I knew some people back in high school that decided to get married either during school or immediately after graduation. It seemed a little...strange, to be honest. I myself got engaged before the end of my senior year but I'm Muslim and we tend to get married young (but yes, even then, I'm a little younger than young.) I noticed that most of these kids ended up not attending a college, not finding a career and not doing what they wanted to do. I always wonder if it is the people who are in these situations or is it the situations themselves that help those marriages become sources of unhappiness.
My question is, is marriage really something a young person is capable to face? Does a complex, working relationship require a certain age or only a certain level of maturity? And are there particular things that a person should look for in a spouse, or is it really all about "I love you forever n ever n ever"?
Hope you guys have some interesting thoughts.
I find the first part of your response completely untrue and very weak. The bond of marriage is not independent of the actual ceremony. What has happened in the past few decades has turned marriage into a kind of unfavorable option that can be overcome by simply trying to enjoy what a married relationship would bring outside of that religious/legal institution. People have become very self-centered and very attached to their freedom, and marriage has become the very last thing you do, if you must, because people just don't "feel" like it's time, or it's the right person. To be completely honest, love, whatever that means, doesn't have too much to do with it because the idea we call love now has very little to do with compromise with other people, for the sake of other people. I mean, where does the bond come from? It doesn't just appear when you find a lucky match. Yes, there are people that you are more likely to click with but with one of those people you can create a bond and make it work, letting it satisfy you and your partner. It isn't that unattainable or random. You create that bond by marrying because you've got a title and it's something you must adhere to. You can't just up and leave, saying, "we aren't married." Marriage is something that makes you think twice. It forces you to behave, almost.
Also, marriage isn't what you do when you've completely established "the bond" with someone. Marriage is something you use to grow with someone. People think this is madness, and this is opening up a whole new can of worms, but a lot of the time arranged marriages end up working because a spouse isn't chosen because s/he is someone you are in love with; s/he is someone you can FALL in love with because of their nature.
[The following is general statement]: people abandon bonds when they find there is less and less in it for them and their partner is not responding in the way they want. I completely agree that sometimes, you need help from other people to assist communication, but if a bond is so seriously damaged somewhere down the road, it is either because a great tragedy has occured or there wasn't much of a real bond in the first place.
One question: like you mentioned in your first paragraph, what creates the bond?
Well, I didn't think I was stating facts..
But you make a good point: what exactly IS a successful marriage? It can't possibly be a relationship that doesn't end; that's hardly a fair measuring stick. The reason I mentioned this particular bit about arranged marriages is because from what I've heard, the majority of South Asian marriages are still arranged--however, not FORCED. I think maybe that's one thing you are confusing. Many, many people are set up in arranged meetings but, though it was a common practice, they are no longer forced.
That isn't to say that stupid mentality is eradicated though. There are many young men in America that are forced to go into a career they don't want for the paycheck and many young women forced to marry them despite how they feel. But, this is a completely random offshoot to what I was actually talking about.
It's not about love! Jeez, define love. Why does everyone think it's about love, and then marriage? What is marriage anyway? We should have defined these terms a long time ago. What is marriage and what is love? Because they are not simultaneous, but love can spring from marriage. A true and strong love.
Unless you've been through a divorce, which maybe you have, you won't know how incredibly painful it is for both the parties involved and those that care about the parties involved. You're ripping apart a family--and sometimes for good reason, I don't knock divorce, it's totally legitimate--and in no way should that be taken lightly.
As far as human beings 'becoming' self-centered, I'd have to say that part is true and I support it. We can see it in the evolution of popular culture everywhere and I mention pop culture because it affects society more than we can imagine. It's all about me, me and me; what do I want from this relationship? How do I get the attention, the material wealth, the emotional support? Basically, how do I get this fool to deliver, and if he can't, he can kiss my ass. Basically.
I hope you slept well, mate. I barely slept... and now off to work! -___-
"The reason I mentioned this particular bit about arranged marriages is because from what I've heard, the majority of South Asian marriages are still arranged--however, not FORCED."
This is true, but there's still a tremendous amount of social pressure to accept the arranged marriage, and the entire social structure of marriage is different. They think we're weird for choosing our own husbands/wives. It'd really be too much work to go into all the difference, but really my point was just that the metrics are completely different there, so we probably shouldn't discuss them too much unless you want to start a complete side discussion on it.
Which I'd be fine with, but you know. Busy guy, getting to the meat.
"It's not about love!"
Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic, but if you're talking about marriages and eternal bonds, I HOPE it's about love.
"Jeez, define love."
Scientifically? Philosophically? Poetically?
If a: It is an attraction between two people that causes all sorts of neurons to fire in the brain and, for quite some time, can be more easily equated to addiction than any other affliction.
