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For starters, I’m supporting traditional marriage by not getting married.  I’m not in love with anyone, I’m not ready to make a lifetime commitment to anyone, and I don’t believe in divorce (except in cases of abuse).  So I’m ignoring all the peer/family/societal pressure to get married despite being in my 30's.  

I also encourage people to take their time, and really make sure they’re ready before they get married.  To some folks, I have suggested that they sit down beforehand and talk about their expectations and the practicalities of marriage (possibly with a counselor or trusted third party).  

For example:

--Are they going to merge their bank accounts?  Has either one built up massive debt, or declared bankruptcy?
--Do they plan to have children?  If so, do they have reasonably similar approaches to parenting?
--How will they arrange their insurance?
--Will one or both be expected to work?  
--Do their respective families have expectations about the pending union?  
--Who will be expected to take care of the home?
--Are their long-term dreams and life goals reasonably compatible?  
--Can they argue constructively?  In other words, clearing the air and purging the inevitable tension without damaging the relationship?  
--Do they understand that you can train someone to clip their nails and put the seat down, but you cannot change their true character?

I do this because I proudly support traditional marriage.  

Notice I didn’t say a damn thing about gay people, or putting a stop to their pursuit of wedded bliss?  That’s because I don’t believe for one solitary second that “supporting traditional marriage” has anything to do with gay marriage.  And the one sure as hell doesn’t endanger the other.  At all.  In fact, we can very easily support both because VALUES ARE NOT A ZERO SUM GAME.  

And I’m really tired of folks using the phrase as anti-gay code.  You have every right to not like gay marriage.  Just don’t pretend that it has anything at all to do with rescuing traditional marriage from the real threats like Vegas drive-thru nuptials and the latest week-long celebrity pairing.  

Have the courage to speak your beliefs.  If you can’t come out and say what you believe, or if you feel you have to cover up your beliefs with lofty catchphrases, then it seems you have a problem with either your conscience or your backbone.  Only you can determine which.  

As for me, I support traditional marriage.  And I support gay marriage.  That's my conscience speaking.  Don't expect an apology or a debate.  

12:40 PM PT: ADDENDUM:

Thank you all for your comments and recommendations.  Since so many of you commented on my statement “I don’t believe in divorce” I thought it might be best to address it here, instead of piecemeal below.  

As one commenter said, it might have been better for me to say I don’t “approve” of divorce.  That’s fair.  It’s also pretty close to my feelings on the subject.  But I still think “believe” is the closest.  Why?  Let’s consider a few words:

Vow.  Oath.  Commitment.  Promise.  Bond.  Union.  

I’ve been to a lot of weddings over the years, and never once have I heard the judge or religious official include the phrases:

--Until we grow apart.
--Until we no longer find each other attractive.
--Until one or both of us have an affair.
--Until I find out you’re bad with money.
--Until I find someone better.
--Until the honeymoon is over.
--Until I realize I made a mistake.

And yet those are common reasons that many marriages end.  

You don’t have to commit to anything.  But I believe that if you do commit to something, then you give your word of honor to stick it out.  

While I watch so many of my friends start their second and third marriages, almost all the members of my family are still in their first marriages.  Some of them have been together for 40 and 50 years.  Over the years I’ve watched them care for each other in debilitating sickness, weather financial disasters, and love and accept each other for their flaws and quirks as well as their strengths.  

How did they do it?  When the going got tough, they stood together and made it work.  Gay or straight, that’s what marriage means to me.  If I can’t make that commitment, then the answer is simple:  I won’t get married.  To me, a commitment isn’t something you try for a bit to see if you like it.

I don't expect others to agree with me on this, and I certainly don't intend to try to hold you to my standards.  This is simply what I believe, and the choice I've made in my life.    

Knowing that, do I believe that if you commit and things don’t turn out well that you should be forced to stay?  Of course not.  

And could it happen to me someday?  Of course it could.  But I believe that if I go into it with the mentality that I can walk away when the going gets tough, then I fear that is precisely what I am apt to do.  

Originally posted to ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think that it is fairly clear (18+ / 0-)

    that "traditional marriage" for straight folks is an institution that is in trouble. When women began to have more alternatives available to them, they have been less willing to bear the burden of making the marriage work. A majority of marriages do not last until death do them part.

    The opponents of same sex marriage have latched onto the anxieties about the social change connected to gender roles to portray it as somehow being a threat to "traditional marriage" Traditional marriage was already in a heap of trouble before there was serious discussion of same sex marriage.  

    •  Never should have given women the right to vote (8+ / 0-)

      or own property, heck or even to speak!!!

      /oy

      Society is and has always been in flux.  Relationships change, the roles of men and women change.  If my little polecats want to stay at home with children or become CEOs (or god help me, be Politicians!), that's up to THEM.  My job is to help prepare them and keep their options open.

      And to have some numnut proclaiming that "traditional marriage" (whose tradition, btw? wifeypoo stays at home barefoot and pregnant?) is the only way or is vanishing and needs to be protected is so irresponsible that it should be treated like the horse manure that it is.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:44:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good (0+ / 0-)

      Personally I would be thrilled if equality for gays and lesbians kills off this old-fashioned institution.  I'd be even happier if it discredits conservative Christianity as well.

      Basically, I'm hoping that most of the "scary things" that Rick Santorum, Justice Scalia, and the rest of the homophobic industry come true.

      "The Republican Party is at a crossroads. It must decide whether it wants to be the party of Lincoln or the party of apartheid." -Ted Kennedy The teabaggers have chosen to be the party of racism and apartheid.

      by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:42:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What are you hoping will take its place? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, 1toughlady, Wee Mama

        I'm very curious. One of several important functions of marriage is to provide stable families for children. Marriage also helps people to weather the storms of life -- financial, health, etc. -- more effectively than they typically would as individuals. Single mothers are far more apt to be impoverished than mothers who are married, for instance. What do you hope will serve these functions if the whole institution of marriage goes down the drain?

         

  •  And then there's... (6+ / 0-)

    An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
    ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

    by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:14:00 AM PST

  •  I prefer nude hippie weddings. or weedings (5+ / 0-)

    Retro.
    Flashback.
    I don't really care for tuxes. gowns, etc.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:55:03 AM PST

  •  A Lot of Divorced People (21+ / 0-)

    were not particularly in favor of divorce until they realized that it could save their sanity and give them a second chance at having a happy family.

    After 12 years with my first husband and almost 30 with my current (and I presume last) husband I can tell you that getting a divorce doesn't mean you're in favor of divorce any more than having an abortion means you think that abortion is a great thing.  I'm pro-choice not pro-abortion - it's a personal decision.  I'm not pro-divorce either, but everyone has their own life and has to consider how they want to live it.

