There are many things to consider with respect to the graph, but one that I do not think got much attention was what happens when the women become over 40, and have never been married. Notice that during the recession and anemic recovery years, the level for this group is pretty steady; all the while the other groups are increasing. This means that a very large number of women who enter this group must be getting married; in other words this group is absorbing the excesses from the previous group, and marrying them off.
I wonder what many of these marriages look like. The first aspect that comes to mind is that the woman probably really feels that she is settling. There is a high likelihood that she kept holding out, seemingly forever searching, because she felt that she was worth it. It is difficult to believe that there would not be resentment here. Perhaps at first, she could convince herself and him that there is not really a problem; and for a while there might not be one. However, the resent cannot be bottled up forever. Sooner or later, it will come bubbling to the surface. It probably will not ever manifest itself in terms of the true problem, but as some seemingly unrelated problem. I am not sure exactly why this happens this way, but it is probably a means to vent frustrations without exactly considering what the true problem is (and we can’t do that, can we?). So before too long, the marriage is on the rocks.
I wonder how often this scenario plays out. There do seem to be lots of women who in this cohort now. When I was a youngster, I recall reading in Newsweek that if a women is not married by 40, then there is almost no chance of her marrying. Obviously that is not true today. Many men are marrying this ticking time-bombs, not realizing what they have on their hands. How this will all play out, one does not precisely, but it is probably mostly not good.
Naturally enough, NAWALT applies.