I was born in one of those weird inter-generational years where I could be classified as either a Gen Xer or a Millennial. However, I’m the oldest in my family with many younger siblings, and I live in L.A. where everyone wants to stay perpetually young, so I’d say I typically find myself relating to the Millennial Generation far more than Gen X.
With this said, today I saw an article being shared online titled, 5 Reasons Why We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore speaking specifically to Millennials. Initially, like many things on the internet that I don’t totally agree with, I just let it roll off of me and chose not to do anything. But the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me and the more I wanted to respond to it. I may not be able to do much with my small little blog, and this post may not even get many views, but I still felt compelled to share what I felt to be wrong with the article. After all, if we never hear different perspectives, how will anyone ever be able to make well-rounded choices?
Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinions, just as is the author of this article is. I am not a certified marriage expert (nor is the author of the article) and I am not qualified to comment on the specifics the previous or current marriage of anyone reading this. But I have been married for 9.5 years, and my husband and I have had hard times in marriage, and we are still married and we are committed to staying married. So that’s where I am coming from. Take the following entry for what you want. I’m not clueless about marriage, but I know that people will believe what they want to. So believe me if you want.
Fellow/younger Millennials – despite what the previously linked to article implies, you can handle marriage. Don’t let that story or any of the other negative stories about marriage influence you. Don’t feel pressured that those articles that state that Millennials are delaying marriage mean that YOU have to delay marriage. YOU do not have to fulfill any prediction for your generation. Make your own choices.
But just to let you know, YOU CAN HANDLE MARRIAGE.
Now, I get that you may not WANT to handle marriage. Fair enough. Responsibility and commitment are very grown-up things after all. You may still have some immaturity issues to work out first. But claiming that you can’t ‘handle’ marriage just because you happen to be a Millennial? Bollocks. Big Freaking Bollocks.
I apologize in advance, as I know that this might make some people unhappy or feel uncomfortable to hear, but this is my response tosupposed 5 Reasons Millennials Can’t Handle Marriage.
You stated that people could agree or disagree with your article and that you’re ok with that. I’m disagreeing and I’m going to show you why. And I hope you really are ok with that.
First, let me address this part of his article:
And while some of us have gone through a divorce, others stay in their relationships, miserably, and live completely phony lives. These same people, though, are quick to point the finger and judge others for speaking up.
Well, let me speak up for the pro-stay-married side then. We judge others for speaking up? Speaking up about what? That marriage is hard? And to what would I wag a finger at? My marriage has been really hard too; KP and I are not perfect people. But that doesn’t mean that a difficult, and sometimes miserable, marriage necessitates divorce either. We live completely phony lives? How? By not constantly airing the dirty laundry of our own personal marriage struggles for the world to see? By privately working on our marriage relationships, by not throwing in the towel as soon as the going gets tough, and by believing that our marriages have the ability to improve?
So before you claim that you are being judged, make sure you’re not the one judging as well. While you’re at it, why judge your entire generation of Millennials as “unable to handle” marriage just because it’s something you have not yet been able to find success with?
Here are your so-called 5 reasons Millennials are not equipped to handle marriage – and why I think none of them have anything to do with being able to handle marriage at all.
1) Sex becomes almost non-existent.
I agree with you that sex in marriage is important; extremely important! But you incorrectly assume in your article that marriage somehow automatically curtails the frequency of sex in a relationship. Being intimate only once every couple of weeks is not a sign of a healthy relationship and should not be considered standard. Intimacy frequency is something that both partners should be happy with. Unhappy with your married sex life? Do some research into ways to talk to your spouse about your intimate life. Tons of good resources out there. Sex is good. Spouses should make their partners happy and not leave them lacking. That’s all I’ll say about that. But this is something that can be worked on.
AND IT’S NOT A REASON WHY MILLENNIALS CAN’T HANDLE MARRIAGE.
Interestingly though, you hit the nail on the head here:
Meanwhile, what your lover should really be attracted to is your heart. Maybe if you felt that connection beyond a physical level, would you realize a sexual attraction you’ve never felt before.
Ding. Ding. Ding. DING. DING. DING. Here’s a novel idea Millennials – marry someone you have a connection to that goes deeper than just physical level.
But hey, guess what? Millennials can handle this concept and MILLENNIALS CAN HANDLE MARRIAGE.
2) Finances cripple us.
I have no idea how this has anything to do with marriage. You don’t have to be rich to get/stay married. You don’t have to have a steady job to get/stay married. I find this part to be a bit humorous:
This strain causes separation between us. It halts us from being able to live life. We’re too busy paying bills to enjoy our youth. Forget going to dinner, you have to pay the mortgage. You’ll have to skip out on an anniversary gift this year because those student loans are due at the end of the month. Vacations? Not happening.
So what you’re saying is that LIFE gets in the way of you enjoying your life? Hmm….
Paying bills is part of life. Not being able to afford going out to eat when you’re first starting off is part of life. Your love for your spouse is not measured in anniversary gifts or vacations. Sure, financial difficulties can cause strain on your marriage relationship (um, have you read this post on my blog?), but guess what? Financial difficulties can happen at any age or any stage of your life. Plenty of married Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have gone through hard financial times, but they’ve managed to keep it together.
Millennials can keep a marriage together during lean times too and finances are NOT A REASON WHY MILLENNIALS CANNOT HANDLE MARRIAGE.
