Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romantic Love and Marriage

  I'd rather go to a funeral than a wedding, 
at least you know the guy's problems are over. - Doug Stanhope

A recent article by Dr. Michael Hurd bemoans sacrifice as the cause of romantic woes:
Today’s high divorce rate is merely the climax of the vicious and false view that love is sacrifice.
 Dr. Hurd quotes clinical psychologist David Seabury,
"Most important of all, never marry a person who can’t  remain a sweetheart, and with whom you wouldn’t want to be, even if you didn’t have the protection of marriage."
But what protection is that, exactly? The illusory protection of commitment?

The divorce rate and existence of "no fault" (although that was after Seabury's time) ensures that just being married is of no more protection than not being married. And if "marriage" in and of itself is an incentive for a couple to stay together, how much is that couple really in love?

This "protection" comes from fear. Fear of losing one's assets. But there would not necessarily be any fear, if one was not married.

As Dr. Hurd says, love is a mess because of sacrifice. Agreed, love is a mess because of sacrifice --- and mankind has created a romantic institution of sacrifice called "marriage".

Marriage is not bad because of sacrifice, it exists as a monument to it.

Thus, attempting to package-deal romantic love with marriage is like when conservatives try to package-deal Jesus with Capitalism. You have seen the political results of the latter. And you can see the cultural results of the former.

In fairness, Dr. Hurd himself never uses the word "marriage". However, a conclusion is there to be drawn, and abstaining from drawing the conclusion is not a defense against criticism.

This unproven presumption that marriage (or at least modern marriage as a relationship between state and the wedded) is not in almost all cases a sacrifice,
has to go.

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