The Dreaded D Word
We don’t know how many of you remember the days of whispering about divorce. When we were young, adults didn’t throw around the word divorce or the “D word” as it was often referred to. It was more a hush-hush discussion behind closed doors about one of our school friend’s parents than it was proper dinner time conversation. Mind you, we’re only talking about the 1970s and 80s here and not the Victorian era! But divorce wasn’t yet as common as it is today and adults were uncomfortable talking about it especially with little ears around.
Flash forward to today and the word divorce is no longer shocking no matter the context. Didn’t we just read about Kim Kardashian’s whirlwind 72 day marriage and divorce filing? Of course, it’s always sad to read about a couple or family splitting up but we no longer whisper about it or give it a nickname like the “C word” (cancer) or the “L word” (lesbian) or the “F word” (nope, not going to write that one!). Or do we? It seems that men in America do dread the “D word”, and they are delaying marriage in an effort to avoid it.
According to the Census Bureau’s “Marital Events of Americas: 2009,” men are waiting longer to first marry (average age is now 28) and the men that do marry at a younger age are getting divorced at a fast clip.
“Of those who married in 2009, 43.9 % were men in the age group, 25 to 34, while of those divorcing, 23.7 % – more than half – were ages 25 to 34.”
No wonder young men flinch at a mention of the “D word”. If more than one out of two of your friends had already faced the divorce courts, wouldn’t you be reluctant to tie the knot? If there are children involved, and likely there will be, doesn’t that compound the fear especially during the ‘Great Recession’ when gainful employment is hard to come by and supporting two households is nearly impossible?
So while the divorce is now a culturally accepted way to terminate a marriage, it seems that some men want to hold off on marriage until well into their 30s for the express purpose of avoiding the dreaded “D word”.