Why isn't marriage working out?

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

yelly
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:25 am UTC
Location: Jerusalem, The Original One.

Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby yelly » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:19 pm UTC

In the modern world we are seeing a developing trend of divorce (I believe the US is nearly at, if not past 50% of marriages ending in divorce). This is obviously not working. I am not saying that marriage as a concept is bad (in many cases it is even excellent), but a system with a 50% failure rate is not a very good one.
On top of that, in a world where the "classic" family image is slowly falling apart, marriage is less essential. It is no longer so insane to bring up children on your own, and the traditional breadwinner/housewife arrangement is no longer standard.
Add that to all this trouble with same sex marriages etc. marriage probably causes more problems than it solves.
On the other hand, marriage makes lots of people very, very happy, and at large it seems to be a pretty comfortable way to run society (when it works), and it does often make raising children and running a family easier, not to talk about the tax cuts.
I think that we should be slowly rethinking the way we view families and relationships, because courtrooms full of divorce applications is not an optimal state at all.
EDIT: I was informed that my numbers aren't correct, apparently, there are half as many divorces as marriages each year, and actually something closer to 33% of marriages end in divorce each year. Still not optimal.
EDIT 2: Fixed title for clarity.
Last edited by yelly on Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:08 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
...
"So there are 3 guards, one always tells the truth, one always lies and the third answers randomly"
"But I only want to know the fucking time!"

User avatar
Mighty Jalapeno
Inne Juste 7 Dayes I Wille Make You A Hero!
Posts: 11265
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 9:16 pm UTC
Location: Prince George In A Can
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:34 pm UTC

... allrighty. Should we talk about it, or are you just making your thoughts available online?

Also, can we talk about this in the "Benefits of Marriage" thread? Or the "Married-ish" thread? It's already covered pretty much everything.

yelly
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:25 am UTC
Location: Jerusalem, The Original One.

Re: Marriage

Postby yelly » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:... allrighty. Should we talk about it, or are you just making your thoughts available online?

Also, can we talk about this in the "Benefits of Marriage" thread? Or the "Married-ish" thread? It's already covered pretty much everything.

I was actually looking to raise a discussion about the high divorce rate, what causes it and what should be done about it, something said topics do not address.
Sorry for not being clear about it.
...
"So there are 3 guards, one always tells the truth, one always lies and the third answers randomly"
"But I only want to know the fucking time!"

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:03 pm UTC

So.. Stopping Divorce or Divorce:What's Up With That? not good enough titles?

As for stopping it.. at least in this country, I figure a lot of it is a byproduct of marketing and such. We're trained to, instead of fixing something that's broken, to just toss it away and get a new, better one. Whether or not this is a good idea is debatable... I mean, if properly maintained and repaired when needed, you could still have an original Model T car on the road today...that doesn't mean it's a good idea to use that as your primary vehicle.

Used to be that divorce was unheard of... then people realized that instead of keeping people together who hated each other, it's best for everyone if they go their separate ways, even for the children of such a union. But perhaps that's swung a little too far.... I don't know.. Used to be you were an adult at 18 or so.. now you kinda enter this stage of not quite an Adult, but able to take care of yourself and live on your own and so forth... people just get married too soon these days. Sure, I know plenty of people who's parents and especially grandparents got married right out of high school... that doesn't mean it's still a good idea.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:So.. Stopping Divorce or Divorce:What's Up With That? not good enough titles?

As for stopping it.. at least in this country, I figure a lot of it is a byproduct of marketing and such. We're trained to, instead of fixing something that's broken, to just toss it away and get a new, better one. Whether or not this is a good idea is debatable... I mean, if properly maintained and repaired when needed, you could still have an original Model T car on the road today...that doesn't mean it's a good idea to use that as your primary vehicle.

Used to be that divorce was unheard of... then people realized that instead of keeping people together who hated each other, it's best for everyone if they go their separate ways, even for the children of such a union. But perhaps that's swung a little too far.... I don't know.. Used to be you were an adult at 18 or so.. now you kinda enter this stage of not quite an Adult, but able to take care of yourself and live on your own and so forth... people just get married too soon these days. Sure, I know plenty of people who's parents and especially grandparents got married right out of high school... that doesn't mean it's still a good idea.
(my emphasis added)

These two points I agree wholeheartedly with. I also believe that our cultural role models (mostly celebs) contribute to some extent. While there are those that appear to be in committed, long-term marriages, there are at least as many (probably more) who are getting married every 5 years or so, and I think that, at least to some degree, that makes it more acceptable in the eyes of the public and therefore more common.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Belial » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

Do we even have to care that marriages break up? People come together. People grow apart. People go their separate ways. I fail to see the part in here where that's a bad thing we should be putting a stop to.

