The New York Times reported that over half of the births to US women younger than 30 occurred outside of marriage in 2009. Most of the ongoing rise of births to unmarried women occurred to couples living together but unmarried. So why don’t these young women want to get married?
Here are seven of the areas that the women who answered my question, “What is the most important thing you wish you had known before you were married?” mentioned most frequently.
1. I wish I’d known what marriage is really like.
Many of these women got most of their information (really misinformation) about what marriage was supposed to be like from the media and they believed it until reality struck.
2. I wish I’d known more about myself.
These women had very little idea of who they were or would like to be when they were not trying to please the people around them.
3. I wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry so I could’ve taken the time I needed.
These women feel pressure to marry prematurely both internally from themselves and from others.
4. I wish I knew just how much family patterns could influence us.
These women were so surprised by how difficult it was to blend their own ideas with their husbands’ family influenced ideas of what marriage was supposed to be like.
5. I wish I’d known that bad behavior can get worse.
This very common response came from women who made excuses for their fiance’s behavior before marriage. They were surprised that they weren’t able to change it.
6. I wish I’d paid a whole lot more attention to money.
Some women surprised themselves by how capably they managed money once they were forced to do so. Others realized how they have given away their power by not taking joint responsibility for the couple’s money.
7. I wish I’d known what it really takes to make a marriage work.
Many of these women shared the challenges they had met in the lessons they’ve learned along the way to help them eventually make their marriages work.
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