Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quem Quaeritis?

"Why are men so reluctant to marry?" the question was coyly posed.

"Why are women so reluctant to stay married?" I answered teasingly.

"Huh?" was the startled reply.

In the U.S. 70% of divorces are initiated by the wife. Certainly middle-aged men still trade in the mother of their children for trophy wives; definitely there are cases of infidelity and abuse and criminal activity that warrant a permanent split. But at the end of the day the overwhelming majority of breakups are not because of these factors -- rather, selfishness and boredom are the major culprits.

I recognize full well that societal norms are far different today than they were even a generation ago, when the phrase "irreconcilable differences" started to catch on in a big way.

This in my view makes it abundantly clear that societal norms need to subjected to serious overhaul. With that thought in mind, here's a checklist to help correct the worst marital excesses stemming from today's societal norms.

* Marriage is for life. This is not merely sentiment -- that is, when the words "For as long as we both shall live" are uttered, it is a binding obligation. The spouses can separate (even permanently) when the physical or moral well-being of one or both is gravely jeopardized, but the man and woman remain bound in matrimony as husband and wife until one of them dies. And if your spouse leaves, you do not remarry.

* Marriage is for family. I will never, under any circumstance, no matter who is involved, attend the wedding of a couple who has declared that they refuse to have children. When done properly raising children is a great remedy to selfishness -- you have to be generous and selfless until it hurts to be a good parent. And "family planning" is a misnomer; "family prevention for selfish reasons" is the correct phrasing. I will never show support for someone else formally committing themselves to a selfish lifestyle.

* Marriage is a religious act. Humans did not create marriage, God did. Governments can add some conditions like obliging couples to complete paperwork, but they do not have final say in the matter. For that reason, governments are entirely incompetent to declare marriages ended; the state can oversee division of property and assets, but they cannot declare a married couple to no longer be wedded.

Quem Quaeritis?

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