I've got a couple thoughts I want to throw out. Now, I'm not married, but my ideals are old fashioned at best. Recently, I listened to a radio show on my way to work. One of the topics of discussion was about people who had been dating for years, and never got married. They had women calling in talking about they had been with this guy for x-number of years, and they were talking about reasons why he may not be ready and reasons why they should or should not be married. One poor girl called in said she had been dating a guy for 9 years... never married. She lives with him, and apparently he's loaded. She mentioned that she does want him to pop the question. But then, the radio dj's talked about oh you've it made where your at (both women and men), you've got financial security, etc. I know I'm rambling here, but one of the reasons I did not hear, or it never came up was LOVE. With the way the world is nowadays, I realize things change. Do people ever marry for just LOVE anymore? I mean, disregarding EVERYTHING ELSE, financial security, starting a family, good looks, great you know what, is it possible to marry just for love? OR better rephrased, why don't we decide to marry this person just for the reason we love them?
I quite agree with you! I did. It took me a year of "living in sin" to persuade her to marry me, though. There was no question we were right for each other, and loved each other, but she (and I) had previous marriages which had soured her on marriage.
We've only been together since 12/8/1994, but it keeps on getting better!
Call me old-fashioned, but I think people still marry for love. 36 years ago, I married my hubby. We were 20 and 22 and didn't have a penny to rub up against, but we had love and that would be enough.We worked together to buy a house and eventually have children. Was it easy.HELL no, but was it worth it....yes it was. Through the good times and the bad, we stayed together and made it work. I've noticed that today, kids don't work as hard at marriage. If it doesn't feel right, they get out and move on. I don't think they try as hard to make the marriage work. Who knows, maybe they're right.
I married for love ~ definitely ~ but also, I think, because it was the respectable thing to do. I wouldn't have dreamed of 'living in sin' ~ as it was then called.
Things are different now. No-one seems to care much any more, whether co-habitating couples are married or not, so they need to have other reasons to marry.
I think that financial security, under the law, is an important one ~ should the relationship fail, that is.
I am not saying that love isn't important in a long-term, committed relationship, I'm just wondering if marriage is. Do people really need a piece of paper, to say that they love each other, and want to stay together for life? ~ No. I don't think that they do.
So, why marry then?
Financial and social security, for the two partners and for their children, I'd say.
Also, religious and cultural reasons may come into it.
And the actual special marriage ritual, with family & friends gathering in celebration are important.
Marrying for love is a lovely romantic idea and I'm still all for it, but I don't think that it is necessary, when considering why one should marry, as co-habiting without a certificate covers that, which is probably why not much was made of it on the programme you heard.
I've noticed that today, kids don't work as hard at marriage. If it doesn't feel right, they get out and move on. I don't think they try as hard to make the marriage work.
You are absolutely right. I've seen high school acquaintances of mine who have gotten married and are already divorced. Its sad. It seems society has turned marriage into a tax write off. It's more political now than sacred. Now I'm only 26, but it seemed like at one point marriage actually meant something, that it was a big step that if it felt right, you went for it. Now its just like, 'hey want to get married'? It's like marriage has lost its meaning and sacredness.
BUT also, the way I see things with relationships and what not, it seems that we throw all these rules, regulations, excuses in the mix that it makes finding love that much more complicated. I really don't think finding someone to love should be so hard, but it is. Not to mention the rules to dating/relationships have changed since high school. I mean, I understand boundaries are needed, but some girls I have dated are real picky about them. Now I'm frightened that if I make one wrong move or step, I will blow the whole thing.
Anyway, it just seems that the more i go through the motions, the more difficult it seems. And I see it with friends, co-workers, and just random people. Given, everyone is different, but I see where couples let petty things get in the way of their marriages and relationships. I've listened to some co-workers of mine and why they got divorced. It's depressing because some of the reasons sound so petty. It sounds like they really didn't try to fix anything. I guess thats the thing that bothers me, is that I don't want to get with someone and they flake out on me over something petty. I want to find someone who will work at the relationship. Cuz, I know I will... if I ever find someone. =/
As I've said on here before, people change.
