I jumped around a few links after seeing an article on br0ken_dolly
's lj about how Divorce is not environmentally friendly
- which actually sounds more like a problem with the way Americans expend energy than with divorced.
The article noted that divorce rates are going up worldwide while in America divorce rates and marriage
rates are dropping. The article is getting it's info from The Rutgers Marriage Project
. I started reading the Rutgers University Natioanl Marriage Project website and the section that says "About the NMP"
What I'm about to say next is rather hypocritical, perhaps, but when I got to reading the information the Rutger's site I noticed that they're all about preparing young people for marriage, but then I stopped and I asked myself: Why?
Why is marriage so important in the first place? Yeah, I know. I'm about to get married myself (eventually), but there are a lot of aspects of the entire thing that I'd like to chuck in the bin.
For one, I don't even really want a wedding. Frankly, if we all wore jeans, had a cookout so that my family and his could finally shake hands with each other and then went home, I'd be just freaking fine. In fact, I'd be overjoyed. I'd like our families to meet, but I don't want to have to be in a stupid white dress for it to happen. I don't want to spend the exorbitant amount of money that even a low-key wedding will cost, and I certainly don't want to have to commit the time, effort, and attention that it will take to get everything done.
For second, I have no intention of ever taking anyone's name. The Boy is okay with this. There's no reason for me to change my name. My last name (Freeman for anyone who's curious) is infinitely easier for people to pronounce than his (which is Ukranian in origin).
For third, we have no intention of having children. Ever. In a few years I'm going to seriously look into get sterilized so that I can quit having to worry over varying methods of birth control. We're both in agreement on this issue as well.
What I *DO* want is to spend the rest of my life with him, share everything with him, wake up in the morning to him, and go to bed with him at night. I want to do all of this so long as it's both making us happy (in the true, long term sense of that word, not the immediate one).
Well, honestly, you don't even need to be married to achieve the things that we've already achieved. I have what I want. I'm living it right now. As we speak.
That's because the institution of marriage isn't designed for a love relationship. It was never intended to be about love.
The way marriage was designed, with all the trappings, was about property, reproduction, and finance. More than that, it was designed in a society where men were little rulers over their households and women were assets rather than partners. It was also designed in a world where 70-90% of the population all did the same thing: farming.
You got married to have kids, you had kids so they could work the farm and at least one of them could take over the farm and keep farming it so people could keep eating. It was all about the farm.
Well, in America, less than 10% of our population farms. So an agricultural, patriarchal system just doesn't work in today's more cosmopolitan, egalitarian society.
Frankly, if we just restructured a few financial things and tweaked the laws concerning inheritance, property, and child custody a little, we could effortlessly get rid of all marriage, as we know it, and the world would flow a lot smoother. Because we wouldn't be trying to lug around this huge, unwieldy, out of date concept while trying to make everything else work.
Trying to teach young people to achieve a good marriage in today's society, with our society's ideals? Is like trying to teach them to play tennis with a baseball. If you really work hard, and really want to win, and don't mind sweating a lot, you can do it. But most people will just end up failing, because the design and the use of marriage have deviated too far from each other.
Frankly, we need a new institution. It's not people that need to change, it's marriage.
And the first thing that should change is the ability of the government to EVER define, control, legislate, or interfere in marriage. The second - well, that's another rant.