Meaning of Marriage - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Meaning of Marriage

Just read a discussion in here about the meaning of marriage: people arguing whether gay, interracial, and consenting non-monogamous marriages were really marriages. I think they missed the point, simply because even the most widely accepted vision of what most consider a "traditional marriages" is so new and fluid. The truth is that the modern version of a marriage, one based on love, equality, shared responsibilities, monogamy, and life-long commitment are very new and novel concepts. This notion of "traditional marriage" as something passed down from generations is nothing more than a fantasy. Reality is that we are still struggling to figure out the definition of marriage.

Why is this notion of "traditional marriage" fictitious? For starters, until a few generations ago very rarely people chose their spouses based on love. Many had their spouses chosen by their parents or plain need. Potential mates were scarce and there were plenty of other more urgent considerations other than love in picking spouses. Equality among spouses was also a completely absurd concept. Men and women were expected to do very different things and their roles at home were not only very well defined but also radically different. The concept of monogamy mostly only applied to women. Men, particularly those wealthy and powerful, were not expected by anyone -including their wives- to not indulge in sexual adventures with other partners. And life-long commitments were incredibly relative as lives were usually cut very short by disease or a bad pregnancy. Reality is the average marriage lasted less only a few years. Despite our fantasies, most of our predecessors had marriages that were mostly practical, unromantic, and non-monogamous. Very much unlike what we now expect from marriage.

No wonder so many people struggle with marriage nowadays. Many people fall out of love, find themselves cheating (or being cheated on), bored, unappreciated, and just unhappy. They blame their partners and themselves. Many will blame the "media", "liberals", or just someone else. They don't realize our expectations of marriage are way beyond anything humans have faced in the past. And the reason why we struggle in defining and finding the proper rules to make it work.

My point is that there is no absolute definition of marriage or rules of right vs. wrong. We are all just trying to fit these unrealistic expectations into our lives and biological realities. Very stressful for everyone. My guess is that our definition and rules of marriage will change quite dramatically in the future. Which hopefully will happen soon.

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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:24 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

I would largely agree with you. But, I had to come to this conclusion kicking and screaming after my 24 year marriage ended in divorce. However, you are correct in many of your observations.

The fairy tale is deeply embedded in our society. In fact I would say the fairy tale is probably responsible for many of the divorces we see, especially gray or silver divorces involving aging baby boomers (such as myself). Either thru marriages that never should have taken place to begin with or thru marriages that ended because one or the other felt unhappy that they were not living the fairy tale.

Another concept that needs buried is the idea of the "soul mate". It is crazy to believe that there is ONE person for you in the whole world, when reality tells us that the options are virtually unlimited.

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:37 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

I don't get your point really. Why does it matter if you call it traditional or not. The bottom line is as you state the modern version of a marriage, one based on love, equality, shared responsibilities, monogamy, and life-long commitment, this is what most people expect out of marriage in our world today. There can be no doubt that this is the commitment most people expect from themselves and their spouses when they say I do. Whether or not it is a new concept does really matter or absolve anyone from their responsibilities. This is the societal norm for the last 100 years or so.

If this is too much to expect then don't enter into a marriage. It's really that simple, no one is forcing anyone to get married, or be monogamous. If you enter into a marriage keep your commitments. That is basically the bottom line.

Sorry but post like this just sounds like a pseudo intellectual way to justify cheating to me. Maybe this isn't you but I always find arguments like this to come from people who don't really like the fact that 75% of the population still want to have a monogamous relationship and marriage. Despite whether they keep there commitments or not, for most this is the ideal that they strive for. Even cheaters want their spouses to be monogamous they just want to be able to cheat and be vampires. Anyway I think arguments like this (modern marriage is too damn hard) are really because it sucks for people who want open marriages that they only have about 25% of the gene pool to choose from. I get it you want more hot people on your team.

I give you credit, at least you are not pretending to be monogamous. I actually see the concept of open marriage as a very good thing for society, I really hope this will bring some of the people who would normally cheat out of the shadows I hope they accept what they are and marry each other. However I don't think there will be more then 25% of the world interested in it. The rest will still want a modern marriage as you described it and about half of them will be vampires.

Maybe we will all have chips in are brains one day that will tell us whether or not we can be trusted. Or maybe VR porn and sex bots will be so real a good portion of people won't even marry.

Oh one more thing, if you took the vows it's WRONG to cheat.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

Ynot: I completely agree on the concept of "soul mate". What an amazingly heavy burden for everyone to carry.