The person you might fall in love with at 18, may not be the person you would fall in love with at 25. So what do you do if you have already married that person?
And what about if you really believe that you can live with someone for ever, but find that you just cannot spend time together without driving each other mad?
These things happen.
They might even lead to emotional or physical cruelty.
I know at least three people who got married, where their friends thought that they were making a mistake I was not surprised that those marriages broke down. All three have happily remarried and had children. Divorce was the right thing for them. Why live a life of misery, when the right person may be round the corner. They didn't deliberately marry the wrong person first time round.
I do think, though, that where there is real love, the marriage should be worked at, and couselling obtained, to try to sort out any problems.
And I think that marriage has always been as much about politics and finance as about love and 'sacredness'.
I was watching 'Who Do you Think You are?' last night and something was said that reminded me of this thread.
It was about Julia Sawalha's ancestry. She was talking to her father about his parents. Remembering an incident from her childhood, she asked if Grandfather had loved Grandmother.
Without a moment's thought, her father answered 'no' ~ which seemed to shock her. He said that in the East ~ the family was Bedouin from Jordan ~ they do not have a Western idea of love. What one might call love, there, was based on respect and knowing someone well for a long time, resulting in closeness. The Western idea of romantic love, he said, was regarded as a nonsense.
I think that this type of marriage was and is common in many societies ~ including in the West; past and present, depending upon the culture.
Finding love, of course, is another matter.
I believe in marrying for love, but not eveyone in every society does.
I believe that you can love one another, without being married.
I believe that there are good reasons to marry, that are not related to love.
... I see where couples let petty things get in the way of their marriages and relationships. I've listened to some co-workers of mine and why they got divorced. It's depressing because some of the reasons sound so petty. It sounds like they really didn't try to fix anything. ...
Perhaps they didn't really love each other and that was the real reason.
4 years ago I married my husband for love. November 1, we'll have been together 6 years. Some days it seems like nothing, others it seems like an eternity! We always joked I had to marry him for love, as it SURE wasn't for his money!! But he's a good man, and through 2 over seas moves....2 lay offs...buying and renovating a house....if we didn't have love. We'd be over by now. It's been a stressful 18 months and we've made it through...but thank god for love and respect!
the family was Bedouin from Jordan ~ they do not have a Western idea of love. What one might call love, there, was based on respect and knowing someone well for a long time, resulting in closeness. The Western idea of romantic love, he said, was regarded as a nonsense.
And maybe thats all love really is.. or should be. Nowadays, the media, movies, etc. bring about this idea of love that drive our expectations through the roof. We still don't know what love truly is, we can really only define a basis or a foundation for it. We're given the idea through childhood fairy tales and romantic movies that there's always a heighten sense of emotion... positive emotions. Emotions are supposed to run rampant through our bodies giving us this overwhelming sense of happiness. Sure the movies/books depict some conflict between the lovers, but its the passion they share that stems out from the rest. And I think thats where we misinterpret love. The movies don't include that fine line between passion and love.
Maybe all love is or needs to be is that general respect for each other resulting in a closeness. Its an everlasting friendship. Its a simple idea, and I'm sure as we've all experienced, friendship is one of the longest lasting types of relationships. I know i'm on the idea, of "best friend". I've always heard you usually marry your best friend. They're either your best friend before you get married, or become it later afterwards in some cases. Again, I realize true love is something you have to work at when you're in a relationship, but I just don't see why some times it gets so complicated... or why we make it out to be so complicated.
I want to say a personal thanks to Car1, luv my bird, PDM, and Mom2Monty for your insight and testimony. It's nice to hear that there are people out there that are in it for your significant other. It gives me a little bit of hope in this trying world we live. Considering part of the foundation for my personality is based around being what you would call 'hopeless romantic', it makes things quite difficult sometimes.
You're certainly welcome. It's good that you think about it and what it means to you, and your responsibility in loving, and being loved.
All contracts and all religious ceremonies aside, the bottom line is still that you pledge your love to another and trust that person to love you.
