Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is Marriage Obsolete?

To start, I believe in fate, love, romance, and all the things some people like to explain away. But, I can't say in all honesty that certain things today don't create some sort of doubt in my mind; I've just gotten very good at pushing the questions away, at least for a time. 

Recently, I saw a poll showing how roughly 60% of people now believe marriage is becoming obsolete. 

Then, while contemplating an excursion in online dating, I found an article where the founder of e-Harmony basically says we may no longer need marriage.  Of course, he does go on to say that marriage can be a beautiful, fulfilling experience if people took the time to select a marriage partner. This makes sense, given how many people we see jumping into marriage at the drop of a dime, only to hop right back out in the not-so-distant future. 

Do I need to rethink this marriage thing? Could I?

I get that it's just a piece of paper and it shouldn't matter when it comes to love.  But, well, I just can't accept that...not for me.  Maybe I'm too old-fashioned for my own good because I still believe in true love and marriage. I know the world has changed; I understand the dynamics of relationships have changed.  And I'm acutely aware that I was, in all likelihood, born in the wrong era.  Still, I love believing in what doesn't seem possible. 

Here's the question burning my brain cells:  If the majority of the world views marriage as wholly unnecessary, how does someone like me ever hope to find a man in this great big cynical world who still believes in a little thing called vows?


  1. I think it's still necessary. I won't set up permanent residence with a woman without being married. I don't know what the difference is between spending a night or week is, but it makes a difference to me.
    Maybe the promises in the vows are the answer.

  2. My dear, dear Frisky, you are not alone with that final question. Marriage has almost become a farce with people making decisions that may not be the best and that it's too easy to check off a box than to do everything in your power to make it work. But, I still want it all. Well, minus that pesky divorce thing.

  3. People who say they'll never get married always change their mind when they meet someone special. Don't worry, Miss Virgin, marriage won't go out of fashion anytime soon.

  4. I am not sure to be honest with you.

    Although you have raised a very good question.

  5. George: Well, you are one of the rare few, my friend...and I'm glad to know you--it means you all still exist.

    J. Day: Farce is probably the best word with how some people enter into marriage. Is it any wonder why it doesn't work? Then, it makes the marriage-minded all nervous when they see all the failures around them. I'm glad I'm not alone, and yet I wish we didn't have to deal with these questions. :/

    GB: Thank you, I do hope you are right. :)

  6. OT: It's a cynical world. Tough to be fairytale minded (well, the realistic kind of fairytale) in a world full of skeptics.

  7. Stick to your guns. Yes Marriage is different now than it used to be... so many divorces and so many choosing not to marry... but that is about people's choices. You just won't marry someone who doesn't have the same beliefs as you... so you know... find the guy that does believe in those vows and he just might be your Mr Right.

  8. Marriage in a religious aspect means very little to me. Vows however mean everything. The ceremony in itself I look forward to.

    I just need to find a woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with then and only then will I say with absolute certainty that I think marriage is necessary.

    The tax breaks are nice too.

  9. Almost HUbs and I have already been married once. We vowed we'd never do it again, yet here we are 5 weeks away.

    We toyed with the idea of not doing it again, and just living together, since we would not be having any more kids. But in the end, it became important to us to be a "real" family unit (not to imply that unmarried parents are not) for both us and the kids. Then of course, there's other things like family health insurance, social security benifits, and the legalities here regarding previous marriages and benifits.

    OH and I wanted to wear the dress and have a pretty ring. :)

  10. I was married for about 25 years until my husband died...I do believe in marriage if you plan on having kids... To not have that piece of paper, kids invariably will wonder and ask... since I assume most of their friends come from married parents or divorced... I was in a relationship for 5 years and I did not need that piece of paper.. I had that commitment.. No longer in that relationship because he had issues that I could no longer have patience for.. Think about it.. Look at the people who end their marriage in divorce? Did that piece of paper do any good?? Did they honor their vows? A piece of paper is almost like a bribery to remind the two involved to uphold their vows... I am in my 50's and the complication of a divorce is a pain in the ass. unless u get a prenup... I have always believed that the only asses that should be divided are the ones accrued by two in a marriage.. what you bring to the marriage,you should leave with.. i know that sounds weird,but, after all did my husband help me obtain my assets prior to marrying or meeting him??? for me the answer is 'NO'. No body owes anyone any assets that they had prior to a relationship.. Harsh, but its true, right?

  11. I wonder, these people you speak of jumping into and out of marriage at the drop of the dime, do you know them personally or are you basing that observation on Hollywood?

