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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 10:28AM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,543
According to my sociology textbook, many historians and anthropologists suggest that family strategy was very different prior to the 19th century. Family planning strategies by both men and women were primarily economical. In the post-industrial period, women's functions were less critical to the family economy, and that is when companionate marriage emerged. There are many authors who have written about love and companionship in marriage, but not as a motivator; it was something a couple would grow into. The text says "writers have suggested that 'love' in the sense of idealized attraction occurs in many cultures, but its centrality as a motive for marriage is unusual."

Today we hear that people will never marry someone they are not "in love" with. What does it mean to be "in love" and why do you suppose that there were so few divorces among pre-industrial families compared to the more recent trends of marrying when you are "in love" and then divorce when you don't "feel in love" anymore? Why does North America have this trend to begin with? Why don't Americans marry for other reasons than being "in love"? Would you consider marrying someone if you were not "in love" with them? What are some reasons you would marry someone other than being "in love"?
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 1:50PM #2
Anesis
Posts: 1,543

"it was less of an issue since there was a vast frontier that people could simply stake out and claim."


There were certain conditions under which women could own property. However, property is only part of the economic strategy I mentioned in my first paragraph. I would like to focus the discussion more on the idea that "being in love" as a motivator for marriage is a relatively recent concept, and why. After all, even in agricultural times, why not marry for love as opposed to economy? Why did being "in love" become the central theme of marriage in the past hundred years in North America? There are many other cultures who do not marry for the fluff of "in love" and grow to have loving and affectionate - and happy - marriages.


So taking out the "in love" part of it, what would you marry someone for? Since it is proven that "in love" doesn't last for most couples, should it still remain our primary motivator for finding a spouse? Why else would you marry someone? (Status is a common motivator, I'm sure). Would you be inclined to take the "in love" part out and replace it with "loving friendship" as a motivator? Or "equal companionship"?


The reason I'm asking is that so many people seem to get divorced because they are "no longer in love" [their reason]. So if we change our motivator from "in love" to companionate love, would that help stop divorce? There seems to be patterns emerging, whereby people fall in love, marry, divorce because they are no longer "in love" and then go marry someone else for the very same motivator.....and the "in love" phase could be nothing more than addiction to the feel-good chemicals that are released when someone is "in love."

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 1:55PM #3
appy20
Posts: 10,165

The only reason I ever considered marriage was for love and friendship.   I never wanted status. My attachment to the herd isn't strong enough for me to value status.    I don't need economic support.  Success in marriage probably has not changed from the last century to this one.  Marriages that stay together can be just as miserable as the ones that break up.  Some folks develope greater attachment over long term.  Not everyone is capable of forming long term attachments and some of us aren't that great in short term ones. 


Some relationships would work out if people gave them enough time.  Some relationships won't work under any condition or time constraint.  My opinion is that great marriages take luck and unusually perfect psychological conditions of both parties involved.  Most of us are pretty much doomed from the git go.  I used to jokingly say only those that can eat manure and sincerely believe it is chocolate can successfully remain married.  I am not so sure it is a joke anymore.  Then again, I am a cynic. 


Marriage for love and companionship is much harder to pull off.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 5:33PM #4
Teknmage
Posts: 332

Mar 6, 2009 -- 1:50PM, Anesis wrote:

I would like to focus the discussion more on the idea that "being in love" as a motivator for marriage is a relatively recent concept, and why.



It is in my opinion a reflection of a fundamental change in our society. We have changed from a society that focuses on the good of the community, to one that focuses on the good of the individual. Our life, no longer depends on our community, indeed in many communities the community is no longer selfsuficient. The community depends on outside resources, this has changed the worth we place on our community. If you don't depend on the butcher, the candle stick maker, or the baker for your survival, they become less important to you. No one individual is important anymore, any one can die, or move, and the community no longer truly feels it.


We have become a society that has forsaken "Christian communities values" and we have embraced the rights of the individual, at the expense of the community. As a society we preach do what feels good today, and don't worry about tomorrow. Much if not all of what we see as empowerment is in actuality do what feels good now.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 10:38PM #5
Anesis
Posts: 1,543

If you were not "in love" with someone, but you loved them deeply as a friend and you trusted their commitment to commitment, would you marry them?

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 11:14PM #6
Teknmage
Posts: 332

In my opinion in any *real* relationship were one feels invested in the relationship there will come a time when you do not feel "loved" indeed you are likely to feel hated. It is how we choose to handle these times that make or break a relationship. That "I'm so in love" feeling just does not last.


For those who expect to feel loved 100% of the time, their relationship will fail. The real question is not how secure they make me feel when I feel in love with them, but rather how secure do I feel when I feel hated by them. And yes if you have a partner that is being honest with you you will feel hated, despised at some point... If you believe in your own worth, your own value enough to get through this period you have a relationship that can last. If you expect to always feel loved, t is unlikely your relationship will endure. It often seems far easier to find love elsewhere, or to pretend that you don't need love, than to face the issues and deal with them.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 06, 2009 - 11:24PM #7
Anesis
Posts: 1,543

Commitment is about the combination of care and consistency, which is [under normal circumstances] perceived as significance and security, respectfully. Care and consistency can both be part of a marriage even in the absence of love, particularly being "in love." So even if one doesn't always feel loved (feelings come and go), one can still perceive significance if they know the other still shows care.


Perhaps this has even been demonstrated recently, for some....?


So if so many of us know that the "in love" feelings are not what sustain marriage, why do so many still claim that they will not marry someone they are not "in love" with? Why is North American culture obsessed with being "in love" as a motivator for marriage?

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2009 - 8:29AM #8
appy20
Posts: 10,165

"If you were not "in love" with someone, but you loved them deeply as a friend and you trusted their commitment to commitment, would you marry them?"


I guess I don't understand this because chances are I would be "in love" with someone of the opposite sex that I cared "deeply" about as a friend and trusted their commitment to commitment.  Stuff like that is attractive to me.


Also, I am not a big fan of community Christian values.  Those were the same values that burned epileptics at the stake for being witches.  Those are the same values that really don't want women like me to be happy.  They want us to conform to the point of crushing our spirits to smooth our square pegs to fit their round holes.  Give me individualism any day.  I consider Christian community values akin to Nazi Germany.  Mean as hades.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2009 - 9:46AM #9
Teknmage
Posts: 332

It seems to me that common community values, be they Christian, Heathen, Jewish, Muslim, or Pagan, or the values that makes one a member of the group (society), or excludes one from the group. If one happens to feel like a member of the group they are generally seen as positive values, if one feels excluded from the group they are generally felt as negative values.


We are social beings, we crave membership. The only real question is the size of the group we crave. The sense of "bonding" is directly related to the sense of shared common hardship. One of the reasons that many groups have some form of "hazing". The more likely a group is to depend on it's members for survival the more likely and more intense the hazing is likely to be.


When two people meet, and the only shared experiences they have is sex, they are likely to fail, at maintaining a long term relationship. Give them a common life threatening experience, and they are far more likely to maintain the relationship. Relationships are built on a shared overcoming experience. The more adversity  you and your mate overcome together the more likely you are to remain together. The more your relationship depends on the sense of being in 'love' and feeling a 'rush' the less likely it is to survive.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2009 - 9:56AM #10
appy20
Posts: 10,165

I do agree with that.

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