family when they are griping about liberals, LGBTQ and millennials and a lack of values- and most of them have had multiple marriages/dont talk to children from their previous marriages but always have a lot of negativity to throw everyone elses way. This whole “jealousy” thing is mostly a myth. People may be bitter after a divorce or while waiting for a ring, but that is mostly a temporary reaction and borne out of frustration- not some jealous feminist stand that some other posters have mentioned that is ruining society. I have definitely seen more married people look down on their single friends and act self important than the other way around.

I think this world would be a much better place if we all just stopped worrying about what everyone else is doing. If you’re single or married and are happy, then that is all that should matter and we need to stop imposing what is “right” on everyone else or looking down on their choices.

Post # 64
Member
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Different strokes for different folks. As a millenial, I don’t care what other people do or believe. I have recieved nothing but positive comments from people regarding getting married. I’m 27, engaged at 26, Fiance is 25.

Post # 65
Member
3657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

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j_jaye :  Common law isnt really that  really that common in states of the U.S. From what I understand, Canadian provinces are different and some provinces make couavitating couples the equivalent of married whether they like it or not. I find that –weird. But I don’t really know the full picture. 

I am talking only about committed, cohabitating  couples. No way do I think that that everyone should be married, that marriage is great for all, or even that that cohabiting couples should be committed for a lng term. Of course I don’t think  wedding receptions are necessary or even a good dea in some cases.

I am old. i have seen several long paired couples go off quietly to  get married as they age and financial realities show that to be their best legal path. I have also seen a friend in a troubled 8-9 year marriage hang in there to reach the 10th year when she becomes eligible to draw on his Socieal Security in the future. Financial issues tied to marriage are real. It seems careless to ignore them. But as I said earlier, sometimes there are good legal reasons to stay unmarried.

Post # 67
Member
1461 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

It’s rude that these people would make those comments to your face. I haven’t had the same experience in my social circles but I’m a bit older at 34 and most of our friends didn’t get married until 30 or later. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if they were going to express them, I think that they would either refrain here when congratulations are in order first, or say things in a more tactful way. Maybe you should do a destination wedding to eliminate some of these guests. 😛

P.S. – Funny that having a wedding is considered narcicistic, with millenials loving selfies and sharing their entire lives on social media.

Post # 68
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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ethereal594 :  I find this as well in the uk! I have also been on the receiving end of it, I got engaged at 21 and two “friends” said I was far too young to be engaged it’s such a big commitment and they said the same when we bought a house. Those same women both had children at 19! Like that isn’t a big commitment! They have since both become engaged and had second children but my marriage last year was shock horror so big a commitment! I don’t understand it at all I’d much rather have a marriage Young then a child! 

Post # 69
Member
2368 posts
Buzzing bee

omg – I couldn’t imagine being surrounded by that sort of mentality! I’d like to think I’d cut those people out of my life as much as politeness allowed, and more if they became rude about their views.

S.O. and I are both from the East coast, and the coasts are known for spending more on all wedding-related stuff than non-coastal areas and for making more of a production of it all in general, so we are basically just dealing with that lower-level negativity from all of our friends in Colorado:

When I asked a recently engaged friend in our friend group if she was expecting it or it was a surprise: “Nah, it was a completely surprise, I never really cared. You know, I wasn’t one of ‘Those Girls.'”

or on a camping trip, sitting with same girl and other girl friends around the fire – we started discussing rings and she and all the others started agreeing how, “I don’t understand the girls who want a super blingy ring – that just seems tacky and like such a waste to me, etc, etc” and I interrupted and said, “well, I think you have to make allowances for individual taste and preferences and not judge people for them.” and everyone shut up. They will surely be surprised and probably judge me when I show up with a 2.5 ct ring next summer…. but idgaf innocent

But seriously. Why do women judge each other so harshly and tear each other down like that? Oh yeah, the Patriarchy… But yeah, in addition to that this generation just seems to feel the need to prove they are “too smart” to buy in to traditions.

They really do the most to look like they are not doing the most, and I find it so amusing. The lady doth protest too much…

Post # 70
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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Vitana :  It’s absolutely immaturity…

Post # 71
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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scaryraptordream :  Either way you get shit on.  For us, it’s the “being too old”… or “finally getting married” (being in our mid-30s). 🙁 Can’t win either way.  Just laugh it off and stand your ground.  I love your comebacks BTW! 

Post # 73
Member
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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lostinparadise :  Thanks. I was definitely scrolling through some of the other responses and rolling my eyes about how self important and out of touch some of these responses were. People just love to be victims or act like everyone else is jealous of them while they are the ones actually judging/ throwing shade.

Post # 75
Member
649 posts
Busy bee

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MissJulianna :  The thing is, those things are relevant for millennials but also for Gen X, which is what I am – I left college in 1991, and all of the points you’ve made were just as true for my generation. You’re talking about the Baby Boomers. But my generation mostly had 2 working parents, expensive childcare, lack of maternity leave, living together before marriage, expensive housing (I bought my first house in the early 90s, just before interest rates rocketed and plunged us into the worst recession in my living memory. A whole generation was priced out of the market in a matter of months)

But I don’t know whether statistics show whether Gen X were equally put off marriage. Possibly in their 20s, like most millennials. 

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