I'm getting tired of having to spoonfeed this to some of you people individually. As it turns out though, thankfully, I can edit the OP so at least read this. I am not arguing against love, relationships or commitment, or anything the like. Quite the opposite, I'm saying they're good enough on their own without the need for the legal paperwork, money-waste and label of marriage. I welcome any opinion whether I like it or not, but not when you're missing all of the actual points like a little boy splashing the rim and substitute your own. No one's forcing you to read the whole thread, but at least read the damn OP of the thread next time or don't bother. It's getting frustrating having to read through your condescending tones just to find out you just didn't pay attention.
Hey. I'm not sure if I made a thread before but I'd like to put some of my thoughts on marriage here and see what all of you guys think. I see many of you as much smarter than me, and I think I can learn some. This got a little long, and I don't know if I should post it as a blog instead, but since my objective is to get some sort of exchange/discussion going a thread is more fitting. This is my opinion only. I'm not going to talk about gay-marriage or things like that, we all already know enough about that. I want to talk about marriage itself.
My stance on marriage is not that everybody should be allowed to have one, including gays. My stance is that nobody should get married, including straight people. And I'm often confused as to why atheists, secular intelligent people, would want to engage in this antiquated, forcefully contrived and often religious social construct.
I've said this in one form or another before. People like to think about marriage as this magical bond between two people in love, but for the bigger part of its history marriage wasn't about love at all. We know that in the past ages marriage was only used as a form of sales-contract, a political relationship building tool between two parties, and a way for the rulers to keep tabs on their subjects, while making sure they don't run amok fucking and raping each other aimlessly. It was an easy social structure to introduce into a primitive society that would otherwise kill each other over women to rape (which they did, and still do regardless). As a religious construct, it has been solely used for the above mentioned purposes, plus turn women into property. We need only look at some religious men and their harem of wives, to see that in that marriage women have become nothing more than a commodity. In marriage, even today, women are often nothing more than merchandise. Why do you think religious men always emphasize the importance of staying pure and staying away from sex until marriage? Because some men have very small penises. And some men with small penises are willing to pay high prices for a certain commodity: virginity. They want sex with virgins, because the small-dicked man knows the virgin doesn't know any better, so he has a confidence boost. Same reason they marry old geezers to little children, under the ruse of "our prophet did it." It's all about keeping the business running. Tell girls not to fuck. Slut-shame them should they dare to have sex outside of marriage. Call them whores, sluts, whatever. Put peer-pressure on them. Because if they do, the market will run dry.
There are a some popular arguments for/about marriage that I'd like to take on.
- It's a public declaration of loyalty. / It shows commitment.
This is a common error. Marriage doesn't make someone any more loyal then s/he would've been anyway, and if it does it's either because of peer-pressure (look up countries with the lowest divorce rates) or simple disingenuity. If you are in a relationship (which is not open), then you should be able to stay loyal and make it clear you're committed all by yourself, without a ring on your finger to vouch for you. Saying marriage ads to the commitment and shows loyalty is really no different than, for example, saying the bible gives us strength and hope. We should be able to have those things by ourselves, and those who cling to it show only a lack of those traits in themselves; just as someone who can not be as loyal without marriage shows a lack of confidence in their loyalty to begin with.
Now there also many people who say that they want a marriage to make sure their partner is committed. To me, a person who says they cannot expect loyalty and commitment unless their partner agrees to marry them is a person who displays a severe lack of trust, confidence and faith in their partner. A crucial flaw which wouldn't work out too well for a relationship to begin with.
I'm quoting the next point from a post from another member, MikeLong, here. I originally wanted to answer you in that thread, but the lack of a reply button was getting on my nerves, sorry.
- If shit goes south, marriage makes us try harder to preserve the relationship, rather than simply cast it aside as just another failed relationship.
Again, I think this should go without having to be married. If the relationship is worth it you should put all effort in, but not because you think "Oh well, we're married now. And it's kinda too much work to get divorced anyway." If marriage is your only incentive to keep a relationship alive, it's not a relationship of love as it is a cold iron chain locking you together.