The only thing that holds a marriage together is one or both of the two people involved wanting on some level for it to stay together (even if it's just in the sense of "I'd really like to be apart, but X reason makes it a better idea for me to stay"). If they don't want to, how do you make them? Can you? Should you? Is this even something we should be trying to?

I vote no. It's a waste of effort. Let them part as they want.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Do we even have to care that marriages break up? People come together. People grow apart. People go their separate ways. I fail to see the part in here where that's a bad thing we should be putting a stop to.

I wouldn't call it a cultural/national disaster by any means, but lots of damage can be done to children due to divorce, and supposedly the parents should want what's best for their chitlins.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

Masuri
Posts: 536
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:23 pm UTC

Re: Marriage

Postby Masuri » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

I hate hate hate the 'stay for the childrens' argument.

I have a friend that is in a miserable, loveless, sexless, joyless marriage and he stays in it 'for the childrens.' He has three little girls. What example is he setting for those little girls? That to be a wife is to be a money-grubbing control-freak who wrings every bit of life out of her husband until he's a hollowed out husk of a man? Good lesson. We need more women like that!

Meh. If you are irreconcilably unhappy, get a freakin' divorce.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:I hate hate hate the 'stay for the childrens' argument.

I have a friend that is in a miserable, loveless, sexless, joyless marriage and he stays in it 'for the childrens.' He has three little girls. What example is he setting for those little girls? That to be a wife is to be a money-grubbing control-freak who wrings every bit of life out of her husband until he's a hollowed out husk of a man? Good lesson. We need more women like that!

Meh. If you are irreconcilably unhappy, get a freakin' divorce.

I assume that this was aimed at me. Maybe it wasn't.

Divorce can indeed be quite harmful to children, I doubt you'll argue that point. Also, children tend to have little control over the situation in which they find themselves. What I was arguing was more along the lines of 'don't get married until you've found someone you can stay married to, since the majority of marriages include children and divorce is not something that those children need'. When you have kids, you're no longer the most important thing. An ideal situation (imo) would leave the kid with two parents who are happily married, which is why I advocate not getting married or having kids until you've found someone with whom you can stay in it for the long haul.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

Maybe people rushing in to it has to do with people always wanting to get to that next level... bear with me for a moment while I ramble.

See, I recall in middle school people were obsessed with "going out" with a member of the opposite sex. I always wondered why the fuck for.. I mean, it's not like at that age anyone could go on a date. Your parents drop you off at the same high school game and you talk on the phone a lot.. or, I guess people walked over to each other's houses or something. Again, it was goddamn middle school. I found the whole thing profoundly idiotic to even worry about it at that age.

High school.. not much changed except my perception of it (After all, you're now dating people with cars who can actually, you know, go and do things without a parent driving them wherever) until my junior/senior year(11th/12th year) where it seemed a fair number were getting engaged. Which I found profoundly idiotic... I mean, not only were some of these individuals still looking at a year+ before graduation, but they were, in the span of about six months, engaged to three different people.

Obviously a ton of commitment there.

So.. I guess these individuals somehow got it in their head that they had to be dating... but just dating isn't good enough, so you have to go steady or whatever the hell the kids call it these days when you see one person exclusively.. but of course, that's not good enough, so you have to take it to the next level and get engaged (after all, what fixes a relationship that's having a few problems you don't know how to fix? Escalate that shit!) and eventually these people actually went through with it and got married.

I can't speak for all of them, but I do know that a couple of guys who got married right out of high school have since been divorced and were putting various "women are soul suckers" "don't ever get married" style things on their various Classmates/Myspace profiles.

Now.. I'll grant you that I originally hail from a small town that doesn't exactly have the largest dating pool, so all this is from me looking around my high school (500ish kids in 9-12) and basically going "Y'all's fucking morons for wanting to date the same chowderheads you've grown up with" so I don't know if that's a universal thing or not, but... that's my hometown. Get married, pop a kid or two out, get divorced, celebrate your 25th birthday, repeat.

Hell.. I think there's a guy on his third marriage from my class... which would put him in the 27-28 age bracket somewhere. I mean.. there's an example of someone who just doesn't get it... either there's a fuckup in the pre-marriage stage... you know, the part where you do a lot of thinking before coming to the conclusion that yes, you do want to spend your life with this person... or there's a fuckup on the problem-solving stage, where you work out your problems rather than just rushing to get divorced.

But... what do I know? Maybe it's all the drugs that were done. I dunno.


Also.. yeah, seriously.. staying together for the sake of the kids is idiotic. I remember when my parents told me they were getting a divorce.. my response was along the lines of "About fucking time!"

Everything was better after they split... granted, my situation was slightly unusual in that all Dad did was move down to the rental house, so I could literally walk there in less than five minutes, but still...

Divorce can indeed be quite harmful to children, I doubt you'll argue that point.


