Young Single Adult Feels Hopeless About Marriage

When so many marital relationships end in divorce, why should I even bother tying the knot? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the institution of matrimony has outlived its usefulness and doesn't mean much these days. Can you say anything to convince me otherwise?

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

The first thing you need to know is that we strongly disagree with your assessment of marriage. In fact, we see marriage as one of God’s greatest gifts, and place the highest possible value on the sanctity of the marital bond. Next to an individual’s relationship with God, we believe that there is nothing in this world more important than the relationship between a husband and wife. That relationship is central to the divine plan for human procreation and the meaning of human sexuality; as the Bible says, “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh…” (Mark 10:6-8, quoting Genesis 2:24). That’s why we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to strengthen good marriages and bring healing and restoration to those that are struggling to survive.

These biblical and theological considerations might be enough in and of themselves to counter the claim that “marriage is a valueless, old-fashioned institution.” But there’s more to be said. On the practical side of the question, reliable research consistently demonstrates that married people are healthier, happier, live longer, enjoy better mental health, have a greater sense of fulfillment, and are less likely to suffer physical abuse than their unmarried counterparts. In addition to this, a study published in Psychological Reports reveals that married persons are less likely to feel lonely – a piece of data that takes on added significance when we note that, according to the authors’ definition, loneliness is “not synonymous with aloneness, solitude, or isolation,” but rather refers to “the absence or perceived absence of satisfying social relationships.”

By way of contrast, it’s been shown that couples who opt for premarital or extramarital cohabitation (living together outside of legal marriage) experience a greater degree of conflict and aggression in their relationships. And in a review of more than 130 published empirical studies measuring how marital status affects personal well-being, Dr. Robert H. Coombs of UCLA’s Biobehavioral Sciences Department found that alcoholism, suicide, morbidity, mortality, and a variety of psychiatric problems are all far more prevalent among the unmarried than among the married.

It’s important to add that there is no basis at all for the popular idea that cohabitation can serve as an effective testing ground for marriage. As a matter of fact, living together increases a couple’s chances of divorce in later marriages. As one group of scholars put it, “The expectation of a positive relationship between cohabitation and marital stability … has been shattered in recent years by studies conducted in several western countries, including Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and the United States.”

We could go on citing statistics in support of our perspective, but we realize that this kind of information won’t help you much if your cynicism about marriage is based primarily on “sour” personal experience. In that case, there’s no substitute for a good heart-to-heart talk with a caring professional who not only knows the psychological and sociological facts, but who will also listen to your concerns with compassion and understanding. If you’d like to discuss your feelings or your family history, we invite you to call Focus on the Family’s Counseling department.

 

Resources

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy

Breaking the Cycle of Divorce: How Your Marriage Can Succeed Even if Your Parents’ Didn’t

Living Together 


Referrals

Marriage Alive

Love and Respect

Articles

God’s Design for Marriage

Test-Driving Marriage

What’s the Deal With Cohabitation? A survey of This Decade’s Leading Research

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.