What is it Like to be Married in 2017?

Look at the marriages of your grandparents, your parents and your own marriage, and you’re likely to find plenty of differences.

From the ages in which each couple got married and the number of children they had, to the divorce rates and whether the couples lived together prior to tying the knot, it’s obvious that the path to marriage and the definition of “happily ever after” have evolved through the years.


The “Today” show and SurveyMonkey teamed up recently to find out exactly what it’s like to be married in 2017. They uncovered some interesting statistics from more than 3,100 adults who participated in the survey:

  • 58 percent of married couples share the responsibility of doing household chores.
  • 91 percent of American adults say children are not necessary to consider a marriage happy and complete.
  • 25 percent of married adults said money is the most common cause of arguments.
  • 65 percent of married adults know their spouse’s social media password.
  • 7 out of 10 Americans list good communication as the most important element of a happy marriage.
  • Almost 3 out of 10 people believe marriage is obsolete.
  • Infidelity is the most common cause of divorce, while poor communication accounts for 15 percent of divorces and abuse accounts for 13 percent.
  • 17 percent of married couples said they have undergone marriage counseling.

 The secret to a good marriage is indeed a secret to most couples. Only about 17 percent of married adults have been married for at least 40 years, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.

To learn the secret, gerontologist Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University human development professor, asked couples who had been married an average of 43 years for their advice. You can read all 10 lessons here, but these are our favorites:

  1. It’s good to be a bit old-fashioned. There needs to be a good provider in the mix, and money management is a key skill since finances can cause fights.
  2. Make sure you both have a sense of humor. Take note of what makes the one you love laugh. Learning whether you find humor in similar things serves as a gauge for how your world views line up.
  3. You must feel “in-love” with your partner. You must truly feel as though you want to spend the rest of your life with this person, and rather than look for external signs, trust your gut.

 Just as marriages have changed over the years, so have young adults’ methods of learning how to create a successful marriage. Marriage 101 is the most popular course offered at Northwestern University. It even has a waiting list. The goal is to teach students about themselves and how to be an ideal partner once they tie the knot. It covers topics including money, children, communication, infidelity and in-laws.

The course is taught by Alexandra Solomon, a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University.

She often offers these three pieces of advice couples can put to use to keep their marriages strong:

  1. Learn how to make a heartfelt apology.
  2. Listen to understand instead of listening to respond.
  3. Respect the pause. When you feel triggered or irritated, take a moment to reflect on what’s stirring and why it’s getting you upset.

 We hope you will follow these this advice to keep your marriage strong and healthy for a lifetime. But if your union doesn’t stand the test of time, these three pieces of advice also come in handy in the unfortunate event of divorce. Keeping a cool head and avoiding nasty fights can get you through separation and divorce more smoothly.

Please call our office today if you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about our family law services.

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