When the pledge is broken and the trust gone, no contract nor religious ceremony can restore them. The pledge can be renewed and the trust might (notice I said "might") be rebuilt at least in part. But it still takes love that is worked at.
I happen to think it is much easier when there is romantic love and sexual attraction. And if you are very fortunate, you either share a lot of interests and likes and dislikes, or you can complement one another well. If you are too dissimilar, and unwilling to compromise, clashes will come. And if the relationship is not codependent, it will not survive.
But if it is codependent, it kind of dies on the vine, so to speak.
So, I say develop your interests and your life. When you meet someone who stirs your very soul, speak your heart. And if you both speak your heart honestly and transparently and decide to pledge your troth (with or without a marriage), then you can decide if marriage is for you.
I think it is a wonderful thing that should be available to anyone. But I also think it should be something done fully intending to make it a lifetime of commitment.
Don't be hopeless, Joe. Be hopeful. There's plenty of good people. I talk to them all the time.
... the bottom line is still that you pledge your love to another and trust that person to love you.
I happen to think it is much easier when there is romantic love and sexual attraction. And if you are very fortunate, you either share a lot of interests and likes and dislikes, or you can complement one another well.
develop your interests and your life. When you meet someone who stirs your very soul, speak your heart. And if you both speak your heart honestly and transparently and decide to pledge your troth (with or without a marriage), then you can decide if marriage is for you.
Don't be hopeless, Joe. Be hopeful. There's plenty of good people. I talk to them all the time.
I agree Carl.
Good luck, Joe!
I married for love, but also learned that is really not enough. It's hard to be married to someone in whom you cannot really share your main life interests. It makes me sad and also makes me wonder if I should move on. Is it better to have someone to love and love you, but not have a companion for your favorite activities?
I think an important concept here is that we don't have to love just one person. I'm not talking about Big Love style multiple-wives. But I am saying that a person can have multiple interests and that is natural. Say I love mountain biking. Say my husband hates mountain biking. I can still have another friend - who I care for deeply, maybe even call it love, who I mountain bike with. My husband is there to raise a family with, and when he goes off to play darts, I have a friend to mountain bike with.
Part of the key of a successful long term relationship, I think, is to have that network of friends established. If you rely just on your spouse to fulfill every single need of yours, that is a huge burden to put on any one person.
But ah, I raise no family. I have nothing to actually *do* with my mate. He doesn't even like my dogs, he hates the RV, he can't go out into the sun or travel anywhere sunny, he can't go boating or climbing, we don't cook or eat together, he won't do yoga, he has no interest in my interests and i have none in his...all we can do together is watch movies and talk about sci fi. That is just not enough to keep my interest and it isn't good enough for him, either.
That is definitely something to ponder. There does need to be some sort of a common bond. In theoretical terms, if you were married to a person that you never talked with, for example, what sort of a marriage would that be? If you slept in the same bed but otherwise never really spent time with each other?
Well, it's kind of like being roommates. I do like having someone to be around though - to not be totally alone as I have been for the last six months with my hubby across the country.
I do understand that completely, I definitely prefer having someone around to talk with, spend time with, share ideas with. I like to be held.
I wouldn't advocate being all alone. I would cautiously advocate being with someone who you actively enjoy doing things with, and maybe there is a way you can find common ground when you get together and build that set of interests.
It doesn't have to be non-stop. Bob plays golf, I don't play well enough to play with him. So he'll go out all day long to play golf while I work. But then we'll do things together when he gets home. So he definitely has outside interests. But we do share interests.
I guess dan and I need to give serious conversation to finding mutual activities we like. He doesn't like wine or drinking anything, he isn't really into cooking, or eating out. He eats his cereal for dinner over his keyboard. Not so fun for me. So no meals together. No going out together in the evening either.
He likes computer games and xbox games and I don't.
he likes Football and I don't.
I am not going to make myself like these things. It doesn't work.
We both enjoy watching different science fiction series' on tv at night, but that is really our only activity together.