Last edited by DosXXMan; 11-29-2016 at 07:30 PM.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:54 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

@sokillme apparently you missed the fact that the definition of marriage has changed dramatically over the past 100 years and will probably change as much or more over the next 100 years. As DosXX stated the reality is that we are still struggling to define exactly what marriage is.
Without a doubt the definition you provided is what most marriages are based upon, but reality is rendering the ideal to be less than attainable in many cases. Hence the numbers of divorces, the fact that youth are delaying or forgoing marriage and yes, the amount of cheating.
The "modern" definition of marriage is under assault by the world itself for precisely the reasons DosXX stated - we are outliving our emotional attachments, the world is a smaller place now and our prosperity has made raising children and simple survival much easier without the commitment (and legal entanglements) of marriage.
It isn't making excuses for cheating, it is recognizing that society is changing and the definition of marriage is trying to catch up.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:02 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

Marriage was not created for selfish people who don't hold themselves to any standard but their own. Marriage would be very simple, and relatively easy, if everyone was raised in a moral and Godly way. But they aren't.

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Last edited by BioFury; 11-29-2016 at 05:26 PM.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:24 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

I believe that marriage evolved as the intellect of the species was evolving. However, as we are now devolving, marriage cannot sustain. Children cannot be expected to make lifelong commitments, they simply haven't the intellect necessary to do so. Marriage was evolving to be a relationship between mature adults. It is no wonder that it is waning in this intellectually barren wasteland.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:25 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

Why is there a need to redefine terms? How about just being upfront with the people you get involved with about what you want and what you are willing to give?

If you do that, it shouldn't matter what (if anything) you call your relationship. What you propose seems pretty similar to changing the definition of thin so that fat people can call themselves that. What's wrong with just living the life you want to live and sharing it with someone who accepts it? Why does the commonly accepted definition of marriage need to change to confirm to you?

Honestly, I couldn't care less if you want to have a completely open relationship and call it marriage. What you don't get to do is demand that everyone else modify their definition. And I still don't get why you would care enough to make the effort.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:26 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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Originally Posted by Ynot View Post
@sokillme apparently you missed the fact that the definition of marriage has changed dramatically over the past 100 years and will probably change as much or more over the next 100 years. As DosXX stated the reality is that we are still struggling to define exactly what marriage is.
Without a doubt the definition you provided is what most marriages are based upon, but reality is rendering the ideal to be less than attainable in many cases. Hence the numbers of divorces, the fact that youth are delaying or forgoing marriage and yes, the amount of cheating.
The "modern" definition of marriage is under assault by the world itself for precisely the reasons DosXX stated - we are outliving our emotional attachments, the world is a smaller place now and our prosperity has made raising children and simple survival much easier without the commitment (and legal entanglements) of marriage.
It isn't making excuses for cheating, it is recognizing that society is changing and the definition of marriage is trying to catch up.
I didn't miss it, I don't think it matters. Marriage is basically a contract. When you make the contract you know what you are agreeing to, at that point for the people who signed the contract the definition is static. So it doesn't matter what societies definition is anymore.

I really don't think the definition is changing anyway. I think the definition that OP laid out is a very good definition that everyone aspires to and has aspired to for the last 100 years in western couture. No one can deny that that is what people expect, and people are still trying to and getting married. There are still songs, books, movies all about it. I just think that now a days people don't honor their commitments. They justify their bad behavior and the world is very self indulgent. We have been a me-centric society for many years, no wonder a selfless institution like marriage is too hard for most people. The problem isn't marriage it's the people. The good thing may be that there is less taboo about not being married. My point is the answer isn't lets make marriage like a very good friend that you share an apartment with (which about 75% of the world will bulk at). The answer is if you don't want to follow what most people want then just don't get married, or find someone who wants to share an apartment with their special friend while f-cking others on the side. More power to you.

Again open marriage isn't going to become the norm, mostly because it is not a very stable environment to raise children in. Most woman want stability for their children. This isn't going to change. The phenomenon of single mothers is the real consequence for woman who don't want to marry and still want children, or who marry men who want to f-ck around, it's not open marriage. Most woman reject that idea.

I just don't think your premise holds, I think if we to time travel 100 years from now people will still be getting married in similar numbers expecting the same definition that OP laid out. I will agree the getting rid of the fairy tail of soulmates and happily ever after is a good thing. marriage isn't a panacea to solve all your problems.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:45 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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Originally Posted by sokillme View Post
I didn't miss it, I don't think it matters. Marriage is basically a contract. When you make the contract you know what you are agreeing to, at that point for the people who signed the contract the definition is static. So it doesn't matter what societies definition is anymore.
Provided he hasn't changed his opinion, Ynot doesn't believe people are obligated to keep their word if they don't feel like it anymore. So a contract would never be static in the case of people like him.


