Poll

Parents together during childhood and emotional belief in marriage

Parents together & believe in marriage
154 (53.1%)
Parents not together & believe in marriage
49 (16.9%)
Parents together & don't believe in marriage
37 (12.8%)
Parents not together & don't believe in marriage
18 (6.2%)
Gerbils
32 (11%)

Total Members Voted: 283

Author Topic: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!  (Read 15404 times)

Dee

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2015, 08:50:52 PM »
My parents were not together when I was growing up. My mom married my father because she felt that was a required precursor to having children. She had me and found the marriage was unsustainable and left him when I was still a baby.

I voted that I don't believe in marriage. That may not have been the right vote because my view is that I do believe that marriage is an appropriate step for people who are able to express a desire to remain together until death, regardless of life circumstances.

In my current location (Canada) at this point in time, I don't think there is very much reason to get married, as opposed to living together, if, as a couple you intend to stay together for as long as you are better together than apart (or some other variation wherein you could envision your relationship at partners ending before death).

I once said to a friend that I saw divorce as a failure and she was surprised by that. But I do -- I see divorce as a failure to live up to marriage vows, even in circumstances where I can totally see why it makes sense to end a relationship... I just don't accept that the relationship should have been sealed with a vow to stay married until death do us part, if something else can sway a couple to part.

I try not to impose that judgmentally on couples, and to accept that people get married or don't get married for different reasons and with different intentions.

But, for me, the promise to stay together "until death" is really what distinguishes marriage from other relationships and I am quite astounded at the number of people willing to make that promise... and break that promise.

In my case, I have been engaged once before, to a partner I lived with for 7 years. We got engaged really early on in the relationship and when I accepted the marriage proposal, I really did believe I could promise to be with him till death. Then I lived with longer and got to know him better... and even though that also meant I got to love more deeply, I also saw that I was not sure that I could stay with him even in ongoing sickness and poorness. Eventually, I did leave. I don't think I would have if I had married him. I would still be trying to muddle through, seeking to have as much of my sanity intact in the difficult life circumstances he's found himself in.

Currently, I am planning to move in with my boyfriend of six years. He's not much of a believer in marriage though he does say his plan is for us to stay together for life. I plan to as well.... but I can't really say I'm sure enough about it to vow to be with him "until death do us part." We do discuss getting married and I would actually do it for practical reasons (like if he needed emergency access to my health insurance before we have lived together for a full year so that he could be my spouse for that purpose or if we wanted to live together in a different country where marital status matters more than here).

So having said all that, in a sense I am great believer in marriage. I just also believe that there is value in long-term relationships where couples will try to work through obstacles but may ultimately decide to leave before death. I believe that such relationships are really common, even among married partners. But, to me, such relationships ought to be valued and celebrated for what they are -- something different than marriage

electriceagle

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2015, 04:21:09 AM »
Here is an update based on current numbers.

78% of respondents grew up with their parents together. 73% of respondents "believe in" marriage.

Among those whose parents were together, 75% believe in marriage. Among those whose parents were apart, 65% believe in marriage. The Fischer exact test suggests that this is statistically significant; a 95% chance that the two populations (people who grew up with parents together vs. apart) have a "real" difference in viewpoint on this issue.

(My knowlege of statistics is incredibly rusty, so feel free to throw rodents at me if I did that wrong. )

So far, there are not enough responses with ages to generate any analysis.

bb11

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2015, 09:34:51 AM »
Here is an update based on current numbers.

78% of respondents grew up with their parents together. 73% of respondents "believe in" marriage.

Among those whose parents were together, 75% believe in marriage. Among those whose parents were apart, 65% believe in marriage. The Fischer exact test suggests that this is statistically significant; a 95% chance that the two populations (people who grew up with parents together vs. apart) have a "real" difference in viewpoint on this issue.

(My knowlege of statistics is incredibly rusty, so feel free to throw rodents at me if I did that wrong. )

So far, there are not enough responses with ages to generate any analysis.

Be careful of confounding variables. Let's say that over time "belief in marriage" has deteriorated, while divorce rates have also increased. Someone responding in their 60's-70's is likely to have had parents stay together, while also believing in marriage. Someone in their 20's-30's is a lot more likely to come from a divorced/seperated family, and also less likely to believe in marriage. That could explain the entire effect you're seeing.

socal0218

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2015, 11:07:28 AM »
Parents together & believe in marriage, strong Lutheran Evangelical Christians in the Midwest so I would assume that has some sway in their decision. 

I am a single 29 year old gay young professional and I hope to find "Mr. Right" some day and live happily ever after.  Ha-ha we'll see if it goes that way.  Recently I have become very content and comfortable in my own skin by myself as I have always been pretty independent. 

Just my own two cents.

BeardedLady

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2015, 12:17:29 PM »
I strongly believe in the ideal of marriage, meaning that two people vow to be together forever despite any hardships that may come their way. It takes communication, trust, compromise, sacrifice, and a bunch of other things that allow individuals to fully express their true characters to their partners. It is committing to growing and changing together instead of allowing distance to seep in. If done correctly, marriage is a beautiful thing. However, the reality of the average marriage in America is much different from the ideal. I agree with the poster above who said divorce is failure. If two people cannot live up to a marriage vow, they have no business making it. So while I believe in marriage, I do not believe in a lot of married people.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2015, 12:24:52 PM »
F, 26 Parents still together and in love and I voted gerbils
Despite a very honest but loving example my parents set I don't say I believe in marriage. It isn't for everybody. Marriage is work, dedication and a constant stream of communication and you really have to believe the person you are with is worth it. Quite frankly, had I never met my husband I probably would have never gotten married.
Obviously there are benefits and I enjoy and it seems many other people do so I can't say I don't believe in marriage either - hence the gerbils vote.