We don't play board games. I like puzzles and we tried that for a while, but it fizzled out.
Any ideas? What sorts of things do married couples do together besides raise kids, talk about kids, or have meals together?
LOL the range of hobbies is infinite! The key is figuring out where your worlds intersect, how how you find find a new hobby you both want to learn together.
How about going on photo-taking quests?
Well, we don't have any cameras right now, and also he told me he doesn't want to get back into photography, as he then spends that much more time on the computer getting his photos just right. Otherwise I'd like that.
I need more hobbies suggestions, pls! I can't think of anything we could actually both enjoy together.
Hmmmm. OK, no photography.
How about hooking up with a local nature group that needs to keep track of a certain type of species, like lizards or birds or geckos or something, and going out to keep an eye on them? You could get to really know the creatures of your area and even start to know individual ones ...
I read your posts about your marriage ~ which is quite a personal matter, I feel ~ but with your photo on your posts, and with your names mentioned, do you not worry that he might be unhappy about this ~ or that some of your friends and neighbours, etc, might read this and learn about your very private business?
I love birding! I did try to interest dan in that - got some books and binocs and lists - but he had zero level interest.
There has got to be something. Maybe something goofy, like learning to make paper mache bowls and decorating them together to give out as gifts this xmas. I wonder if he'd do that.
Maybe we could explore zoos together?
Aha, maybe take a community college class together! We both love school.
oooo a love of learning - that is definitely a good thing to focus on! Yes grab a local community college course catalog and have a ton of fun brainstorming ideas! That by itself could be a week of fun
Okay, that is the plan then - fun school classes. We will have fun with the planning and buying the books and doing our homework together.
And I will also bring up the zoos and see what he thinks about paper mache. That could be good messy fun.
PDM, Dan knows I actively try to seek help on my life issues in supportive online forums. We have a fully honest relationship and has no issues with this type of discussion. But thank you for your caring concern!
Yes certainly any creative craft type projects that you can work on together would be awesome. I understand that photography is out - which means you can both learn something new together!
I highly recommend polymer clay, it is SO much fun.
Jilly - I know I have read about communities where you go spend like a week learning new crafts. Each day is spent learning a different craft - I want to think these are put on by Amish communities or Native American communities for some reason. (Auugh - do you ever have a memory stuck in the back of your head that you can't fully access?)
When I say "craft" I'm not talking macaroni art, I mean like rug weaving and glass blowing - true crafts.
I'm gonna have to search and see where I saw this info...
That sounds very interesting, Chelle. I am certainly in native American country here. Maybe we can learn pottery, ropemaking, basket weaving or something. I'd be afraid of the heat in glass blowing! Rugweaving sounds too precise for my nature.
We will see what Dan likes. I have a feeling we would enjoy taking an art history class together.
I definitely think that sitting down together and looking through the catalog, talking about the options, circling things, will be a lot of fun - and will really open up your horizons. You could easily end up with three or four new hobbies that you both love!
Hehe, I married for love. Financial security? Had none. Still have none. Neither of us finished college, we were (and are!) young and I was stubborn. I wanted to get married, and didn't care how. We had the cheapest wedding we could manage. I cooked the food for the reception, and my cousin DJed!
So yes, people still get married for love. Or what we think is love. Problem with marrying young like we did is things change. I lost my religion, for one, since then. We still have no money, live with my parents now. We still don't know how we can both pursue our very different career paths... but gosh darn it, we love each other!
Objectively though, I don't think it's wrong to marry for security. It's a very real issue and a very real need. It's very hard to live without financial security. It depends what need you need fulfilled more, personally. Do you need love, cuddling, snuggling, goo-goo type love? Or is your need for fulfillment found in feeling secure? We all fulfill ourselves differently and have no right to say someone else is in the wrong.
I married young (at 18-and-a-month) because my mother had stopped paying for my college expenses (long story) and I would do MUCH better on financial aid if I was married. The school would no longer count my parents' income, they would only count the income of me and my spouse (which was very low).
I did love my boyfriend too, but there would not have been any reason to marry right away outside of the financial incentive.