I don't know about that.. if the late night yelling matches that woke me up (No, there was never anything physical, just yelling) weren't bad enough, I could tell that they didn't want to be around each other. My parents divorcing was possibly one of the best things to happen to me.

But that's anecdotal evidence.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:58 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Divorce can indeed be quite harmful to children, I doubt you'll argue that point.


I don't know about that.. if the late night yelling matches that woke me up (No, there was never anything physical, just yelling) weren't bad enough, I could tell that they didn't want to be around each other. My parents divorcing was possibly one of the best things to happen to me.

But that's anecdotal evidence.

I understand very well where you're coming from here. My parents are divorced and it was certainly the right decision for them and for the kids (my brother and me) and I have an absolutely amazing relationship with my stepfather that I wouldn't trade for anything. Divorce can certainly be the correct decision, but I personally am of the opinion (as are the 5 divorces represented between my parents and my aunt and uncle) that the ideal situation is simply to not have children or get married until you are actually ready for those two commitments/responsibilities.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Belial » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:04 pm UTC

People don't know what they're ready for. They don't know what they're going to want, need, think, or feel in the future. They can just make educated guesses.

Basically, all promises about the future are lies: even if they come true, you didn't know that when you promised. They're just a special kind of lie that's often told with the best intentions. Things change, things fall apart, and it can't always be predicted.

Can you say, with any certainty, that your own plans for the future will turn out exactly as you've planned them? That you'll feel, about anything, exactly the way you do now? That the courses of action you see now are the only ones you'll ever see? That the one you choose now will always be the best one?

In other words, saying "you should have waited until you were ready" is great when you get to say it with hindsight. When you can look at the marriages that ended and say "obviously you weren't ready", and the ones that are still going and say "but they were", it looks so incredibly simple. But at the time, both couples thought they were ready, and I'll wager you'd be hard-pressed to tell which was which. Sucks to be human, quiaff?
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

While I understand you're pov, I think it's kind of the same as deciding not to plan or prepare for anything because you don't know exactly what you're planning or preparing for (what's going to happen). And you're absolutely right, you can't know when you're "ready," but you can make an educated guess. It's when those educated guesses aren't made that problems arise.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Belial » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:39 pm UTC

Fair. I'm just saying that the fact a marriage fails *isn't* evidence that the marriage was poorly planned, that the educated guesses weren't made. All the planning and soul searching and commitment in the world can come to nothing. Doesn't make the planning, soul searching and commitment useless, but it doesn't make it all-powerful either.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

Masuri
Posts: 536
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:23 pm UTC

Re: Marriage

Postby Masuri » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:When you have kids, you're no longer the most important thing.


This is another saying that chaps my ass.

When people say this, it's usually to justify a behavior that rational people find totally incredible. Like, "I stay with my husband who beats me because my children come first!" or "I can no longer do anything that I previously enjoyed because I now have a child and my needs are unimportant." It's like they become some child-bearing zombie who only shambles aimlessly from one parenting duty to the next, allowing nothing to divert them from their purpose.

I agree that the child's welfare is important, but I do not agree that you have to stop considering your own needs completely! Again, what message does that send to your child? I've seen marriages fall apart when one parent ceases to exist as an individual and becomes only that single-minded entity known as 'Mommy.' You have to have a healthy balance in your own life so that you can create one for your child, imo.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Belial » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:I agree that the child's welfare is important, but I do not agree that you have to stop considering your own needs completely! Again, what message does that send to your child? I've seen marriages fall apart when one parent ceases to exist as an individual and becomes only that single-minded entity known as 'Mommy.' You have to have a healthy balance in your own life so that you can create one for your child, imo.


Exactly. Among other things, part of your job is to teach that kid how to be a person. If you cease to be one yourself, how is that going to get done?
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: Marriage

Postby Dream » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:39 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Masuri wrote:I agree that the child's welfare is important, but I do not agree that you have to stop considering your own needs completely! Again, what message does that send to your child? I've seen marriages fall apart when one parent ceases to exist as an individual and becomes only that single-minded entity known as 'Mommy.' You have to have a healthy balance in your own life so that you can create one for your child, imo.


Exactly. Among other things, part of your job is to teach that kid how to be a person. If you cease to be one yourself, how is that going to get done?


"I'm staying in the abusive relationship for the kids" is a damn lie. It rationalises something else (who knows what, different in each case) that is keepin the person there. But if there is no abuse, no violence, no danger, and the parents still respect each other as people, then there can be a reason to stay. Maybe stay until the kids are financially secure, or through college. Or until the mortgage is paid off, or until you can afford the divorce fees. Whatever. It's not only in abusive relationships that people stay "for the kids". So it's not fair to put out sweeping statments like that.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:21 am UTC

Masuri wrote:
22/7 wrote:When you have kids, you're no longer the most important thing.