Bob W

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2015, 01:06:59 PM »
Second marriage here.   First marriage was o.k. but the divorce and aftermath sucked.   Second marriage is a disaster at the moment. 

I can't truthfully recommend marriage to young people today.    It is indeed a relic.   With women now dominating the work force and income the Beaver Cleaver days are long gone.   

You might also note that married people without kids appear to be self reporting to be happier than either married people with children or single people without or single people with children.

So it appears the sweet spot is be married with no kids.   

Philociraptor

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Re: To marry or not to marry, the Poll!
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2015, 01:38:01 PM »
So I just finished reading Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Simplified, Flow is the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. Flow experiences lead to true enjoyment, not mere pleasure (like watching TV); flow activities often "have rules that require the learning of skills, they set up goals, they provide feedback, they make control possible". They are the point in which challenges and skills match up perfectly. Most importantly, these experiences lead to the growth of the self.  Csikszentmihalyi states that both the most positive and most negative experiences in our lives usually involve other people and our relationships with them. Here are some of his statements on relationships and marriage (TL;DR at the bottom):

 - Every relationship requires a reorienting of attention, a repositioning of goals.
 - Getting married requires a radical and permanent reorientation of attentional habits.
 - If a person in unwilling to adjust personal goals when starting a relationship, then a lot of what subsequently happens in that relationship will produce disorder in the person's consciousness, because novel patterns of interaction will conflict with old patterns of expectation.
 - Until a few decades ago, families tended to stay together because parents and children were forced to continue the relationship for extrinsic reasons... it wasn't because husbands and wives loved each other more in the old times, but because husbands needed someone to cook and keep house, wives needed someone to bring home the bacon, and children needed both parents... The current 'disintegration' of the family is a result of the slow disappearance of external reasons for staying married. The increase in the divorce rate is probably more affected by changes in the labor market that have increased women's employment opportunities, and by the diffusion of labor-saving home appliances, than it is by a lessening of love or of moral fiber.
 - Extrinsic reasons are not the only ones for staying married and for living together in families. There are great opportunities for joy and for growth that can only be experiences in family life, and these intrinsic rewards are no less present now than they were in the past; in fact, they are probably much more readily available today than they have been at any previous time. If the trend of traditional families keeping together mainly as a convenience is on the wane, the number of families that endure because their members enjoy each other may be increasing.
 - Cicero once wrote that to be completely free one must become a slave to a set of laws. In other words, accepting limitations is liberating. For example, by making up one's mind to invest psychic energy exclusively in a monogamous marriage, regardless of any problems, obstacles, or more attractive options that may come along later, one is freed of the constant pressure of trying to maximize emotional returns. Having made the commitment that on old-fashioned marriage demands, and having made it willingly instead of being compelled by tradition, a person no longer needs to worry whether she has made the right choice, or whether the grass might be greener somewhere else. As a result a great deal of energy gets freed up for living, instead of being spend on wondering about how to live.
 - Unless the partners invest psychic energy in the relationship, conflicts are inevitable, simply because each individual has goals that are to a certain extent divergent from those of all other members of the family. Without good lines of communication the distortions will become amplified, until the relationship falls apart.
 - With time one gets to know the other person well, and the obvious challenges have been exhausted... At the point, the relationship is in danger of becoming a boring routine... The only way to restore flow to the relationship is by finding new challenges in it. This might involve steps as simple as varying the routines of eating, sleeping, or shopping. They might involve making an effort to talk together about new topics of conversation, visiting new places, making new friends. More than anything else they involve paying attention to the partner's own complexity, getting to know her at deeper levels than were necessary in the earlier days of the relationship, supporting him with sympathy and compassion during the inevitable changes that the years bring... Of course, these things cannot happen without extensive inputs of energy and time; but the payoff in terms of the quality of experience is usually more than worth it.

TL;DR: Marriage today lives or dies based on intrinsic rewards, not extrinsic ones like in the past. By making a voluntary commitment to a single partner in marriage, and closing off all the alternatives, it's possible to focus all that previous "what-if" energy into living the best life possible within your marriage; taking away options is actually freeing. The merging of personal goals and joint goals in marriage/families is critical, and good communication is key to keeping conflict from destroying the relationship. A willingness to adjust personal goals is an absolute requirement to a successful marriage. To keep it fresh and enjoyable, new challenges must be added to the marriage from time to time.

This is actually a pretty close approximation of how I felt about marriage before my wife and I got married. I'm atheist, so I didn't have a religious reason to want to get married, but I felt intuitively that by getting married our commitment to each other would be more final, allowing us to be even more open with each other and free to do as we wish, without having to worry about the other person bailing. Of course, doing as we wish is balanced with the needs/wants of the other person, and that's okay; closing off some options makes it easier to choose from the good ones. It seems silly that some exchanged words and a piece of paper have that kind of power, but they have it because we give it to them. Our relationship has only gotten better since we got married, and we make it a point to add new challenges to our lives from time to time. I believe marriage will always be relevant, even as the religious reasons for marriage slowing fade away, because spousal/family relationships are inherently different than friendships, and they provide a unique opportunity for enjoyment in life.