|This is a second part of the article about Polish young couples and the family.|
See the part I.
The most common model of marriage is between people from the same age group (49.1%) and also similar economical status and especially similar education level (53.4%). This tendency is a positive one according to the psychologists because marriages of this kind seldom finish in divorce.
Since Polish women are usually well educated I met several couples where the education level of women was higher than these of the men.
The new generation has different ideas. Polish girls and boys are exposed to the liberal models of life from Western Europe, which attract them. Although for young girls the marriage is still important they allow more easily than in the past to enter informal relationship. For young men the education, job and career are more important than the marriage.
The amount of divorces in Poland is lower than in majority of other countries of Western and Eastern Europe. In 2000, over 211 thousands marriages were registered and 42.8 thousands divorces. Still it seems that every fourth couple would eventually end up in divorce. Poles divorce mainly after 6-9 years of marriage.
The main reason of divorce is infidelity, differences in characters and alcoholism. Recently also the economical reasons, unemployment may cause a tension which lead to a divorce.
I have to stress that the low amount of divorces does not mean that marriages in Poland are much better than in the countries with higher ration of divorces. Unfortunately there are quite many couples that live in very unhappy marriages. Especially alcoholism among men is a social problem in Poland. Why people who are unhappy in their marriages do not seek a divorce? Sometimes it is a pressure of a family, especially in the countryside, pressure from the Catholic Church that does not recognize a divorce (although it recognizes a marital separation). Also economical reasons - sometimes even after divorce people have to live in the same apartment because they cannot find any other place to go. People seek counseling usually only when a court obliged them after filing for a divorce. Read more about divorces in Poland in newer articles: Divorce Rates in Poland versus other European Countries - newest Report of EU & Main Reasons of Divorces in Poland.
How many children do people in Poland usually have? In the towns the most common is a family with two children, in the country families have usually more children, although not that many as 40-50 years ago.
Abortion from any other than medical reasons is illegal in Poland. In spite of that the amount of born children is decreasing with every year (after the boom of early 80-es).
Read the articles about Polish wedding traditions, dating etc.
written by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, 23 February 2003 (article #87)