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Is Marriage Becoming Extinct?

 I am a news junkie and I was reading an article that reported Cameron Diaz declaring that marriage is a “dying institution.” She added, “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”

I guess instead of marriage people are shacking up or just changing "sex partners" every couple of years. No need to actually mean the words we say anymore." I love you" has definitely changed its meaning lately. I hear stories about how many many years ago when someone said they would do something, they did it. People would help out strangers without being afraid they were going to kill them.

We are teaching our kids to strive for education and less and less about finding that special someone and spending life with that person. These are values that usually only the parents can portray to their kids. Why can’t we as a society have both education and healthy relationships? Shouldn’t we be learning to be educated emotionally enough to handle commitment. It makes sense to have one partner to me. I mean we only have one real mother, one real Father. Why not one companion?Why are we producing offspring not emotionally healthy enough to commit?Why are we taught as a society not to take responsibility for failed relationships because they just weren’t “the one.” So people move on from one relationships to another, one “sex” partner to another.

Why haven't we trained our kids how to love? Why is America trading committed love for a love that easily changes its mind?The act of committing to someone else teaches us more about ourselves than anything else.It is totally unselfish and not something that a lot of society is good at (obviously).It is directly opposite of a modern view of “do what is best for you.” Because you have already committed to doing what is best for another.Yuo cant always do whats best for”your” career, “your” life, “your children” because now there is an “us” instead of a “me.”

It seems like American society is going from one extreme to the other-or at least it seems like it. I mean only about 50 years ago the divorce rate was a lot better than it is now. I’m just worried about where we are headed .I’m all for rights, but no one is really fighting for marriage or commitment these days. Even parents are persuading their children against trying marriage because they themselves weren’t committed enough to make theirs work.

It may just be me but I think there is a lot of pressure on young adults-not to marry but to stay unmarried. All the advice I hear is negative. No one says it will work out if you truly commit-they always state the negative. There is a lack of adults that have stuck it out themselves and even fewer that could even begin to teach the younger folks how to do it.

On the other hand(since I can never make up my mind) I applaud the fact that now most people are less afraid to leave abusive and unhealthy home situations than they must have been in the 1950s.We as a society have embraced freedom of choice in marriage and relationships(I just wish they would work on the destructive financial part a little more).

I mean could you imagine living in a society that would put a stigma on you for the rest of your life if you had enough strength to leave an unhealthy family situation? Now every other house is a woman that’s been divorced at least once. I’m always shocked to hear when people have stayed together.

What do you think ?


www.charityjh.com

charityjh charityjh 22-25, F 11 Responses May 9, 2011

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I think one thing is that people seem to think it's good to be totally self-obsessed(sp?), like that's natural; so they're poor at relationships right-off just because of that attitude. Secondly the notion that "great sex with as many partners as possible" is the peak of enjoying life seems to be there too. If these two combine, is it any wonder people aren't interested in marriage any more, which involves commitment, compromise, actually caring about another person rather than just ****ing them? Pardon me, but that's what it seems like :( And since when is the opinion of a celebrity of any weight anyway? Never been in my book.

I think that marriage is a dead institution. Whats the point of it? Maybe ingm a true product of 90s but i cant imagone living with one person for my whole life. Love doesnt last that long. I agree with people who say that the notion that we must stay together for the whole life is artificialy made up by the church (in all religions). After all very rarely even 2 old people who lived together all their life are rarely in love. They mostly live with each other just out of habbit. With a few exeptions. So marriage really has nothing to do with love. And love doesnt has to last "forever" to be real.

Aw gee, wouldn't that just be jolly good to discard partners for newer and better models when we outgrow the old ones? This does seem to be the path many are trying to take. I disagree with the previous comment from steven about disease prevention being the only good, yet now archaic, reason for commitment. I do agree that there may exist more than one "right person" for someone at any given time. However, it is an emotionally stressful and time consuming task to even locate one of them the first time around. Marriage and lifelong commitment offer a sense of security (financial, emotional, etc). Time does not cause people to drift apart unless you deliberately look at it from that perspective. Living with someone for a long time is an investment. They get to know you better than you know yourself and vice versa. You develop a natural feeling of comfort being around them (unlike the awkward sexual-desire driven puppy love moments experienced with a new partner). After several years, the difference between your current partner and one of the other "right ones" out there is the time invested into the relationship. Years of learning what makes each other happy and upset, each others flaws and secrets would have to start all over again in a new relationship. If you want to talk about what is natural for humans, I think the patience and emotional capacity for trying over and over again is natural only through young adult hood. That's what the dating scene is all about. I have been married for six years and even in this short portion of our lifetime together, there have been some very difficult times. As impossible as it seem at the moment it is happening, the bad strengthens bonds as much as the good. The thought of ever starting over in a new relationship gives me anxiety. Imagine if someone said you had to go back and repeat all of your schooling K-12? While the thought of getting a second chance to do some things differently might seem appealing, it is hardly worth all that time to me.

