The media is noticing. The Wall Street Journal ran yet another piece touting the case for marriage. They reported on the mystifying tendency of married couples to become wealthier than their non-married counterparts in a November 7th piece (“Moving in Together Doesn’t Match the Financial Benefits of Marriage, but Why?”).
They cited data released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank which shows that in 2019, unmarried couples between 25 and 34 had a median net worth of $17,372 compared to $68,210 for married couples.
That’s four times as much wealth! The case for marriage grows.
The WSJ writer explained that married couples are more likely to pool their money than co-habitating couples, which concentrates financial potential.
Cultural commentator, Andrew Klavan, has a unique take on the Journal essay. He says “marriage is conducive to human thriving:”
“Capitalism is a way we manage our greed. Capitalism doesn’t solve our problems. It puts our greed into a ‘machine’ where the greed is forced to serve other people.
In the same way, marriage puts our romantic and erotic impulses into an institution that helps society to thrive, because our romantic and erotic impulses are very, very chaotic. They sweep us away. Marriage puts them in a place where they can be served, just like our greed can be served in capitalism.
On top of that, there is a spiritual factor to marriage where man and woman become one flesh where you develop a truer, fuller, more three dimensional view of the world where you become more of a team.”
Catholic commentator, Scott Hahn, built on Klavan’s thesis:
“Want a bad marriage? Put yourself first.
Want a good marriage? Put your spouse first.
Want a great marriage? Put God first.”
There’s another contrasting element to marriage compared to co-habitation: commitment.
Writing in the Huffington Post, marriage author Debra Macleod notes the difference between the two groups:
“Research also shows that the legal commitment of marriage results in higher levels of happiness and better emotional, mental and physical health for both partners. So not only are married people more likely to stay together and raise their children together, they are also more likely to be happy and healthy in life.”
Some sneer that marriage is nothing but “a piece of paper.” But Ms. Macleod asserts that there is power in that ‘piece of paper’:
“For many people, there is a difference between “my husband” or “my wife” and “my boyfriend” or “my girlfriend.” That difference is based in the level of commitment that “piece of paper” conveys.”
Macleod says that 95% of her clientele are married. That stat speaks volumes:
“That means that unmarried couples are either largely problem-free, which is highly unlikely, or that they are not as motivated as marrieds to invest the time, money, or energy it takes to move past problems.”
In particular, she noticed that unmarried men are less motivated to do the tough work of maintaining healthy relationships than their married peers.
The irony in all of this is that a growing number of young couples are choosing to cohabit rather than marry in spite of overwhelming evidence that marriage produces better outcomes in every single category, including:
In 1990, 60% of U.S. adults were married compared to less than half by 2019. During the same time, the share of cohabiting adults between 18 to 44 rose to 59%.
Married and family life gets even better when couples strive to live in a ‘holy family’ with God at its center, as our Holy Family series demonstrates.
As our name indicates, Pulse Life Advocates advocates for ‘life’ in all forms, including family life, and holy families are not only happier and healthier, abortion dramatically plummets within these social arrangements.
If you agree, support Pulse financially so we can spread our Holy Family project to a wider audience. After all, the case for marriage is irresistible.