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Because somebody has to define what is 'the right way' of doing things.

Look at it this way. Some groups (religious, cultural) would have a 'you must be subservient and grateful to your husband' slant.
Others would have a 'the womans place is in the home, raising children'

Other would have the 'marriage of equals'.

Some others may have a gay marriage side to their teachings. While some may view that as the worst kind of sin and perversion.

Who is to tell any one of those groups that they are right or wrong ?
Me, with my views and values ?
You, with yours ?
How about a fundamentalist christian preacher. His values ?
Fundamentalist Muslim imam ?
Animist ?
 

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Because somebody has to define what is 'the right way' of doing things.

Look at it this way. Some groups (religious, cultural) would have a 'you must be subservient and grateful to your husband' slant.
Others would have a 'the womans place is in the home, raising children'

Other would have the 'marriage of equals'.

Some others may have a gay marriage side to their teachings. While some may view that as the worst kind of sin and perversion.

Who is to tell any one of those groups that they are right or wrong ?
Me, with my views and values ?
You, with yours ?
How about a fundamentalist christian preacher. His values ?
Fundamentalist Muslim imam ?
Animist ?
I agree but i think you forgot the most fashionable way of marriages these days... "Do whatever your wife commands you too because you owe her something just because you're a man..."
 

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Considering the rate of divorce, why isn't there a required marriage and parenting course?
Such classes would be a waste of time because lots of religious and cultural backgrounds teach things that lead to terrible relationships and terrible parenting. People might learn common sense in your marriage and parenting course, but then they attend a completely insane church every week for the next 10 years in an isolated rural area which teaches them how to be antisocial.
I'll give two stories as an example of how your surroundings can effect behavior.

People you are trying to help:
My parents were not religious at all, so they followed their instincts on things like marriage and parenting. Just like Jesus said, all you need to do is use common sense (I think he said something about treating strangers the way they would treat Jesus). They lived in a major city, so they could end friendships with idiots and form new friendships with good easily. They were married for 30+ years until one of them died, they never argued, they never hit each other, and both kids grew up to be successful. They had a great marriage for that entire time. I didn't think of them as great parents until I saw how horrible everyone else's parents were. These people can be trained with your suggested classes, but they were self trained by reading books about the physiology and psychology of children.



Lots of people cannot be helped:
My gf's parents were the opposite. They lived in rural areas where people can't end friendships without making things awkward, so they're basically forced to associate with idiots and alcoholics. Being a bit more isolated, religion in rural areas is often very extreme, right wing, paranoid, and the church attendees talk the way schizophrenic people talk - they say they literally saw god or they had a real conversation with god and he told them to murder their children (Genesis 22:5). Sadly, they laugh when I offer them this new candy called risperidone.

My gf's parents were both extremely religious. When the bible says women are these stupid sub-human creatures that only exist to serve men, they interpret that as being reality. I shouldn't even need to type out the rest of this, but I'll do it anyway. Their marriage is horrible. The wife never says anything to express her desires, and she always listens to her husband, just like the bible says. It shouldn't shock anyone to find that she has gained a lot of weight since getting married, and she's easily the most anxious person I have ever met in my entire life. Sometimes she's physically shaking with anxiety.

They were already insanely religious, but the husband insisted they stop going to church because he felt the church was going in the wrong direction. They also stopped having parties and social lives because the husband doesn't like socializing. Being a sub-human creature, the wife just goes along with it and becomes lonely even though she's naturally a social butterfly. The bible says the husband is master of the house, so it only makes sense that the wife would completely destroy her own sense of self in order to be a servant.

Since the husband believed the bible was really the word of god, he started reading into it more and coming to the most random and silly conclusions. He now thinks the 7 day creation story is a metaphor, and humans are currently living in the metaphorical 7th day of rest, so we shouldn't work. How he came to that conclusion, nobody knows. I don't even understand what he means by that. He works a lot, and his wife works too, so wtf? He was using this theory as an explanation for why government social programs are a waste of time and we shouldn't try to fix anything because god will fix in tomorrow (metaphorically). The irony here is that one of his kids (not my gf) is severely autistic and currently relies on those social programs. The situation was so bad that they had to write several letters to the government pleeding for help because their autistic son is the tallest and strongest person in the family, so his tantrums are very difficult to control.