Uh...dont think that starting all over again is such a big discomfort. I had to move and to start all over several times in my life and it always wes exiting and fun. Same with school....repeating it would be fun to be honest couse it was the best time of my life. Same with relationships. Then u know each other well enough they become dull + u see all the imperfections of the person and im very intolerat to different flaws of others. Not a good trait but thats just how i am.

But you forget one thing. We can start over, but time does not start over with us. Sure, maybe the concept of redoing school would be "fun" in that I could have that time back, not necessarily to change things. Though there are things I regret, I know that for every one thing changed, one new thing to regret would join it. I also moved many times growing up. I went to four different high schools my freshman year. I loved the excitement of it then too, when I was young and time seemed infinite. I liked being the new kid. But as for starting over with relationships, what happens when you get older and the available offers start dwindling? I suppose, to each their own and I have no right to scoff at your life choices. But, for me, I like the sense of security. I don't want to be nearing my 50s wondering if and when the next guy might come around. I did have fun dating as a teen, and if I wasn't married yet, I might still be having some fun with it for the next 5 or so years. When I was dating, I wasn't in love with anyone. I had crushes. When the initial infatuation wore off I was ready for the next one too. But now I am in love and that is forever for me.

Interesting topic, in my opinion staying together your entire life is not the most natural thing, as there also isn't only one right for you.<br />
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Staying together your entire life is something which was arranged by the church. This was done to prevent deseased from spreading which would create a very difficult and dangerous situation for the western world. However since now a days our society is a lot more free than 50 years ago, the true nature of mankind comes up more becouse there is less repression from society on individuals who wish to be part of it. And because we now shift so often, I think it is not a strange conclusion to say that humans nature is not to spend the rest of your life together. Furthermore, when a couple, we share a common path but not entirely. We both have work, we both have different friends and we both have different pasts which make us react differently on certain stimuli. E.g. an ex-soldier probably reacts a lot different on being the witness of violense than his wife who has only seen the news. This makes the wife change more due to being the witness of this violense than the man. And the fact that their reaction is different increases the gap. This is just one example, but my point is that both of you change, and the rate of change is correlated to the speed of society itself. Our society is always in a rush, lots of stuff happens at the same time and in the evening we get for supper the misery of the entire world on tv. So after a few years you might find that the person you fell in love with does not exist anymore. So why stay together your entire life?<br />
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Then there is the expectation problem. People who think they found their true love expect a lot from them. Perhaps even too much. Which makes failures even more difficult to prohibit. But is this person the one and only? in that case the human race is rotten because all ****** do get a girl and all mr niceguys stay alone, but thats beyond the scope of my story. The point is, humans do nothing without placing stuff in boxes. Also each other: he is cool, he is weird, she is hot, she is ugly etc. While those impressions are ba<x>sed primarely on first impression and after that the 'cool' guy can be a complete arse toward others but that doesnt matter and the 'weirdo' can be so nice but that doesnt help him (this was scientifically proven btw) so actually we dont even see each others personalities at first. That stuff gets in a lot later, when we already think to know who someone is, we fill in the missing gaps, but at first a lot guys are cool, and a lot are weird, and a lot girls are hot and a lot (but less) are ugly. So who is who when you get two cool guys? Which of the two is the 'one'? the most handsome one? The one which stares more at you? Anyway, it is easy to fall in love with your fantasy of someone, and thats something the person can never live up to.<br />
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So thats a whole story, it isnt meant to make you believe what I say, it is written to make you think. Hopefully I succeeded.<br />
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cheers

