Editorial: Marriage is not inevitable and neither is divorce

In the past, nontraditional lifestyles have been looked upon with berating eyes.

As a society, we are moving more toward universal acceptance, but a new trend might come as a shock to some people. The fact of the matter is that fewer and fewer guys want to get married.

It used to be that men would grow up, go to school, get a job, get married and have kids.

The family would raise their boys, if they had any, to do the same, and the cycle would continue.

This has changed. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of women saying that a successful marriage is the most important thing in their lives has risen over the past 15 years.

For men, the number has decreased to less than one in three, and has steadily declined.

Instead of laying the blame on certain groups or movements, let’s try and do what people have been doing more and more in America: accept people for who they are.

Staying single is different between the two genders. A woman that stays single is commonly viewed as strong and independent, and there is nothing wrong with how society views these women. For men, it’s a different story.

It is easy to label men that choose to remain single as nerdy, introverted, immature people who can’t talk to women and would rather sit at home and play video games all day.

First of all, don’t hate. Second of all, the choice to remain single is backed up by some pretty convincing facts.

It’s common knowledge that a lot of marriages end in divorce. It’s also no secret that divorce is expensive.

To a cynic, marriage, as recognized by the state, is betting half of your belongings and money that you will not get divorced.

For Americans, the odds aren’t good.

Not only can you lose your house, car, children and possessions, but every state except for Indiana, Kansas and Louisiana has what is called “standard of living alimony.”

This means that once a person is divorced, they are required to pay their former spouse to have the same lifestyle as before for a certain period of time.

In other words, if someone gets married, lives in a mansion, and drives nice cars, then once they get divorced, they have to pay for their former spouse to enjoy a mansion and nice cars.

Some states have permanent alimony, which means that people are required to give their former spouse money for the rest of his or her life.

In the 1970s, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gender should not play a role in rewarding alimony.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been put into practice. As of 2006, only 3.6 percent of people receiving alimony were men.

All of a sudden, marriage kind of seems like a bad idea if you are a guy.

So let’s not look down on a lifestyle choice just because it is nontraditional.

We’re better than that.

And just in case you are reconsidering the decisions you will likely make in the next 10 or 15 years, fear not. Just like any other lifestyle, staying single is not for everyone.

If you feel that you are called to marriage, then don’t let divorce scare you, just be mindful of it.

Just as an athlete shouldn’t stop practicing for fear of injury, a person called to be married and raise a family shouldn’t stop because of the fear of divorce.

Marriage is a great thing, but it’s not for everyone.

Some, men and women, will never be married. Some will work out another arrangement and some will have a traditional marriage. What’s important is we do what we deem is right.

The sooner society realizes this, the sooner we can move toward universal tolerance and acceptance.