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It’s not so unlike the setup described by a young writer in a Modern Love column in the New York last month, about how she overcomes “marriage anxiety” by renewing her vows with her husband every year like clockwork. Not all of our marriages will work, no — but when they do, they’ll work better than at any other time in history, say scholars.
“I think people are indeed trying to avoid failure,” says Andrew Cherlin, the author of . And when they don’t, why not simply avoid the hassle of a drawn-out divorce?
Scholars have observed for some time that attitudes toward divorce have become more favorable over the past decade. We are a generation raised on a wedding industry that could fund a small nation, but marriages that end before the ink has dried.
Millennials in particular are more likely to view divorce as a good solution to matrimonial strife, according to the sociologist Philip Cohen — and more likely to believe it should be easier to obtain. (As one 29-year-old survey respondent put it: “We don’t trust that institution.”) We are also less religious than any other generation, meaning we don’t enter (or stay) committed simply for God.
“Millennials aren’t scared of commitment — we’re just trying to do commitment more wisely,” says Cristen Conger, a 29-year-old unmarried but cohabitating podcast host in Atlanta.