Focus on the Family has released a report called, “Marriage in America,” a view of the status of family in 2007. The report says that “adults are increasingly living alone or with an unmarried partner.” The reticence to enter marriage appear to be related to the negative experience that young adults have personally lived as a result of the divorce culture their parents’ generation created. As a consequence, young adults are now delaying marriage, not because they have given up on the institution, but due to a near crippling anxiety related to their own fears of potential divorce.
They also see a slim candidate pool of potential mates characterized by maturity and enough emotional health to create a stable and lasting marriage. And yet, loneliness is compelling these singles to find companionship short of commitment – cohabitation. Living together is being seen as a trial for a potential marriage or a while-I-am-waiting companionship gap filler.
Other reasons for the decline of marriage include increasing levels of unhealthy individualism, cultural narcissism, a loss of self-giving in which erodes a marriage and family culture dependent on commitment. Relational connectedness is being scraped for immediate gratification and short-term personal fulfillment. Marriage is seen as just one more of many living options to bring personal happiness.
The desire for healthy marriage is an innate force. It is deep in our psyche and perhaps, irresistible. The vast majority of high school seniors—82 % of girls and 70% of boys—agree that a good marriage is extremely important to them. A similarly large majority—83% of senior girls and 78% of senior boys—agree that they expect to marry in the future.
What will make these marriages successful rises and falls on surprisingly few but critical points. If you are a reasonably well-educated person with a decent income, and you come from an intact family that has grounded you in faith values that you still embrace, and you wait until you are at least twenty-five, and do so without having a child first – your chances of success in marriage skyrocket.
The annual number of marriages declined nearly 50% between 1970 and 2004. The decline is so marked that researchers have commented, “…at no time in history, with the possible exception of Imperial Rome, has the institution of marriage been more problematic than it is today.”
Distinguished demographer, Kingsley Davis notes the contradiction, “Married people are happier than unmarried ones of the same age, not only in the United States, but
in at least seventeen other countries where similar inquiries have been made. And there seems to be good reason for that happiness. People who are married not only have higher incomes and enjoy greater emotional support, they tend to be healthier. Married people live longer than unmarried ones, not only in the United States but abroad.” 
“Adults who live together are more similar to singles than to married couples in terms of physical health and emotional well-being and mental health, as well as in assets and earnings. …Couples who live together also, on average, report relationships of lower quality than do married couples —with cohabitors reporting more conflict, more violence, and lower levels of satisfaction and commitment.”
No-fault divorce introduced a culture a rejection. It created the ultimate disposable – the human being. With the embrace of divorce and abortion, almost simultaneously, “We made radical changes in the family without realizing how it changes the experience of growing up. We embarked on a gigantic social experiment without any idea about how the next generation would be affected. If the truth be told, and if we are able to face it, the history of divorce in our society is replete with unwarranted assumptions that adults have made about children simply because such assumptions are congenial to adult needs and wishes.”
The percentage of births to unmarried women increased seven-fold from 1960 to 2005. In 2004, 28% of births to women ages 25-29 and 55 percent for women ages 20-24 were to unmarried women. Recent estimates indicate that currently 49% of births in major urban areas were to unmarried cohabiting mothers.
 David Popenoe and Barbara Whitehead, “The State of Our Unions 2005: The Social Health of Marriage in America,” The National Marriage Project, (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, July 2005), p. 19.
 Kingsley Davis, “The Meaning and Significance of Marriage in Contemporary Society” in Contemporary Marriage: Comparative Perspectives on a Changing Institution, Kingsley Davis, ed., (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1985), p. 21.
 W. Bradford Wilcox, et al., Why Marriage Matters, Second Edition: Twenty Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences, (New York: Institute for
American Values, 2005), p. 13.
 Judith Wallerstein, et al., The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, (Hyperion, 2000), p. xxii.
 “Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women,” Child Trends Databank, http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/75_PDF.pdf (accessed April