MARRIAGE ! IS IT AN OUTDATED CONCEPT FOR THE MODERN WORLD ?
"The only thing solely related to marriage is divorce". Not my words but those of a so called "marriage expert" on a recent Radio discussion. Now I do not know about you, but these so called experts and commentators get right up my nose pontificating, as they do on any and every subject possible. I object, not to the right to opinion, but to the fact that they are called, and allow themselves happily, to be called "experts" You do not need to be an "expert" to see that what are termed traditional values and practices are being ever more challenged. This seems only natural to me as part of an ever evolving world
Marriage, as we know it is not immune from such evolution but given the strict terms of such a union between man and woman, there is little "wriggle room" about the concept. Marriage, in whatever form you like, is steeped in Religious teaching but like many such teachings, was so formed to protect secular life, far more than creating some great Religious ideal Nowadays, we all actively or passively, relate marriage more to the secular than the religious, simply by the fact that more marriages in the modern way of life are conducted outside the embrace of Church and directly by the State None, to my knowledge has yet produced definitive figures to show if "state "marriages are built on less firm foundations than those under the mantle of Churches, but no doubt some "expert" is busy beavering away at it as we speak ! Whatever, the annoying fact is that the "expert I quoted at the start of this Hub is obviously, if crassly correct. Today, marriage is indeed the entrance to divorce in an ever escalating number of cases.
Without in anyway attempting to play the "blame game" here it appears to me that much of this current and developing phenomena lies fully at the door of women. Back in time, marriage was clearly established to assist in providing, as Aristotle wrote "Order in the State" His observations are every bit as apposite today as they were in ancient times and the dangers of breakdown in State order are every bit as much of a concern now as then. Marriage purported to provide security and maintenance for women, to enable them to fullfil their main biological function, namely the birth and early development of the next generation. Men still held the function of "Hunter gatherers" and, in all honesty, regardless of changes over centuries in social mores, nothing really changed radically until the discovery and adoption of the contraceptive pill. Almost at a stroke, society, though it did not know it, was changed from all recognition, as freed from fears relating to unwanted pregnancies, women began to flex their muscles in a variety of ways.
One such way was to challenge the previous order. Women now regard themselves as equal to men, a concept I have always found ridiculous, since as a man I am well aware that there are many things in life in which women are clearly superior to men and vice versa. However, women now have laid claim to also be "Hunter gatherers" whilst most men have, by general acceptance, learned to play a wider role than previously in family life etc.
One way less acceptable in many ways that has evolved is the way in which an increasing number of women, from teenage years see themselves as sexual predators in ways unthinkable before contraception. To my mind this change lies at the centre of the ever increasing divorce rate, as women now approach marriage in a much more cavalier way than ever before. Of course, it is not right to lay the blame fully at the female door for marriage breakdown, far from it, but it is a salient and significant factor. Both sexes now it seems regard marriage as a state that may or may not be permanent and if not, so what, you can always give it a go with another partner. Thus is the traditional concept of marriage being eroded daily as couples unite holding that thought.
Many will find the above both understandable and reasonable, but for a very important reason for the future of society, I see it fraught with danger, indeed perhaps the core of problems we see now and will surely see more of in the future.
The unhappy lot of many women over time has to find themselves locked into a loveless relationship and having to endure it for security and for the children they had produced. That was a far from ideal or acceptable state and many men were inexcusable in their behaviour. Now however, as the pendelum swings to the other side, we see, on too many occasions an unwelcome and aggressive side to the female nature also. Some are quite happy to desert their offspring almost totally in the search for their own presumed fruition, whilst others cynically, use the divorce court to enable them to shift seamlessly from one union to another, taking with them the offspring which they regard in the same way as other goods and chattels from the marriage.Now these create often heart rending scenarios but it is not that that should be our chief concern here. Statistics show that children from a so called broken home are far more likely to divorce in adult life than those from a stable union. Draw out the equation and we ultimately reach the end of the line for marriage.
It may well be time now to consider the whole concept of marriage from an adult point of view, but as yet there is no evidence to show that there is any better system for the development of children and by association the development of society for future generations. The danger signs are all about us but there is nothing to show that there is any heeding of them as far as I have observed.
WHERE WILL IT END ?
MODERN SOCIETY, BY NATURE MUST TRY TO PUSH BACK THE BOUNDARIES ON WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE, BUT NOT IRRESPONSIBLY.That seems to be a sound philosophy, so it is all a matter of degree that should concern us. It is futile to long for a return to the "good old days" Basically they were not as good as some would have us believe. Even so, we are facing the grave dangers of throwing out our babies with the bathwater and in so doing risk generating a feral society. Most clear thinking people will accept that a stable, male/female union affords the best parameters for bringing up children and that the majority of those children will themselves go on to reproduce the model By the same token, children brought up by split family units have a tougher time of things in establishing just where they stand as they enter adult life.
THE OLD ADAGE THAT CHILDREN NEED A FATHER AND A MOTHER IN A STABLE SITUATION TO BEST FLOURISH IS UNDOUBTABLY TRUE. Yet true though it may be, I see scant hope that the future will see most homes being built around this and to the detriment of all.
So where will it all end? Only a wise man or a fool would forecast and I believe I am neither and thus have little to offer. One notion though does occupy my thoughts and it is not one I warm to. I foresee the day when marriage, which we have always termed as a "for life" union, will at least be modified. I see, probably developed by legal brains of the feminist sisterhood, set term marriage contracts, limiting the number of years for the union to exist with both parties having the right to extend or walk away from at the expiry date. Some will think this Orwellian, but if you consider current behavior there is much to ponder. Current marriage thinking is so geared to material possessions that an extension in what may be termed "Contract of Union" may well become reality. I can see the lawyers rubbing their hands together already.
Whatever the outcome, it seems to me that marriage as we all have known it is under threat. Only the thoughts of what could be best for the children can reasonably sustain it . As such then nothing really changes does it? The key exception to this is that as women catch up and surpass men in the selfishness stakes ,will it make one jot of difference. I fear not.