As it turns out I dropped out anyway, and we had a son a year after. I would not have wanted to have a son out of wedlock for legal reasons, so in a way it means we started our family sooner than we might have otherwise.
Would I have married him "just for love" if I had the money coming in smoothly for my college education? I imagine not. I knew I loved him, he knew he loved me. There was no need, for us, to go through a ceremony to confirm it. So that is how we looked at it.
I understand completely that different people have different feelings about what marriage "means".
I would like to address the question of more divorces, and there doesn't seem to be the effort put into marriages "these days."
When I got married a woman had no choice but to stay married, especially after children were born. It seemed to me that the "working at marriage" became the job of the woman. I was even told by my mother "it is the woman who keeps the family together." My first husband and I were very much in love. That did not change the fact that we made it a practice to push each others buttons. Both of us were unhappy for a host of reasons.
After my kids were grown I made a decision to end the marriage. If I had the wherewithall to end it sooner I would have. I don't think that there is less effort put into marriages these days, I just think there are options for both partners that were not there years ago.
I agree with BLR that staying in a marriage is not always the healthy choice. If you look at social issues back in the days leading up to prohibition, a leading reason so many women were for prohibition is that their husbands were getting drunk and beating them and their children. They could not leave, they were trapped in an abusive situation. If you read about the lobbying for prohibition, a great impetus for it was to save the women and children from being beaten up and killed.
So yes, they had a much higher "long years marriage rate". I am not sure it was necessarily a good thing.
Before I was married myself, I always thought it would be a quite simple choice for someone to know whether or not to stay married.
Shows how naive I was then.
I imagine it's a lot like an abusive relationship. When you're outside one you can say "Why would she ever stay with him, he's a jerk! She should just pack up and leave!" But when someone is in a relationship and the abuse grows gradually over time, and the love gets mingled in with the abuse, it can be challenging. You might say "OK he's crossed the line. No wait, he's really sorry, I'll give him another chance." It's really hard to judge, if you've put up with X, is it really worth leaving for X + 1, when does your "real line" get crossed?
im certainly not married but as ive said in previous posts im head over heels in love and will DEFINITELY marry for love. Everyone i know that is married has marreid for love, parents, grparent, great grandparents aunts uncles cousins etc. I think that marriage makes a love more 'permanent' like dont mess with my guy/girl im married to them adn theyre MINE! this doesnt always seem to work hence affairs and such. But i think that u dnt need paper to say ur in love either tho. so i guess it goes both ways but love in marriage makes it last longer.
That's a very interesting thought, Mattie. So, to you, marriage is about one partner saying "do not touch her, she belongs to me"?
From my view, each person in a relationship should be saying that for herself or himself. For example, in my relationship, I do not need Bob to say to anyone "she belongs to me". I am the one responsible for saying "I am not interested". I do not feel I should ever have to rely on having Bob "threaten" guys away from me.
Otherwise, what would happen if I was in a club, and Bob wasn't there?
I wonder if age and the concept of marrying for love has anything to do with it? I mean, I can honestly say although I still deeply love my husband, in hindsight it might've been wiser to stay off.
Maybe age and religious influence in my case. Cause my religious upbringing (and his!) said no x, y, and z before marriage. And I wanted to take our relationship to the next level. So I pushed for marriage. Now, I think we would've been just as happy having those things without the title of marriage, and without the guilt of religious condemnation.
A curious thought crossed my mind, what is the purpose of open marriages? It comes to my mind mainly because of a recent House eipsode with a couple who were both into the porn industry, and very happy with having open relations. Apparently, they were still very connected and in love with each other and believed in the need for someone "always being there."
Niki - I know many people who have been in open marriages. Sex is a fun thing to do. There's no reason to necessarily say that sex must be about your partner, just as there isn't a reason to say "I will only go skiing with my partner".
I've done months of research into the church and sexuality and it always comes down to children creation. So if you are taking precautions not to have children with someone else, it really shouldn't matter if you choose to have fun with them - whether it's skiing, horseback riding, or fondling