Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where Links Lead

I started at Maggie's Farm with an excellent quote from Georgetown professor Patrick Dineen's commentary on the attitudes underlying the welfare state (with reference to Rawls - that would be John, not Lou). This led in turn to the pseudonymous Dr. Joy Bliss and her essay on The Problem With Women.

That linked to Neo-neocon's two part series on marriage and divorce, also quite interesting. Neo links further to Dr. Helen's article about whether men should marry. The surprise in this is not that political questions often lead back to personal and social ones - that train runs both ways. Nor was I shocked at the comments at each of these places. There were the expected number of seething males describing how they had been screwed over, and earnest, somewhat moralising men explaining how marriage takes sacrifice and maturity.

What surprised me was the number of happily married, generally pro-marriage people, male and female, who were no longer certain they would recommend to young men that they get married. (There are many other interesting topics along the way - it's an excellent browse for reading what you like and scrolling past whatever does not interest you.)

Personal note: I think I have always just assumed that my two older sons would marry reasonably happily and well. They are wise and kind, and I just expected that they would marry wisely and be decent. (Yes, they have faults, but I won't go into those here.) Whatever difficulties and tragedies I feared they might face were drawn more from the pool of illness and catastrophe - that they or their families might be struck with injury or disease. That either might marry someone awful seems not to have occurred to me. That seems rather naive.

That worry applies more to my younger sons, who had a background of trauma and neglect up until they came to the Christian orphanage in Beius at 13 and 11, and to America at 16 and 14. I can imagine either of them choosing poorly, or being unable to adjust to a moderately bad situation. This worry is receding over time as they show increasing sense, but it still comes to me. Because being happily married seems to me the best life, I have wanted that best life for my sons. I don't think I quite calculated how badly things could go. Odd of me, coming from a divorced, then blended family myself - a source of irritation until a few years ago.

Update: NH blogger Raven, who must live fairly close to here, blogged on the same topic tonight.


Anonymous said...

Fortunately, I met my husband of 35years early, before I had even started to look for a husband. I had a clear list of characteristics I would look for, and he fit them all. Rough days? Yeah. Days I hated his guts? Yeah. So? Life has hard spots. We are content with each other and figure the faults of each are not worth divorcing over. We made vows before God and as Christians take those vows seriously.
Yet we helped our son get his divorce when his wife became addicted to drugs and drama to keep our grandchildren safe.
Oh, but the point was, I'm glad I met him early. (I married at 19) Seeing all the ways people can crash, I think I'm too cautious now to ever marry again if he died. And another son who waited until he had a degree and a job to start looking can't find anyone. And he would make such a good husband to a sensible woman.
Where have all the sensible people gone?

Ben Wyman said...

An excellent post, with the possibly erroneous statement that both your older sons have "faults." You didn't raise us to believe such nonsense.

On a more serious note, I have become less enamored with your youngest's ability to keep his head in relationships as time has gone on. Though I suppose it's typical of someone his age.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I was comparing to the girl who he went with for months without knowing what year she was, plus his debacle with Sam.

So his behavior with Brittney is making him even mopier? Ouch.