The biggest threats to happy marriages in the 2020s
What is the biggest threat to your happy marriage? Well, that answer will surely be different for any individual and couple. However, it is worth taking a look at the risk factors that have been introduced recently, whether due to technology or changing social factors. In the 2020s, there are many new or altered risk factors leading to divorce that previous generations would not have been dealing with. Here is a collection of some of the top potential threats that you should know about.
The smartphone in your hand that has become your link to the whole world is at the top of the list. Studies have often shown that such technology interferes with relationships at least some of the time, and there are numerous items to consider here.
For starters, it’s often a distraction that gets in the way of direct one-on-one communication or quality time. If you are always on your phone, you are not fully present with the person with whom you share that time and space. At the same time, social networks have made looking at someone else’s photos a constant game of comparison and envy, preventing happiness. Meanwhile, dating apps and porn, both available 24/7 from your phone, have added new risk factors for infidelity and sexual risk or unhappiness.
Opioid use and abuse will continue to be another of the biggest threats to happy marriages. A 2018 American Psychiatric Association survey showed 45% of adults are affected by the use of opioids or prescription pain relievers in some way: 5% report abusing or addiction, 9% say have taken them without a prescription, and 31% say they know someone who is or has been addicted. With that kind of staggering prevalence, opioid addiction will negatively impact potentially millions of marriages in the United States.
Finally, don’t ignore what you might call the changing values of the generations and all the socioeconomic factors that impact a person and a couple. Young people graduate from college burdened with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, equality in the workplace and elsewhere is increasing, though not yet perfect, people’s expectations of what they want in their life and when they want it have evolved, and people are more willing to pursue personal happiness and make major life changes even at older ages, such as gray divorce. All of these issues influence how likely a person is to marry or not, how happy they will be, and whether they are more likely to endure or seek a divorce.
People are always going to get married, and a fraction of them are always going to get divorced as well. It is worth considering how society changes and evolves in terms of the potential factors that impact those decisions and end up becoming the leading causes of divorce and threats to happy marriages.