|Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)|
The post Should We Ban Divorce? stirred up a kettle of consensus more so than controversy. There seemed to be mostly agreement with my premise that banning divorce is an improbable and impractical solution, but since divorce is responsible for many societal ills there could be a benefit to making it more difficult to obtain.
Even though I had stated that I wanted only to discuss the topic of divorce in the discussion, several of you still interjected the opinion that marriage is too easy to enter into, thus stating what is to me a glaringly obvious flaw that can increase the potential of divorce. For those of you who stated this opinion, I am in agreement and this leads to the next part of the possible problems that can lead to violence in our society.
Marriage is a bond that is based primarily on emotions and practicalities. Love can often be highly illogical and ill-defined. Feelings about love can trigger insecurity, frustration, moodiness, and jealousy. These are all trigger emotions that can lead us to do stupid things when certain expectations have not been met and we seem to have no control over the outcome of what is happening.
Many couples contemplating marriage do not consider their own emotional well-being let alone that of their intended spouse. Love is blind as the saying goes--we see what we want or hope to see. We overlook bad traits or accept them as something our spouse will outgrow or we can change or that we will just learn to live with. As is typical when the brain is left behind, emotions often trump logic.
The matrimonial state does have many logical and practical sides to it. These in reality should be the most decisive factors in getting married to one person and staying married to that same person. This might not make for the most interesting romance story, but it should be the true story of family--forget the emotional fantasies that we like to create in our minds or see in the movies. Marriage needs to be taken far more seriously than it often is.
To use a commonly cited analogy, we have to take lessons and pass tests before we can get a driver's license, but I don't know of any place that requires couples to do any such thing in order to get married. I don't even think you have to get blood tests anymore. You merely go to the courthouse, pay some fees, and then you're ready to commit to one of the most serious contracts out there. It all seems a bit flippant and crazy to me.
Some churches do require couples to go through a certain amount of "training" before being permitted to tie the knot under their religious authority, but no one has to get married in a church. Couples are free to go before any legally sanctioned representative who is authorized to recite whatever script has been decided upon and even if it's a vow the couples can say their "I do's" whether or not they even paid attention to what was said at the ceremony.
A marriage license should require far more rigorous scrutiny than is now necessary. Enough time should be added into the equation to allow for classes, counseling, and contemplation. Love taken lightly can lead to making some very bad choices.
In all reality, love is perhaps the weakest and worst part of the marriage equation. Society should approach marriage from the standpoint of the more sensible reasons to get married and penalize those who attempt to benefit from the byproducts of marriage such as children. How many fatherless families does our government help support now? Why? Maybe it's because governmental charity is now an assumption by people who want to dally in that which should be reserved for marriage. There's a whole other source of anger and a negatively inspired generation of kids who don't understand the sanctity of marriage and family. But I won't take that one any further for the time being.
The concern right now is marriages that stay together because of the efforts of people who know why and have some good ideas how to keep the marriage intact. Training and solid pre-planning are integral to helping couples misguided by blind love into thinking logically about where they are going.
In many ways, romantic love is asinine. Let's face it--it's often lust in a fancy disguise. Lust distorted by a certain element of loneliness and societal pressure. But when the lust has lost its luster and you've woken up one morning to the scary face of reality, love and marriage faces the true test. The real love of marriage is not always going to be flowers, chocolate, and romantic dinners by candlelight. There's also messy bathrooms, TV shows that you may not like, and dirty socks and underwear. Isn't it better to find many skeletons in as many closets as you can find before you set up housekeeping?
In some ways I can see the practical side of arranged marriages. Maybe it's better to learn to love someone than it is to fall out of love because of what you've learned later down the road. Living together sometimes works, but I think it also diminishes the institution of marriage and family that is built on sacred values and sacrificial compromise.
But now we're getting into morality and values. That's another post still and another reason we may be seeing the type of violence as we have seen with the mass shootings. For now let's not focus on morality in general, but let's stick to marriage.
Do you think people are able to get married too easily? Should a waiting time or a period of courtship be required before marriage licenses are issued? Should couples be psychologically evaluated when inflicted by that mental illness called Romantic Love?