    I fully support same-sex marriage.  If it threatens a couple's "traditional" marriage that means that at least one of them probably shouldn't married to someone of the opposite sex.  

    "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

    by uniqity on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:35:44 AM PST

      •  You're Absolutely Correct! (7+ / 0-)

        I actually didn't intend to get married again. You know.. been there...done that...

        The only reason we got married (my current husband and I) was because we decided to have kids and at the time it was easier for all concerned.  Of all my time living with both spouses (42 years) only 29 of them were legally sanctioned.

        The way I look at it is that a good relationship doesn't require marriage and marriage can't save a bad relationship.

        "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

        by uniqity on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:20:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, but it can enhance a good one. n/t (3+ / 0-)

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:41:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not to mention the "1338" rights, protections (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, white blitz, ladybug53, kyril

            benefits and privileges conveyed by Federal Law ...

            And a  similar  body of State legal advantages ...

            And, the observable fact that in our culture a married person of whatever age is considered "fully adult, " whereas a single one,  more often than not --  is not. (It's the unmarried sibling generally expected to "care-for" an elderly and infirm parent.)

            So to reacap:  there are legal, economic, and social benefits to having the "legally married" status.

            And the Courts are just beginning to understand that denying the benefits that are rights,  without a "compelling state interest" is a violation of the Equal Protection provision of the 14th Amendment.

          •  Not always... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby

            particularly those "traditional" ones.  Navigating being someone's "wife" or "husband" rather than simply their partner isn't always a task in self-improvement (or relationship improvement).

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 08:26:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  A good relationship (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't necessarily require marriage, in the sense that one can absolutely have a solid and committed relationship without one.

          However, marriage in the legal sense can make a whole lot of things easier in your lives once you've got that committed relationship going.  It's less to do with the relationship and more to do with a generally understood societal recognition of it.  (As you say in your case: easier for all concerned, under the circumstances.)

          That said, I didn't mean that "or at all" to reflect on your personal situation!  Only to comment on people who find their marriage threatened by anything about anybody else's marriage, in that these are people who clearly have serious problems of their own and should try to work those out before doing anything that requires maturity and responsibility, such as being married.  Nothing to do with whether or not one of them is actually closeted, which is what I thought you might be suggesting.

    •  Divorce can be great for the children (4+ / 0-)

      My friend was relieved when here parents finally got divorced. Stress levels plummeted. It was the "year the yelling started" that traumatized her. Divorce for the sake of the children is good, even if no abuse is present.

      •  Agreed, in some cases. A close friend's childhood (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        memories are mostly about hiding while his drunken, knife-wielding father chased him and his mother.

        OTOH, divorce frequently causes the children to experience a large decrease in their economic well-being, along with other negative impacts.

        IMO, mostly the decision as to whether to divorce or not is a choice between various bad alternatives.

      •  Call me crazy, but I've always believed the best (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        thing for children is stability.  Whether Heather has two mommies, or a mommy and daddy, or just a single parent, the best thing for the child is to know he or she is loved and protected in as stable, consistent environment as possible.  

        I have no doubt that divorce can be the lesser of two evils, but packing a bag and moving back across town for visitation every two weeks while mom and dad fight in court or buy stuff to compete for your love is not exactly what I'd call "great for the children".

        Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

        by ThaMothership on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 06:06:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "don’t believe in divorce" -- WTF? (12+ / 0-)

    So people who fundamentally don't get along should remain married in perpetuity?

    And for whom, exactly, is that a good thing?  Children in that household?  Your delicate sensibilities?  Sure, it sucks when parents get divorced.  It sucks pretty badly when they need to and don't, too.  At least in the case of divorce there is an opportunity to make something better out of it.

    /headdesk -- SOOOO not recommended.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:38:44 AM PST

    •  the diarist is NOT universalizing! (4+ / 0-)

      ThaMothership is very clear that these are her/his standards, not to be applied to others - not suggesting a universal standards.

      I agree with the diarist, for myself and my own life. This is what it is for me (as weird and complex as that has been in my relationship).

      So people who fundamentally don't get along should remain married in perpetuity?
      As I understand it, the diarist is saying that if s/he fundamentally doesn't get along with someone, it would be important to figure that out before deciding to commit to marriage. And again, saying that this is a personal standard - not one to be applied to everyone, just for the diarist him/herself.

      In any case:

      If I say "I support this kind of traditional marriage for myself, in my own personal life, just for me, not for others" - does it threaten you in any way?

      Maybe not - maybe the comment was just from misunderstanding.

      But if so: There are heterosexuals who seem to think that any marriage I'd be part of would threaten them somehow because I'm a lesbian. I wonder, are there people who think that my personal no-divorce approach to marriage would threaten them somehow as well? In neither case am I advocating that others do or believe as I do.

      •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme, Michellebird

        Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

        by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:10:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  S/he is full of romantic notions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polecat

        Including the one that supposes passing a test guarantees one's ability to practice indefinitely.

        Fortunately, most countries don't issue drivers licenses for life; they should be so sensible about marriage licenses.

        •  koNko, you don't seem able to understand (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sue B, churchylafemme, Noisy Democrat

          the concept of not universalizing:

          S/he is full of romantic notions (0+ / 0-)

          Including the one that supposes passing a test guarantees one's ability to practice indefinitely.

          Fortunately, most countries don't issue drivers licenses for life; they should be so sensible about marriage licenses.

          You seem to want to have a universalizing debate about what is right or true for everyone.

          In contrast, from what I can see, the diarist is saying something more along the lines of, "this is my specific perspective for my own life."

          So I wonder: What's so hard about a live and let live approach here? I mean, do you need your views to be right for everyone in order to feel comfortable with them for your own self? Is there any room in your worldview for a diversity of perspectives? Or from another angle: Why do you care what the diarist chooses for his own life? What impact does that have on you?

          And from my own perspective, I wonder if you would feel the need to impose your own worldview about marriage onto me as well. The last thing I - a lesbian who can finally get legally married - need is anyone telling me what my own desires and perspective on my own specific experiences and choices re: marriage should be.

          •  What else don't I understand? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polecat

            I have stated my observations on the issues just as the diarist and others.

            I read and understood the diary before commenting and assume s/he is speaking for her/his self, and therefore, my first comment was addressed directly.

            My thoughts:

            S/he has some rather idealized and romantic notions about marriage. That's ok - where would the world be without ideals?  

            You will find in another of my comments here recounting of my own rather romantic and idealistic experience when I met my mate; that despite my own pragmatic approach to life, finding my mate and deciding (rather abruptly) "she's the one" was anything but a practical, reasoned, decision making process (much to my own surprise).

