The "Institution" of Marriage

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by SexyScorp, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. SexyScorp

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    ireland
    "Marriage is a great institution, but who wants to live in an institution"

    lol

    Do many people still believe in the concept of marriage...

    I have had three (up to now)....my Dad calls me Liz Taylor.....hehehe...

    I must be either crazy or extremely optimistic to have plunged in three times!!

    How do you guys feel about living in an institution....i am beginning to think its not always a healthy way to live at times....

    Would any of us want to sign up for life to a job, when we dont have a clue whether we will be able to tolerate it for that long..

    Is it healthy or realistic to have one partner and then promise to stay with them for the rest of your life, foresaking all others...

    Do many people stay faithful and keep their vows?

    Wouldnt it be more enjoyable to have a freer way of life....

    Anyone?
     
  2. teamster145

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    9,471
    Likes Received:
    7,466
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Well you should have a pretty good idea what you think about each other before you get married and just because something is more enjoyable does not mean it is the best option. In this day and age it is probably much safer to have one partner for life. I also believe for a marriage to work there has to be a lot of give and take on both sides and I for 1 am very happy in my marriage.
     
  3. Rose

    Rose Resident Sexy Grandma
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    6,823
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Dixie Land
    "Institution" indicates to me ...cold, concrete walls... hard sanitized floors....clean, but boring.... I suppose some find their marriages described in this manner. Not me.

    "Lifetime job" indicated to me ... always 'workin' for the man'...no personal appreciation or honor ... same thiing - day in and day out .... and again, I suppose some find their marriages described in this manner. Not me.

    I have been married only once. Thirty years ago, I vowed to be faithful to this one man, forsaking all others. And I have. Our life together is (more often than not) fun & exciting, sometimes wild & crazy, hardly 'predictable' :)lol) , and the memories we've pocketed through the years makes us wake up happy to see our 'best friend' sitting across the table every morning.
    Of course there were times when it was rough. Times when one or both of us felt like giving up. That's part of life. But working through those times - because of the commitment we made, has made us better people - within ourselves and for each other.

    Knowing I have this partner for life does something deep inside. I don't feel imprisoned, nor do I feel a lack of enjoyment of life. Quite the contrary - I feel empowered to be everything I can be... because I KNOW I have that one person who is always encouraging me, always rooting me on. I guess you could say Thorn is my 'Soccer Mom"! :rofl
     
  4. SexyScorp

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    ireland
    I think you guys have met your soulmates!!!!!!

    It give one hope!!! But from my observations, you are in the minority. I keep on meeting people who are sexually incompatible, different in desires, goals etc and who end up feeling a little "empty".....?

    As for knowing your partner before you marry. I was with my husband for 10 years beforehand..

    But the pressures of parenthood (our boy is very challenging) has caused a great strain between us...

    So it is not as straightforward as knowing someone...

    We never know someone...

    People change and grow...maybe away from each other....

    And lots of people are in denial....put up with the arrangement for various reasons...

    Thanks guys for your honesty!!!

    :)
     
  5. Eris Discordia

    Eris Discordia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I don't really believe in the concept of "soulmate." There are so many different people who can be fulfilling in different ways...

    Look at marriage this way. We get our identity of self through the reflected appraisals of others. When we are young, this is our family. When we get older, things start to change.
    Outside of the family, we begin to form these intimate relationships. Now, intimacy is pretty much equivalent to shared vulnerability between two people.

    As the person you become intimate with gives you positive feedback (emotional, material, etc) and becomes intimate with you, you rely on that person's perspective more and more, and want to continue the exchange you have started. You need their reflected appraisal to maintain your sense of self. It gets to the point were that person's happiness is dependent on your own.

    Marriage is a societal expression of a couple wishing to cement their intimacy.
    Can you tell I am a sociology major? Can ya, can ya?
     
  6. SexyScorp

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    ireland
    Yes Eris I can indeed....most impressive....

    How long have you been married?

    "It gets to the point where the person's happiness is dependant on your own'

    Hmmm....that can be a little too intense at times....and one has to be careful that the individual's identity isnt lost through the other person....i dont think its good or healthy to require another's appraisal to mantain your sense of self...neither should we become dependant on any one person..

    The reason I've had three marriages is because I did expect the above things. I relied on another to make me feel like a whole person.....big mistake!!!!

    Re the soulmate thing....i believe we have many soul connections and maybe its a matter of choosing which one came to us to teach us the most significant lessons....