3) We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.
This is true of ALL kinds of modern relationships, not just marriage, you know?
Now this, actually, is largely true and I very much agree:
We’ve developed relationships with things, not each other. Ninety-five percent of the personal conversations you have on a daily basis occur through some type of technology. We’ve removed human emotion from our relationships, and we’ve replaced it colorful bubbles.
Somehow, we’ve learned to get offended by text on a screen, accusing others of being “angry” or “sad” when, in fact, we have no idea what they are feeling. We argue about this — at length.
BUT. This modern advancement of technology affects all types of human relationships, not just marriage. Go do a quick google search about “how to find mom friends” and you’ll find the exact same stuff you’re claiming above, only in terms of modern friendships instead of modern marriages.
You want to know why your grandmother and grandfather just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary? Because they weren’t scrolling through Instagram worrying about what John ate for dinner.
Once again, you’re exactly right on point on this. But you know…YOU don’t have to scroll through Instagram worrying about what John ate for dinner either. Ever heard of putting down your cell phone? Yes, yes, it’s soooo hard to put down the phone. I get it. I often spend too much time on my computer and annoy my husband too. But you want to know the real reason why your grandmother and grandfather just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary? Because they intentionally chose to sacrifice something else that could capture their attention and instead focus on each other. Even in this day and age, it’s hard, but it’s really not THAT hard to get your priorities straight. And your spouse should have a higher priority than Instagram. Your choice how you spend your time.
Millennials, like every other generation before them, have self-autonomy and can choose the self-restraint to put down the cell phone and truly connect with their spouse instead. This is NOT A REASON WHY MILLENNIALS CAN’T HANDLE MARRIAGE.
4) Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.
I find it interesting, and well, rather telling, that you chose to completely disconnect these two desires instead of recognizing where they intertwine. Yes, love is very different than attention, but it is only when one’s desire to be loved goes unfulfilled that they instead substitute a desire for attention. It’s not that our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved – it’s that seeking attention is far less effort than opening yourself up to be loved…and being willing to put in the work to love back in return. Loving and being loved is the hard and fulfilling road. Seeking attention is the easy and vapid road.
Oh but hey – guess what? You have a choice! Yes, we all may be products of our generations, but we are all also the captains of our generations! We have the power over our own choices and our own relationships. Want to be be loved? Give love. The real love. The kind that will self-sacrifice individual egos (cough, cough, attention seeking desires) for the betterment of the relationship.
(Also of interesting side note – you here state that taking lavish vacations and buying a home doesn’t matter…yet, you also earlier stated that both home ownership and the financial freedom to take vacations are integral components of a happy marriage. So…which is it?)
Hey Millennials, you’re big on individualism, right? So be an individual here and choose to seek love over attention for yourself and show that the rise of social media attention seeking is NOT A REASON WHY MILLENNIALS CAN’T HANDLE MARRIAGE.
5) Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.
Oh yay, more blame on social media. Because you know, like, we are totally helpless to the control of social media. Like, you know, it owns your life. Because, like, what if, you just didn’t, like, share any instagram pictures one day? Or like, omg, what if you didn’t thumb through twitter one afternoon and missed the, like, most trending news ever? Cause seriously, being two hours late to the whole blue-or-black dress debacle put you seriously out of touch with all your friends that day. OMG.
Yes, social media can be the bane of our modern existence. We love it. We hate it. It brings us together and destroys our sense of community. It was once considered shocking for someone to keep an online diary, but now we all share everything online. But, hmm, let’s see if I say it a third time if it will start to sink in. We have a choice! We can choose to unplug! We can choose what to share with the world! We can even have a blog and share a lot of things, but not share everything. Trust me, I keep PLENTY of things of things private between my husband and myself and never share publicly. I can be vague and allude to some of our difficulties in marriage, but I have no need to go into intricate details for my point to still get across.
The fact that people are becoming more and more publicly open online IS NOT A REASON WHY MILLENNIALS CAN’T HANDLE MARRIAGE.
So there you have it. My response to your so-called reasons. Here are some more responses of mine to your article:
I do fear, however, that the world we live in today has put roadblocks in the way of getting there and living a happy life with someone. Some things are in our control, and unfortunately, others are not.
Yeah, except everything you listed in your article IS within our control. The world we live in today may cause some potholes to look out for – but not all-out roadblocks. You want a happy marriage? Fight for it. Be willing to compromise. Put your spouse above yourself. Don’t give up.
I hope you never experience the demise of your love. It’s painful, and life changing; something nobody should ever feel.
Can I be honest? Sometimes even in marriage, you go through periods of demise of ‘love’. It is painful, and how you respond to it will re-define your relationship. But it’s not necessarily something nobody should ever feel – sometimes trial by fire is what brings couples together for the long run. So if anyone reading this is going through trials in their marriage, please know that you do not have to give up. You can fight through. You can find help (I am planning to write another post soon with some resources). You don’t have to let it be over. Unhappy marriages can get better.
Divorced or not, I am a believer in true love and building a beautiful life with someone.
Then go for it. Commit yourself to it. It’s hard, hard work. Harder than you imagine. Possible, but not easy. Marriage is most beautiful after being able to look back on the hard times that you fought to survive through. Go into any future marriage you may have as a better, wiser, more loving husband.
You can do it.
You are a Millennial.