Marriage: The Losing Game

By Larena Tannert

In the U.S. alone, almost 50% of marriages end in either divorce or separation. So why get married? The answer: just don’t. Why would you get married when there is already a 50% chance that you and your partner will not get your happily ever after anyway? 

Nowadays you do not need to be married to have a happy and healthy relationship. A couple can live together, and spend 24/7 together without fully committing to each other. In a marriage, two people vow to spend the rest of their life together, in a celebration that often costs between $30,000 and $80,000. In today’s society, a couple living together is widely accepted, so there is no need to get married and waste more or less $50,000, which could instead be spent on much better things, such as a vacation, a nice car, or a bigger house.  

Divorces happen approximately every 36 seconds, so in the time it takes you to read this article at least 3 couples have gotten divorced. That is nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces a year. 1 in every 4 marriages will eventually face divorce, raising the question, why would I get married and have to face those odds, when I could be happy with someone without committing to them for life. Besides, divorce proceedings take on average one year, which means that you would spend one day getting married and having a huge, expensive wedding but then you would spend an entire year getting divorced. Divorce also leads to plenty of mental health issues for both men and women. Divorce can lead to many emotions and issues for both partners such as anger, resentment, confusion, fear, shame, and anxiety. All of these feelings could be easily avoided by never getting married in the first place. Divorces cost around $10,000 on average, meaning that a couple has already spent $50,000 on a wedding and then add on another couple thousand for divorce, and you have successfully wasted around $60,000, if not more. 

A couple does not need to be married to be happy. Statistics show that women who never marry are more likely to live a longer and happier life. Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, found that unmarried, childless women are significantly happier and tend to live longer than all other groups of women. In a survey that Dolan performed, The American Time Use Survey, the data showed that women who are not married and never have kids may be happier and healthier, and even live longer. This does not mean women should remain single forever, but it does speak to the fact that marriage is detrimental to women’s health and they would be much happier and healthier without life long commitment to someone else. There are many couples who live together without being married, and this is not something that should be seen as weird or uncommon. Couples often fear divorce, due to its shockingly high rates, and therefore they never get married. Despite living together without ever getting married, couples can have long-lasting relationships, full of happiness and comfort. 

Although marriage is the traditional happy ending for most couples, I think it is a pretty outdated cultural norm. With divorce rates so high and women’s health and well-being on the line, couples should save the money and give their mental health a break by avoiding marriage. We all need to embrace the idea of a happily ever after without life long commitment and a marriage license, and accept that marriage is not necessarily your future, rather, it is truly a losing game.