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.
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.
You have no facts to suggest people haven't become more selfish.
"You have no facts that show it is socially unacceptable to be single or divorced in rural areas."
Do I really need to go into the socioeconomic and cultural differences between large urban sprawls and small rural areas? Is this a thing that you seriously don't understand?
Here, I'll just go the simple route with something you can look up if you want: Urban Areas = More Liberal = More Accepting of Divorce/Homosexuality/Whatever Other Thing. Rural Areas = More Conservative = Less Accepting of Divorce/Homosexuality/Whatever Other Thing. Conservatism, by its very nature, values the 'sanctity of marriage' in the states, and tends to be centered in rural areas.
You can look up voting maps, if you want, for any year you like, and see this trend if you have a solid grasp of where US major cities lie. Or you could just look up various voting trends performed by analysts.
Rural tends to vote conservative, urban tends to vote liberal.
You could argue that conservative doesn't necessarily mean that they disagree with divorces or that there's a greater social impetuous to marry young and stay married, and you'd be right in that it doesn't NECESSARILY mean that, however the general trend? That's how it goes. Indeed, the very definition of conservatism requires them to latch onto earlier times and social norms, letting them go slower than liberals. Like, you know, sanctity of marriage.
There's also the fact that rural areas tend to be more overwhelmingly christian, or more devoutly christian than urban centers, but I really don't feel like looking up maps and shit, so you'll have to take my word on it (or go look it up yourself).
"The whole tone of your response is oozing with emotional appeals."
Yeah, sorry, no, but "Correlation does not equal causation, and here are some examples of the data points you're missing" does not equal 'emotional appeal'. In fact, it's basically the opposite.
I didn't even argue whether young or old marriage was better or whether divorce was good or bad, or for any other specific point. I merely pointed out the blatant mistake that is using 'low divorce rate' as an equivalency for 'better marriages'.
"You have no facts to suggest people haven't become more selfish."
So, let me ask you a question: If people were more selfish, would not the rate of thefts and murders increase? If people were MORE out for themselves today than they were in the past why, then, are we seeing a drop in violent crime across the board?
Indeed, I can't be assed to find a chart for it, but go ahead and look up violent crimes over the last 100 years in the US and you'll see that we are currently at the lowest violent crime rate since before prohibition. How does that add up with 'people are more selfish'?
Further: Where is your evidence that they weren't? In the first half of this century divorce simply wasn't an option. Not socially. I'm not going to give you a history and social lesson of the era. If you doubt me, go read a book. I'm right on this one, but it'd take a lot of typing to prove it.
But hey, hell, let's just go by your OWN METRIC of selfishness. Divorce rates: Since 1980 they've been on a steady decline.
So... where was YOUR evidence?
"Unmarried cohabitations overall are less stable than marriages."
So... people who cohabitate and don't get married... probably because they... don't feel ready for marriage or don't think they want to marry the person they're with... are more likely to break up, and this is... news?
"The report also goes into length talking about people in marriages tend to have better overall health, and tend to produce healthier children."
A more accurate thing to say might be that people who are in love tend to have better overall health, etc. It's a stress thing. And not new. And has nothing to do with my post?
we can be nice, yes? Thank you!
As far as divorce being less acceptable in more conservative, rural areas, we can the change that modern America is bringing to these places: more and more of them are joining the trend toward a higher divorce rate.
Can we think about what is it that causes divorce, anyhow? What exactly causes a marriage to fall to pieces and why is it more common now to see a divorce within any marriage, young or old?
Can a divorce be avoided before a marriage even begins?
I find the first part of your response completely untrue and very weak.
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.
You create that bond by marrying because you've got a title and it's something you must adhere to.