The decline in marriages has had consequences for Japan’s birth rate as it faces the prospect of dramatic depopulation and a shrinking workforce and economy.
Experts have attributed the trend to several factors, including a growing desire among young working women to enjoy the freedoms that come with being single and having a career.
Men say they also enjoy being single, but also voice concern over job security and their ability to provide for a family. Experts have called on the government to make it easier for women to return to work after having children and to address Japan’s notoriously long working hours. Read more
Wilcox says that Smith’s article fails to take married women into account. The data only compares single men with and without children against single women with and without children. Other data from the St. Louis Fed shows that married adults make considerably more than unmarried adults. Read more
We can neutralize these dangerous expectations in marriage by applying two simple solutions. First, we need to adjust our expectations of ourselves and our spouses. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be perfect to be a good spouse. I love my wife best by being myself with her. I also honor her when I share what I’m thinking instead of expecting her to be a mind reader.
The second solution is to communicate openly and honestly with each other. It takes some humility, but once we start connecting authentically, conversations about expectations become easier. Engaging in real dialogue with our spouses helps us learn what each person really desires. That builds trust, which is the foundation of any healthy relationship. It starts with a simple statement like “Hey, honey, let me tell you what I’m thinking” or “Can I share with you what’s going on?” Read more