Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute says this impacts the possibility of change. "They are not willing to say marriage is better for us as a society," she says. "If you can't get the elites to do that, what kinds of policies can be enacted? There is so much resistance."
But Hymowitz is somewhat optimistic. "Surveys suggest that the large majority of young people want to get married some day," she says, "and believe in marriage as an aspiration. We need to enrich their understanding of what marriage is."
Sixty-one percent of men and women who have never married say they would like to get married, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey. Only 12 percent say they do not want to marry, and 27 percent are not sure.
Freed didn't get married until he was in his mid-thirties, but now with a 15-year-old daughter and secure finances, says there are many things he would never have done had he not been married.
"There's always decisions you have to make along the way," Freed says. "Sometimes having someone else there can look at what you are doing and say, 'Wait a minute, there is a problem here' or 'Have you considered that?' Sometimes two heads are better than one. And it's helped. Sometimes she sees things I don't see and I see things she doesn't see. And we collaborate and work together, and we've done reasonably well as a result, I think."