Image for post
Image for post

Marriage: Why Fewer Women Want
In and More Want Out

Across the globe, it’s a similar story — fewer people are choosing to marry and more are divorcing. Except, maybe I shouldn’t say people. Maybe I should say women. While it’s true that more men than women aged 30 to 50 say they’re not interested in tying the knot — 27 percent versus 8 percent of women, according to a recent Pew survey — many women seem to be interested in creating a meaningful and productive life whether they have a partner or not. And that includes having kids as solo parents.

“When women’s life choices were highly constrained, they had little negotiating power. They had to marry or were seen as damaged. … It’s different now. While most women still want marriage, they don’t want it at just any price. They don’t want it if it scuttles their dreams. … women want to craft a life instead of having it pressed upon them. And that means some of us will be single for a long time, and some of us will be single for life.”

And this appears to be true for women all over the world, not just here in the United States.

Are women anti-marriage?

Not necessarily, but marriage hasn’t been all that great for women — for many years our husbands could legally beat and rape us (both are still allowed elsewhere in the world), and it wasn’t until the 1960s that we could have credit cards in our own name, serve on a jury or attend an Ivy League university. Once no-fault divorce came along, the rates of suicide, domestic violence and even murder at the hands of their partner for women dropped dramatically. But sadly for many years, marriage was a woman’s only option.

Why are women so unhappy with marriage?

As I’ve written before, women tend to be responsible for most of the emotional caregiving and that takes its toll.

Written by

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store