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Hi,

I want to start a discussion along the lines of the title of this post.

Marriage - we are conditioned by society (and religion but I don't want to involve religion in this discussion) that Marriage is the way to live your life and raise a family.

Well - I would like to propose that it isn't working. Divorce rates are over 50% in some places and a read of these forums just show how common it is for people to be unhappy and just "hanging in there" with marriages. I dare say that if those "hanging in there" made the step divorce rates would be closer to 80%.

Why are we torturing ourselves? Is marriage the only way? Historically, we have evolved from tribes where there wasn't such a concept of monogamy as a marriage demands. The children were brought up by the tribe - and hence the stress on any parent was much reduced. The child was also better served by having multiple caregivers in case one of them was injured or killed.

I am not suggesting we go back to tribal living, but what I'd like to question is why are we pushing/accepting this dysfunctional notion of marriage when the stats show it isn't working? How many kids will have to grow up with issues from the stigma and consequence from being from a "broken home"? Is there a better way for us to live together and raise children than the marriage model?

What say you?

CW :scratchhead:
 

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Not all marriages are broken and you idea of a utopia where everyone is a father and mother to children has as many or more issues in todays society. How many people out there should not be parents, how many verbally, physically, mentally and sexually abuse children? How many more children would be exposed to this, your way?

Many parents are naturally more protective of there own children and there own family. The tribal ideal is faulty at best even for love and life. How would it work if you could have children and have no responciblity to them? Or to any mate?

Every society in the history of the world has had a sense of marriage, bar none.

We have a system that works a good deal of the time. More people are marriied then divorced. Sometimes it takes more then one try. Divorce has only exploded because you no longer have to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner. You no longer have to sit in silence as they cheat on you.

Now I think as a society we could do more to improve the system we have. Bringing back courtship papers having to be engaged for a year or more before getting married. Having the minimum age raised to 21. Having counsiling before marriage. Having a two year wait period to get divorced. All things we could add to marriage to change it for the better.

I also think it is more common today for kids to grow up in a broken home as opposed to a complete one. It isn't that they are outcast anymore.

Marriage shouldn't become part of our throw away society. ALso divorce in the USA isn't over 50% that was a projection that has been forwarded as fact which it isn't. About 40% of all first marriages end in divorce. That means that 60% of all first time marriages never fail until one partner dies. Additionally it isn't illegal for a person to get a divorce and is rather cheap and easy to do.

The media frequently reports that 50% of American marriages will end in divorce. This number appears to have been derived from very skimpy data related to a single county or state. However, it appears to be reasonable close to the probable value. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that "Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue. However, that is only a projection and a prediction."

11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.
Additionly only 25% or one in four people actually get divorced in the first place. Do you know that the baby boomers where less likely to divorce the the generation before them?

just some food for thought that many marriages are very happy. Many that come to these forums are looking for help or better yet answers to lifes problems.

draconis
 

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Marriage is a interesting thing...

My wife and I been happily married for 12 years. Why? I have no Idea, I guess because we communicate, we do not expect anything "great" we take what life throws at us and we roll with it.

We are very relaxed and loose people. Sure we have issues like any other couple, but we get over it, we move on.

The whole"tribe" thing can equate to a neighborhood. Good neighbors help with Children, I had 10 kids playing at my house today, the kids jump from house to house, all the parents get to know each other, there is a sense of community.

I just feel people expect to much from their partner, I expect nothing from mine.

life is what you make it, yea sometimes I want to run away...that is part of it.

but a few days later everything is fine.

Communication and trust are big factors.
 

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There are too many "fairy tales" involved with conditioning for marriage. Since these idealistic views are apparently needed to convince people to marry, we have to assume that most people would not do it!

The current concept of marriage....the "for the rest of your life" concept, was developed when the lifespan was a lot shorter, and women were forced into dependency by social mores.

I think marriages can be successful if each party balances the emotional aspects with the practical aspects.

Marriage has always been a financial arrangement, which is why little girls were taught those fairy tales. The fact that they were becoming someone else's property made life miserable once the wedding gown was put into storage, but the cold hard facts were hidden from them just as long as possible.

Women still look for the "one", the "soul mate", and many other constructs that can't possibly be maintained in a sane world, so they give up too much when entering the marriage, only to find out that their man is still...a man, who doesn't have the hormonal background conducive to a monogamous relationship.