Philosophically? It is that which gives our lives meaning, that pushes us to be more than just animals smashing rocks together, to strive to be better than what we are, but also what drives us to be monsters. It's one of our greatest driving forces, culturally and socially, as a species.
Poetically? It is the spark of life. It's that perfect moment when you look into another person's eyes and you know that you've never actually been alive before this moment. It's two souls coming as close to complete understanding as possible. It is two disparate individuals meeting in perfect harmony. The greatest tragedy is its often ephemeral nature.
"Unless you've been through a divorce, which maybe you have, you won't know how incredibly painful it is for both the parties involved and those that care about the parties involved. You're ripping apart a family--and sometimes for good reason, I don't knock divorce, it's totally legitimate--and in no way should that be taken lightly."
I'm just a fucked up kid from a broken home... sob sob.
But seriously, yes, it fucks everything up, and no it shouldn't be taken lightly. But as a fucked up kid from a broken home, I can tell you it's still better than the alternative. Life was hard for a few months (emotionally... years financially) after my parents split up, but after that? After that I was the happiest I had been in years.
"As far as human beings 'becoming' self-centered, I'd have to say that part is true and I support it. We can see it in the evolution of popular culture everywhere and I mention pop culture because it affects society more than we can imagine. It's all about me, me and me; what do I want from this relationship? How do I get the attention, the material wealth, the emotional support? Basically, how do I get this fool to deliver, and if he can't, he can kiss my ass. Basically."
Yeah, I responded to the other guy first 'cause he was more of a dick, but uh, just look on over at that response and pretend I was being nicer about it.
"I hope you slept well, mate."
Not really! But thanks for the thought.
Like I said, I don't knock divorce, and no one should. It is both a legal and a religious institution (in my eyes) and there are sometimes absolutely no alternatives. Better suffer some part of your life than to witness it day after day for the sake of keeping an image and proving marriage works. Some marriages do not; I think we can all agree there are exceptions to every generalization. In that case Julian, I'm glad your parents got a divorce. But, like I ask in a comment below, could that divorce (or any) have been avoided by considering things other than the blinding, all-encompassing "love", which is poetically illogical and dreamy?
I do hope you read the rest of the article you cited concerning the drop in divorce rates, because it continues on to say the reason divorce rates are dropping is because of the lack of marriage; couples prefer to live together rather than perform a court/church marriage. So, really, it doesn't make sense to measure selfishness in people by alluding to a decreasing divorce trend. It's the same causation/correlation business: you cannot tell me that because divorce rates are going down, people have become less selfish. Indeed they may be more selfish as they are hanging on to their independence as strongly as they can by keeping the title of "married couple" far out of reach and leaving room to run, if need be, without needing a lawyer, a lot of time and a LOT of money. That sounds harsh, I know, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying.
I agree that divorce was a hard pressed option in earlier years and truly it comes down to a mix of social and political opinions, greatly influenced by Christianity, all across the world. However, let's bring this to a hypothetical stance: what if divorce was NOT a hard pressed option and it were completely available, if need be? If a marriage between a young couple were to fail (define fail however you'd like), then divorce would simply be the next step and everyone would be happy. What then, of marriage? What is the sanctity of marriage? Is there any worth left in this great, life-changing decision, or does one simply jump to marriage because they are "in love" and want to say I do and enjoy their honeymoon period?
One great way we can work to reduce any kind of failure in marriage--work to reduce, not eradicate--is by making a better, more logical and fair decision, young or old. AND YES, there IS something in ya head when yous a kid that makes you a little crazy, a little socialist, a little dreamy, and that's okay. That's where we look to adults, parents, experienced people.
AND YES, there IS something in ya head when yous a kid that makes you a little crazy, a little socialist, a little dreamy, and that's okay.
"I do hope you read the rest of the article you cited concerning the drop in divorce rates, because it continues on to say the reason divorce rates are dropping is because of the lack of marriage;"
Oh I did, but that could just as easily be people being more responsible as it could them being more selfish. And any metric I can find for selfishness shows humans are basically at the same level as always.
But lets get away from metrics and just talk about psychology because that's what selfishness is, right? Part of basic human psychology?
Indeed, it is our inherent selfishness that pushes humanity to do all things. This is the most basic of basic psychologies. A human being acts either to receive pleasure or avoid pain, and in a relationship both of those reasons are firing full force regardless of what society says about 'me me me'. We fear losing a connection with another, and we seek the pleasure of having one.
And the thing is that while societal trends can influence psychology, they can't alter it completely. Not something on such a base level, anyway.
Sociologists and anthropologists really enjoy to point out what's 'different' in various cultures. Talk about how alien they are.
But the fact is that different cultures still have a lot in common. Cultures the world over see white as a sign of peace and good, and black as a sign of evil. Red means aggression. They fear spiders and snakes. They tend to believe in some form of love. They find killing children to be a greater crime than killing adults. They equate large breasts and hips with fertility. There's honestly a huge list of things that cultures just keep the same.
