Marketing Marriage; And why involving the state is a terrible idea.
“Do you believe in marriage?"
"I do not," answered the fair little Anarchist
“I believe that when two people love each other that no judge, minister, or court, or body of people, have anything to do with it. They themselves are the ones to determine the relations which they shall hold with one another. When that relation becomes irksome to either party, or one of the parties, then it can be as quietly terminated as it was formed.”
Marketing marriage to children through brainwashing.
The Hope of Marriage: Marriage almost always starts with an idealization.
These moments are embedded in the happily ever after stories of childhood. Disney has made a fortune in the hopes and dreams of generations.
Think of Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, and Sleeping Beauty. These are among the many fairy tales that speak to the children with a promise of a Prince Charming (or more rarely a Princess) who will not only complete their dreams but save them from whatever distress they may be going through. None of it would be complete without a picture perfect wedding at the end.
To be happy in Marriage Life... you must have a soul-mate…
Well, it's a metaphor that's hurting your relationship. One study found that couples who believe in soul-mates and "destiny" break up sooner than those who believe that relationships need to grow and even change.
Knee, C. Raymond. "Implicit Theories of Relationships: Assessment and Prediction of Romantic Relationship Initiation, Coping, and Longevity." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
This in-depth post from webcomic xkcd illustrates just how mathematically bonkers the concept of "soul mates" really is.
Lets Follow The Money
What’s happening is that there are all sorts of parties looking to get their pound of flesh out of the marriage racket.
Marketing marriage to young women via bridal magazines and social pressures.
In 2011, Bridal Guide generated 69.88 million U.S. dollars selling advertising space.
The wedding industry systematically overcharges young couples just because they can. One study found that the majority of all cake shops, photographers, and florists charge more for a wedding than they would for a birthday party of the same size.
"Do Vendors Charge More for Weddings than Other Events?" Bride.net. 18 Jul. 2010. Web.
Researchers at Emory University found that the more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you'll end up in divorce.
Khazan, Olga. "The Divorce-Proof Marriage." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media
These days most couples have been living together–very sensibly–for two or three years, and have decided under societal pressure to abandon the ecstasy of illicit love for the mundane and lasting materialistic joys of joint checking accounts and tax returns.
Marriage is a state controlled “License”
Unless you believe marriage is a licensed relationship approved by the government in order to maintain control over people in their private lives, you have to engage in a great deal of rationalization or self-delusion to argue the institution today called marriage is anything other than that.
Just look at the state involvement in marriage. It is all-encompassing. Note how it is a marriage “license.” They don’t call it a “contract” or an “agreement.” It is not a small, technical matter.
A license is for something that you do not have the right to do without government permission.
License to WHAT??? This may be just another bureaucratic ruse for getting a fee out of us, but I see no reason to grant the State the privilege of permission in this matter. After all, if I allow them the right to say “yes” to my choice of partners, am I not also granting them the power (at least theoretically) to say “no?” And just why does the State take such an interest in the intimate lives of its citizens, anyway?
Although they don’t exercise this power as of now, in reality the government can revoke your marriage license without your consent. Theoretically, they could establish very narrow criteria for obtaining a marriage license. Furthermore, if they wanted to, and probably will, they could create strict requirements necessary to obtain the license and renew it.
There Is No Reason To Marry (Through the State)
Our modern concept of marriage is one which is inextricably linked to the state. It is also, for all intents and purposes, a worthless concept. What does modern marriage provide access to which cannot be obtained outside the institution?
This is not about what my idea of marriage should be or what it once was. I’m talking about what modern marriage actually is due to state intervention, as opposed to what people claim it is. They can only do this by fervently denying the involvement of the state and dismissing any negative effects it has brought about.
Contrary to how they may act sometimes, young men aren’t complete idiots. They still respond to incentives; manipulation, social pressure, and shaming, the most common tactics used to pitch marriage, are telltale signs of a snake oil salesman attempting to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.
It’s quite simple. You don’t have to pressure someone to do something that is in his benefit, even if it requires work or effort to obtain. People who benefit from marriage get married. Those who do not don’t because it isn’t.
The reasons as to why will inevitably involve government; a high divorce rate, alimony, child support and modern day debtors prisons for those who can’t pay the piper. You have yourself a merry little mess of liabilities. For what, exactly?
Whether people should get married or not is their own affair, but it is eternally irritating to hear these groups not only refuse to admit their mistakes in supporting state intervention into marriage but harass the next generation into it under false pretenses and lies. Chief among those is the contradictory insistence that state control of marriage defines its legitimacy and is necessary for its survival, while simultaneously rejecting the claim that state meddling has robbed it of its most cherished ideals.
Thus Dante’s motto over Inferno applies with equal force to marriage: “Ye who enter here leave all hope behind.
I think about the only benefit from it, is having someone to share expenses with. Beyond that, you really cannot know what it is you're agreeing to.
A lot of pressure is put on us during the first thirty years of our lives or so to get married, and today, I am inclined to never recommend it to others unless they're shooting for a specific type of family dynamic involving having children and committing to a relationship with that person. The shared expenses isn't a reason to get married, it's just the last "plus" I personally can come up with for being married today.
Would you consider meeting someone, getting to know them and then committing to a relationship complete with a private contract that spells out the terms of the relationship along with any and all ways to break the contract and how assets will be divided? Outside of “The State”?
I will end with a quote from Emma Goldman
“The popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous, that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition.
Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other. No doubt some marriages have been the result of love. Not, however, because love could assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it because few people can completely outgrow a convention. There are to-day large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based on love, and while it is equally true that in some cases love continues in married life, I maintain that it does so regardless of marriage, and not because of it.
On the other hand, it is utterly false that love results from marriage. On rare occasions, one does hear of a miraculous case of a married couple falling in love after marriage, but on close examination, it will be found that it is a mere adjustment to the inevitable. Certainly, the growing-used to each other is far away from the spontaneity, the intensity, and beauty of love, without which the intimacy of marriage must prove degrading to both the woman and the man.
Marriage is primarily an economic arrangement, an insurance pact. It differs from the ordinary life insurance agreement only in that it is more binding, more exacting. Its returns are insignificantly small compared with the investments. In taking out an insurance policy one pays for it in dollars and cents, always at liberty to discontinue payments. If, hower, woman’s premium is a husband, she pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life, “until death doth part.” Moreover, the marriage insurance condemns her to life-long dependency, to parasitism, to complete uselessness, individual as well as social. Man, too, pays his toll, but as his sphere is wider, marriage does not limit him as much as a woman. He feels his chains more in an economic sense."