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Why do we marry?

  • samchik1
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13 May 12 #330325 by samchik1
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So. Half of all marriages end in divorce and I''d wager a hefty sum that of the other fifty percent, a sizable proportion are miserable. It really makes me wonder what we are looking for from marriage in our current world?

It is pretty obvious that 1000, 100, maybe even fewer, years ago then perhaps one of the most important reasons to marry may simply have been that it was easier to survive as part of a union. Sure, there must have been more to it than that alone but breaking the union threatened survival. Add to that a much more widespread religious overtone to the union (and to society) and you also have a deep moral desire not to break your promise to God in the mix. Such reasons must have formed part of the "stronger glue" that seemed to unite married couples historically.

Today I think there is a simple word that has become the major problem with modern society - happiness. Yes. Fecking happiness. In our world it''s everything. We aspire to it. If we don''t have it...all we do is seek it. We are ultimately driven by it. And marriage has become swept up in this too. Why so many divorces now? Because people marry for happiness above all other reasons. A spouse us viewed as an acquisition that will quite simply "make you happier." So what does that mean? It means the yardstick by which you''ll judge this newly acquired spouse is your happiness...above everything else. So the other person''s remit becomes an impossible task - "make" you happy in as many areas of life as possible. Think they are failing? Get them out. Find someone or something else who can give you that happiness. Continue that relentless quest.

I know some will disagree with my premise here. But assuming it to hold even a little truth, I will continue on and say that I have trouble with the above on two counts. First, I think it is a dangerous and gross mistake to suggest that life should be all about happiness seeking. We will be let down by life (and by marriage) if all we are in it for is to experience happiness. Secondly, and more importantly, if the intended goal of marriage becomes happiness based we will soon find that every marriage ends in divorce. Why do we not already have a 100% divorce rate? Because there happen to be a few people left in our world (a declining breed) who marry for different reasons...for better or worse. Such people''s goal from marriage is not their immediate happiness. It is the formation of a partnership that will serve to protect, support, love, and stand by the parties involved for the duration. Such people maybe even understand that there is often great happiness around the corner from periods of adversity. That if they throw in the towel because they are not happy NOW...they may sacrifice a greater happiness that might ONLY come from getting over the adversity they currently face.

But alas, I fear that most people today are what left wondering called "pleasure butterflies." He was right. For me, if happiness becomes the purpose of life we as a society will be taking an immensely dangerous course. We will lose sight of the fact that happiness and it''s opposite (whatever we call it) are inextricable...

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13 May 12 #330327 by samchik1
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...and I''ll add to that. Happiness and adversity are two peas in a pod because adversity ultimately IS the loss of happiness. Conversely, happiness often comes most strongly from CONQUERING or triumph over adversity. A society that seeks to find pleasure and avoid pain fails to recognize the above...the result will NOT be a happier population...quite the opposite.

Rant over.

  • Marshy_
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13 May 12 #330332 by Marshy_
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Hi Sam. U must be recovering. As you are starting to look forwards. Good to see.

Divorce rates are slightly over 60% in this country. Allegedly, we have the highest divorce rates in Europe. Not something we should be proud of. Its very easy to get a divorce here. Most people chose the UB option and the average length of a marriage is 12 years. Divorce rates did drop for a while during the recession. But they are on the rise again, esp for the over 60''s who have seen the biggest rise of late. But its been around 60% for a very long time.

I think in the past, people married to have children as it was unnaceptable to have children out of wedlock. And a women with kids on her own was seen as destitute. I think meaning that she had no visible source of income. A man. And it was thought that a women on her own had to be a prostitute. I know, bonkers. But thats what the good old days were like. Bad in other words.

Some blame the throw away society that we live in. They have a point. Some blame the easy quicky divorce system. I think however that a lot of divorces happen is becuase we as couples, do not choose a mate properly. We seem to take more time over choosing a toaster than we do a mate for life. Its down to does she or he make me laugh. If they are a laugh then they are all right. Right? But this must be tempered with if someone makes you laugh then they make you happy and when we are young, the person we have met and want to marry, have no history and nothing to go on to prove there track record. Bit of a tough choice..

I am happy. I can be happy in a field full of mud. I could be happy in a shop doorway or a 5 star hotel room at the Ritz. I am just a happy person. Full stop. But I dont need anyone to make me happy. I can do that all on my own. And if I chose a partner, I wouldnt do it cos they made me laugh. I would want someone that is solid and I would think that they wouldnt let me down. They dont have to be megga thin. Or spectaculary pretty (allthough it does help :P). Just someone right for me. Thats all.

I dont have a problem with marriage. Except I wouldnt do that again. There is no need anyway. And I am not marriege marerial anyway. I have been on my own too long to be with anyone anyway. I dont think anyone could stand my bonkers life style. But hey. C

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13 May 12 #330342 by hawaythelads
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Married for happiness?
DON''T BE SO ABSURD SIR :blink:
Every one knows it''s so a gentleman can live in abject misery with a nagging wife.
No hope of a BJ ever again.
That''s just pre nuptial trickery.:blink:

I think you''ll find this answers your question Sir.
All the best
His Royal Hawayness xx

  • flowerofscotland
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13 May 12 #330343 by flowerofscotland
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Hi samchik,

Well the question is "why do we marry?", I for many reasons, but the main one being, that I married because I loved my partner. Truly, madly, deeply. That was the long and the short of it, warts an all!