            I and several others here have slightly different experiences with marriage, personal and observed; that whatever one thinks going in, the road leads where it will and that could be forever or not. Both are acceptable outcomes as long as one finds the process worthwhile, and I'd add that the notion that one marries "forever" is, at best, a spiritual concept, because in most cases, when people live till death does them part, one is left behind - like my own mother after my father died in my childhood; to this day she loves my father and is faithful to him in her single old age, also a romantic notion. Her choice about how to live her life.

            Please re-read my several comments on this thread and then come back if you think I don't entertain a diversity of perspectives, experiences and approaches to life, including my acceptance of people who marry for whatever reason and later change their minds for other reasons; if anything, I think I'm suggesting to the diarist greater tolerance of that.

            My comment directly above makes an observation on something the diarist states in rather clear and categorical terms that I find to be romantic, idealistic and (obviously) a bit narrow and unrealistic. That is my opinion and I'm entitled to it, and again, it speaks to acceptance of people who would violate the Diarist's rules.

            I'm not imposing my world view on anyone; I simply have shared by experience/perspective, and hope you can tolerate that.

            I'm glad you have the opportunity to marry and wish you the best. Suggest to take it one day at a time and keep in mind the impermanence of everything.
            That is: enjoy your life & time, sharing it with whomever you chose for whatever reasons. Your life, your choice.

            •  you appear to be into giving advice to others (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, Chi
              I'm glad you have the opportunity to marry and wish you the best. Suggest to take it one day at a time and keep in mind the impermanence of everything.
              That is: enjoy your life & time, sharing it with whomever you chose for whatever reasons. Your life, your choice.
              I didn't ask for advice.

              Can you see the flaw in your interaction style?

            •  actually, I should correct myself (0+ / 0-)

              In the previous reply, I wrote

              I didn't ask for advice.

              Can you see the flaw in your interaction style?

              After writing out the longer comment response to you below, I think it's only a "flaw" from my perspective specifically. I can't stand universalizing. But if I'm correct about your cognitive function stack (my little tangent in that comment), linear universalizing thinking is actually part of how you process information. That kind of thinking irritates me because of how I process information at the logical levels - my thinking process is inductive and relies a great deal on specificity for its accuracy.

              So while I experience it as a flaw in interaction style, it could easily be simply a matter of differences clashing.

        •  Romantic notions about marriage?? Inconceivable! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme

          Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

          by ThaMothership on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 05:27:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A few more considerations (11+ / 0-)
    Do they plan to have children?  If so, do they have reasonably similar approaches to parenting?
    The danger here is that this can be an ambiguous discussion.  I knew a couple who decided when they got married, they were not going to have children.  A few years later, she got pregnant.  The husband thought she would get an abortion, per their agreement.  But she said their agreement meant only that they would try not to have children, but abortion was murder, so she was going to have the baby.

    Another item I would add to your list is whether any of their parents will ever live with them.  I knew a guy who thought marriage would just be a love nest for the two of them, and then he found out that she thought it would be cozier if her mother came to live with them.  Needless to say, there should also be a discussion about what would happen if a parent could no longer live alone.  Some people believe in nursing homes, and some do not.  Speaking of which, the couple should discuss nursing home possibilities for each other for the same reason.

    But even if a couple thinking about marriage are rational enough to discuss all the things on your list, and most are not, part of the problem is that when we are in love, we think we are willing to accept all the flaws of our beloved.  Then, when loves fades, we become irritated by things we never even noticed before.

    •  Not bad suggestions, but... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elizaveta, ThaMothership, tacet, kyril

      ...you can't map out the decades in advance.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:01:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From my perspective, the most important aspect of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elizaveta, Chi

      any relationship, whether it's legally formulated by marriage or not, is that the people need to figure out a way to resolve their inevitable disagreements in a way that works for them.

      Two people will never agree on everything.  Heck, over time even one person's opinions and preferences change in some areas, so that what worked before may need to be renegotiated.

    •  And it's not always the wife's mother. . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi

      My then-hubby thought that having his disabled mom live with us, while we had small children, would be just wonderful and how could I even think of raising any questions about it. Our marriage was saved (temporarily, as it turned out) by the fact that she looked me in the eye and said, with some bitterness, "I will never EVER put you in the same position I was in, trying to raise children and care for elderly relatives at the same time." She settled in nearby and came for dinner once a week, which worked for all of us.

      But talking these issues out ahead of time is not always that useful. In the bloom of infatuation, there is a tendency to give the answer that will make the other person content and minimize conflicts. We also tend not to really know how we will feel, say, about baby #3, until we have had and parented babies #1 and 2.

  •  Although I've tipped and rec'd (11+ / 0-)

    I will note that the expression "I don't believe in divorce..." is at the very least a strange one. Just as it makes no sense not to "believe in" gravity it doesn't make much sense to me not to "believe in" divorce. Divorce, like gravity, is a fact, though perhaps not as innate to nature. I think what you are really saying is that you don't approve of divorce, which of course is your right. In many circumstances I don't approve of it either. I will note that I see countless relationships which are in fact quite viable ended because one or both parties is disinclined to what is needed to have the relationship succeed even though they are entirely capable of it.

    On the whole it is a good thing to me that people no longer wait until they are married to have sex with each other. Once marriage became based on physical attraction and romantic interest, quite a few marriages were created simply to obtain the perk of sex when it might have been better if the couple had just done the deed until they got tired of it and then moved on. At the same time, people seem now to move on simply because they have gotten accustomed to their partner and confuse the loss of the initial excitement with loss of enduring personal compatibility. Nobody should be forced to stay in a relationship that does not work but it is likewise unwise to leave one at the first instance of conflict or disappointment. It's good to go into a relationship with one's own communication skills, but other skills develop within the context of a relationship--at least if they're permitted to--and those skills shouldn't be dismissed simply because the sex isn't what it once was or because there has been a serious misunderstanding. On the other hand, if despite their best efforts (or because one member of the couple chooses not to be bothered) the relationship becomes unsustainable, I don't see why people should be forced to stay together in misery.

    •  Divorce is like amputating your leg at the hip. (5+ / 0-)

      You don't do it for an ingrown toenail.

      You don't do it for a broken ankle or a bad knee.

      You do it when the thing is already dead and if you leave things as they are it will kill you too.

      That's pretty much my policy on it. 25 years with my Bear this year.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:07:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please see the addendum I've added above. You (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      make several good points, and I think we're pretty close to being on the same page.  If not, no hard feelings.

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:16:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, you really don't. (13+ / 0-)
    As for me, I support traditional marriage.
    Divorce, for example, is part and parcel of traditional marriage. often as simple as saying "i Divorce thee" one or more times. Often it is expoitive.

    Traditional marriage includes multiple marriage, bride prices, doweries, chattel slavery and the like.