More importantly though, just because a relationship is over doesn't mean it's failed. We fall in love, and then often we get jaded, and it's over. But that doesn't mean it wasn't worthwhile, that it was a waste of time, or that it failed. We experience something nice, and then it's time to move on. What marriage does is hold you trapped, after you've had enough. And I believe that the idea of an ended relationship being a "failed" relationship is something, more often than not, pushed into our culture by clergy. They are mostly the ones we hear bitching about divorce rates in secular countries and how it's somehow directly related to the moral decline in that country. That's bullshit. The only thing a divorce means is that two people no longer want to be together. What does the reason matter? Clergy often pretend like it's because people turn gay and the men divorce their wives because they want to go to a gay bar and have wild gay sex out of wedlock (ironically the solution would be to allow same-sex marriage, but I digress). But even if it were so, so what? How would it make those two people any more happy if they were continuously trapped in a marriage? Even when, at first, only one of the two partners wants a divorce, to me it would be much more horrible to force the other person to stay married. I certainly wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want me anymore. Platonic love doesn't end well for either party.
So what I'm rambling on about it that ending a relationship is not always a bad thing. Call me a cynic, but I believe that it's a good time even most of the time. Something sucks, you work at it. But at some point you have to stop and accept that it might just not be worth it to try and pick up all the pieces off of the floor so you can glue them together and hope it sticks for just a little while longer. At some point you just have to leave the pieces lie and move the fuck on.
- marriage is the sacred bond between a man and a woman
Obviously, this is an argument that comes from the theist camp. Now I'm not going to argue about how retarded it is to suggest that gays have any less of a right to a marriage, we already know that, but instead tell you why I think religion loves pairing different genders so much. It's because man + woman = baby. Baby = another unit in the army. That's it. Nothing profound to it. Sacred bond my ass. It's about growing numbers like a virus. Rulers in all ages understood that if you want to build a powerful nation, what you need are people. Many many people. As many as possible. Living conditions, quality of life - doesn't matter. If he can hold a weapon and become cannon-fodder he's good enough. Same reason religion values men more than women. They're physically stronger. Same reason clergy are against abortion, it kills potential units and dwindles their numbers. (It also kills off all the pussy in the age range they like.)
- We do it for the civil / legal / financial rights.
I actually don't know enough about this to be able to fairly comment, so I'd love some input. Obviously I still don't like it. I know people who have been together for years but have no intentions of getting married for any benefits, my own sister included, and they seem to lead happy lives. But are the benefits worth compromising your integrity?Is there no other way to achieve those rights? Would it be at all possible for us to change this? I'm aware that gays fight for marriage because they want the rights that come with it. Now I remember Strega saying in a different thread that if they made some other civil construct which would allow her, as a gay person, to have all the benefits of a usual marriage provides, she'd do it right away. Even if it wasn't called a marriage. Do you agree with this, or do you think that, if anything, both straight people and gays should get the exact same thing? In which case it cannot be a religious union, because all major religions are homophobic. And so...I'm tired.
That's it for now. I actually have much more to say, but I kinda already wrote more than usual and I'm getting bored and I'm sure I've bored most of you by now too. I might add some later. Cut me some slack!
RE: "minor derogatory statements such as 'schmuck'. it has become forever associated with love."
As in, "I want to schmuck you --"
Well, if it makes you feel any better, there are girls who agree wholeheartedly that weddings are a superfluous expense, and the money would be better spent elsewhere (hi, me!). I've only been considering marriage because of legal reasons, not for romantic reasons. I'd hate for one or the other of us to die and whoever was left behind have no legal rights to our estate or what-have-you. My boyfriend and I would probably get a prenup, too. We love/like each other right now, which is the best time to protect each other from our possible future bitter selves that might not be reasonable (hopefully we'd never get to that point, but our parents have taught us love and marriage don't always last).
