Ask Adam – As a married person would you get married again given your time over?
PART 1 – Why Marriage is Convenient for Social Control.
“There is much too much sugar and sorcery in those feelings of ‘for others’, of ‘not for me’, for one not to have to become doubly distrustful here and to ask: ‘are they not perhaps – seductions?”
Friedrich Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil
For those readers that still may be making up their minds as to whether they are free or whether they are in fact dominated by a subtle power exerted from above. A power whose only interest is protecting their wealth and position. This small blog may help one to decide.
The working-class family had all but disappeared in the 19th century. Wealthy philanthropists were stung into action by the perceived threats posed to the wealthy by the dangerous classes. The wealthy had to protect their wealth and status now and into the future from what they considered to be a disease. The only good cause they are interested in is securing their future for now and forever. I hate that they hide their true intentions behind charitable acts.
How then, would they achieve this difficult task? They decided that they would provide financial aid but only attached to conditions as to the future conduct of the recipients. They demanded a reconstruction and in most cases initial construction of the working class family, as family life had been virtually unknown previously. Assistance was conditional upon marriage, good housekeeping, sobriety, moral supervision of children and the search for wage labour which often, conveniently they could supply. An instant return on their investment. The family was to be used as the primary method of social control. Is this still the case?
Power eventually extended from the ruling classes to the public government of the physical, moral and mental capacities of working class citizens. The autonomy of the working class family was not to be totally destroyed as they would not stand for that. Changes had to be subtle and virtually unnoticeable. The family needed to believe it was best for the well being of the unit. Modifying and enhancing the family machine. Maybe now it is easier to understand why governments need the family unit to remain popular even though many now it as an oppressive, outdated institution, particularly for women.
Social control depends on the obedience of the family unit. Are there other institutions that serve a similar purpose? Often walking hand in hand with family values. As if it is impossible to have values outside of the family or religion. It is not. Ask any unmarried, spiritual atheist.
To summarise – Nietzsche stated that – ‘every superior human being will instinctively aspire after a secret citadel where he is set free from the crowd, the many, the majority, and he may forget the rule “man”‘.’
Maybe seeing themselves as superior these philanthropists are seeking to install themselves and their future generations in such a secret citadel free from the threat of the dangerous classes. Do we blame them? Is it still happening?
Once again you may be thinking I am a brick short of a full load. Maybe, but if I have got you reflecting on your life, and who you are, and how you came to be here, and why you are doing what you are doing, then that is all I can expect to achieve.
Please Read Part Two For My Personal Experience
Part 2 – My personal thoughts on marriage
I have been married to Julie for 36 years.
I did think about this some time ago. Here are my thoughts.
For no apparent reason, as is often the way with personal thought, I find myself thinking about the institution of marriage this morning. I have been married for over thirty years, and before I became what I would like to call “individually aware”, I was the classic victim of blind conformism. That is not surprising, though, as I believe we are all conditioned from before birth to act in a certain manner, and if we never awaken, then we will spend our entire lives behaving in very predictable ways.
As an example, I remember clearly in the past that upon being asked how I came to propose marriage, or even how we arrived at the decision to get married, replying that it was just the next logical step – as if I were going through life to a prearranged plan not of my own construction. That was, in fact, exactly what I was doing and what millions of supposedly free people are still doing to this day. Marriage followed a reasonable amount of time of going steady without cohabitating and was generally prior to producing 2.4 children during the era of my conditioning.
Neither Julie nor I had any religious commitments to marriage, and in retrospect, it was an opportunity for conspicuous consumption, a display of wealth and affluence, an exhibition of style and a chance for both parties (in fact, all directly involved) to act out the roles that society required of those parties. We all know that the situation has escalated in its ridiculousness and today details of weddings of the rich and famous still sell magazines and are guaranteed to earn celebrities a small fortune by selling the right to report their big false day. This, in turn, encourages others to boost the economy with extravagant exhibitions of “more is better.”
Somebody I know, a working-class girl, spent more than £35,000 on a wedding, more to keep up with the outrageous standards set by others close to her than for any real need.
This marriage is now over. The relationship was as meaningless as the ceremony. Our town is full of idiots in hired super cars speeding around on wedding days, it is difficult to see the connection to a ceremony bonding two people till death do us part. It is little wonder that, so many marriages fail, when they are based on such shallow and weak foundations – even when the bride and groom decide that the vows are exactly as they would wish to live their lives. They prove to be more of an effort to control and own the other than a reflection of any genuine understanding of how the other as an individual really exists.