I am a 45 year old professional, 4 children, married several times...and most certainly NOT because I could not commit. My parents were each others first, both physically and in marriage, and are still married to this day. Their parents were the same, married till death. I honestly am very sorry for all the negative things the younger generation hears now days Crystal. It is mostly because in my generation, we were born in a time that everything was prosperous and plentiful. In general and at the risk of sounding corny and cliche`..."Life was good". We baby boomers were a bit spoiled, and had the chance to see many good economic times; that is...as children we saw this.<br />
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You see once the baby boomers came into the adult world things started getting busy, and a little tougher economically for all. Then suddenly a strange thing happened...BOTH parents began working...and working nearly all the time just to make ends meet. Suddenly the old house hold model was not only impossible economically, but rejected morally all together, rather than simply adjusted to fit the times. Children started raising themselves because parents were never home. Couples forgot why they were together because they now see more of their co-workers then they will ever see their family their entire life. We live in a world where if we are lucky we can bust our arse to buy nice things to enjoy...problem is we are working too hard to pay for them to have the time to enjoy the expensive things we bought.<br />
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Now the baby boomers are reaching the beginning of their senior years, they can see the top of the hill now in view. No parents were home during their growing up days to teach them what a relationship even is. They have gone from what appeared to be a great life experience to "Holy crap what do I do?!! This all looked so easy when mom and dad did it!". And so they became bitter, scarred, hurt, and broken. Then you add to this the current state of our economy...and yes depression is spreading rampant across the world, not just a single country or nation. People are stressed, feeling hopeless, and have no idea what to do to make things work again...and so you get the very problem, my friend Crystal, that you are describing here.<br />
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So please do not blame our generation...they kind of got thrown into all of this unprepared...VERY unprepared. And for that, I blame the generation before them...but how could they have known what was in store?<br />
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=)

Some very important points have been made. If I didn't hold my religious views so dearly, I wouldn't bother getting married, but just live with my partner. But since we both hold the same view, we'll get married at some stage.<br />
"Marriage" has become a goal instead of a lifestyle. My significant others parents will be married for 30 happy years or so tomorrow. My parents got divorced after 14 years of marriage that was filled with psychological and emotional abuse.<br />
With this situation I get to compare what my view on marriage is and what a functional marriage is.<br />
I had a theoretical view of marriage that was very close to the functional model. I learned from my parents and their errors.<br />
My significant others' parents have become my role models in this area.<br />
Many other young people just want to be married without understanding what it entails. That's why so many fail....<br />
As a young person I can also disagree with your initial statement that marriage is becoming extinct.<br />
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Be careful what you call yourself. Believing what Cameron Diaz says as the ultimate truth makes you a gossip junkie, not a news junkie:)

I sadly am alone again! I married had 2 children and got divorced after 33year relationship married for 27 years. Second love lasted 15 years married for the last 5years! I still love both these ladies, i'd take either back any day! still friends with both! but i'm afraid institution of marriage is a passion killer! It is a relic of the old religious institutions and has governed by guilt and fear! Unless there is a radical change (no legal and religious) so that people learn to love again!

I don't know about you but actually i hear a lot of young people searching actively for marriage, maybe searching more for that than actually looking for the "right person". I think THAT's part of the problem. I would suggest that if you look for the right person, carefully and w/o desperation, then the marriage step may logically come as you both grow together. Searching for marriage, being sold on that as a part of the American dream, may lead you to search for someone to marry, and just that. Then getting into marriage without the right relationship and the right person might lead to a disaster of a marriage that has to end.<br />
Just a theory, but fueled by some experience.

I sincerely hope it works out for you. I hope that your future husband feels the same..... :)

I know what you mean Crystal.I just think most people aren't committed.Maybe we just aren't taught or we dont realize how truly precious love should be.Its not to be thrown away. I am from a divorced family and have not married yet.But I hope to someday find something true.Its just hard in this world!!<br />
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Charity<br />
www.charityjh.com

As I read your post... I grow sad. I had planned on marrying only once... and though I believe that to still be true... I am sad because my one and only marriage did not work out. I wanted it to, but she did not.... it takes two to make a marriage work.<br />
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Less than a year after our divorce, she remarried... oddly enough we still get along... on my part its because of the kids...<br />
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I will say, if your of the mindset that your committed and will do what it takes to make it work, and the other wants out... no matter what... your world feels like its tearing apart at the seams.