MrMary’s & Stendhal’s Cures for Love: The Marriage contract


In France men who have lost their wives are sad while widows,
on the contrary are gay and happy.
Women have a proverb felicity of widowhood.
There is therefore no equality in the contract of marriage

~Stendhal

AS I am sure many of you know or have intuited I am not big on public celebration or events. I have always been a stoic kind of character. To this day one thing I never understood well was marriage. My word is my bond which means if I tell someone I love then and  will be there, I will be doing my utmost to honour that promise. I don’t need a paper or a justice of the peace, or a priest or rabbi etc. Marriage is a social institution, like the universities or banks. There are rules said as well as unsaid. There are cultural differences on how marriage is viewed. There are many reasons why couples may seek to marry financial, libidinous, religious etc

An institution is any structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community — may it be human or a specific animal one. Institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern cooperative living behavior.

Social institutions can have and are actually prone to having strong biases. In the workplace in the US men and women do not make the same salary when they have the same job. This is clearly an entrench bias in the social institution of labour. [I consider working or labour to be an institution since there are workers rights, and legal bodies that exist to make sure these rights are  respected]

So my question then is there a bias in the social-political institution of marriage?  (If you do not believe marriage is a political institution look at the GOP rhetoric about single women just caring about getting laid and not thinking twice about the economy or the future because they don’t have kids. I do not have the data but it be nice to see how much money the campaigns spend to appeal to married women).

I am an unmarried male and would like to know what my readers who are both married and single  think?

“50% of all marriages in America end in divorce

The stats are scary:

The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage

50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

According to enrichment journal on the divorce rate in America:

  • The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
  • The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
  • The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

I felt that a mention of divorce would be pertinent to this part of the discussion. I often times ask myself how healthy is this social institution, how in tune it is with the times and the multitudinous ideologies and mindsets there are today?  It’s been such an uphill struggle for gay marriage in this country. While we may not be willing to be tolerant of sexual and gender based differences at least we are not spending so much time energy and money to deny their existence. I don’t think the institution of marriage is reflective of this attitude.

Please for the sake of clarity understand that I am curious about marriage like a social institution and how it is use a tool for the administration social and political power on a personal as well as a national level. I am not disparaging getting married at all. I don’t see myself as a career bachelor – there comes a time in every oil company and man’s life where one gets tired of laying mile after mile of pipe and one would like just to stay in one area to drill and pump till the well goes dry, and retire you know ?

Divorce brings up for me as it did for Stendhal many interesting criticisms of the marriage contract.  For example:

Some men’s rights writers say that marriage is unfavourable to men, particularly the financial consequences of divorce. Father’s rights advocates claim that there is a continuing societal bias favoring women as custodial parents in the face of “no-fault” divorce laws and is unjust to men when marriages fail. Some claim that this leads to men avoiding marriage, calling it a “marriage strike”. Some groups, such as the Independent Women’s Forum, accept this criticism, but argue that they should not be leveled against marriage itself, but dealt with independently

Id be interested in some thoughts and opinions before I continue onto part two where I take the gloves off .

Thanks for reading this

MrMary

 

3 thoughts on “MrMary’s & Stendhal’s Cures for Love: The Marriage contract

  1. Marriage is one thing I haven’t comprehended so well in my life, either. I personally believe it benefits men a hundred ways more than it does women. That is the reason why we hardly see a man in his mid-30s who is still single, unless of course he is gay or in some deep s%*@hole in life.

    Divorce is another thing. In China, arranged marriages thrive and couples hold on to their connubial partnership till death do them part. Simply because they refuse to subscribe to our western mindset – which is treating relationships as a never-ending audition.

    Considering my status and history though, who am I to hash out about these stuff? 🙂
    And I am actually grateful marriage and divorce do exist.

    Looking forward to reading that part two, MrMary. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts here.

    Like

  2. Been married twice,,and I don’t think I would do it again. I like you are of the mindset that if I tell you I love you, will be there and to take care of you, my word is my bond and do not need a paper to tell me that.

    Like

  3. I suppose for me a marriage is an important and useful shorthand. I don’t mind promising certain things in front of a priest or an official.
    Both things can break – if you have a paper, you can break a marriage. If you give your word, you can go back on it. That’s how things work. Yet I appreciate the commitment someone is expressing by entering the marriage contract.
    And of course legally it’s the most convenient form of partnership by presupposing certain legal, economical and social consequences – you don’t have to get bogged down in details and worry that your partner of 15 years won’t get a penny after you die because your spiteful family will try to prove it wasn’t a real relationship, and that happens.

    For me, really personally, marriage contract is keeping me in line. Of course, sometimes less successfully (for the most part of this year) than more, but this is something that in my head reminds me of where my priorities are. If you have that internal moral spine to keep you in check – good for you. I for one am quite happy I can remind myself – ‘I am married, for f*ck’s sake!’ rather than ‘I am in a committed, transcending the need for official papers, relationship of 14 years!’. It’s slightly less catchy as a mantra.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s