Smartmarriages alerted me to an emerging trend in marriage – straight couples are increasingly opting for the “domestic partner” arrangements that were set up by some states as a marriage substitute for gay couples. The name for these “marraige-lite” ceremonies that are emerging is “commitzvah.” Cute.

As a futurist for family issues, I’m interested because this confirms a longstanding trend toward a solid decline in commitment among couples and represents an emerging trend of growing demand on state and local governments for legally recognized options for lesser domestic commitments.

This also hits my radar as another bad omen for children in general, as studies show that on average childrens’ welfare suffers as their parents’ level of commitment to each other declines. I said on average – I’m sure your/your best friends’/your parents’/your cousin’s divorce/cohabitation/domestic arrangement has had no ill effect on your kids/their kids/you/his kids. But if you’re tracking trends, you’re tracking the aggragate – and for the aggregate demographic of children, this is a bad thing.

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