These are hard lessons but women are no longer as financially dependent on men as they once were. Marriage now fails because one of the parties refuses to be owned anymore!
 

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wow sagemother, scale back the manhate just a tad. in my case, I am headed towards divorce because my wife cheated on me and has decided to leave me for him. why? because she doesn't want to be monogamous anymore. she is listening to her hormones. we were married for nearly 8 years and in serious discussions to start a family this year. maybe turning 30 and the prospects of really settling down spooked her, but for whatever reason, she is now in the arms of a 24 year old coworker. Theirs is a relationship based solely on emotion and sex. Scary thing is, they have both talked about getting married and having kids. What the hell? A man who broke up a marriage and a woman who forsook her vows are now talking about making them to one another? i was the caretaker of the relationship. i sacrificed for her and was there for her always. perhaps that was my mistake. i put her needs before mine, as did she, so the marriage ended up being only about her. but to say that men don't have the hormonal make up to be monogamous is preposterous. maybe my ego is stronger than my id, but i had no problems staying faithful to my wife despite getting married at 21.

i do believe that marriage is an illogical choice to make since biologically it doesn't make sense. however, it is a choice. society does place a lot of pressure on people to be married, but i do think if two people enter into marriage prepared and aware, that it can be the most wonderful thing in the world.

i am scarred by what has happened to me, and i will most certainly need time, and therapy to get over the trust and security issues i now have, but i still hope and pray that one day, i will meet a woman with the same principles and expectations as mine and i will once again be able to be married. hopefully, if i get a next time, it will work out a little better.
 

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Thanks BrokenFrag from another Y chromesonian. I too resent being lumped into a sub-hormonal species unable to control their urges. We are not stud lions roaming the wild looking to mate with as many females as possible. We are part of the human race and as such we possess a soul. The soul makes us capable of feeling love, loyalty and a sense of right and wrong. Plenty of women step out of marriages as you have found. In my 22 year marriage I never strayed from my wife even though the nature of my profession allows me the cloak of travel to provide opportunity and secrecy. But I have never been tempted. Sure there are plenty of spouses who take advantage of a geographical wedding band but it is not a men’s only club. I know many men and women dedicated to their spouse and would never consider breaking their marital vows, no matter how hard things might be at home. Is the institution of marriage an antique? Absolutely, as many great things are. Is a marriage a tougher challenge in today’s society? Again absolutely. That doesn’t me it’s time to toss it. I believe in lucky couples who find each other, build a life, raise children and grow old together. My own parents just celebrated their 60th anniversary. It is a wonderful process even with its trials and tribulations. My biggest hope in life now is that my own marriage survives for the rest of my days on earth. Marriage isn’t outdated, it’s just tougher to be successful in today’s world.
 

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You would deny that males are geared for propagation with as many partners as possible?

BTW, its isn't "man hate" to say what has gone on in society.
 

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Firstly, I want to say that SageMother is far from man-hating. Her opinions are always very considered and intelligent, and I am always impressed with her ideas or advice whether I personally agree with her or not.
As to the subject of marriage and my opinion, I know that I one of the very fortunate few who are totally and completely happy with my marriage; I am astounded and humbled that a man as good and great as my husband loves me and wants to spend his life with me. Familiar with Paul McCartney's song "Maybe I'm Amazed"? He was looking in my window when he wrote it:D.
As to "conditioned" to marriage; you have a point. The "marriage" that is presented in the popular culture (and therefore in real life...brrr...) is some kind of sad and mad bastardization of the institution that makes my skin crawl. Do people really believe this ****, I ask. Yes, says my husband, and we hold each other the closer.
What are the qualities that other marriages so sadly lack? Respect, first and foremost. Honesty, sharing, humour, empathy, lack of ego, loyalty, selflessness, among many other essential qualities, and just plain old NEEDING of each other.
 

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Yes I would deny that men are by design looking to couple with every passing woman. Most men love nothing more than to wake each morning and go to bed each night with the woman that they love. That’s how it’s always been with me and most of the men I know. I stated my opinion in my last post. That’s enough.
 

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There are too many "fairy tales" involved with conditioning for marriage. Since these idealistic views are apparently needed to convince people to marry, we have to assume that most people would not do it!
These ideals in our society are not aimed solely at women but men too. Marriage may not be for every one, nor the idea of one partner but if you can't do it then don't. If I remember you are married and speak well of your husband, how is that?