    That is what marriage is about, learning about oneself through the partners...

    And when the lessons are learned we move on, either through death or through separating whilst still living...

    Maybe if people could adopt this attitude, there wouldnt be such a stigma about divorce?



    :)
     
    #6 SexyScorp, Mar 9, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
  7. BiBiBaby

    BiBiBaby New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Although not married yet, I was raised around strong families. Very few of my friends had divorced parents, those that did had very stable stepparents while we were young.

    Being around that I've always felt that marraige was one of the cornerstones for a happy healthy and fulfilling life. I know its not a requirement to be happy and people oft chose not to be married and still don't regret a thing, but I look forward to getting married because my bf is my greatest source of strength and support in all that i do and i look forward to passing that on to our kids so that they can have a good childhood like i felt I had

    again, this is not to say that kids in single parent homes don't have good childhoods...its just what I was raised with and something I want to pass on
     
  8. NaughtyKnickers

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    8
    Gender:
    Female
    Surely what you've mentioned is a tendency of human beings in general but it applies not only to married couples but close friends.
    Long time close friends are the same way!
    I don't think this characteristic of human relationships is exclusive to marriage alone by any means.

    This observation as an argument against marriage is lacking.

    Marriage certainly does come with challenges to both individuals personal identities and the relationship they share together, but the issue you've detailed is not exclusive to marriage relationships alone.
     
  9. AnonymousOne

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I have to disagree with Eris completely. Granted, when you are young your surrounding shape you to what you are. But I think that it is the individual who decides what they want to be and how they want to be seen. I hate teh idea of just being a slave to the way people see me.

    I for one have a very different view of love than ... most people anyway. I don't see love as something that you just "fall into", love is a rational thing. Love is a respect for that person that you love, it's appreciating their values and ideas (as crazy as they are sometimes).

    Now we have to differentiate love from lust and physical attraction. The former is rational and the later is simply a biological drive. Do you really want to be hanging on to the whims of your hormones and physical desires? Is that how you define love? I see that as terribly shortsighted.

    So where is all this heady mumbo-jumbo leading me? Simple. Marriage is a contract of dedication between two people that love eachother. It's that simple.
     
  10. SexyScorp

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    ireland
    A1

    Do you think you will ever get a contract out on anyone lol

    I am learning a song to sing tonight in the session with my music teacher....its about a woman who is poisoning her hubbie......haha....nice and macacbre hey?

    The last line asks what he shall leave his sweetheart and he replies "a length of rope to hang herself"


    Aaaaahhhhh........wedded bliss..........lol
     
  11. emerlyj

    emerlyj New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Wales
    I agree with that. I think marriage is 'proof' of dedication and commitment but it is not really necessary as long as two people love eah other.
     
  12. AnonymousOne

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Do you want an honest answer? No, I don't think I will ever settle down. I'm too independent and I don't like being accountable to people aside from myself.
     
  13. cbrmale

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    291
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canberra
    I studied social psychology, which is different to yours, but there are things in textbooks that don't reflect reality. Intimacy is more than reflected feedback, it is a positive feeling of goodwill towards the other person. And while the other person's happiness is a key part of the relationship, their appearance, personality and values are more important to your ongoing appreciation of them. You love them as a person. And because they are a person who has traits you love (a curvy body, good fun to be with, and independant spirit), you wish to spend a greater part of you future life with them.

    Now this doesn't mean you can't have another soulmate, and indeed you can love more than one person at the same time, although such things create complications. Because society and our partners expect us to behave in certain ways, and because you feel good with the person you are with and you know you'll lose her if you don't behave in the expected way, you will do the 'right' thing in order to keep the relationship alive.

    The alternative, to have multiple soulmates, is both uncertain and disruptive. Uncertain, you are trading intimacy for the unknown, disruptive because the break-up of a relationship, especially with children involved, is always difficult.

    So as long as the relationship is fulfilling in terms of your positive appreciation of your partner, and their feedback to you, you will stay together. This is probably why at least half of marriages work in the long-haul.
     
  14. Eris Discordia

    Eris Discordia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I don't think that relationships are generally more complicated than basic social exchange theory. We want to maximize our rewards and minimize our costs, in relationships as in everywhere else. The manifestations in a relationship are a lot different than in a marketplace, but the same theory applies.
    I don't really feel that reflected appraisals ever cease. We are all creatures of socialization, as indicated by infants that never learn language if inadequately socialized. There is no control group, however.
     
