This is not called My Virtual Sanity for nothing. Sometimes I need a place to share and vent and stand on my soap box. The last week or so has been a scary and crazy time in the US. We have had 3 incidents of guns in schools and I have increasingly had the desire to grab my babies, curl up in a ball and shut the entire world out. I have finally reached a breaking point it appears. If you are easily offended, please stop here. Blogging has it's limits in that you, the reader, can not hear my tone of voice. I am not full of righteous indignation here. I am so saddened by the state of events that I am almost in tears. I feel so sorry for my parent's generation, my generation and my kids generation who are given faulty information that has led to our horrible state of society.
The yarn harlot Stephanie finally married her husband Joe this past weekend. Please hop on over to her wonderful blog
and congratulate her. I have been reading her blog for quite a while and had no clue that they weren't married. She refers to Joe as her husband, they have teenage children, it all seemed normal. I knew she was a bit of a hippie, making her own granola and such, but I didn't know that she had previously actively avoided marriage. (I love Stephanie, please don't think I'm dogging her here).
What is so wrong with official marriage?
Stephanie included a link to the Alternatives to Marriage project
. I read the title and my heart sank. There is an organization and a project out there that is dedicated to promoting alternatives to marriage? What's so evil and wrong with marriage that we need to promote alternatives? Marriage and the traditional family has been the foundation of societies since the dawn of time. What makes us think that the needs of human beings have changed in the last 40 years that we no longer need traditional marriage, or that it is not the preferable option?
I am not one of those people who immediately sees a line of text and goes into a rage. I did read the website. I find that it is presented in a very caring, accepting, and politically correct way. I appreciate that it encourages cohabiting couples to use birth control. It agrees with me that children benefit from being in a stable and loving home. It is a very nice website. I'm afraid that no matter how much I WANT to be politically correct, I simply can't agree with the premise that marriage should not be the preferred family dynamic.
I do not believe that websites like this, or the obviously caring individuals who wrote it are destroying marriage. We as a society are doing a pretty good job of that already. Marriage as it should be is not repressive to women. It is not a contract where a woman sells herself into slavery to a husband. It is a partnership. It is built on love, respect, and commitment. So many people now seem to think that marriage is simply a socially acceptable means to sleep with each other. It is an excuse for an elaborate and expensive party. It's just what you do. On the one hand we seem to have so many people who never want to make that commitment to each other. Why should they? They can sleep with as many partners as they want, be free to think about themselves all the time and generally have the world revolve around them. On the other hand, we have the people who give marriage a bad name. They're essentially the same people. They will get married as a form of socially acceptable shacking up. When things get tough, or their selfish needs are not being met at every moment, they simply get divorced. It doesn't matter how many children they dragged through this whole experience.
The world has changed. It is now completely socially acceptable to live together and not be married. It is a legitimate choice of a family dynamic. Why is it that we then need to adjust to how the world is changing instead of trying to shift the world back into it's previous alignment? If the earth moved several degrees in it's orbit it would be catastrophic. In the same light, I don't think our option should be to adjust our mental thinking to now accept things as they are. I think we should be trying to fix it.
Many people would say that my arguments for children have no bearing since marriage is not about child rearing any more. I am apparently an oddity anyway. Only 10% of the population in the US live in households of 5 or more people. Yep, that means if you are actually married and haven't ended up as one of the terribly sad single parent families, you have only 3 children. Apparently in our day in age, marriage and children are inconvenient. The limit your freedom and ability to express yourself. I admit that there are times when I see people jet setting across the world, or doing things on a whim that I wish I could do that too. Finances with 3 children do not generally promote jet setting. At least not when one of us is a Stay at home mom and the other is actually around instead of at the office or away on business most of the time. The fact is, however, that children every day are being born into unstable homes where people are just "trying each other out".
Why is it so necessary to try each other out? If you love each other and are BOTH dedicated to showing that love, compromising, and being dedicated to each other, what matter do all the little idiosyncrasies of living together matter? The act of getting married creates a real commitment to each other. It is truly unfortunate that some people never take that step because they are afraid that it will ruin their relationship. It is also unfortunate that people take that commitment lightly and dilute what marriage really is.
I wish that more people would take their relationships seriously. I wish that they could see that in giving a part of yourself away and giving up some of your selfishness for the sake of the one you love that you can achieve much greater happiness. Stephanie and Joe obviously already had that. They were committed to each other. They will continue to be so. I just don't understand what the big deal with the official title is. We should not be trying to rewrite laws and change society in order to allow for people who simply don't like the term "marriage". We should be trying to show society why marriage has been so important for so many centuries of human history. We should be encouraging people to strive for all the good things that it brings, not accept the cheap imitation that "shacking up" brings. The feminist revolution LIED to you! Marriage is not what oppresses you! Taking your husband's name does not make you his property. You are not a slave! This new world that it created makes you a slave, a slave to your wants and to the inevitable consequences that it brings.
Alternatives to marriage are not destroying our society. Many people who participate in this are obviously very loving, committed people. It's underlying principles, however, are a symptom to me of all the lies that we have been fed since infancy. It is all interrelated, the disintegration of our society I believe is ultimately linked to the failure of our families; marriages, children being raised by strangers, personal gratification over the over all good. I've ranted enough, but it just makes me sick. Maybe some day I'll rant about why I'm a stay at home mom.