“ This trend toward less productive marriages, I believe, is indicative of a cultural shift where people are less able to get what they want in their personal lives because of the demands of their professional lives.” No, that’s not why people aren’t marrying like they used to; they’re not marrying because they don’t “have” to. We can have sex and kids outside of marriage, we can live with someone outside of marriage and — biggie here — women are financially independent nowadays. We don’t “need” a man to financially care for us. And we’re also living a lot longer; is a 80-year marriage always viable?
“ To break out of this cycle, we will need to get our emotional needs met outside of our work lives. A spouse could provide that, but it’s not the only option.” No, thankfully, it’s not, nor should it be — it’s a heavy burden to ask one person to meet all our emotional needs. Friends and family can do that, and we can meet many of our emotional needs by ourselves.