    It is only some versions of Papist marriage that abhor divorce. What you think of as traditional marriage has been evolving or devolving, as a power grab, since a small group took control over a certain radical middle eastern sect, and, especially since that group won over Emperor Constantine the fool, who made it the state/imperial religion.

    There are, in short, far more forms of traditional marraige than you can imagine, with the result that there is absolutely no such thing as traditional marriage.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:13:53 AM PST

  •  "Traditional marriage" is constantly changing (8+ / 0-)

    In the old days, marriage wasn't about love, it was a business arrangement -- fathers exchanging their property (daughters) in exchange for other property (land, or livestock). Women were seen as an asset because they could bear children (preferably male children) to work the fields or the family business. This led to women (daughters) being seen as inferior and fathers started paying others to take them off their hands and reduce the number of mouths to feed (dowries). Women who could not bear children were seen as "barren" and put out of the house -- lack of children was always assumed to be the woman's fault, even though the fault could have been with the man.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:14:39 AM PST

    •  Of course it used to be political: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, sfbob, Calamity Jean, SeekCa

      Marie Antoinette was the daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1914, the King of England, the Czar of Russia, and the Kaiser of Germany were all cousins, and went to war against one another.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:39:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As I mentioned in a similar comment above, I'm (0+ / 0-)

      with you for the most part.  In fact, I've made many of these same points when trying to needle hard core right wingers.  I took a different tack this time as a reaction to recent incidents -- attempting (perhaps misguidedly) to adopt their rhetoric.  No harm, no foul.  

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:27:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support both "traditional" and same sex marriage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, ThaMothership, kyril

    And as the son of a household which saw divorce, I trust my gay community a lot more than I trust straight people to actually take it seriously.

    I lost my husband nearly a year ago. I never thought, as a gay man, that I would ever be able to get married. My straight parents thought he was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I agree.

    When straight people are better allies--and many of them are, and I think you are--I'll buy your argument. You know, when straight people stop killing us, dragging us behind trucks and tying us to fences in the Wyoming wilderness.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:36:10 AM PST

  •  Traditional marriage defined (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tödtet man. ~Nietzsche

    by somewierdguy on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:44:05 AM PST

  •  I missed the divorce thingie the first time around (4+ / 0-)
    and I don’t believe in divorce
    I'm with you. It's time to ban divorce!

     

    An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
    ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

    by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:59:56 AM PST

  •  A friend of mine (5+ / 0-)

    is fond of saying that the real "Defense of Marriage Act" consists of two words:  "Yes, dear."

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:04:37 PM PST

  •  I agree that everyone should have an equal (0+ / 0-)

    chance to find out that marriage might not be for them, given that traditionally,  most (more than half)  marriages eventually fail.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:11:37 PM PST

  •  I think divorce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, earlybird

    is fine and needed and an improvement on being stuck in a bad marriage. But I have to ask, if you been married once, why oh why ever do it again?? It's hard work keeping it together and hard work taking it apart.

    Think if I found myself single again, for whatever reason, I would seek company, but not marriage. Seriously.

    •  My aunt's first marriage was a disaster (5+ / 0-)

      Her second marriage was a resounding success. You don't know until you try.

      I am inclined to think that after a couple of divorces, one might want to think carefully before seriously considering a third attempt. But everyone should be allowed one mistake to learn from.

      •  Yeah, ok. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, earlybird

        There's that. I guess I'm cynical because I have so many family members who just keep getting married. Is three (or four) times really a charm?

        •  On a more serious note than my comment... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          ...below, I've never bought into the notion that divorce statistics were an indication of the failure of marriage as an institution.

          In fact, from my perspective, it seems to me that the tendency of divorced people to remarry 2, 3, or even more times is an indication of the strength of the institution, not its weakness.

          If the institution of marriage were really so weak, then folks wouldn't keep trying.

          They'd just give up after the first failure.

          An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
          ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

          by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:54:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it depends on whether they've learned (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elizaveta

          anything from their previous disasters.

          My father's been married three times.  The first two marriages ended in divorce, but he got it right with his third marriage.  And a lot of that is because he looked at why his first two marriages failed, what he really wanted in a partner and what he needed to be himself to be a good partner.  (His wife has also been divorced once, as it happens, and also used that as a learning experience.)

          But I definitely know people who are the opposite - they haven't learned anything and they repeat the same mistakes, from the type of person they marry to how they act in the relationship.  My mother also has married three times (so far), and all three marriages ended in disaster because she is a trainwreck of a person who marries enablers.

          •  Unfortunately, I see the repeated (0+ / 0-)

            failures, with only occasional successes.

            My aunt married three times, and her third time really has been a long-enduring charm.

            But for everyone else, the repeated marriages seem to point to insecurities and the inability to internalize lessons learned coupled with hoping the next time will simply be better (easy to believe in the beginning of a relationship when everything is rosy - or, at least, more familiar, so more comfortable, than being alone and feeling like a failure -- plus, every new marriage brings new attention from friends and family - negative and positive - and sometimes dishonestly positive on the wedding day in the face of the new couple) .

            Relationships and marriages are complicated, and really difficult to get right - even more difficult to adjust your outlook and your definition of "getting it right." That's often the key to success in many things.

      •  My dad's like that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        earlybird, Chi

        His marriage to my mom was a complete disaster - they married when I was 11 and divorced when I was 16.

        On the other hand, his relationship with his new wife (well, not that new anymore) is fantastic. This is her second marriage too. They're wonderful for each other, so much better together than apart.

        I support divorce and remarriage. Wholeheartedly and without reservation.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:58:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Marriage ends in one of two ways, divorce or... (0+ / 0-)

      ...death.

      I've escaped with my life once, but my current case appears terminal.

      An HR from a member of the RKBA is like an F rating from the NRA
      ---We Shall Overcome (12/3/13)---

      by earlybird on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 11:48:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There ya go: (0+ / 0-)

    Athiest Pig

    (Tried to embed it from my flickr account and... nothin)

    When lots of people show up to vote, Democrats tend to win.

    by Audri on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 12:24:44 PM PST

  •  I support traditional marriage, by your definition (3+ / 0-)

    ThaMothership, I really appreciate this diary. I, too, believe marriage is a life commitment that should not rely on the "opt out" of divorce - not for me. I know that other people see marriage differently, less of a life commitment, more reliant on "well, if it doesn't work out, we can always get divorced."

    This diary has given me a crucial reminder of how I feel marriage, and I actually need that right now. Thank you so much.

    And I think that my own history speaks to a possible intersection between support for this kind of traditional marriage, and support for marriage between same gender couples. Meaning, not just "yes we can support both" but also, supporting same gender marriage can support the kind of traditional marriage you're describing.