This is another saying that chaps my ass.

When people say this, it's usually to justify a behavior that rational people find totally incredible. Like, "I stay with my husband who beats me because my children come first!" or "I can no longer do anything that I previously enjoyed because I now have a child and my needs are unimportant." It's like they become some child-bearing zombie who only shambles aimlessly from one parenting duty to the next, allowing nothing to divert them from their purpose.

I agree that the child's welfare is important, but I do not agree that you have to stop considering your own needs completely! Again, what message does that send to your child? I've seen marriages fall apart when one parent ceases to exist as an individual and becomes only that single-minded entity known as 'Mommy.' You have to have a healthy balance in your own life so that you can create one for your child, imo.

Masuri, find a different person to strawman. What I said is IN NO WAY related to what you just spewed. If you want to talk about people rationalizing their poor decisions, that's fine, but don't quote me in such a way as to try and paint me into a "staying together for the childrens" kind of corner. I NEVER said that people should stay together for the kids, I NEVER said that anyone should stay in an abusive relationship, I NEVER said that the parents should not look after their own needs. This last one, especially is an asinine conclusion to draw, because if one does not look out for one's own needs, how can that person possibly care for another human being? Again, strawman someone else.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Pixel
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:40 pm UTC
Location: Fled to the burbs of Hartford, CT
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Pixel » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:54 pm UTC

yelly wrote:Add that to all this trouble with same sex marriages etc. marriage probably causes more problems than it solves.


This part fascinates me the most. You have one group in america that wants to get married, and it is the group (some)people are fighting the hardest to keep from marrying.
Some people have a genuine gift of poetry, a way with words that surpasses beauty and touches the deepest parts of one's soul... and some people, um, thingy.

"Less bite, more wobble"

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Indon » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:10 pm UTC

Personally, I think the divorce rate is indicative of a massive trend in very bad parenting, that has led to people who are simply not competent at leading their lives - not only emotionally as in this case, but fiscally and intellectually as well.

Yes, arguably, it's par for the course - since when was there a culture where the average individual were capable in all those things? But now, it's different, because while once it might not have made so much of a difference, now it very much can.

We, as a culture, have increased our standards. By removing stigma from divorce we've shifted the responsibility of holding marriage together from the peer pressure of a community, to the responsibility of the individual, and as it's turned out people generally aren't good at that. Ditto with voting (which requires individuals to be informed on things) and other facets of our culture.

Belial wrote:Do we even have to care that marriages break up? People come together. People grow apart. People go their separate ways. I fail to see the part in here where that's a bad thing we should be putting a stop to.


Which is why I think it needs to be addressed. Ask me how to get people to raise their kids better, however, and I'mma come up blank.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Marriage

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

Pixel wrote:This part fascinates me the most. You have one group in america that wants to get married, and it is the group (some)people are fighting the hardest to keep from marrying.

When you say that you have "one group. . .that wants to get married," you seem to be indicating that the other group (people who are not gay) don't want to get married.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Pixel
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:40 pm UTC
Location: Fled to the burbs of Hartford, CT
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Pixel » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:59 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
Pixel wrote:This part fascinates me the most. You have one group in america that wants to get married, and it is the group (some)people are fighting the hardest to keep from marrying.

When you say that you have "one group. . .that wants to get married," you seem to be indicating that the other group (people who are not gay) don't want to get married.


I may have been unclear in my word choice, but I was not attempting to exclude the other group with my comment. However marriages have been declining with more couples choosing not to get married, and more marriages are ending in divorce. So you have one group with declining numbers of marriages, and more ending in divorce, so if people really wanted to "defend marriage" they should support anyone willing to be married.
Some people have a genuine gift of poetry, a way with words that surpasses beauty and touches the deepest parts of one's soul... and some people, um, thingy.

"Less bite, more wobble"

User avatar
segmentation fault
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:10 pm UTC
Location: Nu Jersey
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby segmentation fault » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:21 pm UTC

i think the whole "no sex before marriage" thing makes people get married just to have sex, then get divorced.

on a more serious note, theres alot of nice tax benefits from getting married. my paychecks would be significantly bigger if i were married. so i think people whove been together for not too long just do it for benefits, and if they break up get a divorce.
people are like LDL cholesterol for the internet

yelly
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:25 am UTC
Location: Jerusalem, The Original One.

Re: Marriage

Postby yelly » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:29 pm UTC

Pixel wrote:
yelly wrote:Add that to all this trouble with same sex marriages etc. marriage probably causes more problems than it solves.


This part fascinates me the most. You have one group in america that wants to get married, and it is the group (some)people are fighting the hardest to keep from marrying.

