Wednesday, March 04, 2020


I just read a comment from a young woman who is reluctant to marry, because her own parents' marriage was (to her eyes - they are still together) not good. I understand the hesitation, or at least I think I do. I have some feelings of sympathy for the view, because who would volunteer for what they think is a bad marriage?

But my stronger thoughts go to an analogy that I think no longer occurs to people.  I think it is simply reality.  Marriage is like some other things in life.  I can't help but think "So you don't want to work at a job to make some money to live on.  You want money to be provided to you by other people instead." Or perhaps "You want a fulfilling social life, but you don't want the risk of any difficult friends." Or even "You want to live closer to God, but you don't want to leave your current spiritual neighborhood."

Reality is what it is.  The trouble comes when we expect otherwise. I acknowledge that there have been those decent and innocent people who endured a lot of uninspiring real history and didn't get much fairy tale in return.  It is fair to hope for at least a little bit of fairy tale, and sad are those who get none. Yet I don't see any other road home.  Those who seek the fairy tale without the history receive neither in the end. If one reads closely, the fairy tale includes the hard times as well.


james said...

Maybe part of it has to do with how much freight marriage has to carry. Soul-mate, companion, emotional support... I can't speak from observation, but perhaps earlier generations had more sources of support.

With so much riding on a selection, the risk of getting it wrong gets higher. Not that there always wasn't a lot riding on the selection, but Socrates could hang out with friends and pupils.

Maybe part of it is perception. The bad things are very dramatic and ugly, the good things less so, and the everyday support is pretty much invisible.

Texan99 said...

Both my parents and my husband's parents, though they stayed married until parted by death, were examples of somewhat unhappy couples who seemed to dislike each other. I suppose we took in the message "stay together anyway," and luckily didn't fall for the message "it's OK to dislike each other." There's something to be said for an unshakeable loyalty, when it comes to getting over the inevitable frictions and disappointments.

Jesse said...

Guess I'm fortunate