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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:00 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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Provided he hasn't changed his opinion, Ynot doesn't believe people are obligated to keep their word if they don't feel like it anymore. So a contract would never be static in the case of people like him.
What in the heck are you talking about? Where did I ever say any such thing. I swear some people just like to make things up. I guess projecting is easier than thinking critically.
The OP stated the definition of marriage is something society is struggling with. The facts bear this out. Deny them all you want because you are hurt. I was hurt too. I was hurt when my Ex decided to walk out. But guess what? I realize now that the idea of "modern marriage" is a fairy tale. My ex didn't hurt me, my belief in the fairy tale hurt me.

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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:04 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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Originally Posted by sokillme View Post
I didn't miss it, I don't think it matters. Marriage is basically a contract. When you make the contract you know what you are agreeing to, at that point for the people who signed the contract the definition is static. So it doesn't matter what societies definition is anymore.

I really don't think the definition is changing anyway. I think the definition that OP laid out is a very good definition that everyone aspires to and has aspired to for the last 100 years in western couture. No one can deny that that is what people expect, and people are still trying to and getting married. There are still songs, books, movies all about it. I just think that now a days people don't honor their commitments. They justify their bad behavior and the world is very self indulgent. We have been a me-centric society for many years, no wonder a selfless institution like marriage is too hard for most people. The problem isn't marriage it's the people. The good thing may be that there is less taboo about not being married. My point is the answer isn't lets make marriage like a very good friend that you share an apartment with (which about 75% of the world will bulk at). The answer is if you don't want to follow what most people want then just don't get married, or find someone who wants to share an apartment with their special friend while f-cking others on the side. More power to you.

Again open marriage isn't going to become the norm, mostly because it is not a very stable environment to raise children in. Most woman want stability for their children. This isn't going to change. The phenomenon of single mothers is the real consequence for woman who don't want to marry and still want children, or who marry men who want to f-ck around, it's not open marriage. Most woman reject that idea.

I just don't think your premise holds, I think if we to time travel 100 years from now people will still be getting married in similar numbers expecting the same definition that OP laid out. I will agree the getting rid of the fairy tail of soulmates and happily ever after is a good thing. marriage isn't a panacea to solve all your problems.
I see so all of the things that you listed are just exceptions and not trends (despite the fact that analysis indicates the exceptions are becoming the norm) and the definition of marriage is suddenly just going to stabilize right where you want it too after continually evolving for millennia? Cool, can I have some of what you are smoking? I am sorry, I choose to live int he real world and not the make believe world of fairy tales

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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:15 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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I see so all of the things that you listed are just exceptions and not trends (despite the fact that analysis indicates the exceptions are becoming the norm) and the definition of marriage is suddenly just going to stabilize right where you want it too after continually evolving for millennia? Cool, can I have some of what you are smoking? I am sorry, I choose to live int he real world and not the make believe world of fairy tales
Yep pretty much exceptions. I think there is a better chance marriage will go away. Most people think open marriage doesn't make sense, from a guys point of view why subject your financial well being, just F-ck around.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:22 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

I definitely think people should make their expectations of what they except in a marriage from one another and make their own.
Society concepts and romanticism is quite dangerous, when it comes down to any individuals a one size doesn't fit all.

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:26 PM
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Re: Meaning of Marriage

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What in the heck are you talking about? Where did I ever say any such thing. I swear some people just like to make things up. I guess projecting is easier than thinking critically.
The OP stated the definition of marriage is something society is struggling with. The facts bear this out. Deny them all you want because you are hurt. I was hurt too. I was hurt when my Ex decided to walk out. But guess what? I realize now that the idea of "modern marriage" is a fairy tale. My ex didn't hurt me, my belief in the fairy tale hurt me.
Ynot: "The fact that he already said yes is irrelevant... Neither of you deserve a life time of regrets because of a vow you made years ago under circumstances that have changed."

At what point do we decide that our lives would be better spent with other people?

No, the fairytale recipe is sound. Either one or both of you were rotten eggs, and thus messed up the cake. Find/become a good egg, and things will work out for you

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Last edited by BioFury; 11-29-2016 at 06:37 PM.
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