    In my case:

    After two long term relationships in which I didn't want to get married (one 13 years, one 7 years), I met and fell in love with my mate. I didn't know I even had a mate, so it was a pretty intense experience. I began saying things like, "I never understood why people wanted to get married - until now."

    My mate proposed to me pretty early in our relationship. I said yes without any hesitation. We married around 6 months later. Our marriage was not recognized by any government entity. We're both women, and at that time, neither the state we lived in nor the federal government recognized same gender marriages as valid.

    Because the financial/legal aspects of marriage were not part of the decision, there were various issues I neglected - many of them on your list of examples for practicalities to consider before marriage.

    Last year, after 2+ years of extreme financial stress and some enacted mutual inability to deal with that stress constructively as a couple, in the midst of a fight, I snapped. I said that this was not a real marriage as I understand marriage. I tried to take it back almost immediately, but she wouldn't let me do so. We took off our rings. That act - our personal decision to end the marriage - was all that was required given its lack of legal standing.

    We didn't break up. She was and is still my mate, there is a lot of love between us, and I hadn't given up on the possibility that we could learn and grow constructively together.

    We now live in a state in which same gender marriage is legal. It's been that way since we moved here. Now that DOMA is gone, if we do get married, it will be legally binding. I'm very conservative when it comes to money issues. There is just no way I would neglect the practicalities in a legally binding marriage.

    We can't make any decisions until some stuff in her financial picture gets resolved, which should happen in a few months. I appreciate your list of examples in the first part of the diary because I feel like those are precisely the kind of questions to consider (minus the ones about children, as we don't want them, and family, which doesn't really apply since our families don't really have expectations).

    --Are they going to merge their bank accounts?  Has either one built up massive debt, or declared bankruptcy?
    --How will they arrange their insurance?
    --Will one or both be expected to work?  
    --Who will be expected to take care of the home?
    --Are their long-term dreams and life goals reasonably compatible?  
    --Can they argue constructively?  In other words, clearing the air and purging the inevitable tension without damaging the relationship?  
    --Do they understand that you can train someone to clip their nails and put the seat down, but you cannot change their true character?
    I love this list and feel like it's a really good starting point for the practicalities of a true life commitment (minus the seat issue, since we're both women).
    How did they do it?  When the going got tough, they stood together and made it work.  Gay or straight, that’s what marriage means to me.  If I can’t make that commitment, then the answer is simple:  I won’t get married.  To me, a commitment isn’t something you try for a bit to see if you like it.

    I don't expect others to agree with me on this, and I certainly don't intend to try to hold you to my standards.  This is simply what I believe, and the choice I've made in my life.

    You're not the only one who believes this. I can say that if same gender marriage had been legally binding when my mate first asked me to marry her, I would have slowed the process down due to how I move financially. As it was, the commitment of our initial marriage was at what I would call the spiritual level, and when external practicalities crashed into us, we didn't cope very well.

    We have stuck things out. From one angle of vision, we have figured out a lot together and really have grown and learned. From another angle of vision, things have gotten really difficult and painful between us at times and that's scary to me.

    I like your list and your perspective. I like it a lot. I like those questions. This is a great anchor point for reflection and dialogue.

    So .... you aren't the only one who takes what you name as a traditional approach to marriage. I'm with you on this. Like you, I don't believe it is correct to impose my standard on others, but it is a huge deal for me.

    And, if you're willing to share,  I'm curious - have you ever met someone you feel as "the one" on a mate level (or however you would name it)?

    •  Wow. Thank you! I really don't know how to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Michellebird

      respond to that, so maybe I'll just skip to your question.  :)

      Sadly, no I haven't met that person.  Or if I did, I didn't realize it.  

      I've had lots of opportunities for marriage, and even had a girlfriend propose to me (fairly unusual for a heterosexual man.)  But none of those relationships has shown any potential to live up to the examples I've had set for me.  

      I want the type of relationship my sibling, parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles have.  Until I find it, I'm going to stay single, hold my head high, and not be embarrassed by things like going to movies and weddings alone.  

      A friend once asked me, "When the hell are you going to get married?"

      I said, "When you stop paying alimony."

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:46:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your comments on marriage are very well thought (5+ / 0-)

    out, however I'm glad that your disapproval of divorce is not the law of the land. It seems naive to think that all a person's flaws are visible before marriage. I am happily married but there are a number of women and at least one man I share friendship or family with that I am glad they are divorced. When they made the contract with another person to share their lives they weren't agreeing to abuse, rape or cruelty. The monster doesn't always show itself before those vows area shared, sometimes not for years. I'm glad my sister left my brother-in-law after he beat the crap out of her in front of her children. Some things are unforgivable.

    •  Thank you. And I can definitely agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      when the monster is truly invisible.  But sadly, many people refuse to do -any- homework beforehand.  I'll never forget the wedding I went to where the marriage was finished before the cake was cut.  They had no one to blame but themselves.

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:54:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't support marriage I support equality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThaMothership, AaronInSanDiego

    My girlfriend of nine years and I have no intention of getting married.   The cost for the wedding can also be used for more fruitful purposes.  Also, the idea of a virginal woman (symbolized by the white dress) being handed over by her father (i.e. giving her away) to her husband, effectively as property, is just absolutely nauseating to us.  I know that this will offend those who are tradition minded, but so be it.  Thankfully we have family that are quite accepting of our decision.

    Younger people, especially non-religious ones, are reconsidering marriage.  Many are coming to the conclusion that marriage is largely a traditional and religious institution, and it should be no longer required.  

    I would like to see the government get out of marriage.  Benefits for marriage discriminate against single people.  Furthermore, I don't see a way to include polyamorous relationships within the framework of marriage without enormous abuse (e.g. the Koch brothers "marrying" 2 million singles solely for tax benefits).

    "The Republican Party is at a crossroads. It must decide whether it wants to be the party of Lincoln or the party of apartheid." -Ted Kennedy The teabaggers have chosen to be the party of racism and apartheid.

    by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 03:40:26 PM PST

    •  Fair enough. Can't speak for anyone else, but I'm (2+ / 0-)

      definitely not offended by your statements.  

      First off, I know I'm very progressive in some ways, and very antiquated in others.  To each their own.  

      Also, I think you're right about a lot of it the history and pageantry of the wedding, but that is separate from my feelings on the marriage itself.  

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:01:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And here I thought this was going to be a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Betty Bowers-esque parody, where all the "Bible-based" allowable marriages (your brother's widow, your wife's maid, hundreds of wives and concubines, captives you took in wars) are noted.

    As for divorce, I understand your position, however, I disagree.  For one thing, I think that if one spouse cheats, they are the one who has broken the vows (which usually include some vow of sexual exclusivity).  The other spouse therefore has every right to say, "You've broken your vows and my trust; this marriage is over."  The blame should still remain on the cheater.

