For the recent years there have been many changes in family life. Some of these have been a result of changes in society. Nowadays young people wait longer before getting married. The reason for this is the unwillingness of the youth to share the apartments with their parents especially after getting married. Young people want first to have their own apartments and stable income, and only then marry. From my point of view, it is reasonable. In the East countries it is a rule for men to have their own families only after becoming rich enough to afford it.
Another social change is the tendency to live together without registering the marriage.
Although nowadays some women wait until their late twenties or thirties to have their first child, other women become mothers while they are still teenagers. Traditionally, partners of teenaged mothers are to marry them. The majority of such shotgun marriages are not happy. The reason for this is that the spouses are in fact children themselves, they are not ready to live on their own, take responsibility for their child and family. Consequently, over 90 per cent of these marriages result in divorce. It is a tragedy not only for the ex-married but for their children as well.
The problem of divorce became topical not so long ago. Historically, both church and society were not inclined to accept it. But things have changed greatly. Now it is not any longer precedent to divorce. Changes in society result in changes of laws and vice versa; since the law made it easier to get divorced, the number of divorce has increased. Statistics say that approximately one marriage in every four now ends in divorce. Strange though it may seem, the majority of divorced people marry again. This has lead to a new kind of family – the “reconstituted family” in which there are children from previous marriages as well as from the present marriage.
Now society is more tolerant than it used to be of single parents, unmarried couples, and unmarried people. More and more women prefer career to family. Women’s emancipation, feminism made it possible for women to get higher education and well-paid works later on. When both men and women can be economic providers, women may see less need to get married or stay at a bad marriage. Women believe they have the means to survive on their own, so that’s what they choose to do. In fact, some studies have shown that the more educated and more skilled a woman is, the more likely she is to divorce. And some women stay in violent relationship because, according to their words, they can’t afford to leave.
Modern society a gospel of individualism and self-determination, marriage goes against the very nature of such society. No wonder, the number of marriages is not as high as it used to be. We should not consider the number but their successfulness. In our past the successful marriage was defined by the number of children in family. Now we expect marriage to be a warm relationship that develops and fulfills the whole person.
Despite all the problems concerning the subject, family life is not in trouble. It is still at the centre of most people’s lives and it will be so, I believe.