You misunderstand me. I see no problem in gay people getting married. I was just saying that marriage as a concept carries a lot of moral/religious/political/whatever weight that causes nothing but trouble, and gay marriage is just an example for this.
As to the original question I as asking, I am not claiming that we should necessarily be stopping people from getting divorced. If you are married and it isn't working out, by all means, get out of that relationship. What I am asking is, should we be rethinking the way we look at relationships and commitment? Marriage has worked out rather well throughout history, but it isn't working so well now, so why do we still do it? Is there no better way?
...
"So there are 3 guards, one always tells the truth, one always lies and the third answers randomly"
"But I only want to know the fucking time!"

User avatar
Pixel
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:40 pm UTC
Location: Fled to the burbs of Hartford, CT
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Postby Pixel » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

yelly wrote:You misunderstand me. I see no problem in gay people getting married.


I didn't think you had a problem. I was just commenting on the world in general.

yelly wrote:Marriage has worked out rather well throughout history, but it isn't working so well now, so why do we still do it? Is there no better way?


I don't know that marriage has actually "worked out rather well" before. People staying together is not automatically proof of a good marriage. In the not too distant past there were major social pressures for couples to stay together, and divorce was uncommon because it was looked down on so strongly, as was raising children without both parents, children born out of wedlock, and openly admitting your spouse mistreats or abuses you. If you go far enough back wives couldn't own property, run businesses, etc. So they needed a husband in order to not starve. And as recently as the 1700s a wife was considered property of the husband, so her divorcing him was almost as unlikely as your computer divorcing you today.
Some people have a genuine gift of poetry, a way with words that surpasses beauty and touches the deepest parts of one's soul... and some people, um, thingy.

"Less bite, more wobble"

AKADriver
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:28 pm UTC
Location: McLean, VA

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby AKADriver » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

segmentation fault wrote:i think the whole "no sex before marriage" thing makes people get married just to have sex, then get divorced.


I think it's pretty well-accepted that the opposite is true, really. Like the original post stated, our society is permissive of extramarital sex, cohabitation arrangements, and (to a lesser degree) single parents, so the value of marriage is diminished.

I'd argue that in circles where extramarital sex is discouraged, divorce is equally discouraged. I can't actually think of a case like that in my own personal experience.

On the other hand, I do know of women who rushed into marriage because their ovaries ached for children, with disastrous consequences. The "shotgun wedding" is also still prevalent, and these often end as soon as the one holding the shotgun is out of the picture.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

He was kidding, he even said so.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
superglucose
hermaj's new favourite
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:59 am UTC
Location: Domain of Azura
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby superglucose » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

yelly wrote:It is no longer so insane to bring up children on your own, and the traditional breadwinner/housewife arrangement is no longer standard.


Socially it is more acceptable. In terms of impact, it's still quite insane. A child, in my opinion, who has a mother AND a father has a much higher chance of leading a successful, happy life. I have no statistics, but I heard somewhere that most people in prisons come from very broken families with absentee parents. I am convinced there's a correlation and possibly causation.

As for why marriage isn't working in america?

Honestly if I had to point out the most common flaw I see in relationships, it's this: people go into relationships with expectations, then generate more expectations. The word I heard coming out of my step-mother's mouth most often right before her divorce with my father (a welcome event in the family to be sure) was "expectation." There is an "expectation" that my dad will do the dishes. An "expectation" he'll fix the sink, an "expectation" he'll work an eight hour job, an "expectation" that he'll take care of the dog, an "expectation" he'll help the kids with their homework, an "expectation" that he'll cook, an "expectation" that he does every little chore on saturdays and sundays... etc.

With all these expectations, she took for granted her relationship with my father. My father was happy do to all these things at first, when they were special and meant something of the relationship between my father and step-mother, but towards the end he would do something like plant her favorite flowers in the garden. Is there a "thank you?" No, it's expected of him to plant those flowers! I am here to tell you: this kind of thinking is beyond poisonous to relationships.

I guess this happens in america so much because we are programmed to take things for granted. And while in a lot of instances, this is healthy and good (we take for granted that we have free speech, therefore when we don't have it or it's taken away from us we react with shock), when it starts to spill over to relationships it is a bad thing.

I don't remember who said it, but someone once said that a good marriage takes equal amounts of love and effort from both sides. Looking at the few successful marriages in my family (most notably the 51 year monster of my grandparents, each married to their first spouse and the 70 year marriage of my great grandparents who only married once, and it ended with the death of my great-grandmother) I tend to agree with this. My grandfather used to do little things like take all the kids out of the house (to relieve my grandmother) on saturdays, and still does little things like bringing breakfast to my grandmother in bed along with her favorite parts of the paper (funnies, sudoku, and the weather). Starting a fire in the morning, and keeping it going all day even though my grandmother is more than capable of maintaining the fire. Going out in the middle of the winter to grill steaks just because it's her favorite meal. Taking a second car to church because he has a meeting afterwards and doesn't want to disturb her.

