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I noticed today that I feel so much different now about marriage since I swore off of it a couple of years ago.
Out of some odd curiosity I looked at all the WordPress blogs under the category https://wordpress.com/tag/marriage/ and noticed that a lot of them had some sort of religious reference, for one thing. Otherwise they fell into categories of celebrating how long they had endured in that condition, or went on to list ways to mend the marriage or make it better.
I have an odd sense of humor perhaps, but it made me think of someone talking about their Cadillac and how it was the best car in the world and how it had changed their lives, but you really needed to psyche yourself up to drive it and be careful you don’t do certain things or it will break down and the repairs would be expensive.
In short, it reinforced the idea that marriage isn’t for everyone, and those that it is for now seem a bit off to me.
But I say that in a nice way, and don’t intend any disparagement to anyone that is married or wants to be married. A couple of my kids are married, most of my adult relatives are married, and I wish them all the best. And I was married – 3 times for 38 years married. So perhaps I should consider that I’m just as much “a bit off” as they are in that respect.
I haven’t been able to define it to myself precisely, but living in a committed relationship without marriage, as I am now, is distinguishably different. And I wish there were as many blogs about being unmarried together as there are for the married. Maybe it’s just that there are fewer issues for the unmarried? Maybe it’s more like owning a Toyota Prius that never has problems and gets great gas mileage, which helps you overlook the fact that the navigation system sends you to a completely wrong place once in awhile?
So I guess my point is, if you’re living unmarried to someone, write a blog. It might give married people something else to blog about.
It’s like the riddle of the Sphinx… why are there so many great unmarried women, and no great unmarried men?
Sarah Jessica Parker
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we’ve always had: work, or prison.
Unfenced by law, the unmarried lover can quit a bad relationship at any time. But you – the legally married person who wants to escape doomed love – may soon discover that a significant portion of your marriage contract belongs to the State, and that it sometimes takes a very long while for the State to grant you your leave.
Here’s the thing: the unit of reverence in Europe is the family, which is why a child born today of unmarried parents in Sweden has a better chance of growing up in a house with both of his parents than a child born to a married couple in America. Here we revere the couple, there they revere the family.
I think it’s unfortunate that there exists only one path in America to complete social legitimacy, and that is marriage. I think, for instance, that it would be far easier for Americans to elect a black president or a female president than an unmarried president.
Religion looms as large as an elephant in the United States, to the point that being nonreligious is about the biggest handicap a politician running for office can have, bigger than being gay, unmarried, thrice married, or black.
Frans de Waal
Unmarried couples should get married – that’s an excellent tax avoidance measure, if a bit drastic.
Those who are trying to do the good work to modernize marriage need to consider the other possibility of reform and challenge the assumption that the institution itself is worth saving. By all means fight for equality. But don’t just fight for gays and lesbians. Fight for everyone, fight for anyone who wishes to live by an unconventional standard of love.
Let me conclude. If you think about it, marriage appears to do the exact opposite of that which it has traditionally been supposed to do. Marriage doesn’t encourage love; it restrains it. With the infinite variety of human interactions, is there really a need for the state to establish the gold standard of human relationships? (If liberty requires that we should each be free to love as we please, equality demands that the state remains neutral as to whom and how we love, or indeed, whether or not we love at all.) Marriage purports to be an institution that celebrates love; yet history shows us that marriage has served only to control and restrain the possibilities of human love. Civil marriage, however defined, will always and arbitrarily confer social meaning and hierarchies. Perhaps we should simply abolish it.
QUITE A BIT MORE via Out on a Lim: The Case Against Marriage.
[blogger’s note: not all posts of other articles necessarily reflect my personal view] 🙂
Smart women [and men] channel their energies post-divorce into examining their life, their goals, their mistakes and how they can learn from the past. Instead of jumping into another serious relationship (or spending their time complaining about their ex), they focus on their own life issues. They redefine their priorities and discover what’s meaningful to them. They mature fully into themselves as women whose identity is not tied to the role of mother or wife.
We’ve seen this or been there ourselves — how men and women “lose themselves” in marriage. For many women, their identity becomes tied to their husband or children early on, and so when the marriage ends and these roles are lost or diminished, the woman feels unsure of who she is. This is one reason divorce can be a real moment of crisis.
The smartest women I’ve observed use their divorce as an opportunity for growth and maturity. They take inventory of their life, mistakes and all, and devote time and energy to discovering who they are and what they want for their future. This process takes time, patience and dedication, but in the end, these women are able to put their divorce behind them. They go on to be centered, stable, self-assured, capable women who find the happiness they felt they had lost. In fact, when I asked these women if they could turn back the clock and stay married, the answer was overwhelmingly a heartfelt “no” — they would never go back, even with all of the known challenges.