I feel that Julie and I began our married life trying to play by the rules and values of an institution that expects all to behave to one set of values and rules that are not their own; if that had been our sole guide, then we would not be married now. There was a constant background noise and unrest, but we were totally unaware of why it existed or what we could do about it. In retrospect, the answer seems obvious to me: Live by your own rules and values, trust yourself and your partner to be good-hearted, and understand that we are all unique. To expect a person to change because of the less-than-bespoke rules of marriage is insane and unreasonable. It seemed that even adultery had an acceptable and unacceptable face – a societal norm for adultery! It was amazing to us that when we decided to be more open sexually in our marriage the judgements were fast and came mostly from those who were quite happy to betray their partners in the manner considered normal. Heaven forbid that honesty and reciprocation would enter the equation for them. I would not recommend either way.
We battled against the norms and what we felt were our individual human conditions. Feeling wrong because of norms but knowing that we are big-hearted people, we wondered how we could be as wrong as society would have our behaviour depicted. Basically, I am describing the battle most individuals have against repression, which is felt most of all by those who have the passion, drive, and need to create their own meaning in their lives, away from social control and often against the opinions of others. Also, interesting here is that the more freedom one allows the other, the more bonded and together the relationship becomes.
Maybe once forbidden fruit is no longer forbidden the temptation and appeal vanishes? Worth remembering here is that all values are created by man, and often all that is needed is a change in your thought process to discover that you can live equally well, if not more authentically, by creating a few of your own that fit who you really are, away from the herd. Maybe the question of marriage has more to do with who is really making that choice – or is getting married just what one does when one reaches a certain point in the life cycle? A box to tick.
Statistically, both men and women do become happier because of marriage. In the two or three years before they marry, they become happier. This may be more connected to having a significant other in one’s life and no longer being considered a single, more to do with independence and a shedding of the social stigma of being alone. Being alone is a fear for humans, and marrying seems to offer some sort of guarantee against being alone. The pattern of divorce is this in reverse.
Julie and I were separated for six months some years ago, and I remember very well that Julie’s biggest fear was, in fact, being too old and living life on her own. Who could want her? As it turned out, men were queuing up to be with her, and it was me that received a reminder as to what I was giving up. We now realise that if you can’t be alone then being dependant in a marriage is a risky and fragile situation. Marriage, it would seem, offers some security against a life alone.
As for the grass being greener on the other side I think not. The human animal always wants what it doesn’t have, even yearns for it. That includes partners. And that is part of becoming a mature and wise person realising and appreciating what you have and not always wanting what you don’t have. A person is not a car to be traded in when we get bored. Expecting the other to make you happy or somehow making them responsible for your emotions is another big mistake.
I would say, with the ease of divorce, this offers a false sense of security. The real security is the person you are and others seeing the value in sharing a life with that person. The real value is inside of you and how you develop yourself as a person that others also will see value in – preferably an authentic you. Marriage offers little security and can even turn into an institution that enables one to control another in the name of being “my” husband or “my” wife. Ownership. The call of duty. A more realistic relationship takes inner work on oneself and work on understanding the other from both parties. And an acceptance of responsibility for the success of the bond.
Whether married or co-habitating, people who are in a loving relationship with another adult have better health and hormonal balance. But it is the quality and solidity of relationships that matter more than their form. We need other people, and we need to be needed.
The potential exists, whether married or unmarried, to find happiness, so I ask: Why bother to marry? Save your money, and trust your relationship. It is costly to marry and once again to divorce; does marriage give one any more security? It’s one of life’s more interesting choices: a big step towards being non-conformist, or the next predictable step in your predetermined existence? It is always easier to follow the path others have taken before, but is it what you really want for yourself? The well-trodden path that others expect you to follow? It is more difficult to create your own path. That is the choice. You will see as we progress that it is always your choice. Just to reiterate: I have been married to Julie for over thirty-five years.
Marriage is an industry that brings huge profits for the economy and distraction to the masses and as such is a major cog in the enslavement and control of the masses (us). Marriage is all part of the conditioning of docile members of society.
Boy! Have we been had–
Failed marriages serve capitalism…Expensive getting in and expensive getting out and all the profit is for others with no interest in the success of the venture in fact it pays for the marriages to fail… Hmm! That is a habit we would be well served to consider more carefully or recommend to our kin. It just does not make an awful lot of sense once we cast aside egoic mind and choose rationally.
My answer is Yes! I am very happily married and – No! I would not get married again. I am wiser and know that Julie and I are together for many reasons and marriage is not one of them.
The Flexarian view is – consider all things and then choose from your own unique perspective. If you choose wrongly you will have a massive learning experience – if you get it right you will still have so much to learn. Successful relationships do not just happen – they result from you wanting a good life for your partner more than you do for yourself. This happens by each adapting to the other and never happens by trying to change one another. Accepting the differences in others is key to life satisfaction. Even those who seem opposite to you – Such as myself and Julie.
A good relationship is more than the sum of the two people it becomes a third more powerful force with little or no sacrifice involved. Just the character strength of acceptance and the ability to change the way we think.