    Likewise, there are plenty of people who stay in marriages which, while not abusive, are wrecking their lives in one way or another.  I don't see that this is inherently morally superior to leaving for one's own well-being.  (And I believe any sane definition of abuse MUST involve emotional abuse.)

    Finally, some people stay together "for the kids".  The thing is, if the marriage has become acrimonious enough, it's harming the kids to be exposed to that hostility, stress, and unhappiness day after day.  

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 04:55:51 PM PST

  •  I am not so keen on traditional marriage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Michellebird, Chi

    seeing as how my traditional marriage of 30 years came to a crashing halt earlier this year. You can only take so much abuse, you know?

    An irrefutable promise is either something to be honored, or something to be taken advantage of. If you find yourself hitched to someone who who is determined to take advantage of you, then divorce can be the only sensible choice.

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:50:26 PM PST

    •  if I was a hugger, I would offer a virtual hug (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi
      seeing as how my traditional marriage of 30 years came to a crashing halt earlier this year. You can only take so much abuse, you know?

      An irrefutable promise is either something to be honored, or something to be taken advantage of. If you find yourself hitched to someone who who is determined to take advantage of you, then divorce can be the only sensible choice.

      Sounds to me like it's a good thing it ended. Abuse and human damage breaks my heart sometimes. I hope you are doing as well as possible and finding ways to take care of yourself.

      If I wasn't such an introvert, I would end this comment with a virtual hug.

  •  Um... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, koNko, earlybird, SeekCa
    Who will be expected to take care of the home?
    We're 33 years into our marriage, and still haven't quite figured that one out.
  •  My thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    Regarding marriage, the most important question may be:

    - Can I tolerate you (mate)?

    Until you have had the opportunity to spontaneously ask that question and answer in the affirmative, you might not be ready to make the big decision because the good things we like take care of themselves but the bad things sometimes don't change as fast as we want them to or ever.

    Regarding divorce:

    Well, I get your point and subsequent elaboration, but you are too inexperienced in the art of marriage to understand why divorce is the best invention since marriage. It happens that people who tick off all of your and my good criteria before marriage may at some later point find themselves unexpectedly at the end of a road and in need of another, and to deny that can be the denial of fact, not a healthy thing.

    I'd also like to say a bit in support of "non-traditional marriage". While there is much to recommend the benefits of "traditional marriage", it's not the only way or best way for many people and, in fact, trying too hard to conform to the traditional model might be responsible for much divorce. People need space, not just commitment, and a lot of them run out of oxygen in that confined pressure cooker.

    I'd suggest that, should you decide to ever marry, you relax the rules and criteria a bit because you could find yourself strongly motivated to marry someone scoring less than 100 marks and denying yourself the opportunity would be another unfortunate case of perfect as an enemy of good.

    I married late and don't regret it. But the funny thing is, when I finally met my future mate, I knew within 5 minutes I wanted her to be mine in the most romantic, impractical and illogical way, and spent the next 3 years pursuing that in a most determined way, patiently waiting for her to change her mind enough times to finally decide.

    Fortunately, years later, we can still tolerate each other.

    •  tolerate? not for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, Chi

      While I respect that your relationship benefits from this at the center:

      - Can I tolerate you (mate)?
      I myself would find that a pretty terrible central question for my own relationship. For me, such a question at the center would mean a kind of deadness that I believe would suffocate me.

      Another example of diversity and the dangers of universalizing.

      •  No, it's a good question. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Michellebird, Catte Nappe, Chi

        It happens that few humans are perfect, and even those we love, respect, etc can sometimes try our patience or even test our loyalty, because life is a crooked path.

        Therefore, tolerance is a great gift in human relationships, particularly those we chose to have rather than are obligated to have.

        I think a common observation on the evolution of romantic relationships is they start at a point where 2 people exist in a space were nothing else exists but love and then it gradually opens to the world and each other.

        Along the way, one may encounter unexpected things that are not ideal, so tolerance and persistence can be great assets in a relationship.

        Consider this:

        You state that, for you, a marriage would be a commitment for forever, and that one should not chose to marry unless one is committed to do that. All in or nothing.

        So then, do you expect to find that ideal person, forever and ever, that is perfect every moment in every circumstance and to always and only do what is ideal for you?

        Or do you suppose you might find someone you want to commit to, to love and respect, through sickness and in health, till death do you part? (To quote the traditional vows.)

        In the second case, might you find tolerance a positive and useful attribute? Might it not be a form of respect for another?

        I have. I still very much love and am very much committed to my wife, and certainly I tolerate her sometimes, just as she does I, and so far, we both seem to find that worthwhile.

        Because we are really imperfect, and the gears don't mesh 100% of the time, and we both need space to be ourselves even if it bothers other people sometimes.

        People who divorce are often people who can no longer tolerate each other's imperfections, in which case, they should be apart to avoid misery.

        You talk about suffocation: what could be more suffocating than living with an intolerant person forever?

        •  interesting discussion! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko, Chi
          It happens that few humans are perfect, and even those we love, respect, etc can sometimes try our patience or even test our loyalty, because life is a crooked path.
          My experience yields agreement with that.
          I think a common observation on the evolution of romantic relationships is they start at a point where 2 people exist in a space were nothing else exists but love and then it gradually opens to the world and each other.
          My experience with my mate wasn't quite like that - we had serious challenges from the external world from the start - but I don't think that really matters in reference to what you're saying.
          Along the way, one may encounter unexpected things that are not ideal, so tolerance and persistence can be great assets in a relationship.
          Makes sense to me so far.
          You state that, for you, a marriage would be a commitment for forever, and that one should not chose to marry unless one is committed to do that. All in or nothing.

          So then, do you expect to find that ideal person, forever and ever, that is perfect every moment in every circumstance and to always and only do what is ideal for you?

          I have already found my mate. We've been together nearly 4 years, (not a long time, in my book). Anyway, she's far from perfect, as am I. Our relationship has been, from one angle of vision, one long unfolding lesson in the intersection of a deep mate bond on one side, and the effects of human damage and external stress on the other.
          Or do you suppose you might find someone you want to commit to, to love and respect, through sickness and in health, till death do you part? (To quote the traditional vows.)

          In the second case, might you find tolerance a positive and useful attribute? Might it not be a form of respect for another?

          Like I said, I have found my mate already. I appreciate your example of tolerance in the other comment, it helped me to understand what you're talking about here.
          I have. I still very much love and am very much committed to my wife, and certainly I tolerate her sometimes, just as she does I, and so far, we both seem to find that worthwhile.

          Because we are really imperfect, and the gears don't mesh 100% of the time, and we both need space to be ourselves even if it bothers other people sometimes.

          People who divorce are often people who can no longer tolerate each other's imperfections, in which case, they should be apart to avoid misery.

