I recently attended my good friend's wedding in India. Throughout the ceremonies (and there were a lot), I couldn't help but think about the sanctity of marriage and how people approach marriage today.
In eastern cultures, marriage couldn't be more sacred. For example, in Indian culture, families spend a ton of money and time planning weddings for their children. Not only that, there are many blessings bestowed upon newly-wedded couples. Expectations for a successful union are sky high. No one expects a newly-wedded couple to get divorced. It's simply not an option (even though it may happen anyway).
In American culture, there was once a time when marriage was approached in a similar fashion. Now today, marriage is disposable. Some people get married with the expectation of a way out, if necessary. Some people don't see the life-term vision of how a marriage is supposed to evolve. This is one of the reasons the divorce rate in America is relatively high. There's a lack of respect for the sanctity of marriage, a lack of effort to keep a marriage healthy, and a lack of commitment towards one person.
So is the institution of marriage dead? How can we ensure that people are getting married for the right reasons? How can we ensure that marriage doesn't have an exit strategy? Only time will tell if more and more couples are able to ignore societal pressure and build on their love through alternative means.