So their marriage sucks, but what about parenting? Common sense be damned, they insist that all of their kids are completely non-sexual (which is weird because the bible is very sexual). Their not-autistic son is in his late 20s and he was brainwashed to think he should only marry a virgin. I guess that means they want him to pick up chicks at the local high school or something. Chicks totally dig older men, right? He hasn't had a girlfriend in the last ten years and he appears to be lonely. That's what happens when your crazy religious parents insist that you look for women that don't actually exist. Next they'll tell him to get a pet sasquatch or something. The daughters had it even worse. They were told that everything was sexual (which is true to some degree), and that's why everything should be avoided. They were never allowed to wear nice clothes or makeup because men are these evil creatures who rape everything that is slightly attractive (maybe their dad was projecting?). The youngest daughter is bisexual, but she could never tell that to her parents because women are only supposed to date men, who we've already established are all rapists. Not knowing anything about makeup or fashion, that makes it really hard to attract a mate. Maybe the parents intended for both daughters to marry some alcoholic men who had to settle for the women that are poorly dressed with sloppy hair and no makeup. They couldn't listen to the music humans listen to, so they had to listen to crappy christian music. That alone makes them social outcasts. Both girls grew up with very few friends because they could only associate with the children of other fundamentalist christian schizophrenics. My gf had to switch her studies from full time to part time just so she could get a part time job and move out of their house. Their youngest daughter ran away at age 17 to live with a guy that nobody liked because living with that guy seemed like a good alternative to living with christian parents.


Conclusions:
You can't educate religious people. It simply doesn't work. If their holy book says women are stupid servants, no amount of marriage class will change their opinion. If their church leader and all of the othe church members agree that children should be physically and mentally abused, no amount of education will change that.
 

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Thanks, Shawn, for the "religious people are idiots" rant. Now, back on point.

Good idea. Young couples need to understand the phenomena of women checking out of marriages. Young men need to understand the dynamics that the young, loving wife in your perfect marriage may really want to see a boulder drop on your head. After upping the life insurance, of course.
 

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I have often said that there should be a required class in highschool that is sort of a "Practical Living" that includes things like learning how to balance a checkbook (OK keep up w your balance and outstanding debits now that checks are practically obsolete), information on credit cards, interest rates, usage, credit scores, mortgages, amortization schedules, "introductory rates" that get people, etc. as well as coping skills, communication skills, handling conflict in relationships (work, friends, SO), negotiation skills and the like.

In my state you can get married the same day you apply for a license but you have to wait a year from your date of physical or legal separation before you can file for divorce. I think there should be a 1year waiting period in all states before you can apply for a marriage license. I think a lot of people would come to their senses in 1 year. I think 90 days is plenty of time to decide if you want to make up or finalize a divorce when you've split from a spouse. A year is ridiculous. Maybe that was created to prevent rebound marriages or perhaps to reinforce working it out and the institution of marriage but it seems antiquated.

It's not about going against anyone's doctrine - just arming young people with skills they need to function at a higher level in all areas of their life. Being able to communicate clearly, effectively and fairly without fear is important in all facets of life, not just romantic relationships.
 

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Shawn D

Just to say, as a 60 year old Catholic, that there are many religious people who are nothing like your girlfriend's parents. The many I know are as sane as anyone. I think she lucked out.
 

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Have you ever taken some of those classes? Like those mandatory parenting classes if you want to adopt? They are a joke. I don't think you can teach how to have a successful marriage in an hour or two.

And even if it were an actual course that lasted all year I think of college. I went to college to learn how to be an accountant and when I got out I had to relearn everything. What they taught just didn't apply in the real world.

I've taken marriage classes through my church and they were so repressed and backwards that it didn't work. I believe this is just one of those things you have to seek out on your own and hopefully teach your children well.
 

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I don't think a "here's how to have a successful marriage" class is what anyone needs. I think a class about communication would be better. As I said, it would help in corporate world just as much as personal.
 

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I agree but i think you forgot the most fashionable way of marriages these days... "Do whatever your wife commands you too because you owe her something just because you're a man..."
Lol....sorry....but that made my day. :p

Posted via Mobile Device
 

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I have often said that there should be a required class in highschool that is sort of a "Practical Living" that includes things like learning how to balance a checkbook
They teach that in elementary school. 1 + 2 = 3 and 3 - 1 = 2. Balancing dollar figures doesn't even use things like multiplication or division.

credit cards, interest rates, mortgages
Simple interest, compound interest, and mortgages are extensively covered in high school. Understanding the math of compound interest is extremely important because it also applies to biology, chemistry, and physics.

coping skills, communication skills, handling conflict in relationships (work, friends, SO), negotiation skills and the like.
In the past, schools did teach these skills. If you failed a test, you could talk to the teacher and try to work out some kind of deal to try again or do a special assignment for extra credit. Now, the answer to everything is lawsuits. Don't worry about coping with failure, we'll just sue the school because that test was clearly unfair. Don't worry about communication skills or how to sit down and shut up, the teacher can't touch you (forcibly remove you from class) and they can't give detention, so there's no need to learn how to be sociable.