I've also been kind of considering a wedding as of late since my boyfriend is an only child and it seems his family would like him to have one. The more I think about it, the less appealing it is. My family is super religious, and I don't feel like dealing with whatever reaction they'd have to a secular wedding... and, of course, there's family drama. I have a dad and step-dad, and I'd basically have to tell them both I don't want either of them to walk me down the aisle. My real dad would probably be understanding; he gets that I'm a 21st century female, and no one has the right to give me away. My step-dad would probably get his feelings hurt since he's been there most of my life and has always wanted to walk me down the aisle. And then there's the whole issue of bride's maids, and that stupid game of favoritism vs who's known me longest... and who I let help decorate (my mom vs my boyfriend's mom who's sense of design is MUCH better...
It's all just a recipe for headaches, resentment, hurt-feelings, and wasted finances. I think we'll elope anyway. Wedding are a huge farce.
I agree with your thinking on the prenup, and have made much the same point. From my perspective, love (amongst other things) means shedding delusions that you know it will last forever, and assigning rights and obligations in the worst case scenario while your intentions toward your partner are at their best. Sometimes love is poetry and romanticism. Sometimes love is paperwork and cold realism.
Exactly! What better way to show your partner you truly love them than by sparing them a horrible and expensive divorce should it come to that? If you don't want to guarantee your partner walks with their fair share, maybe you really should question how much you really love them. If what you're trying to accomplish by marrying someone is holding them hostage to what they may lose by leaving you, that's shitty and selfish.
Weddings are expensive and generally bring out the worst in people. Eloping is the way to go, if you are going the marriage route.
Eloping is selfish. Your parents, especially your mom, has looked forward to the day you get married almost since you were born. Disinviting them to your wedding is, frankly, unkind.
Weddings can be inexpensive and if parents want to spend the money, it's not your problem. You can certainly let them know you want something nice and personal and reverent rather than something opulent and expensive.
It is okay to be selfish at times. It is basic self-preservation.
Who can disagree with that? How do you apply it to eloping in a way that justifies disrespecting your parents?
Emotionally unhealthy, abusive parents/family. Eloping is removing yourself from exposure to the abuse.
Is it selfish to want to avoid the abuse that one might have been accustom to receiving? Perhaps. The bigger picture is self-preservation. Preserving a moment that you wish to cherish fond memories of for years to come. Preserving your emotional well-being and so on.
As for disrespecting your parents, eh. If they have set up a relationship dynamic that results in their child not wanting them at the wedding, then that is the parents issue. Cause and effect, if you will.
How often are relations THAT bad? Most people, especially in the mid-to-late teens into their early twenties experience friction with their parents as they begin to individuate and test their independence. Sadly, it's often due to their parents' natural urge to protect them.
Absent actual abuse, it's really a terribly selfish thing to elope. Excluding one's parents from one's wedding, in most cases, is very hurtful to the ones who fed and clothed you.
Most typically, elopement comes out of romantic love, and as I say in a discussion I just started under the subject line, "Romantic love isn't love, it's obsession," romantic love by it's nature is selfish and obsessive and keeps one from thinking of anyone other than the object of one's obsession.
Unseen, family relations are more often than not "that bad". I did deal with abuse but, even if I didn't, I still don't feel obligated to have a wedding. This is the 21st century. We don't arrange marriages anymore. Our fathers don't own us and don't have a right to give their daughters away. The parents of the bride rarely foot the bill anymore. And the fact that our parents raised us doesn't mean we owe them weddings and grandbabies.
If you want a wedding, have a wedding and let that be enough. If you want children, have children and let that be enough. Then, when those kids are adults, parents should allow their kids to pursue their own dreams. It's selfish for parents to insist their kids conform to their expectations. You gave them life, now let them live it the way that fulfills them... not you.
So, because my mother has been dreaming of the wedding of her son, should mean that I have to include her into my wedding plans? She has expectations, which means that she should automatically be included in my plans?
I never asked her to dream about my wedding, nor did I ever ask her to visualize it, I am therefor not obliged to meet her expectations about my own goddamn wedding!
One of my best friends got married with his girlfriend, nobody cared about what he wanted, or what he did not wanted, there were 2 mothers and 4 grandmothers involved in making sure that the wedding was done exactly in the way that they wanted it. When my friend protested, he was told that he should not protest, this was after all a wedding, women are always dreaming of weddings and therefor he just had to accept it for what it was.
Eloping can be a smart, mature choice as well as that it can be stupid, insensitive and childish.