The definition of marriage has changed over the years. In the past, marriage was seen as a union between two individuals of the opposite gender. However, today, there are marriages between parties of the same gender. Whichever the case, marriage is a form of a union that brings two parties together (Fincham & Beach, 2010). It can either be for a certain period or for eternity. Relationships are those formal and informal arrangements between individuals that may lead to marriages. Currently, relationships and marriages have been facing a lot of challenges. Specifically, the unions have been materialized such that individuals who do not have a strong financial status cannot have strong marriages and relationships. Additionally, the upsurge in the fight for equality between men and women has greatly affected the institution of marriage and relationships. The future of human services in marriages is, therefore, in crisis. In this case, this research is going to discuss the factors that hinder marriages and relationships while enumerating how they challenge the marriage institutions.
Unemployment and Poverty
According to Amato & Beattie (2011), Unemployment and other factors that cause poverty are the major hindrances in the formation of strong marriages and relationships. This concept can be analyzed from two angles. Firstly, the pressures that come out of the family life are the greatest contributors of marriage and relationships breakdown. Secondly, apart from causing poverty, unemployment has a very negative impact on the families. Specifically, in the view of Amato & Beattie (2011), it lowers the self esteem of the families, and creates isolation and loneliness. Further, families with unemployment issues are unlikely to live fulfilling lives. From that, one of the partners is likely to lose patience in the other leading to the breakdown of the marriage relationship.
The other way in which unemployment causes marriage and relationship breakdown is due to the uncertainties that the families have with their future. Specifically, children coming out of these families are likely to have lower expectations judging from the financial situations of their parents (Amato & Beattie, 2011). Additionally, the unemployed partners will have extra pressures and stress that drives away happiness in the family. As they progress, they find out that they are unable to provide for their children. With regard to relationships, when one party finds out that the other is unemployed, this becomes a recipe for differences leading to a breakup. In future, there will be few, if any, marriage relationships existing on true love other than materially.
There exist a lot of financial strains in a family that is reeling from poverty associated with unemployment. In most cases, these marriages do not enjoy the privileges of having some retreats where they can go and solve out their issues. On the contrary, they argue on every single financial need that comes their way. One partner blames the other on the financial difficulties that they experience. Nobody takes the responsibility for the financial strains. In the end, they are all fed up with each other. As a result, they feel that they cannot stay together which in turn leads to breakdown in the marriages and relationships.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Gambling
If parties to a marriage relationship are excessive drunkards, there is a high possibility that they will end up breaking down (Fincham & Beach, 2010). The same case applies where one of the partners is a serial drinker. Taking excessive alcohol affects marriages in more ways than one. First, it leads to the abdication of family responsibilities. In this regard, the drunkard only thinks about taking alcohol and not on the responsibilities that await him/her as a mother or father. Secondly, a drunkard will most likely become violent. This results to the buttering and mistreatment of the other partner. Thirdly, the economic effects of drinking are real. Specifically, a lot of money will be wasted on drinking. As a result, most of the activities that should be done will be left unattended. This will, definitely, result to the parting of ways between the two parties to a marriage/relationship.
The abuse of drugs is another factor that has greatly hindered the success of marriages. Firstly, drug abuse is strictly prohibited in most states. As a result, the partner abusing them is likely to land in the wrong side of the law. As a result, the other partner is left isolated and in a state of loneliness. The second problem is the violent conduct that is exhibited by people who abuse drugs. This leads to fear and subsequent breakdown of the relationship. A drug abuser is likely to spend a lot time idle. As a result; financial difficulties come by due to failure to work. Moreover, the complications that arise out of the effects of drug abuse are likely to scare away one party to the marriage. From the foregoing, it is clear and lucid that drug abuse is a great challenge to the success of a marriage.
The Elevation of the Status of Women
In the recent past, women rights movements have increase in sizes and numbers. They all advocate for equality and respect for the rights of women (Fincham & Beach, 2010). Specifically, women enjoy equal rights to a marriage just as men do. This has partly brought discontent in the mens camp. As a result, men have been unaware of how to respond to such uprisings. The influence of the feminist equality has changed the style of relationships. In this regard, men feel that there is a perceived and real threat to their dominance in relationship. Women, on the other hand have asserted their power over their male counterparts. This has made relationships difficult as no one is willing to back down.
According to Fincham & Beach (2010), the cultural perceptions of gender have changed over the years. As a result, women have become confident of taking care of their own families. As a result, they have become big-headed and unrealistic. Specifically, the number of female headed families is on the rise. This change in the cultural view of women has led to the termination f many marriage relationships.
To conclude, marriage and relationships are unions which bring two or more parties together. In the recent past, marriages and relationships have faced a lot of challenges, which have eventually led to their downfall. The increasing rate of unemployment has brought down a number of marriages. This results from the financial strains that come with unemployment. Secondly, the abuse f drugs and the intake of alcohol have led to violence in marriages and relationships. As a result, families have broken down. Last but not least is the elevation of the status of women in the society particularly by the feminist activists. This has led to equality of men and women in marriages and relationships. This has not augured well with the men. As a result, they have pulled out of marriages where the woman is the head. In future, therefore, a lot of marriages will be in crisis if those factors are not solved. The parties to a marriage should be aware of the factors that brought them together. Indeed, they should focus on what unites them and avoid that which separates them.
Amato, P. R., & Beattie, B. (2011). Does the unemployment rate affect the divorce rate? An analysis of state data 19602005. Social Science Research, 40(3), 705-715.
Fincham, F. D., & Beach, S. R. (2010). Marriage in the new millennium: A decade in review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 630-649.
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