    I only ask because I think the Hollywood marriage can be ridiculous. Marriage is hard enough when you see each other everyday and can work through stuff but add in the life of a musician/working actor/athlete whom travels a lot for their job and may not see their significant other, then marriage is even harder.

    I also think that if marriage is obsolete, I don't think the gay community would be pushing so hard for the right to do so.

    I think marriage is still a good thing and a right everyone should have. We've all heard the statistic of >50% of marriages in this country end in divorce but the numbers drop off significantly for those over 25 and college educated when entering their first marriage (to ~15%).

    All the benefits a married couple have (that Julianna mentioned) that cohabiting couples do not can be seen as a "pro" for marriage. It's not just a piece of paper, it's a piece of paper that is a symbol of a commitment made between two people with all benefits that paper entails.

    A ring on the left ring finger is a symbol. Put that same ring on any other finger and it doesn't have the same meaning. Two people living together without marriage, therefore, does not have the same meaning, in my opinion.

  12. I struggle with this one. I just don't think that it is. I know that is horrible. I hate that I feel that way. I was never a girl who dreamt of her wedding, never felt I had to have one. I want love, I want forever, but the wedding isn't important for me. I don't mean just the actual ceremony and reception. I just feel that if you love, you love, and I shouldn't have to be married for it to be "real". I guess I like to buck the system and fight against the norm.

    I have nothing against those who still dream and want the wedding and all that comes with it. I have never been the marriage and kids kind of woman. I like my life a bit more free and fluid. I don't like being tied down. God...that sounds horribly selfish. Okay...I am walking away from this now.

  13. I was married for 12 years; hubby turned out to be a major cheat and we divorced. I said I would never marry again. Four years later I met Mr. Eva and we're celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary in Sept.

  14. I've been married for over 25 years and if I had to do it all over, I would (with the same guy of course). I think marriage is one of the fundamental institutions of any society, whether it comes with a piece of paper or not, so I don't think it will go away any time soon. Just because so many people screw it up, it doesn't mean the idea itself is wrong or no longer viable.

  15. Like you, I too believe in the sanctity of marriage. Call me old fashioned, or a prude or a relic! ha! But I do beleive in all that, still, in spite of and because of! Stick to your true self and values and who you are and what you believe in. The world is full of cynicism but somewhere out there, there are still a few optomists out there. Now just don't ask me where, because given my track record with this whole dating thing, giving advice is the LAST thing I need to do! ha! :)

  16. Oh. I love that you've asked this question in the hopes of finding a true answer. But only in your heart is the answer. Marriage matters to you. And according to the study you found there are 40% of people who do not deem it obsolete. Keep on believing in fate, and romance and love and marriage my friend. It's what makes you, YOU!

  17. I don't think marriage is obsolete if you WANT to get married. But I will get married to ensure that the other partner is safe if something happens to one of us, not out of sheer love or religion.

  18. Furry Bottoms: It does seem like finding someone with the same beliefs is impossible sometimes. I'll keep hoping. :)

    Hero: I agree about the vows--they do mean everything. Glad to know guys still think like you do. :)

    Julianna: Well, the dress and ring are must-haves! lol But, yeah, I like the idea of having a family unit.

    Kalei's Best Friend: I totally get what you're saying. I guess I just want to have a marriage like my parents have had. Maybe that's pie in the sky material, who knows. :/ You are right, it is much more complicated what with all the fears of divorce, splitting of assets, etc.

    Barsola: I'm basing it on both Hollywood and what I've seen around me. But, yeah,I agree with your observations of Hollywood marriages. I really do want those symbols; it's just scary how many men don't--and in part it's because they are extremely skeptical. How sad is that?!

    Jewels: You aren't selfish at all. I completely understand where you're coming from. I want and believe in marriage with all of my heart, but it doesn't mean I'm not nervous on some level. I just keep thinking these things don't need to be so complicated.

    Eva: You and Mr. Eva are like marriage icons to me. :)

    Alessandra: Beautifully said and I completely agree.

    Yvonne: If you're old-fashioned, a prude, or a relic, what the heck does that make me? LOL And your guess is as good as mine on where that cluster of optimists are hanging out! LOL

    Rita: You just made my day. Thank you so much for that. I will keep believing. *hugs*

    Wynn: Excellent point. I do hope to get married one day, but if it doesn't happen then it must be for a reason.

  19. There are people who say that human beings are not meant to be monogamous.

    I don't believe that, either.

    Marriage is for whoever wants to be married.

  20. Chanel: I've heard people say the same...mostly men. Like you, I don't believe that, not for a second.

    "Marriage is for whoever wants to be married." Short, sweet, to the point, and right on target. Nicely said. :)