Friday, December 3, 2010

Time & Marriage

While plunking down way too much money at Lund's (it happens more than I care to admit with the store being close to home), I did the usual averting of my eyes from the tabloids and instead spotted the Time Magazine cover "Who Needs Marriage?"  I was immediately intrigued, but chose not to spend any more and looked up the article online to read for free.  Here it is in full and I recommend reading it all.  A few lines stuck out for me and I think there is a lot more to delve into with these in particular, but the whole thing is fascinating to me.

Excerpts I found interesting and worth thinking about:

"Promising publicly to be someone's partner for life used to be something people did to lay the foundation of their independent life. It was the demarcation of adulthood. Now it's more of a finishing touch, the last brick in the edifice, sociologists believe."

"So, people are living together because they don't have enough money to live alone, but they aren't going to get married until they have enough money. That's the catch. In fact, the less education and income people have, the Pew survey found, the more likely they are to say that to be ready for marriage, a spouse needs to be a provider."

"Indeed, 41% of babies were born to unmarried moms in 2008..."

"The basis of marriage changed in the last century," says Seth Eisenberg, president and CEO of the PAIRS Foundation, one of the biggest relationship-education operations in the country. "But very few couples have had a chance to learn really what are the new rules of love and intimacy — not because the rules are so difficult to learn, just because no one told them. To interpret that as meaning there's something broken about the institution of marriage itself would be a horrible, horrible mistake."

I think we have a lot of work to do as a society to fight for marriage. The general trend of declining interest in marriage, not knowing how to do relationships well, and feeling like you need to have a certain amount of financial well being to even think about entering into marriage is disturbing to me. I am not saying that there ought not to be conversation and much thought put into financial stability and being married and having a family. But at some point, you need to recognize that the relationship is its own entity and can be cultivated and supported with many other things that cannot be bought, sold, saved, invested or traded.

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