          You talk about suffocation: what could be more suffocating than living with an intolerant person forever?

          I dislike rhetorical questions. For me, a lot could be more suffocating than living with an intolerant person forever. That's just me.

          That said, your more grounded comments make sense to me. I'm going to quote your example from the other coment here:

          My wife is a fickle person who changes her mind a lot. I'm almost the opposite; I deliberate carefully and then tend to make firm decisions.

          The combination can be complementary or conflicting.

          Most of the time, I find my wife's fickle personality to be an asset; creative, open-minded, spontaneous and charming. Seldom a boring moment.

          But sometimes this can be annoying; sometimes I want to go in a straight line while she zig-zags.

          So I tolerate it because:

          (a) It's the way she is, a basic character trait unlikely to change

          (b) My impatience will pass and I will stop being bothered soon.

          (c) I love her the way she is.

          And she tolerates my occasional long silent spells, another temporary condition.

          Ah! By tolerance, you mean acknowledging differences and moving well with them even when they clash - is that accurate?

          In my relationship, we've found that understanding our differences is really crucial as a foundational step for moving well with them. In our case, there's a conceptual model based on Jungian cognitive processes - ways that different individuals process information in different ways - that has helped us to mutually understand and be able to talk about our differences in a more useful way. Having a language to be able to discuss our differences has been really important for us. We have some significant differences in how we each process information - and as you point out from your case, the very same differences can function as complementary or conflicting, depending.

          Tangent: Speaking of your example and Jungian cognitive processes as they show up in myers-briggs typology ... Just for fun, my initial guess would be INFP or ENFP for your wife - something with significant extroverted intuition in one of the first two functions - and probably INTJ or ISTJ for you - introversion in the primary, with a strong extroverted thinking function in the second function yielding your linear and at times logically universalizing approach. But I could be totally wrong.

          Anyway, I don't know that tolerance is the key for us, or me at least. While I can see its value for you and think it can be a useful tool in some cases at least, it doesn't feel quite right to me as a centering concept for myself.

          I think I myself may be predisposed to what you call tolerance - to the point where I take it for granted. For me, it's been far more important to understand what's going on and be able to discuss it. That helps me to sort out what's going on. My mate also seems to find the mutual language useful.

          I think in our case, we both tend toward tolerating, in different ways and for different reasons. Tolerance hasn't been the key for us, though. I think the key may be more around how we experience tolerance.

          In our case, there seems to be a lot of room for resentment and further damage when we each get into tolerance mode. We each, for different reasons, can begin to feel like the other is walking all over us. Having the conceptual understanding of differences has been invaluable to us in giving us each and both a different way to approach our situation when our differences conflict.

          ------------------------------

          The place where your perspective and mine converge seems to have to do with differences between people in couple relationships, and dealing with them in effective ways when they clash. Does that seem accurate to you?

          •  Tolerance is understanding and acceptance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi

            And the critical point is acceptance.

            There are lots of things I understand and am unwilling to accept, like why some people are against Gay marriage, but I/we don't have to accept that, do we?

            So again, I think "Can I tolerate you?" is an important question people committing to any long term relationship should ask.

            Because we are imperfect. And we change. And we don't change.

            So yes, understanding is important and can promote tolerance, but absent acceptance it's not a solution.

            That is why I use the word tolerance. Bottom line is, if we can't accept something and can't change it we can't tolerate it unless we are forced to, and that is not something we go looking for in relationships we chose.

            I don't think we're far apart. Let's debate it again in 10 years.

            Meanwhile, wishing you happiness and tolerance from your mate and the world.

            Wang Fei sings the classic Teresa Teng ballad "Wishing We Last Forever" :

            •  well (0+ / 0-)

              I just - I don't agree with you that tolerance or acceptance needs to be so central for me and my mate. I'm glad your approach works for you and your wife (I'm taking your word on that). I find it seriously problematic - and also quite patronizing - that you seem to be putting your approach forward as the standard that I and presumably others should adopt. Speaking for myself and my relationship I can say: You really aren't the standard for me/us. We are different from you.

              I wonder if you downplay the importance of understanding differences because you simply don't have the will and/or capacity for what deep understanding can be and mean in a relationship. In this interaction with me, for example, you have shown yourself quite resistant to even a very basic understanding of possible differences between your relationship and mine.

              Maybe for you, tolerance and acceptance has to take the place of a true depth and resonance of understanding. I suspect you don't know what it is like to truly understand, as I use that word. I suspect that your version of understanding is quite different from what it is for me. I further suspect that I would see your version of understanding as quite shallow and thin and non-resonant. You don't seem all that well-equipped to listen and learn when someone is different from yourself.

              And yes - given that situation, I can kind of see why tolerance/acceptance would need to play such a central role for you specifically.

      •  Oh, and an example of tolerance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Michellebird, Chi

        From my marriage.

        As I stated before:

        I married late and don't regret it. But the funny thing is, when I finally met my future mate, I knew within 5 minutes I wanted her to be mine in the most romantic, impractical and illogical way, and spent the next 3 years pursuing that in a most determined way, patiently waiting for her to change her mind enough times to finally decide.
        My wife is a fickle person who changes her mind a lot. I'm almost the opposite; I deliberate carefully and then tend to make firm decisions.

        The combination can be complementary or conflicting.

        Most of the time, I find my wife's fickle personality to be an asset; creative, open-minded, spontaneous and charming. Seldom a boring moment.

        But sometimes this can be annoying; sometimes I want to go in a straight line while she zig-zags.

        So I tolerate it because:

        (a) It's the way she is, a basic character trait unlikely to change

        (b) My impatience will pass and I will stop being bothered soon.

        (c) I love her the way she is.

        And she tolerates my occasional long silent spells, another temporary condition.

  •  Wouldn't traditional marriage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sura 109

    involve purchasing a 13-year-old from her father with 3 goats and a cow?

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 05:46:47 AM PST

  •  One instance where I disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta

    I am pretty much in agreement with this diary EXCEPT in some cases case for older folks who have lost their first spouse and have some personal wealth.  I have seen the late in life marriage start happy, but eventually the actual goals of the spouse is to get control of the estate.  I know there are laws out there to protect against this, but honestly I have many friends who ended up not only heartbroken  from a dissolved relationship, but also less financially secure.  And if there are children from the earlier marriage, it can have devastating long term effects of resentment, etc.  I told my spouse that I don't intend to ever remarry if circumstances were such that I was alone .  Cohabitate ?  Sure.  But I will only marry once.  

    "Life is short, our work lasts longer" Rose Wilder Lane

    by HarpLady on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 07:32:49 AM PST

    •  In fairness, I might have missed something, but I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HarpLady, churchylafemme

      don't see us disagreeing on that point.  I don't have a problem with cohabitation, or with another marriage following the death of a spouse -- whichever is in folks' best interest.  

