Pursuit of Happiness - The Marital One
As an important tidbit the article mentions that "Americans tend to highest number of partners in their lives, more than anyone else in the world"
I would say this can be equally attributed to the American way of life or the "Pursuit of Happiness" as Thomas Jefferson put it in the fundamental rights section to begin with. This is this pursuit of happiness at all costs that had allowed the financial bigwigs to steam roll the financial system to satisfy their ends and benefits, it is what had tempted people to borrow and live beyond their financial means, and it is what indirectly responsible for most of the mess we see nowadays around us, even in the institution of marriage.
Most of the people who end up say the marriage vows here in US out of love. We are told that love is blind -- blind to reality that is -- and hence the people who are riding high on emotions after tying the knot, when they step into the reality are not ready to step up to the demands of marriage. Add to it when they have kids, and have to worry about everyday demands and financial stability, the marital life instead becomes a chore and romance is the one that sours and gets kicked out first. The couple don't take time to discuss and talk about issues, and instead turn outside for their "Pursuit of Happiness". That is the reason we see so many failed marriages around us, and the children of no fault of theirs are the ones who are to suffer the most. As the late writer Leonard Michaels once, chillingly, observed in his journal: "Adultery is not about sex or romance. Ultimately, it is about how little we mean to one another."
So instead, is the arcane "arranged" marriage system, that is still practiced in some parts of the world, such as in India, any better? It is better in that the relation doesn't start on love, but its start is instead based on trust and commitment, and hence is better grounded in reality. As opposed to love marriage, in the arranged marriage system, there is no common ground to begin with and hence people try to make up by talking and understanding with each other -- in short there is no ground to lose here and everything is to gain. As people, from the start, take time to talk, understand and ready to walk halfway if needed they are better positioned to weather out any of the storms.
I'm not suggesting to take a big cultural leap and choose "arranged" marriages over "love", but instead we can analyze and incorporate the advantages which tend to make most of those "arranged" marriages tick. Showing commitment in a relationship, make the genuine effort to make it work, taking time to talk about issues, and importantly be ready to face the reality when you step into marriage and not be blinded by the promises of "happily ever after". In the end, Marriage is what we make out of it, you tend to get what you put into the relationship. There is no secret formula for happiness, and it is up to us to make it work through effort.
So, in retrospect, it would have been better if Jefferson had instead put it as "Pursuit of just happiness by right means and honest effort"