I recently read an article about 5 reasons why marriage doesn’t work anymore. I was completely floored. I cannot believe that this kind of argument not only passes as acceptable today but has people sharing and liking as though this were wisdom. I try to keep my rants to a minimum these days but I don’t have any choice this time, I have to say something. If you have not read this article yet you can see it here and I will outline it below as I discuss it. This gist of this article goes like this. “My marriage didn’t work even though I made a number of selfish decisions and resented the person I married for being a part of my life. Therefore the entire institution of marriage must be outdated because it could never possibly be my own personal failing.” I assume the reason that this article has gained so much traction is because we as a society have been teaching our children for years that they are each unique perfect gems and therefore anything that do not excel at cannot possibly be the result of their lack of effort or gasp personal shortcomings but instead must be caused by a skewed system that failed to accommodate their own personal style. The fact is everything about this article is wrong because marriages do not fail because the institution of marriage is outdated, marriages fail because selfish people join into shallow unions expecting to have perfect happiness for the rest of their lives rather than a realistic partnership that will come to enrich every aspect of their lives.
Okay so now that I got the rant off of my chest let’s get to the article. The first reason he states for why marriages just don’t work is because sex becomes non-existent. There are a couple of problems with this argument. First, he doesn’t know anything about any marriages other than his own. The sex in a marriage should be between the participants. If he was unhappy with how much sex he was having in his marriage he could have put on his big boy pants and discussed it with his wife or tried to put more effort into making her want to have sex or God forbid try to help alleviate whatever was making her not want to have sex. Maybe she was tired from raising a boy husband and you could have gotten up and done some dishes so that she could relax and be more in the mood. Whatever the situation, the point is that marriage is not all about sunshine and roses. There are hard days and easy days and there are days when you will want to punch your spouse. You have to be willing to communicate and try to weather the storms, learn about your spouse and try to be what they need when you can. Marriage is not about living happily ever after, marriage is about knowing that beneath everything else you love your spouse and you choose to spend your life with them so part of that decision means that everyday you wake up and you work at it and you love them physically and emotionally and you love them when you yell and when you cry and all of that loving makes your spouse the part of your life that you cannot imagine yourself without.
His second argument is that the finances of marriage cripple us. He says that it is impossible to find a job to pay for student loans, mortgages, utilities, and babies. The obvious problem with this argument is that it has nothing to do with marriage, If you cannot afford $200,000 in student loans then go to a cheaper school, if you can’t afford a mortgage then don’t buy a house and please if you cannot afford a $100,000 wedding then don’t waste your money on the party, save your money for the lifetime. If anything getting married in most cases means that you will add an additional income to your household and therefore the expenses will be easier to handle. In fact every piece of research I have ever found shows that being married makes you less likely to raise children in poverty. This argument is not about why marriage fails. My parent bought a house with things growing in the bathtub and cleaned it up and fixed it themselves to get into their first house. I would bet that most people know at least one person who grew up in a one or two bedroom house with more than 6 people living in it. Previous generations did not have easier finances in marriages they had less selfish and whiny participants who understood that the sacrifices they made as young adults and new parents are the price of admission for a comfortable life filled with the love and joy that only a family will bring.
The third argument is that we are too disconnected from each other because we are too preoccupied with digital communications and therefore we never really talk to the person we married anymore. I have an easy solution for this problem that doesn’t involve divorce and doesn’t require that we give up on marriage. Here you go, it is a really radical suggestion…… If you want to talk to your spouse, then talk to your spouse. If you feel disconnected then stop trolling Facebook and Pintrest and ask how their day was. If you want to feel connected to your spouse then connect, go away together, talk about your future plans, do whatever you need to do but again this is not a reason why marriage doesn’t work in general this is a reason why marriage doesn’t work for self centered children. TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE!!!! It’s not rocket science. His 4th argument is my favorite. It is honestly hard for me to even present this argument because it is so ludicrous.
Here you go his heading for reason #4 that marriage doesn’t work any longer…..”Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.” Seriously.. Do I have to say it again? This is not why marriage fails this is why immature selfish people should not get married. Try this. Stand in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes and say I care more about the number of Facebook likes I get than the emotional well-being of the person I chose to spend my life with. If you can honestly complete that sentence with a straight face, no eye roll or laugh, then you are a douche-bag and your marriage will fail. If you are like the rest of us and realize how outrageous that statement is then congratulations you might be a grown up.
Okay the 5th argument is that social media invites a few thousand people into bed with you. There is no privacy and marriage requires privacy and therefore marriage does not work. I actually think this is key to the real reason that marriages fill. The fact is if you understand that marriage requires intimacy and privacy and you still choose to broadcast your personal life on Facebook then you never wanted to be married in the first place. If you actually care about your marriage then you will use what common sense you have and not broadcast private things online. We act shocked when kids are too stupid not to send digital nude photos but the fact is they learn it from Pseudo adults like this guy who do not know how to respect the themselves or the people in their lives when they get online. Again not the fault of marriage.
In closing I just want to say we have all heard it said that the most important decision you will make in your life is who you marry. This lesson is sinking in because people are getting married later and later in life waiting for the perfect spouse from the romantic comedy. The problem is that the theory is wrong, the most important decision in your life is not who you marry (although this is obviously a very important choice) the most important decision of your life should be who you divorce. That should be the decision that takes years to make and that you constantly second guess. Marriage is work. It is the richest most important relationship you will develop in your life and it doesn’t come free. It is called a union for a reason, you have to lose part of yourself to it in order to do it right. You have to choose to grow together and you have to choose to love each other and you have to chose to make your marriage a priority. If you cannot see yourself putting someone else first and making sacrifices to develop the life you want then you are not ready to be married and it wont matter if the person at the end of the aisle is prince charming or the toad you will end up at the same place, signing divorce papers.