The reason these things stay the same is human psychology and shared human experience regardless of sociological norms. Black is dark. We can't see well in the dark. Thus the dark becomes the unknown, and all humans, regardless of culture, instinctively fear (and are driven towards) the unknown. Black resembling dark, then represents it, which itself represents the unknown... and its danger and seduction.
In the same degree, selfishness leads straight back to the common human experience, at least in so much as it pertains to relationships.
Regardless of how much our cultures may scream 'consume consume consume' or 'me me me' we are still driven by our inherent selfish needs to avoid pain and gain pleasure to give to those we are forming relationships with, to compromise, because at the end of the day we all want it to work out. No one wants to break up with a girl/boyfriend. No one wants to get a divorce.
It's the most basic human psychology, and I've yet to see any compelling reason to believe that has changed recently.
Especially with crime on the downturn and charity having been increasing until 2008 (when the recession hit). Any metric I can find shows that selfishness in general is either staying level or decreasing.
Certainly not increasing at such a rate as to destroy relationships.
"But, like I ask in a comment below, could that divorce (or any) have been avoided by considering things other than the blinding, all-encompassing "love", which is poetically illogical and dreamy?"
Firstly: No. Probably not. The marriage came about because of me, mostly. Not love. Not really.
Secondly: What use is marriage in the modern world if you don't do it for love? Socially it's pretty outdated, honestly. In the modern world it's entirely possible for a woman to support herself without a man (or other woman, though that's not legal in the states, so), and in most countries to even support herself and a child with some governmental aid. So there's no financial reason... Studies have never sufficiently shown that children raised by a single parent are worse off than those raised by two parents (they always compare broken homes to happy homes, not broken homes to unhappy homes, or homes that were never put together in the first place), so there's no social reason.
So what's left? If not marrying as a sign of devotion for someone you care about... why? What's the point? The only reason is to make yourself happy, and the only reason marriage would do that is if you're in love with your partner.
"However, let's bring this to a hypothetical stance: what if divorce was NOT a hard pressed option and it were completely available, if need be? If a marriage between a young couple were to fail (define fail however you'd like), then divorce would simply be the next step and everyone would be happy. What then, of marriage? What is the sanctity of marriage? Is there any worth left in this great, life-changing decision, or does one simply jump to marriage because they are "in love" and want to say I do and enjoy their honeymoon period?"
It's always been my stance that marriage never HAD sanctity, at least not in the way it is generally understood, to be honest. I don't believe in a god of any sort, so it has no sanctity under god. I don't believe that the government has the ability to render something sacred.
The only importance that marriage has ever had, as a social institution, is the importance that we, as people, put on it. Now the way you word this it makes it sound like you think this is a bad thing? That marriage SHOULD mean something, inherently?
What exactly IS special about marriage to you? Uber has already shown through personal experience that the 'bond' of marriage can be reproduced without doing so. I would argue that any bond that exists in marriage exists because of the devotion, trust, and, yes, love of those in the relationship, certainly not from a piece of paper signed by a judge.
So what is special about it, beyond your own personal projections onto it?
That said: I do hope to get married someday, and I don't plan on getting divorced at any point after that. I have my own projections that I put upon marriage: as a promise. A symbol of devotion. As two people saying that they will always be there for each other, thick or thin.
But that's my own personal impetuous, and I don't expect that the world at large should share it. They can do what they like.
"AND YES, there IS something in ya head when yous a kid that makes you a little crazy, a little socialist, a little dreamy, and that's okay."
You say this like it's a bad thing. Controlled socialism (I.E. norwegian countries) has been shown in studies to produce a much happier and more productive populace than those skewing more toward pure capitalism (the US).
...And how old are you? Because I'm pretty sure I'm like the second oldest person on this entire site.
(I.E. norwegian countries)
What then, of marriage? What is the sanctity of marriage? Is there any worth left in this great, life-changing decision
No. There is none whatsoever. I'm glad you've finally realized this.
ain't it sad, Kenny.
And Uber/Decepticon [Julian?] I was only playing on the idea that young liberal people are looked down on as "socialists" because they believe in such a bright theory. I've got no problem with it, just that it in application, there are far greater risks because of [hey, hey] our human selfishness.
DeceptiJulian, selfishness is definitely a psychological issues that lives and thrives within all of us. We can't get away from it, but surely human beings can learn to curb it. Our need to survive can be boiled down to selfishness or a great lack of empathy, but truly, it is simply animal instinct, and animals are selfish creatures. You will hardly see another animal offer to sacrifice themselves for one of their own, unless it is a mother protecting her children. But humans aren't only animals. We've got the reasoning that they don't.
"No one wants to break up, no one wants a divorce"--yes, of course. But these days, it's such an open option. It's so acceptable, and when I say that, I mean people hardly care that something tragic has happened. That said, divorce will happen, humans will move on, and people will find better people to love and be loved by.