      The main point of the diary was that I really don't like people pretending that being anti-gay marriage is somehow the same as supporting heterosexual marriage (hooray for code words!)

      But, I've also been to too many weddings that were over before the honeymoon because the couple-to-be didn't bother making the even slightest attempt to get to know each other and build a lasting foundation.  And why not?  Because they figure they can just walk away any time they want.  

      We used to repair TVs until they simply couldn't be repaired anymore.  Now we don't even repair them once.  At the first sign of problems, we throw them away and get new ones.  

      If folks want to treat marriage like that, it's their business.  Not for me, thanks.  

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 05:49:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not everyone takes vows unto death (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta

    some folks (I've been to plenty of weddings where people write their own vows) make promises "as long as we both shall love".

     

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 08:22:26 AM PST

    •  It's not my cup of tea, but I can definitely (0+ / 0-)

      appreciate the honesty of it.  

      That said, I've been to a great many weddings (religious and otherwise), and every single one has contained some variation on the "until death do us part" line.  

      Only a handful made it more than a year or two.

      Everyone wants to be right. Very few want to be accurate.

      by ThaMothership on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 05:53:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Admittedly (0+ / 0-)

        I have been to a large number of weddings (because I hate them and for years used the argument "until my gay friends can marry I'm abstaining from weddings as a protest" for an excuse), but because I have a large extended family, because I'm old and folks did more creative weddings and writing of their own vows back in the day, the "death do us part" part did get pre-empted, detoured around or creatively redirected, since there was a time in the late 70s and early 80s when folks realized that piece of it was pretty archaic.

        I think it was even immortalized in a TV show, but you'd have to google "Rhoda's Wedding Vows" to be sure.  My memory could be faulty.

        But weddings, like any other human activity have trends, so I can well accept that in the years that I was abstaining from the practice altogether, those trends reverted back to the medieval.  

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:15:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  not me... (0+ / 0-)

    ...as someone who's been in a relationship with my significant other for more than 25 years...the need to be magically proclaimed able to have sex with another person by some magical representative of some so-called "religion" or by some judge somewhere...still seems...as silly of a concept to me today as it did in my youth.

    The institution of marriage itself...is completely irrelevant to us. If it's important to others...that's fine...no skin off of my back. It just happens to be meaningless and irrelevant in this particular individual's life.

  •  Best laid plans of mice and men (0+ / 0-)

    Situations change and people change.   There are no absolutes in human nature.

  •  Marriage (0+ / 0-)

    Marriage for me is like establishing a partnership or a corporation for business purposes.  In my case it was the expected arrival of our son 50 years ago.  What was confusing was the assumption we married for love everlasting.  Nothing lasts forever, but change is constant.  If each partner respects the other's need for freedom to be all they can be while honoring the requirements of the contract, it either works or one can file to end the legal agreement.  I am very happy my niece was able to marry her partner legally in CA.  They share their living.  Need access to each other in emergencies.  Love each other at least for now.  It meant so much to them and it does to me too.  They are a great couple.  Don't worry about definitions.  Better to be all that you can be either alone or with someone else even if it is best done with some legality.  Now in our 70's, home 24/7 and closer companions than ever before, my partner and I need each other even more.  Getting old together can be a very good thing.

  •  Your possible future partner will be blessed to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Chi, Futuristic Dreamer

    be married to you the day your heart does go Zing!

    But don't take on a partner unless you really want one, and do follow your own protocol here.

    The way you describe it is what has worked for us since we met New Years of 1982/3 and married in '85.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 01:55:18 PM PST

  •  in the case of a traditional church wedding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThaMothership

    part of the deal is that the couple is required to talk about the issues you list with the minister, a trusted third party who has had some counseling training.

    i always bring up those issues and more when I am doing premarital meetings

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 06:15:28 AM PST

  •  I've attended weddings where the vow isn't (0+ / 0-)

    "till death do us part" but "as long as love shall last." I suppose that means other-than-traditional marriage. Traditional marriage had nothing to do with love or any of the things you said should be discussed in its long history, only perhaps in present vernacular. You might want to reconsider your attachment to the phrase "traditional marriage. That you  don't "believe in" divorce is a strange way to phrase anything. Do you believe in sunrise? It's a fact of life. You may choose never to divorce but not to "believe in it" is just silly. And if you were in a crappy marriage, you might just start believing. What you're saying sounds like you have a judgment against all those who do divorce even if you deny it. So I think you are right on the money to not get married! Divorce is sometimes the best option. Everyone has a right to change diredtion when the way she or he is going turns out to be wrong or too painful.

  •  Traditional marriage is one of those (0+ / 0-)

    nostalgic myths, like traditional Christmas.
       If you read - really read - the literature and letters from any particular period in history, there have always been divorces, screwing around, loveless and sexless marriages, etc. The only really "traditional" item is that there used to be a lot more legal and social barriers to getting out of an unhappy marriage.
       In real life, in the period up to WWII, the whole marriage thing was kept going by the ready availability of prostitutes and "B-girls." Every town had at least one burlesque theater and maybe a more or less tolerated brothel, or at least an "experienced woman" who was available.
       The idealized "traditional" marriage only existed in that brief post-WWII era when government housing policy encouraged nuclear family formation and new labor saving machinery made it possible for a "housewife" to be free of much of the domestic drudgery of previous eras.
      Of course, the need for cheap labor and the rise of feminist movements led to the mass entry of married women into the workforce, so that the idealized "traditional" era was over by about 1969.
       Same sex marriage has no effect on heterosexual marriage.
     What is really killing "traditional" marriage is that "they've cut the money in half," (to quote a friend.) Now, both spouses have to work full time in order to afford even a modest lifestyle.
      The Ozzie and Harriet lifestyle is no longer feasible.

  •  Escape Clause (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus

    Leaving an escape clause from marriage is important to save people from their own stupidity, and because people simply change. Was Al Gore's marriage of 40 years a failure because it ended? I think not. It just came to an end.

     How many of your high school BFFs do you still talk to? Maybe 1 or 2 if you are lucky. Friendship sometimes wears out. Some marriages just wear out.

  •  I was only 24 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    when the judge snapped the gavel down and said, " You are free to marry", and I was legally divorced and yes had been in an abusive marriage.   The deal is I will never forget the feeling.  It was me....My x's attorney....my attorney and the judge March 24th and that is all in the courtroom.  5 questions.  and it was over.   I thought as I walked from the courthouse to the funeral home as my grandmother had died... "How did that man divorce me".. The black robe and the gavel ?  How did that make me less married than we already were.... I will never forget.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:36:37 AM PST

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