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    • Interesting article abut marriage and what it means to different generations and whether its an essential human need, etc.

      Per the article:

      Justice Anthony Kennedy reflected this high American regard for marriage when he wrote for the majority of the Court in Obergefell, “Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.” Although many on the cultural and political left applauded the Court’s decision, Kennedy’s language was quite traditionalist. In fact, plenty of Americans view marriage as, at best, one of many lifestyle choices and, at worst, a deeply flawed heterosexual institution that should be transcended. Some go as far as to argue that families headed by married couples should be replaced by networks of friends and past and present romantic partners.

      The alternative visions are far from replacing marriage. It is an open question, however, how much longer marriage will continue to dominate American family life. According to the General Social Survey, a national survey of Americans conducted every other year, the percentage of Americans who agreed with the statement, “It is alright for a couple to live together without intending to get married,” increased from 41 percent in 1994 to 57 percent in 2012, the last time the question was asked. Moreover, the material foundations of marriage have weakened. America is well past the heyday of the farm family in which a husband and wife united in labor and raised children to help work the land. Marriage seems to operate best today for parents who pool two incomes and invest heavily in their children’s development. Yet these investments could be made by parents in long-term cohabiting relationships. The dominance of marriage may simply be due to what the sociologist William Ogburn called “cultural lag”: the tendency of attitudes and values to change more slowly than the material conditions that underlie them.

      What are your thoughts?

    • I believe marriage is a personal decision. If you want to wait, wait. If you want to get married young, then do so. Its not to be based on what's cool or trendy or the societal norm. I hear of returning LDS missionaries getting married a few months after they return home and I pray it was not because of church pressures or that's the standard. The sanctity of marriage has to be shared between two people who are mature and share mutual interests and love, and more, especially the desire and willingness to be selfless and "work at it!"

      There are far to many marriages that end because of some immaturity or one partner just not wanting to work at it. Its hard work! It requires being able to be mature and patient and put your shoulder to the wheel, sometimes carrying your partner on your back. The Love Lab in Seattle has proven it can detect with accuracy if a marriage will last based in a 5 minute laboratory test- that test being how the partners communicate and listen.

      I was married when I was young. It lasted 2 years. I moved to California (Thank God) and met my now wife of almost 13 years (5 kids in tow). I am grateful to have gotten married when I was 29 because I felt more confidant, mature, selfless, etc. Though I am still working on all of that, and more :-) The working on things to better me as a person and spouse never ends.

    • I understand why marriage is important to some people.

      To me, what matters most in a relationship is the commitment between the people in it. I see that commitment as a private, personal thing between people, not between people and a government or people and a church. But I also recognize that for some people, it's important that a relationship includes the church or official government documents.

      The institution of heterosexual marriage also has a troubling history of sexism ("honor and obey", etc.). In a world where for so many years the word "wife" has been synonymous with "property", I would feel incredibly uncomfortable calling someone my wife.

      And of course there's the long history of marriage being a heterosexual-only, single-race only institution whose rights and privileges were denied to anyone who didn't fit the "traditional family" mold.

      @Felicity and I have been in a committed relationship for almost 14 years and haven't ever felt like we should get married. It just doesn't seem necessary.

    • I think we are seeing the beginning of a serious reconstruction of the 'family' in western society. There are now so many different familial relationships and combinations that the nuclear family is the minority. How this will look in the future is anyone's guess but I don't foresee going back to the past.

      I think humans in western societies have lost their relationships with others in the way they've evolved to be comfortable. We are too isolated as individuals in society and as families. We spend too much time isolated. We are lonely when in a group because we've lost our connections. I think our living physical spaces has had a serious impact on these relationships. In some cases the houses are too large, we don't have relatives and close friends living together anymore and we are distracted by things. Marriage, for a time, brought at least a few people together but it's utility is limited when a family is small and no relatives live nearby. I'm not saying marriages are bad or can't be wonderfully fulfilling for people but I'm saying that there would likely be more successful relationships of all kinds if we changed our work and living spaces to more closely resemble how humans lived before modern societies.

      As an example that supports what I'm saying is the challenge many military people feel after coming home after being away for a long time. They are used to living in close proximity to their friends and experience withdrawal and mental health issues from the change. There's something deeper that's been going on in the last 9,000 years as we've changed human living arrangements. In so doing we have changed the relationships - marriage being one of those.