Futurists suggest that in the next eighty years there will be a substantial change in how we view marriage. They are suggesting that extramarital affairs will no longer receive public censure as they do today. And they suggest that the average person will probably marry at least four times. They say that marriage will be viewed as a conscious evolutionary process.
The futurists believe that couples will move through four different kinds of marriage that will align with their particular needs and stages in life. The first union will be the ‘icebreaker marriage’ where couples learn how to live together and become sexually experienced. Icebreaker marriages will be short term and will be fairly cut and dried.
The second marriage, the ‘parenting marriage,’ will probably last somewhere between fifteen to twenty years. The primary purpose of this marriage is child-rearing as it will be a place to raise a family and meet societal obligations.
The third marriage is the ‘self-marriage’ in which the couple seek self-discovery and self-actualization. It will be a marriage of personal growth, acceptance and understanding.
The fourth marriage will occur late in life when we are looking for vastly different experiences. The fourth marriage will be the ‘soul-mate connection.’ The fourth marriage is where couples will discover marital bliss, spirituality and equal partnership.
As marriage and relationships are a conscious evolutionary process it is inevitable that their change will reflect the times we are living in. Fifty years ago it was not possible for couples to divorce without going through major legal hurdles. Today divorce is comparatively simple.
The future may hold many different prospects for the individual as well as for marriage and relationships.
Christopher Swane - Couples Counselling and Psychotherapy - Wellington New Zealand