It's not about going against anyone's doctrine
In a lot of cases, it is. The class about relationships and how not to be a psychopath would very likely talk about equality and partnership, similar to the way many councilors talk about partnership and working together. This conflicts with the widely held religious belief that women are inferior to men. It's mentioned many times in the bible, and lots of preachers still talk about how women should serve their man and be submissive. Today, women are still not allowed to be catholic priests. At marriage class, you'll be told it's a partnership, then in church you'll be told that women should be submissive. Which one is it?

Another example is how to deal with sex. Most councilors will say sex is good. Many religions teach that sex is bad, and it has serious consequences. link: religious people are plagued with guilt about sex. Quote:
The study found that in individuals, the stronger their religious beliefs were the more powerful their feelings of sexual regret.

Of people raised in very religious homes, 22.5 per cent said they were shamed or ridiculed for masturbating compared with only 5.5 percent of people brought up in the least religious homes.

Some 79.9 per cent of people raised in very religious homes said they felt guilty about a specific sexual activity or desire while 26.3 per cent of those raised in secular homes did.

Worryingly, children raised in strongly religious homes were more likely to get their sex education from pornography, as they were not confident enough to talk with their parents.

However, there was some good news for religious groups. People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction.

People who had left their beliefs behind said their sex lives were 'much improved' and rated their new experiences on average as 7.81 out of ten.

The finding dispelled conventional wisdom that feelings of guilt can continue to trouble people after the religion has faded.

'We did think that religion would have residual effects in people after they left but our data did not show this. That was a very pleasant surprise. The vast majority seem to shake it off and get on with their sexual lives pretty well,' Darrel told alternet.org.

He added: 'Our data shows that people feel very guilty about their sexual behavior when they are religious, but that does not stop them: it just makes them feel bad.
Isn't that lovely. Your marriage councilor is trying to argue that sex brings people closer together, but church is saying that you should feel ashamed and dirty after having sex. Anything about sex taught in marriage class would go against many religions, unless the marriage class serious tried to argue that you should be as non-sexual as possible.
 

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We were taught math but not practically applied math. When I balanced my first checkbook with my statement, I had to follow the directions on the back very carefully. But back then things didn't clear quickly like they do now.

We also didn't learn about interest or how it compounded or how a lot of those zero interest cards charged interest retroactively on the full initial purchase if you didn't pay it off in time. I had a LOT of friends who bought furnishings with their first card only to end up paying waaaaay more than they expected because of this.

No one really reads the fine print anymore and a lot of parents don't teach this to kids, especially those who really NEED to.

I don't think effective communication was ever taught. No non-violent conflict resolution or skills on how to communicate needs.

Then again, I was brought up in one of the states near the bottom rungs of the public education ladder. It is only by the nature of my nerdy, bookworm personality that am where I am now without college.

Maybe the rest of the US fared better in education. I'm only speaking of the things I lacked that I feel would have better served me in my adulthood that would translate to better interpersonal skills and therefore a healthier marriage.
 

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Considering the rate of divorce, why isn't there a required marriage and parenting course?
Because people think they have enough skills and won't listen anyway. It's only when they're in a crisis that ANY of this kind of stuff can sink in, and even then, they usually only pay attention to just enough to get out of their most severe pain. Then they go back to their own way of doing things.

I could probably write a book on what I think the reasons are for this, but I won't. Nobody'd read it.
 

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Thanks, Shawn, for the "religious people are idiots" rant. Now, back on point.

Good idea. Young couples need to understand the phenomena of women checking out of marriages. Young men need to understand the dynamics that the young, loving wife in your perfect marriage may really want to see a boulder drop on your head. After upping the life insurance, of course.
Thanks, Mr. K, for the "women are gold-diggers" rant. Now, Back on point.

I love irony!:rofl:
 

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Let's not forget the driving force for male mate selection....

Biological forces still at work..and equally disgusting...

Instinctual animals we are...
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
This is really along the lines of how I was thinking. I also love the idea of the financial side of it also. They are all important issues, and it's necessary to have a good balance in these basic concepts for success.

I thought I was replying to EnjoliWoman's answer, though I haven't read the rest yet. I'm still trying to figure out how to quote/reply.

Thanks for all your responses. There are some good points.
 

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Hey, hehasmyheart, in order to quote you MUST USE the "Go Advanced" button immediately under this box INSTEAD OF the "Post Quick Reply" button.

You'll then see a whole set of new icons directly at the top of THE BOX YOU'RE TYPING IN.

You can't reply directly to someone's response (like on some websites where YOUR response is directly under and off to the right like a subset of someone's answer); every answer at TAM is printed in chronological order. Best you can do is 'quote' something (using the "Go Advanced" button) and reply below it so it's obvious what you're referencing.

Good luck and welcome to TAM.
 
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