Women still look for the "one", the "soul mate", and many other constructs that can't possibly be maintained in a sane world, so they give up too much when entering the marriage, only to find out that their man is still...a man, who doesn't have the hormonal background conducive to a monogamous relationship
Wow, what a way to lump all men together. I have never cheated or strayed from my wife of ten years nor did I ever with any woman I was EVER with. Generalizations and stereo types such as this is the very problem of society today.

draconis
 

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You would deny that males are geared for propagation with as many partners as possible?

BTW, its isn't "man hate" to say what has gone on in society.
Ok, I can't stay away. If you are going to pull out the whole "males have to spread their seed" theory. Then I have to dig back into my Biology major and bring up the sperm competition theory as well. As much as males try to have sex with as many partners to ensure that their genes survive, in many primates (which humans are) it is just as much the nature of females to have sex with as many partners to make sure the strongest genes survive. Have sex with multiple partners and let the strongest sperm win. Yes, society views men who are sexually active as studs, while women who do the same are viewed as ****s. That is unfortunate and I do not condone or agree with those labels. However, to lump all men together and to turn your heads on the nature of women as well, is hypocritical and does nothing to get rid of the stereotypes that you fight against.

Marriage, love, fidelity are all choices that we make that run counter to our genetic and ancestral makeup. It is the conflict between id (or basic animal instincts) and our ego (our consciousness that allows us to make decisions). My wife could not suppress the urge for her to have sex with another man. In fact, I found out that she has been tempted all through out the marriage and finally gave in earlier this year. If you met her, you have thought her the most intelligent, kind, caring and compassionate person you would ever meet. But she is now sleeping with some homewrecking "thug" from Brooklyn because she no longer finds me attractive anymore. She hides her morally reprehensible behavior behind the "in love" mask. She is just "following her heart." Her heart is telling her to forsake her vows? He heart is telling her to make out with him when I am not around. Her heart is telling her that sex with him is more important the discussing the problems with her marriage to me and working on them? She married for a reason, and we were happy for a long time. She stopped caring and working on our marriage and it resulted in a gap between us. She said nothing, kept pulling away, and then started an affair and never told me about it. By the time I found out, she was completely his.

I believe that the love we once had could be found again if she wanted to work on the marriage. She doesn't want to right now, but I can't help thinking that it is due to the presence of the other man. One can't accurately reflect on the marriage or its salvation when involved with another man. I am actually seriously considering not leaving her and staying, forcing her to confront the situation instead of condoning it by making it easier for her. I am going counter to any sensible thing to prove how much I believe in monogamy, loyalty, love and marriage. It may lead to my further ruin, but if making one last stand, forcing her to really look at the decisions that she is making might get me another chance at my marriage, than I must take it. Running away like a good little boy to save myself and her some trouble doesn't feel right, and would only serve to add to the body count of marriages that fail because one partner or both are too selfish or lazy to honor their vows.
 

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To make your answer short....


because every generation has different values. Ours are tending to be more loose, while our parents were much more involved. Twentyfive years ago, it was socially accfeptable to smoke marijauna and then have promiscuous sex. Today, the SAME thing done by the SAME persons' child, is seen as the child being wanton or wreckless.

Its just the way the media prtrays these things as to how society looks at them.

Personally, I view it as a one shot thing. If Jane would have divorced me, I would have never married again. Thats all there is to it. There is no second chance at marriage. I am actually somewhat old fashioned in my beliefs. I doubt God, however the bible has my take on marriage to a 't'.

Take it easy guys,
 

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I hope I don't sound as if I'm over-generalizing here, but I really think many men are much better at being driven and focused. When those qualities are brought into a marriage and become part of a man's vision, attractions to other women may come and go but do not sway him and his commitment to his wife and family.

On the flip-side, I think many women are mainly focused on their relationship over and above careers, projects, etc. and I know I place the highest value on being emotionally connected to my spouse. When I'm not feeling that, I'm lost. Likewise, attractive men may come and go but if I'm emotionally connected to my husband, there's just no desire to stray.

I really believe that most men and women want the same thing, to love and feel loved and when one or both is not feeling loved, the marriage is exposed to temptation from either party to stray.

There may be some barbarian types still running around out there, but I think both men and women deserve some credit for evolving beyond basic instincts :)
 

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glad you're back, brokenfrag !
 
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