Marriage is a sacrament which unites two individuals, usually male and female. With the rise in human rights, states of the United States have given permission for couples who are of same sexual orientation to also wed. While this is a culture not practiced by persons in the Caribbean, there are still couples who belong to that orientation living among the citizens of the Caribbean society, some of whom are youths. Does it matter whether or not you are heterosexual or homosexual; is the youth of the Caribbean society more susceptible to delaying marriage or erasing the option all together?
Marriage is hoped to last years after union in which one can grow and develop one’s character while living with another person and helping him/her with their development. Within marriage, partners can also procreate and carry one their generation for years and years to come in which they can instill their values and morals. Although this is the best case scenario, some persons opt to cohabilitate and divorce or separate years down the road of marriage, which leaves their partner and family members affected. Due to this fear that marriage will not work out, it loses its meaningfulness and no longer is seen as a sought after union in light of other alternatives like cohabitation and long-term dating relationships.
Young adults choose to opt for intimate relationships during the course of their lives and with this come many responsibilities that some without the proper support and guidance cannot handle effectively. In present day, the progression of relationships have shifted from courting, relationship, marriage, then sexual intimacy and family to erasing courting all together and switching marriage with sexual intimacy (where intercourse comes before marriage).
While the older individuals of the society believe that marriage is lost on the minds of the youth of present day; it is really not, but only delayed for a couple of years. In previous decades, it was normal to get married between the ages of 16 and 22 on average, now individuals hold off to get married between the ages of 25 and 30. This is as a result of youth wanting to fulfill their educational goals, become independent and financially stable before involving themselves in long-term serious relationships.
Youth are also claimed to be fearful of the actual commitment to which marriage demands of one person, and while many factors account for this occurrence like failed marriages of their families or friends, it has not decreased that level of caution in any way. As a result of all of their events, the desire to not marry, stay married or procreate is on the decline and this has been observed over the past decades which have caused much concern and issues.
If there is a decline in the desire to marry and youth are taking on a self-reliance and independent stance on the sacrament, then possible family and societal developments are not able to flourish or be created as a result. For example, persons would opt more to live alone, or if they choose to be in a relationship, they would cohabit and in the event that the relationship goes awry, they would just go their separate ways.
If there was a child born out of the relationship, that child would not be able to grow up in a stable family, moving from parent to parent houses and meeting new partners for each of their parents – which can be very daunting. While the parents could try to make the life of their child better, it would be very difficult in the event that they do move on from the relationship and only living with the ex or the parent would be frustrating.
All in all, the hope is that marriage is in fact a desirable goal youth chooses to take on when the time is right and they are emotionally, physically and financially stable to make that conscious decision to start a life in union in marriage.
By: Alexandra Daley