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A continuing look at fluidity, adaptability in American relationships

When it comes to relationships, Americans are far from mired in unchanging viewpoints. We noted that in a recent blog post, underscoring in our February 20 entry the country's "great diversity and capability to evolve in material ways over time."

Research solidly bears that out. Indeed, the long-tenured and widely respected Pew Research Center stresses Americans' great adaptability in thinking about things like marriage, divorce and related family law matters. Pew analysts point out that "the landscape of relationships in America has shifted dramatically in recent decades."

Take divorce, for example, which is revealing in a way that might surprise many Americans. Notably, while the overall divorce rate has reportedly declined somewhat in recent years, it has actually increased for a group that might reasonably be expected to be comparatively conservative in its approach toward marital dissolution.

That is the baby boomer crowd, which Pew notes is the demographic that is divorcing at a higher rate than any other group. For persons 65 and older, divorces have approximately tripled over the past several decades.

Another perceptible shift in thinking relates to ideas surrounding remarriage, which was once a relative rarity for divorced individuals.

That is certainly no longer the case. Reportedly, about 40% of new marriages in recent years have involved a spouse who was previously married (and sometimes more than once). And about one in five new unions feature a remarriage for both partners.

Pew researchers also spotlight a huge change concerning same-sex marriage. They note that the country's support for legalized same-sex unions has shot upward by 25% within a decade.

The bottom line emphasized by relevant research underscores America's continuing evolvement in viewpoints and practices concerning important family-centric matters.

We are not a static people. Indeed, our thinking on key issues is notably diverse and continuously adjusting.

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