Honestly it's the little things that make or break a marriage, as weird as that seems. The big stuff can be figured out early on in the relationship: are we compatible, physically or psychologically, do we like each other, etc. etc. But it's when you get down to day to day operations that you see how the relationship is going to work.

And most Americans... well they aren't too bright. And unless someone points this out to them, they tend to miss that fact. Most Americans, I believe, are of a mindset that if you have to work at love, it's not worth having, something backed up by media representations of relationships. I firmly disagree. The best things in life come through hard work: money, friendship, education, and yes love.

In closing, I also believe that a marriage can only work as long as at least one party is willing to go through hell and back to make it work.
Image

User avatar
mosc
Doesn't care what you think.
Posts: 5403
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 3:03 pm UTC

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby mosc » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

I'm going to give a completely different answer

The reason more marriages are ending these days is because it's an outdated and inherently flawed concept based more in religion than society. Marriage historically is not really a union but a contract for indentured servitude of the female. If you have a biblical concept of women as little more than property, it makes perfect sense and the rate of "marriage failure" is quite small.

Marriage in today's world is more like a more formal partnership than a biblical marriage. I'm sure there are still many women who enter into the more classical near-slavery based marriage but for most people it's become much more mutual.

I would like to see marriage change in meaning slightly. I know that's never going to happen because it is so embedded into religion but that doesn't mean I can't propose stuff. Basically, I would make it a contract between two people to commit legally to raising a child. They have no additional commitment to each other, only to the children of their union. They must agree to support the child in all the ways we think of but what they do to each other should be left out of it.

I'm all for gay marriage and everything but lets be honest here. The reason it's two people is because babies are made from a guy and a girl having sex (I know, shocking) which means that all children come into this world with two parents and it's only natural for that number to be two. Not one. Not more. I believe strongly that surrogate parents can be just as good as biological parents but I think biologically, we are a species that is used to two parents. Some would argue that since the female does the actual birthing and breast feeding that they are inherently more connected to the child but I dispute this. I think the parental gene is in all of us regardless of gender or whither the child came from your body or somebody else's.

As an institution itself though irregardless of children, I believe marriage will continue to become less stable as women and men approach a more equitable state. The concept itself is one of indentured servitude and should be radically changed or abolished. My godparents never married. Probably going on about 30 years now they've lived together. My godfather has always been against the concept of marriage itself. I think they are a tribute to the fact that the marriage contract doesn't make the relationship itself any stronger or less likely to break as well. They have no children so they never needed to get married.

DISCLAIMER: I am a happily married man who loves his wife with every fiber of his being but I can't help feeling I am the exception to the rule. Even my other married friends do not seem to... value their wives as much.
Title: It was given by the XKCD moderators to me because they didn't care what I thought (I made some rantings, etc). I care what YOU think, the joke is forums.xkcd doesn't care what I think.

User avatar
SecondTalon
SexyTalon
Posts: 26528
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 2:10 pm UTC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Mars. HA!
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:Socially it is more acceptable. In terms of impact, it's still quite insane. A child, in my opinion, who has a mother AND a father has a much higher chance of leading a successful, happy life. I have no statistics, but I heard somewhere that most people in prisons come from very broken families with absentee parents. I am convinced there's a correlation and possibly causation.


Most people in American prisons are also Black. Does this mean having African ancestry is a mark against you?

Having two loving parents is the best option. Having one loving parent is better than having two fighting parents. Having two parents who are too concerned with paying next month's bills to be able to spend time with you, or worse yet having only one parent struggling to pay bills is the worst situation for the child. I believe our prison population comes from this group.

Saying it's because they only had one parent is ignoring a whole host of other factors - primarily being economic class. There's plenty of middle and upper class kids who's parents are barely ever around who aren't destined to end up in prison because they have things.. like food.

Anyway, not that this has anything to do with the subject at hand.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby Belial » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

I pretty much agree with mosc.

Just a few quibbles:

I would like to see marriage change in meaning slightly. I know that's never going to happen because it is so embedded into religion but that doesn't mean I can't propose stuff. Basically, I would make it a contract between two people to commit legally to raising a child. They have no additional commitment to each other, only to the children of their union. They must agree to support the child in all the ways we think of but what they do to each other should be left out of it.


I like this a lot. It would never happen, but I like it. However....

I'm all for gay marriage and everything but lets be honest here. The reason it's two people is because babies are made from a guy and a girl having sex (I know, shocking)


It sounds like what you're saying is that, under this hypothetical redefined marriage, there would be no place for gay marriage because only a man and woman can have kids, and marriage is about children rather than love, now. That makes sense on the surface, but I think you're leaving out something crucial: Adoption.

