These marriage statistics really suck! And they don’t seem to be getting and better. Worse off is that I think that the formulaic recitation of these bleak statistics in some ways turns people off on the possibility of marriage as an entire institution. Anyone who knows me, knows that I think that people in general are not the brightest. And that it is unique to find people who are completely not followers at all. I mean totally a free-thinker. My saying is that, “We live in a world of Sheep, not Shepherds.”(trademark sucka!) So when people repeat something over and over and over on CNN, it starts to sink into people’s subconscious as the only thing that can be plausible to answer their questions. What should I do? My husband and I aren’t getting along? Get Divorced!! Everyone else is! So as a result, a lot of simple-minded nincompoops are totally of the mindset that marriage is not a valuable part of life in the 21st Century……For real?…..This is what you got from an hours worth of CNN? I don’t want to be too critical of this notion because I think that I might have a different outlook on it since my parents have been married for over 40 years. And anybody can suffer a through a divorce. Dummy or Intellectual. But it just leads me to wonder, if so many people are not seeing the value in being married, why are people still getting married? And in a way I am asking a silly question because a lot of people are not getting married. The age of the guys walking around the club is getting older and older. The age of the bridesmaids walking down the aisle is getting older and older. The amount of single people going to class reunions is getting larger and larger.
I had an uncomfortable conversation with a friend of mine the other day, who is getting closer and closer to marriage. We posed the question….Can you name 3 married couples who have a relationship that you consider something to shoot for or be respectfully envious of? The pause in our conversation was startling. We just could not rattle off three couples that were seemingly happy. Mind you we put in caveats to make the discussion more reasonable. Trying to remove yourself from strictly surface assessments such as, Could I see myself with that particular woman, was essential. Also the criteria for choosing a solid relationship could not be based on anyone’s financial situation, physical beauty, or anything other than just how well they seem to get along and relate to each other. Their degree of happiness. Obviously we also stayed in our generation as well. And after all of that qualifying, we struggled to name 3 couples. Am I saying that I don’t think marriage works?…….of course not. But I do maintain that people are not getting married for each other as much as they are for other things. But what are those things? Money? Comfort? Following societal norms? All of those things for sure. But as we threw out names of couples that we knew and thought about who could and who could not make the list, all of them had children.
So how much of getting married is about having kids? It means a lot for some people. I, myself, have sort of embraced my status as an uptight prude because I maintain my deliberate stance on not having any kids until I get married. I think somewhere between Lil Wayne, P Diddy and Evander Holyfield it became cool for 3 men to father 18 illegitimate kids. But call me a little old-fashioned when I say that I think I would rather wait. And the people who are indeed still getting married are largely doing so for the sake of having kids as well. And I don’t see anything wrong with that sort of thinking. Married couples by and large have greater success raising children together than single parents. They are more easily able to create balance and the united front of two parents enforcing the same values together is always more helpful than having parents repeat lessons in different ways at different times. So from a raising kids standpoint it makes perfect sense. But when did having kids with someone overtake loving the person you are with? When did the projection of the life that we will produce overtake the companionship and love that is shared between two people? And is this a natural sort of feeling that I just missed. It baffles me because I want to be able to say that my lady is most important above all else, but at the same time I would not marry a woman who told me that she didn’t want to have children. That’s just not what I want for the rest of my life. To be fatherlessly in love with a woman and have no child that I can groom, teach, love and give all that I have too. So while you can’t overlook your mate as being the most important factor in a relationship I would dare say that you can’t overlook children as the second most important component in a union. But how many people are really placing children at second? Are people today placing more emphasis on kids than any other aspect of relationships? So many people are just having kids and totally bypassing the marriage part as though it is of secondary importance. So much so that I can’t help but ask myself if my impression of marriage is an outdated fantasy at best.
Am I wrong to think that a relationship is more important than fathering a child? Is their something inherently natural about having a desire to be parent that makes getting married first just a pit stop to our ultimate goals? If that is the case then I see why so many people are just having children and not really giving any thought into being married. And even though no statistical data will support that relationships that bear children out-of-wedlock are healthier, happier or more well-adjusted than those who are in married households, we just cannot stop ourselves from moving forward with that aspect of our life anyway. It is the call of nature…the Biological clock. Whatever you want to call it. And on some levels it makes me think that those natural instincts are more powerful than marriage is. But with all this I still believe that marriage is the way to go. It is valuable. It creates a level of order that establishes that balance for the lives that we bring into the world. So even if the idea of having kids is most important to us as creatures on this Earth, shouldn’t we do our very best to give those bundles of joy the sort of family structure that will allow them to be happy? Or do we just love them enough to have them but not enough to do what is best for them? I don’t know. But I know what worked for me. And right now, I can’t see the day that I will be more connected to my child than to his or her mother. But what the hell do I know? Maybe I really am living in fantasy world.