Yes Marshy, he was (is) a great laugh, he floated my boat and I thought I did his. But the analogy of the toaster is a mighty fine way of putting it. What did I really know in my twentysomethings of long term relationships? Only that of my own father''s infidelity, which ultimately resulted in my own parents divorce. So no, my history should have learned me the lessons, but it didn''t. I now only find history has repeated itself.

I married not because of the young girls dream of a big white wedding, because I did not have this, in fact I did everything back to front so it was quite unconventional. But, I chose to place my faith in the marital vows that we both took on the same day at the same time in the same place. I thought he too wanted the commitment to build on our friendship, our mutual love of our hobby, our faith in each other, but ultimately the mutual trust and respect that our relationship would be built on (or at least so I thought). I wanted to raise our children in a safe and happy environment, building on the same values that at the time I believed we both had of good manners, dignity and respect as well as many more. I thought we sung off the same hymn sheet!

I wanted to grow and learn with my husband, I wanted to experience all the things that life would throw at us, good and bad, and be stronger as an individual as well as a couple. I wanted to have my family around us during holidays, Christmases, anniversaries and when eventually my grandchildren came along. I wanted so much to grow old with my STBX, because I really believed that he was my Soulmate. How wrong was I?!

I still agree, that relationships breakdown these days for the slightest of reasons and those who continue to profit from the sanctity of marriage are those who paint a dream of ''What the Celebrities are doing'', this in turn can lead to problems from day one, too much too young and far too much debt. Young ones these days place far too much on the Celebrity lifestyle. A disposable society, always chasing the next best and biggest thing.

I fortunately was not under that pressure, but after 20 years it still backfired, regardless.

There is nobody here on Wiki, regardless of circumstance, that did not have hope when they got married. We chose to ignore the swear word at the time of ''divorce'', it can never happen to us! How we placed our faith in not being alone, sharing and caring for the one we thought was it!

So to sum it up I think I married in ''hope''.

Take care for now FoS x

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13 May 12 #330347 by sillywoman
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Met a lady when I was walking with my dogs today. I recognised her from school days many years ago. I asked about her, she was distraught - husband had left her only 7 months ago because he said they had grown apart. She has since found out he has another woman. They are both 54, he retires from the police next year - she has no pension as he had said when they married 27 years ago that his pension would be more than enough for their dotage.

There are 3 children - 2 at uni (girls) and a boy of 14. Apparently the boy is totally destroyed.

She said their sex life had dried up a year or so ago and he said it was the pressure of work and now she realises it is because he was being fulfilled elsewhere.

The lady in question (ow) was a friend of theirs whose husband had died. The lady worked with the husband and the rest is now history.

How can this man do this to his 14 year old boy, let alone his wife and daughters?

They have been married 27 years - the womans life is now in bits and the young lad, well what message is his dad sending him? So very sad.

  • jjones123
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13 May 12 #330348 by jjones123
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A thought provoking post, Samchik.

I''ve also thought to myself, ''why did I do it... (sob) ? why did I get myself muddled up with this woman who wants to see me out on the street?'' I have to answer the same way that Flower did - due to that temporary insanity that is love. This was a form of insanity that caused me to emphasise my ex''s good points (there were some...), and ignore the bad points.

In retrospect, I made a bad decision. I married for love, my ex married (if I''m going to be brutally honest) on the basis of an economic decision: that I was a decent enough prospect. I was also foolish enough to believe that I was loved. I guess I hoped. In essence, love made me blind.

And I think I''m at the point when I''ve forgiven myself for simply being human. It isn''t my job to forgive my ex, however, that''s another thread entirely...

On the subject of happiness, I''m of the opinion that it''s something that we can really assess when we''re looking at it through the lenses of time and experience. I can now look at my times at college fondly: I know I was happy then but at the time, I felt the world was a pretty tough place.

I totally get your point about the ''slings and arrows'' of life being able to help us to realise what we had and have been through. I''m of the opinion that life isn''t about seeking happiness. Life is about living and feeling and experiencing everything that comes with existence. Rain, sunshine and thunder: I welcome them all.

There''s this view that we''ve all got this happiness ''set point'', and that it''s a fallacy that it can be changed (especially by doing stuff like getting married). If you get married and you''re generally negative, I hold the view that you''re likely to be generally negative (or again become negative) within that marriage (when the heady days of romantic love wears off).

My own ex once raged at me saying that I didn''t make her happy anymore. The key words in that sentence were ''her'', not ''I''. I came to see that my ex was the one that was at fault, not me. Like Marshy I came to realise that I was able to generate my own happiness (in the face of criticism and complaints) - it must be that my setpoint is pretty high.

In the bigger picture my ex decided to end the marriage based on an economic judgement; the same reason why she began the marriage in the first place.

There are reasons to marry that are honest and those that are not. Love is the only honest reason, in my opinion. When it comes to my own marriage, I chose to enter into it for the right reason. Had my ex done the same, things might have been very different.

Best,
JJ

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