I was listening to a podcast where relationships expert Esther Perel was discussing the great complexity behind why people engage in infidelity and she said a very interesting thing- ‘marriage is the new religion’.
To break this down, she was basically expressing that the expectations we have of a romantic partner have reached such crazy heights. In marriage originally, all we asked for was social positioning and economic stability, then came the era of romantic love where we hoped for great love and high passion as well, now we have ‘soul mate’ love. In essence, we are asking our romantic partners to be EVERYTHING to us. Partner, lover, possibly co-parent, best friend, economic partner, intellectual equal etc. etc.
I’m feeling jaded with marriage. Rates of divorce are at an all time high. Is marriage even realistic?
What are your thoughts?
I am probably the worst person to respond to this lol. I am not a fan of marriage at all. The short history that you’ve given there @EarthMama is interesting. I just find marriage extremely outdated and unrealistic when it’s supposed to be ’till death do us part’. Marriage places so many unreal expectations on a relationship that I think are unnecessary. It places relationships in a hierarchy with the expectation that you marry when you’re with someone for an extended period of time. Why can’t we just be together without the constraints and expectations of marriage? I haven’t been that eloquent in my argument against. But I’m sure that marriage is here to stay in some shape or form
@DeftRat I don’t think you are the worst person to respond at all ! Your response is 100% valid and certainly something I’ve been thinking about.
I agree that it is outdated, especially when you consider the reasons people used to marry compared to today as well as the very high rate of divorce which arguably nullifies the point of ’till death do us part’ anyway.
How binding is a contract that is unbinding?
I get especially frustrated that we live in a society than can be so transient and careless i.e. cancelling plans at the last minute via text message just because you can- and yet we supposedly hold marriage in such high regard.
Personally, I think our society is attached to marriage because we are idealistic about love and the law.
Agree with you 100% there @EarthMama. We have this cultural fascination with love and the legitimisation of that love with the law. I love your question of how binding is a contract that is unbinding? I don’t see the point in making a false commitment ’till death do us part’ (if that is even what is said during weddings anymore) when it’s more than likely a false statement. Why not something as realistic as ’till as long as we can’? Maybe that’s too pessimistic. My partner that I am with now is my first serious relationship. I remember my mum asking me ‘Is he the one do you think?’ and my immediate response was ‘The one for now’. This was not because I didn’t see us lasting, but because I don’t think it’s fair to place a forever on a relationship. Things happen, people change (I also don’t believe in ‘the one’).
So think the whole “traditional marriage” thing is a bit silly given all the reasons that people used to get marriage are actually super outdated, and as a gay person the whole marriage equality debate is a bit infuriating. but from a perspective of like, social order and cohesion, I’ve always thought the idea of getting married made a lot of sense if you loved someone and wanted to share your life with them. Like, if you can get divorced at any time, then it’s not such a big deal anyway so why worry about whether its actually going to be forever or not?
I don’t have an idolised vision of marriage but I don’t have a pessimistic view on it either. but then I’m pretty conscious of whats needed for a good relationship and find that more important than whether its within a marriage or not, which I guess is what you touched on @EarthMama. Marriage only has to be as “realistic” as you make it.