  15. cbrmale

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    291
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canberra
    I don't know sociology, but in psychology we spent a lot of time studying sex, and regardless of the culture, sexual attraction and sexual drive is a big part of social interaction and interpersonal relationships. While I talk about curvy bodies and good fun to be with, there is no doubt that for marriage, sexual desire has a big part to play in why we hook up together and why we stay together too.

    This therefore goes beyond reflected feedback (your partner likes you) to the desirable traits of the person that relate to childbearing and child rearing. We are usually attracted to a person because they have good looks (your offspring will be attractive), maturity (they will make a good father or mother), physical child-raising characterists in a woman (broad hips), estrogen-based characteristics (long legs, slim waist) and much more besides. Women are typically attracted to men who are mature and confident, because they are socially conditioned to have a man who will be a carer, even if that is not the way society works these days. Women are also attracted to mature men because they wish for their children to inherit maturity and confidence, and therefore have a head-start in the competitive world

    And then having married and had children, there is the perennial desire of men to wander off and inseminate another woman or three. There is also the almost as deep desire of a woman to be impregnanted by another man in order to mix up her genes and to have a greater chance of offspring survival. It even goes so far as a woman will be more attracted to an archetypically masculine-looking man close to when she is ovulating, so her perceptions of attractiveness are altered by her state of sexual readiness.

    A woman searches for a mate who will stay for around seven years, long enough for her to bear children and see them independant. She will play games with her man for that time to keep him attached to her if she can. She may ration sex to keep him on edge and interested in her, but if he is judged to be intellectually superior a woman will supply more sex. It is strange that women who feel (but not necessarily are) inferior, will offer more sex to keep a mate faithful and to keep other women at bay, but this is a commonly observed behaviour in most cultures, including our own/

    This is way too complex for sociology I feel, which is why I thought at the time that social psychology was a fuller and more rounded thing to study. It was also sexier!
     
  16. Eris Discordia

    Eris Discordia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I didn't say sociology was a panacea, but you are talking about marriage. Marriage is a social institution, and although sex is a part of it, I would argue it is not the primary function of a marriage.

    Edit: Not to nitpick A1, before there are perfectly functional marriages were love doesn't enter into the equation. We have a concept in our society called "Romanticism." Sadly, love is not all that is required to make a marriage work.
     
  17. AnonymousOne

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, I would argue that nothing ever functions perfectly. I'm not sure how you define Romanticism. Last time I checked those were literary and artistic movements. :lol
     
  18. cbrmale

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    291
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canberra
    I will clarify that I am discussing Western Christian marriage, I don't want to even go to Islamic marriage and arranged marriages, that is an entirely different place altogether.

    In the West, marriage is a social institution, and until recently it was the only socially acceptable way of men and women to join in a sexual relationship in order to bear the best possible offspring and to raise those offspring in order to pass our genes to future generations. Therefore, I would argue that sex is the primary function of marriage.

    All cultures I studied in anthropoligical psychology had an institution akin to our marriage, however they arranged it, and the purpose of marriage in every single culture was to couple a man and a woman together in order to bear and raise children.

    In my country marriage has lost importance, and couples generally live as de-factos. Nonetheless, for a couple to move in and become common-law husband and wife, they generally go through a courting and attraction process which is primarily sexual in nature.

    Because sex does not appear to be a large part of sociology, any analysis of love and romance and attraction and the realisation of that attraction as a long-term union called marriage or living together cannot be made. This is why psychologists study a lot of sex, because sex is a prime driver in one-on-one relationships.

    And for others reading this discourse, I am not trying to reduce your personal relationships to estrogen and hip sizes, attraction is much more complex than that. One of the key points in Western unions is the seven-year cycle, which means that whatever the base carnal attraction, this is tempered by the realisation that the partnership must at least this length of this time, and therefore the parties to the union must be compatable with each other so the relationship can survive for seven years.
     
  19. Elvis

    Elvis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    The only psychology I ever studied was taking note of what goes on around me through life, it's a good school!

    I believe in a fair trial run before plunging into marriage, mainly because I made that mistake the first time.
    Mrs E NÂș 2 and I spent 2 years checking each other out, 30 years living together in the trial period and married in July 2000.
     
  20. Eris Discordia

    Eris Discordia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Now we are really splitting hairs, but I will argue that children, not sex, is the primary function of marriage. Historically, not everyone who wanted sex married.