What would be on your list for recovery?
In 1990, according to the U.S. Census, about 1.7 million people in the United States were living apart for reasons other than separation. By 2005, the number of committed couples was about 6 million with no plans to ever live together on a daily basis. AARP’s statistics show that married/ spousal-equivalent people over 50 that live apart tripled in that age group in just four short years from 2001 and 2005.
Two careers, two houses, seeing each other holidays, traveling to be together every other weekend and vacations, is rapidly escalating as the way of life for the modern marriage/commitment. The most famous example might be American Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former American President Bill Clinton.
The statistics reveal that these two household marriage/commitments are holding up better than couples that live together. When being apart is the norm, being together becomes special. The result is that love becomes constantly renewed rather than being taken for granted.
Being in-love verses loving/loved reduces the chances of cheating/being cheated on. Absence does makes the heart grow fonder. The greater degree of space and privacy in living apart is the pressure valve that relieves the daily stress and boredom of marriage/commitment. That significantly reduces the possibility of divorce/break-up.
Due to the excessively high cost of divorce and divorce attorney’s obstructionist ways and their increasing flat-out lying solely to jack their fees up, many people are foregoing marriage for an exclusive committed relationship.
Along with long-distance long-term, committed monogamous couples, there is an exponential increase with short-distance long-term, committed monogamous couples. Often these couples even live in the same city or county or area.
The reasons are not only because of the excessively high cost of divorce, but also parents, children, friends, career, school, religion, health, smoking, cooking, snoring, race, ethnicity, gender, how clean the house is, incense burning, ego and more.
LATs (live apart together) have roommates that are not romantic relationships.
LAT have learned the value of the pragmatic ability to see the good in their chosen partner, even when their partner fails to live up to daily ideals and expectations.
LATs succeed and prosper as a couple because they focus on the feel-good emotions and physical reactions they have for each other. Choosing to see the good in other people has a favorable effect on other people and that effect increases the success of the feel-good in a love relationship lasting.
LATs are more prudent, independent, trustworthy, confident, sexually satisfied, honest, and much more likely to stay in-love. That’s because LATs have happily discovered lust’s eternal glow from waiting to be with ones chosen one lasts longer than the increasing ho-hum boredom of couple’s daily interaction dwindling down love’s flame and finally smothering even lust’s spark.
Clearly, LATs take their relationships as, and increasingly more, seriously than married couples.
Even the ever shrinking number of couples that do choose to live together under the same roof are growing in their choice of separate bedrooms for the same reasons LATs choose separate houses. Homebuilders have noticed this trend and built accordingly.
Employers have found to their delight that LAT employees are better employees. Without the daily distraction of the spouse/partner, the employee gives more to their daily job.
State tax agencies and the IRS are still trying to figure out residency implications for LATs.
Sometimes tiny trends can have big implications, particularly when you are watching the baby boomers. That’s why a Statistics Canada report saying that 7 per cent of Canadians aged 20 and over had a significant other, but did not live with them, caught my eye. If being together but not actually being together all the time is for real, it would have significant implications for real estate and for consumer trends in general.
The technical term for those who are in a stable relationship, but living apart is “living apart together” (LAT).
There is kind of a Hollywood-chic vibe to it (think Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, or further back, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow), but most people cite more prosaic reasons than being cool for why they are not cohabitating. For those in their 20s, it is mostly because they have not gotten around to moving their stuff in to the other person’s home, with or without a wedding first. Among those aged 20 to 24, nearly one-in-three were in a LAT relationship in 2011, although 80 per cent said they did want to eventually live with their LAT partner.
To me, the more interesting trend is in those aged 60-plus who prefer to keep their own space while still being part of a couple. As of 2011, 2.3 per cent of those aged 60 or older were apparently in a LAT couple, compared to 1.8 per cent in 2001. That may not sound like a lot, but given the rapidly aging population, it is a trend that could encompass a lot of people over the next decade or so.
The phenomenon smacks of a baby boomer trend, although the data are not exactly clear as to whether it is 60-somethings or 80-somethings that are the LATs in this older demographic. Still, although Statscan does not break the figures down beyond “60-plus,” it seems reasonable to think that baby boomers – the oldest of whom were 65 in 2011 – were starting to have a large influence on the figures.
We know that boomer divorce rates have typically been high, even in later life, and that the number of single-family households has been climbing precipitously. It is not much of a stretch to believe that some of this might relate to those aged 60-plus who are not in hurry to set up household with someone else, even while wanting to be part of a couple.
Linda Nazareth is the principal of Relentless Economics Inc. and a senior fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute