A 24-year-old in Austin, Texas, changes her Facebook status from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated,” then comments that she plans to begin couples therapy.Message boards abound with questions from those trying to navigate information about couples counseling.In comments on an article about couples counseling posted on Très Sugar, a site devoted to women of Generation Y, a woman writes that she’s going in for a few counseling sessions with her boyfriend of three months.
” It seems the question is changing from “Is it too late to save our relationship? “I’m seeing more younger, unmarried couples than ever,” he says.
“I didn’t used to, but in the last 10 to 15 years, it’s really been increasing.” Broder estimates that today one third of his couples are unmarried, and of these, some never intend to marry.
According to a study by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, approximately 8.1 percent of households consist of unmarried heterosexual partners, with census numbers showing that, between 19, the number of unmarried partners increased tenfold.
Generation Y-ers ages 18–29 represent a mere 8.9 percent of the married population of the U. In years past, couples might have been married before quarrels developed, but as an increasingly higher premium is put on one’s capacity for personal growth, along with fear that marriage can lead so quickly to divorce, some younger couples try to sort through their issues of compatibility for years before heading to the altar.
Much more frequently than is discussed or written about, says Broder, one partner in therapy is more invested in the longterm success of the relationship.
For the person in the couple who may feel significantly more ambivalent, therapy may be a good-faith attempt at appeasement, even when, ultimately, that partner feels the relationship should end.
With divorce so routine and pedestrian, and the longterm success of marriage precarious—and of such coin-toss odds—often relationship coaches may offer what parents cannot.
“Both of us have divorced parents,” said Meredith, a 29-year-old law-school graduate living in New York, who finally married her longterm boyfriend after years of indecision and six months of weekly therapy.
Of course, most young people today consider relationships of more than five years or so almost like a marriage.