My response to this question is the same as Chris Rock’s when he is asked if a white person can ever acceptably use the “N-Word”.
Wow. That was easy.
I’ve been married twice. It was not good either time. For a lot of reasons, many of which people will say had to do with supposed weakness of my spouse or myself.
But I don’t buy that, totally. I think marriage is fundamentally flawed, and I’m not alone.
There was a time when I was very maverick and cavalier. But it seems those days are over. I’m no longer the exciting radical on social theory that I once was.
It’s pretty easy to find mainstream publications talking about why marriage is a bad idea.
I’ll give my top 3 regardless.
1. It’s bad for your spiritual/emotional growth.
If you really want to become someone or accomplish something big, you don’t strap yourself to another person in a three-legged race to get there.
What happens if someone is faster (as is always the case)? Or slower? What do you do then?
With marriage, you have one choice. SLOW DOWN. That isn’t fair to the faster person.
Also, when you change and evolve, the other person will resist 95% of the time. Because it feels unsafe for them.
And that’s logical. Because they have created a stable system with you and kept all other supports out. Any change you make will endanger their stability (or feel like it).
The ‘midlife crisis’ is the biggest example of this. And that is when most marriages will collapse, despite everyone’s ‘best efforts’. And who wants an ‘effortful’ marriage?
Jesus was smart when he said, “In heaven, people aren’t married nor do they get married.”
2. It doesn’t fit with how humans are.
The current ‘nuclear marriage’ model has been around for about 100 years. Before that, there were tribes or clans that lived together. This new model is very dangerous. It provides no fallback in the case of injury or death of a partner. It has few resources for the raising of children. It mostly ends catastrophically.
Intelligence seeks variety. In addition, sexuality, intimacy, even intellectual and emotional energy exchange is extremely dampened by how most people do marriage. You understand how the immune system works. You get a very weak emotional immune system by interacting deeply with just one person for so long.
Thus, it gets harder and harder over time to fight against human nature…it’s more and more depressing. And finally, something breaks.
3. The government runs it.
Do you like anything the government manages? Getting your driver’s license? Paying taxes? Who gets elected? Wars?
Everything the State touches goes to hell.
Gov’t as done now is a satanic (lies and deceit-based) system based on force and punishment almost exclusively.
You can’t relate happily to others through force and punishment. So why would you accept the mafia as your ‘third partner’ in marriage?
The gov’t gives each partner a huge giant stick to beat the other up with. Financial sanctions. Taking children away. Huge consequences.
And the State and its judges has a limited interest and stake in your happiness. It doesn’t love you.
If there are conflicts or issues, you want them supported by your community and families, not by nameless bureaucrats and their underlings–themselves servants to the .0001%–or at least by a mediator you both trust.
You don’t want the 800 lb. gorilla deciding who lives and dies emotionally and financially.
If marriage were regulated only by churches, it would be an ugly enough institution. Throw the state into it and that is a formula for almost certain disaster.
Btw, even if the marriage lasts and remains–the fact that the state and social pressures are so great means that many people stay in loveless, sexless, unhappy marriages because the alternative is so dark. I know I did.
That said, there can be happy, successful marriages.
- If people have the same goals and keep those goals permanently.
- If each partner can navigate their own and their partner’s changes and upsets through the years.
- If both partners stay healthy.
- If they can successfully manage finances together.
But those are a lot of if’s.
Marriage as an institution is dying, and good riddance. It needs to be replaced by something that honors individuals, is non-coercive, and supports people in being their best selves. And that will probably be different for each person, couple, or group.
So, do I recommend marriage?
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