Even under your new system, there would be unwanted children. Why shouldn't a homosexual couple (or even two people of the same gender who aren't sexually or romantically involved at all, ie two friends) be able to bind themselves into a similar contract to raise and adopted child? Or, for that matter, to raise the child of one member of the contract, which was fathered/birthed by a third party uninvolved in the contract? It only makes sense.

which means that all children come into this world with two parents and it's only natural for that number to be two. Not one. Not more.


Actually, it's pretty natural for the number to be one. On an animal level, it's very easy for the father to escape obligation. But really, what's "natural" is only tangentially relevant. Our psyche, our society, and our lifestyle has changed drastically from the state that you would be deriving "natural" from. All that matters is what's good and healthy for the people involved. And while there is evidence that a single parent family is bad for kids*, I can't think of any reason why more than two people couldn't raise a kid, whether it be a polyamorous cadre, or just the parents and a group of friends who agree to be equally responsible, or some other admixture.

*I find myself questioning whether this is because the child needs a second role model or influence, or whether this is just because a single parent, by necessity, doesn't have nearly as much time to spend on parenting
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
segmentation fault
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:10 pm UTC
Location: Nu Jersey
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby segmentation fault » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:20 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I'm all for gay marriage and everything but lets be honest here. The reason it's two people is because babies are made from a guy and a girl having sex (I know, shocking) which means that all children come into this world with two parents and it's only natural for that number to be two. Not one. Not more. I believe strongly that surrogate parents can be just as good as biological parents but I think biologically, we are a species that is used to two parents. Some would argue that since the female does the actual birthing and breast feeding that they are inherently more connected to the child but I dispute this. I think the parental gene is in all of us regardless of gender or whither the child came from your body or somebody else's.


To address a couple of things:

A child can attach itself to more than 2 people, and it doesnt matter who those people are. they can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. they dont need to be the biological parents, and they dont need to be of different sexes.

also, dont underestimate the maternal instinct. its very strong. im surprised women who have miscarriages are able to move on from the intense emotional distress.
people are like LDL cholesterol for the internet

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby Belial » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:25 pm UTC

also, dont underestimate the maternal instinct. its very strong. im surprised women who have miscarriages are able to move on from the intense emotional distress.


It's very strong in some people. I've known quite a few who move on from miscarriages and abortions quite readily. One could assume they're just that emotionally strong, but it's more likely they just weren't that invested in the first place.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

JoshuaZ
Posts: 401
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:18 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby JoshuaZ » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

AKADriver wrote:I think it's pretty well-accepted that the opposite is true, really. Like the original post stated, our society is permissive of extramarital sex, cohabitation arrangements, and (to a lesser degree) single parents, so the value of marriage is diminished.

I'd argue that in circles where extramarital sex is discouraged, divorce is equally discouraged. I can't actually think of a case like that in my own personal experience.


There are societies where extramarital sex is very discouraged but divorce less so. For example, among Orthodox Jews, extramarital sex is very discouraged but divorce much less so. Divorce as something that's really bad is a generally Christian notion not very shared by the other Abrahamic religions and cultures. I think that for some early Protestant sects divorce was not allowed by extramarital sex was more ok but I don't have a citation off the top of my head. The bottom line is that the two aren't always well correlated although I suspect that in general there is a strong correlation between how much each is approved.

User avatar
22/7
I'm pretty sure I have "The Slavery In My Asshole" on DVD.
Posts: 6475
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:30 pm UTC
Location: 127.0.0.1

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby 22/7 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:26 pm UTC

JoshuaZ wrote:
AKADriver wrote:I think it's pretty well-accepted that the opposite is true, really. Like the original post stated, our society is permissive of extramarital sex, cohabitation arrangements, and (to a lesser degree) single parents, so the value of marriage is diminished.

I'd argue that in circles where extramarital sex is discouraged, divorce is equally discouraged. I can't actually think of a case like that in my own personal experience.


There are societies where extramarital sex is very discouraged but divorce less so. For example, among Orthodox Jews, extramarital sex is very discouraged but divorce much less so. Divorce as something that's really bad is a generally Christian notion not very shared by the other Abrahamic religions and cultures. I think that for some early Protestant sects divorce was not allowed by extramarital sex was more ok but I don't have a citation off the top of my head. The bottom line is that the two aren't always well correlated although I suspect that in general there is a strong correlation between how much each is approved.

I was always under the impression that Islam and Judaism were both quite anti-divorce. I'm not exactly well-studied in the area of various religious views on marriage and divorce, but that was my impression. Normally I would just take your word for it, but this strikes me as all wrong, and so I'm raising the question, I suppose.
Totally not a hypothetical...

Steroid wrote:
bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
Don't want to be.
I want to be!

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

I don't think any religion is PRO-divorce, but I know for a fact that in Judaism you do not make your wedding vows to God, as it is understood that theres a chance things may not work out. But its a good point, Christianity is very anti-divorce.