Though selfishness pervades our world psychologically, I wonder: aren't we continously in a battle, however difficult, against our deepest, darkest desires to be selfish, unforgiving, and vicious, even?
Does this mean relationships aren't being destroyed? Things are the same? What has changed then? Because it seems like everyone is breaking up, getting together, breaking up, moving out, moving in, getting divorced, running away. I'm not seeing a whole lot of good and yes, I realize I don't see everything always everywhere, but I see it in my society, in my friends, and on the internet. It's okay to do what you want because this is freedom, but what is freedom if you can't use it safely?
Okay, as far marrying for love: if love includes respect, compromise, and sincerity, great. If you're thinking in the back of your head, "yeah sure, till death do we part...and if not, we can get a divorce", I don't think that's love, really. Love is one part selfishness, two parts empathy. If you can't hurt for someone, I don't believe you love them as much as you think. And this I know because I saw it in myself (personal emotional plug, ouch).
Marriage is still relevant to those who think like I do, which is, I suppose, traditional. I haven't dated, wouldn't truly like to, and plan to marry someone who agrees with me on the most important things. The reason why a marriage like that could even work is because we aren't doing it just for us; since my marriage would technically be within a religious context, I would marry my husband and plan to love him and support a family with him not only because I care for him, but because I care for my faith and for the idea that God wants to see us succeed. For the sake of God, I'd try my hardest, give more than I'd get, and have faith that if my husband and I both have this aim, there's nothing we couldn't get past with each other. Plus, if this were our goal, he wouldn't beat me and I'd never key his car. Things just wouldn't get so bad because we aren't just doing it for ourselves, for love, for our community or for a good image. We're doing it for something we find greater value in. If the big stuff matches up, the little stuff will fall into place: I can get used to his faults, he WILL get used to mine, and because of that, we'll find each other beautiful.
As far as what value marriage has outside of religion, there is always the strength of the relationship, the family unit, and the legal benefits. But, if some think the bond of a relationship between a co-habiting, unmarried couple is strong enough, it is hard for us to agree because I don't believe that bond is ultimately going to be as fulfilling as a marred couple's bond. The family I have, the families I've met, would never be as they are if the parents were not married. There is no question. There' s a sort of finality, a settlement in marriage. Where games end. You make a decision not leaving room to back out.
That said, if he's a dick, I'd kick him out. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stay unmarried because I mean, y'know... you only sleep with your spouse, and, I mean, a woman has needs. Y'know? Yeahh, you know.
So that's why I think there's something worth it in marriage. I would do it for the sake of God, firstly. My intention would be to please Him. Before you get your knickers in a twist, as a selfish human, I would marry for the sake of having a husband who wouldn't lie to me, who would respect me and my parents, who would be a father to my children, and who would protect me.
Also I'd get married for wearing the pretty dresses, being cutesy newlyweds, getting gifts, showing off my ring (but not really showing off) and all of that fun stuff. Married people have fun. Marriage is a celebration, it's a new beginning. It's like you get a best friend for your whole life. And yeah. I didn't want to get married, mind you. In high school, I wanted to be a NatGeo correspondent and travel the world, join the PeaceCorps, not have children and basically live life alone, learning and loving everything.
But then I met someone. And things changed. And now, I want to get married, soon, for a lot of reasons. This doesn't mean I won't get a masters in ass-kicking and be an independent individual as well.
I think we've exhausted this conversation, seeing as how I brought religion into it. A big, big reason, because I do believe God has a hand in the success of people, fair or not. And let's not discuss the question of God--that'll go on forever! And I see no point in mercilessly arguing about a topic that might annoy people and bring up personal attacks. Eh, unnecessary.
I'm...young. At least I'd like to think so; all the babies I knew are going to middle school so I feel like I'm 40. </3
Studies have never sufficiently shown that children raised by a single parent are worse off than those raised by two parents (they always compare broken homes to happy homes, not broken homes to unhappy homes, or homes that were never put together in the first place), so there's no social reason.
Your facts and logical points aren't very thorough either. You have no facts that show it is socially unacceptable to be single or divorced in rural areas. You are just going off speculation. The whole tone of your response is oozing with emotional appeals. You have no facts to suggest people haven't become more selfish. The fact is divorce rates have consistently gone up since the first half of the last century. The average age for first marriages has also gone up. This is strictly a correlation, and not causation, so we are all free to speculate the causes for these facts.
Here are some other actual facts gathered from the US center for disease control:
Unmarried cohabitations overall are less stable than marriages. The probability of a first marriage ending in separation or divorce within 5 years is 20 percent, but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49 percent. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33 percent, compared with 62 percent for cohabitations.
The report also goes into length talking about people in marriages tend to have better overall health, and tend to produce healthier children.