For Better or For Worse: Why Marriages Persist in Australia

Posted on Aug 16 2017 - 6:25am by Business Day TV

Happy newlywed coupleIt happens to many people at least once in their lives: that moment when they hit the demographic milestone, and they feel like everyone suddenly got married overnight. For women in Australia, the realisation happens at 29, while the country’s bachelors often feel the pressure when they’re around 32 years old.

Things are looking up for those who are taking their time finding long-term love, though. Unlike 20 years ago, marriages these days are lasting longer. With divorce rates down, more couples are consulting marriage celebrants like and paving the way towards a successful and long-lasting union.

Aussies Are Waiting Longer to Get Married Than in Previous Years

Compared to previous years, couples are waiting longer before they say ‘I do’. During the 1960s, the average age of the groom was 23.9, and 21.2 for the bride. With the advent of the Sexual Revolution and the introduction of the contraceptive pill, however, there was a seismic change in the social attitudes towards marriage. With the possibility of avoiding pregnancy while still being in a relationship, couples began to embrace the concept of cohabitation and marrying later on in their lives when they were more settled.

Official data points to the same pattern as well — about 81% of the soon-to-wed in 2015 had lived together first. While some couples already have children before tying the knot, drifting into a de facto relationship provides the couples with the benefit of truly knowing their partner before deciding to get married.

Love is All You Need: A Lifelong Commitment

Waiting longer to tie the knot does not necessarily mean that there has been a decline in the popularity of marriage. Marriage rates would, in fact, get a boost if gay couples won the right to marriage equality.

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Moreover, married couples like Alicia and Chris Sargeant stand firm in their belief that marriage is a lifelong commitment and that their children are proof of honouring that commitment. Heather and Peter Whelen, who are celebrating 33 years of marriage, also believe that the trick to a lasting union is spending time together.

Even if couples are choosing to marry later in life, the institution of marriage remains relevant to Australians. By postponing their exchange of wedding vows until they’re truly ready, more couples are better-equipped to uphold their promise of ‘till death do us part’.