Maybe stupid people marrying, again, has something to do with this rate of divorce, more so then marriage as an institution?
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Rook
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:55 pm UTC
Location: The Madness Place

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby Rook » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:25 am UTC

Certainly, this is what I was thinking. I don't feel that marriage is outdated; rather, that people have a lot of misconceptions about what marriage is, and so enter into it far too readily. The current [general] impression seems to be the very child-like 'two people who love each other very much' scenario. No No No.

At least, not entirely, and love is certainly not the most important thing in a marriage. Marriage is a partnership for mutual benefit in terms of financial, familial and emotional support, and just generally getting each other through life; love is not a prerequisite, though there seems to be a very strong idea floating around that you have to fall in love first, and get married after that.

Shocking as it may be to those who hold this idea, not all arranged marriages (or even forced marriages for that matter) in which the two parties have never met are necessarily loveless. The couple learn to live together in their respective roles, and love kinda sneaks in through the back door.


Oh, and something I'd like to point out:
mosc wrote:The reason more marriages are ending these days is because it's an outdated and inherently flawed concept based more in religion than society. Marriage historically is not really a union but a contract for indentured servitude of the female. If you have a biblical concept of women as little more than property, it makes perfect sense and the rate of "marriage failure" is quite small.

Um, no, it isn't, and never was. And as so many people are quick to point out in religion discussion threads, the majority of books in the Bible were written by blokes. Just because classic gender roles and responsibilities are different does not mean there is an uneven balance of power in the home. Since when has anything men said actually affected the level of influence women have? 'Indentured servitude' implies something a few short steps from slavery, does it not? And yet when was the last time you saw a man who could boss his wife around and get away with it? (I know there are cases where this does in fact happen, but these are proportionally few and far between. I'm also leaving violence out of the equation for now)

Not to turn this into a sexism debate, but men and women are, in case you hadn't noticed, not the same. If a woman entering into a marriage thinks she's getting the short end of the stick, she clearly hasn't fully read her job description, or her husband's either.
You scratch my lion, and I'll scratch yours.

mattmacf wrote:Action precedes motivation.

This is very, very important.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby Belial » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:43 am UTC

Um, no, it isn't, and never was.


Did you miss that whole era of history when women were basically married off to older men they'd never met and expected (forced) to stay home, keep the house, and raise the children while the man went about his business?

If so, I recommend looking into...the 1800s on back.

Not to turn this into a sexism debate, but men and women are, in case you hadn't noticed, not the same. If a woman entering into a marriage thinks she's getting the short end of the stick, she clearly hasn't fully read her job description, or her husband's either.


.....So what you're basically saying is that your gender dictates your role?

And you're trying *not* to turn this into a sexism debate?
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

magnum_opus
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:25 am UTC

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby magnum_opus » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:09 am UTC

Rook wrote:Just because classic gender roles and responsibilities are different does not mean there is an uneven balance of power in the home.

Actually i believe thtats EXACTLY what it means
And yet when was the last time you saw a man who could boss his wife around and get away with it?

the last 7000 years of history?
I'm also leaving violence out of the equation for now)

you can't leave violence out of the equation, it's like half the god damn equation.

User avatar
JayDee
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:13 am UTC
Location: Most livable city in the world.
Contact:

Re: Why isn't marriage working out?

Postby JayDee » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:11 am UTC

Belial wrote:Actually, it's pretty natural for the number to be one. On an animal level, it's very easy for the father to escape obligation. But really, what's "natural" is only tangentially relevant. Our psyche, our society, and our lifestyle has changed drastically from the state that you would be deriving "natural" from. All that matters is what's good and healthy for the people involved. And while there is evidence that a single parent family is bad for kids*, I can't think of any reason why more than two people couldn't raise a kid, whether it be a polyamorous cadre, or just the parents and a group of friends who agree to be equally responsible, or some other admixture.

*I find myself questioning whether this is because the child needs a second role model or influence, or whether this is just because a single parent, by necessity, doesn't have nearly as much time to spend on parenting
I think that it would be important that a child not only has a good role model, but a model of a healthy relationship. Growing up with only one parent it could mean that the child is deprived of this.

mosc wrote:The reason more marriages are ending these days is because it's an outdated and inherently flawed concept based more in religion than society. Marriage historically is not really a union but a contract for indentured servitude of the female. If you have a biblical concept of women as little more than property, it makes perfect sense and the rate of "marriage failure" is quite small.
I always thought the important part of marriage was the permanence. It's a relationship that two people have decided they are going to keep up forever, that commitment being, among other things, a solid basis to build a family on.

So it makes sense to me that marriage would be based in religion, with all that higher power and eternity stuff to attach it to.
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:I believe that everything can and must be joked about.
Hawknc wrote:I like to think that he hasn't left, he's just finally completed his foe list.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 13 guests