Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Angels to worship and lovers to tolerate

January 17, 2015

The benefits of a philosophy of neo-religious pessimism are nowhere more apparent than in relation to marriage, one of modern society’s most grief-stricken arrangements, which has been rendered unnecessarily hellish by the astonishing secular supposition that it should be entered into principally for the sake of happiness.

Christian and Jewish marriages, while not always jovial, are at least spared the second order of suffering which arises from the mistaken impression that it is somehow wrong or unjust to be malcontent. Christianity and Judaism present marriage not as a union inspired and governed by subjective enthusiasm but rather, and more modestly, as a mechanism by which individuals can assume an adult position in society and thence, with the help of a close friend, undertake to nurture and educate the next generation under divine guidance. These limited expectations tend to forestall the suspicion, so familiar to secular partners, that there might have been more intense, angelic or less fraught alternatives available elsewhere. Within the religious ideal, friction, disputes and boredom are signs not of error, but of life proceeding according to plan.

Notwithstanding their practical approach, these religions do recognize our desire to adore passionately. They know of our need to believe in others, to worship and serve them and to find in them a perfection which eludes us in ourselves. They simply insist that these objects of adoration should always be divine rather than human. Therefore they assign us eternally youthful, attractive and virtuous deities to shepherd us through life, while reminding us on a daily basis that human beings are comparatively humdrum and flawed creations worthy of forgiveness and patience, a detail which is apt to elude our notice in the heat of marital squabbling. ‘Why can’t you be more perfect?’ is the incensed question that lurks beneath a majority of secular arguments. In their effort to keep us from hurling our curdled dreams at one another, the faiths have the good sense to provide us with angels to worship and lovers to tolerate.

Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists, Hamish Hamilton, 2012, p.185-186.

De Botton is an atheist but recognises the benefits of the religious perspective working itself out in life.


Marriage is good for health

September 8, 2009

People who get divorced are more likely to suffer health problems including heart disease and cancer, even if they go on to remarry, a study has shown.

Divorce and widowhood have a long-term negative effect on physical wellbeing that is only marginally ameliorated if the person finds a new partner.

The stress and financial uncertainty of separation can continue to take their toll on our bodies decades after the Decree Absolute comes through, the research indicates.

Divorced people have 20 per cent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people, according to the study of 8,652 people aged between 51 and 61 by Professor Linda Waite of the University of Chicago.

They also have 23 per cent more mobility problems, such as difficulty climbing stairs or walking short distances.

But while the health benefits of marriage – which are believed to stem from financial security and the positive impact of wives on their husbands’ diets and lifestyles – are well known, the new study shows that they are significantly reduced the second and third times around.

People who divorce and then remarry still have 12 per cent more chronic problems and 19 per cent more mobility problems than those who have been continuously married, the analysis showed.

“Among the currently married, those who have ever been divorced show worse health on all dimensions. Both the divorced and widowed who do not remarry show worse health on all dimensions,” said Prof Waite, a sociologist.

The research, which was carried out with Mary Elizabeth Hughes of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, also reaffirmed the results of recent studies showing the relative ill health of people who remain unmarried into late middle age.

People who never married have 12 per cent more mobility limitations and 13 per cent more depressive symptoms than their married counterparts, although they are no more likely to suffer from heart disease or cancer.


If I were married to you

September 8, 2009

Lady Astor, MP: Winston, if I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.

Sir Winston Churchill: Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.

Marriage – a Revelation!

September 8, 2009

It is possible to be a fool and ignorant of the fact; but not if you’re married.

Differences between men and women

September 8, 2009

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, and she does.

There are two times when a man doesn’t understand a woman- before and after marriage.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Any married man should forget his mistakes

September 8, 2009

Any married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing.

After spending time with Eve, Adam was walking in
the Garden with God.
Adam told God how much the woman meant to him
and how blessed he was to have her. Adam began to
ask questions about her.

Adam: Lord, Eve is beautiful.
Why did you make her so beautiful?
God: So you will always want to look at her.

Adam: Lord, her skin is so soft.
Why did you make her skin so soft?
God: So you will always want to touch her.

Adam: She always smells so good.
Lord, why did you make her smell so good?
God: So you will always want to be near her.

Adam: That’s wonderful Lord, and I don’t want
to seem ungrateful,
but why did you make her so stupid?
God: So she would love you

Good parenting means a good marriage

August 19, 2009

The healthiest families I know are ones in which the mother and father have a strong, loving relationship between themselves. . . . This strong primary relationship seems to breed security in the children.

Dolores Curran, Traits of a Healthy Family, 1983, p.36

From 1987-1991, Curran worked as a Family Resource Consultant for Ireland, giving lectures around the country. She currently serves on the advisory boards of Practical Parenting Education and Family Information Services. Curran and her husband James raised three children and make their home in Littleton, Colorado.

The greatest thing you parents can do for your children is to love each other.

Dr Ben Salk, family psychologist, in Rob Parsons, 60 Minute Father, p.105

Commitment phobia

August 4, 2009

In a recent, week-long survey of the downsizing phenomenon in the US, the New York Times discovered that there was what it called a new ‘mantra’ in corporations. ‘We are no longer able or willing to guarantee your future,’ the mantra goes. ‘You are responsible for your own career and your own destiny. We will provide you with opportunities to develop your skills and your experience, but employability not employment is the best we can offer.’ We are, in effect, all mercenaries now, on hire whatever the cause, useful as long as, and only as long as, we can perform.

‘In such a world, it is wise and prudent not to make long-term plans or invest in the distant future; not to get tied down too firmly to any particular place, group or cause, even an image of oneself, because one might find oneself not just unanchored and drifting but without an anchor altogether; it is prudent to be guided in today’s choices not by the wish to control the future, but by the reluctance to mortgage it. In other words, “to be provident” means now, more often than not, to avoid commitment. To be free to move when opportunity knocks. To be free to leave when it stops knocking.’

 Zygmunt Bauman (not, I think, aproving of the sentiment of non-commitment, rather narrating them)