Marriage. We’ve Gotten A Lot Better At It.

In order to truly understand where we are, we must know how we got here. Let’s go back to our most primitive beginnings and consider the cavemen. Females (further referred to Cavewomen) didn’t exactly have a choice in their life-partner. It was die – or marry a man (further referred to as cavemen – or - “Hairy”) who would save your life. Literally.

Can’t you just picture that chest –thumping Hairy pointing at some Cavewoman who was silently pleading:

“Don’t pick me. Please don’t pick me. You have horrible body odor.”

(You know that’s what she was thinking.)

Then he held up some type of big ass animal he killed and the other cavemen and cavewomen cheered. So, she decided she could get over his stench if it meant he could provide nourishment and she’d live to see another day.

I don’t intend to disrespect the cavemen, (sorry, Geico guys!) Surely there were cases where a cavewomen fell madly in love with a caveman because he was just plum hot, and sensitive, but unfortunately, I can’t find a single study that reflects that. The cavewomen were chosen by the man, but, if given the choice, most certainly would have sought out a good hunter and one who was virile. More children meant survival of the tribe. You see, even if “Harry” chose Cavewoman, she still wasn’t guaranteed survival because there was that looming threat of being captured. (Can a Cavewoman get a break??)

When there was a shortage of women in a particular tribe, those Neanderthals would raid another tribe and steal the women, thus ensuring the survival of their own clan. (Octomom would have faired well as a Cavewoman!)

Thank goodness, we evolved. Progress was made in baby steps. As men and women became civilized, marriages were still arranged for centuries – just in a less barbaric manner. (On the surface anyway.) From 6th Century through the 19th Century, marriages resembled a business exchange and were certainly not based on love, and woman still had no choice in the matter.

The 1920's brought change. Men and women started dating. Women were wage earners and could take care of themselves. They could vote. They left behind many of the restrictions of the past, in ways that often shocked their small-town families. A man who was good looking and who could dance was important to a young woman during this time of no-holds-barred revelry! Men and women embraced sex and wedding bells rang out for couples that were actually in love.

By the 1950's, marriage was serious business. In fact, our society shunned couples that weren’t married. The majority of couples purchased homes with the picket fence, had children and stayed married until the end. Were they happily married? I’m going out on a limb and, this by no means is of scientific proof, but judging by the bi-product of these marriages, I’m going to go with “probably not.” By bi-product, I mean, those rebels of the 1970s. By then, men and women still married for love, but women were working and had a say about how things were run in the home. Couples argued, and when the going got tough, they divorced. And married another, and divorced, and married again.

Fast forward to 2013. Females of our era have grown up dreaming of finding their prince charming, choosing that coveted wedding dress and walking down the isle on her fathers arm. They’ve grown up with the expectations of college, career, husband, and babies. In that order. Men and women definitely marry for love, and take the union more seriously. This is obvious by the choice to wait for the right person. According to wisegeek.org, in the last 20 years, both men and women show a considerable increase in age at marriage. Men are now on average two years older when they marry than the mean age of marriage for men in 1980. Women are three years older on average now, than the mean marriage age in the 1980.

Although divorce is considered distasteful, couples still do it, but according to theVindicator.com, we’re getting better at staying together. The divorce rate in America peaked at around 50 percent in the 1980s and slowly has been trending downward. It is now slightly more than 40 percent.
So, I don’t want to jinx anything here, but it looks like we’re living in the best era EVER for finding and staying in love. Our society has gotten it together. Of course, every day won’t be a blissful walk in the park with your soul mate, but when things get tough, think about “Harry” – or better yet, “Octomom,” and know that things are pretty darn good!