Last Update: 26 Feb 00
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REPLY #11 TO
(R) I believe that the concept of marriage, as being bonded to another for life, is an unrealistic concept at best. It is natural for a human being to undergo changes throughout many stages in their life; therefore, their needs change. To expect one person to remain with another until their physical death seems ludicrous (to me).
(MB) I tend to agree. It is certainly possible for two people to be perfectly compatible with each other, but that would seem to be extremely rare, at best. I think we have a little too much innate one-upsmanship inside of us for one partner not to eventually try to become dominant and too much innate independence and self-pride for the other to be completely satisfied with being eternally submissive.
(R) For our society to have such expectations of its members is equally ridiculous. The concept of marriage (that society and its members reinforces) is one that has no basis in reality.
(MB) It has a biological basis in all species which reproduce sexually and have some sort of mating ritual. However, man's concept of marriage goes far beyond nature.
(R) All we need do is look at magazines aimed at brides-to-be to see the fairy tale in full bloom. It appears we advocate marriage and the addition of children, but rarely address the hard, cold facts of what marriage and parenthood truly require, in order to be successful.
(MB) We play on the emotional value of love and marriage while either downplaying or ignoring the problems that inevitably face married couples. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the pressures of religious belief.
(R) On that basis, I can understand the many reasons for adultery, although I do not agree with such actions.
(MB) That is pretty much my approach to the issue. I feel that it is an inevitable conclusion once we manage to strip the knee-jerk emotion from the situation. That doesn't make adultery a "good" thing or a "bad" thing. It just makes it something that is a fact of our existence.
(R) Ideally, one spouse would simply inform the other that they intend to move on; but, of course, we cannot anticipate one would take responsibility for their actions quite so readily.
(MB) There are a lot of considerations that often preclude the ideal solution to any given problem. This is another one of those issues which must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis rather than trying to apply some sort of "one-size-fits-all" legal or moral dictate to it.
(R) Perhaps, if individuals would apply more thought and consideration regarding such a union, we would have less unhappy marriages, and therefore, less adultery. Just a thought. But perhaps too black-and-white. And perhaps I have strayed from the original point.... :-)
(MB) You haven't strayed at all. In fact, you're right on target. This is why I advocate that prospective married couples should live together for at least a year first. This should allow them to discover most, if not all, of the things that would eventually cause problems after marriage. Then, they could either correct the problems or accept that a marriage would just not work. Either way, you are cutting down the chances of unhappy marriages and the resulting problems.
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