Marriage: Love or Stability
If the individual is the supreme being in a Liberal society, where does that leave marriage?
A Marriage is a bonding of two people, one man and one woman for life, or at least that is what it was and it is still how most people think of marriage. Marriage exists to provide the stability that no other human institution can provide. A stability that is important to society and the individual. Of course we all want to be in a loving relationship but that isn’t why marriage exists. It’s quite possible to have a loving relationship outside of marriage.
So why is marriage important? Because it announces the seriousness of the relationship to the entire world, it announces that they are exclusive to each other, the desire that it last forever as well as the desire to produce children in a stable family. Marriage is the anchor that secures families, making the family, the building block of society.
What marriage is not, is perfection, it is a human institution which means that it has the failings that humans have. But the first of many Liberal attacks against marriage was the idea that marriage is primarily about love and not about the stability of society. Once love is put forward as the primary reason for two people to get married it implies that happiness is the goal of marriage. We all want to be happy, but what happens when you find yourself married but unhappy? Logically you must unmarry.
Of course people being people life is more complex than that. But life, people and a marriage change over time and the things that are important today may be less important tomorrow. Which means that what makes us happy today may not make us happy in a years time, but might again in the future. Happiness and unhappiness are rarely permanent, circumstances change and we must live through those changes. But if marriage is about happiness why would you stay if you are unhappy?
The benefits of marriage are discarded, benefits which can include companionship, monogamous sex, economy, friendship and mutual support amongst other things. Marriage is a picnic, you go on a journey with a friend and eat good food. Of course sometimes arguments break out, the food goes bad, ants get on the sweets, you sit on a prickle all of those things are a part of life. Life happens in marriage and outside of marriage, it is a mistake to think that the life that happens inside of a marriage can be fixed by ending a marriage.
Liberalism and it's belief in the individual, planted the seed, that if marriage does not fulfill than it should be discarded.
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