As much as I value marriage and family, I often wonder if we are not fooling ourselves as a society that the institute of marriage is the defining factor or that the term marriage needs to be redefined itself.
There are an overwhelming number of individuals that hit a wall in their marriage when the couples are in their forties. There is almost a biological time cap that is happening to marriage in this day and age and that is after a period of time the marriage moves into a comfortable friendship and is no longer sexy or even fun.
Many people are caught in a situation where they are living in a very unhappy marriage with children, mortgage but really do not know what to do. The most interesting factor and studies that I have done in the Los Angeles area is that many of the divorces are now a product of the 40 year old woman wanting to get out of the marriage. The main factor is that the playing field of the gender has taken on more equal statues and both husband and wife are working and supporting the family. The women are no longer dependent on the husband for financial support but realize that she is mostly responsible for the children, the home, the income and the lack of sexual enjoyment.
The men as well feel that lack of sexual erotic fun from their wives, but are more apt to stay in the unhappy marriage and fill their sexual needs outside of the marriage. Women tend to leave the marriage at some point rather than stay married and cheat.
What does all of this mean in today’s world of monogamy and marriage for long periods of time?
I believe that monogamy is a choice and once couples can understand this, then they will realize that signing a piece of paper does not mean that a long term relationship is sealed and then taken for granite. Maintaining a long term monogamous relationship takes a lot of work and understanding that it goes against our biological nature to stay with only one person for such a long period of time. Human nature is not to be with one person for life, but to mate and continue to stay while children are growing, then to leave. (Back in the time of our early ancestors a child’s maturity was 13 years of age, not 18 or 25.)
Marriage can work and be a wonderful part of a person’s life but the concept of marriage is what needs to be changed and that is marriage should not be taken for granted, monogamy is not a natural human quality and to stay in a lasting long term relationship is not a given because a piece of paper was signed, it takes work and lots of it and is a conscious choice that we make every day.
A List of free service to families going through difficulty in Los Angeles and surrounding areas:
Jewish Family Services
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
EMQ Families First does whatever it takes to help children in crisis and their