26 July 2001

Marriage and its Discontents

I got no clue where this post is from. The name TexWiz is familiar, though, and there's a note from Moira...

Subject: Marriage and its Discontents
Date: Jul 26 2001 12:48 PM

A lot of Fraysters out there are likely painting some very unflattering personal portaits of Ms. Geller, the author of the anti-marriage book out there. I prefer to leave alone any speculation about her personal life, politics or personal inadequacies real or imagined.

i just want to say that even if her feelings are the result of careful research, personal experience and soul searching, it doesn't matter. She's wrong. Not mistaken, not misguided, or any other euphemisms intended to soften the blows of disagreement. She is just flat wrong, and for several reasons.

First, it should be said that no one is in favor of bad marriages and that many such unions do, in fact exist. But we're talking here about the intrinsic worth of the institution of marriage.

Marriage provides a framework for stability. Just as a child feels secure when they know that the parents are always there, waiting to catch them when they fall, partners in a good marriage have a peace of mind unknown to the single people. A commitment has been made and bonds have been forged that are intended to outlast sickness, financial troubles, emotional upheavals, births, deaths and home renovations, which are worse than most of the aforementioned. That such a commitment has been violated by many does not devalue the worth of commitment and marriage as an institution.

In the course of my eight year (so far) marriage, I have lost my job, lost relatives in death, been disappointed by friends, disappointed in myself and been through several home improvement projects. At no time was I alone. When I lost my job, no accusations were made, no blame placed. She just said, "we'll be alright" and we were, just as we endured the other challenges together.

Now, make no mistake, I am a strong and capable person, (as is my wife, a beautiful, capable woman who speaks four languages and works harder than anyone I know). I would have weathered these slings and arrows and taken arms against them, married or single. But I cannot imagine having to do so alone. I, in my happy marriage, am blessed with great good fortune. My good fortune kisses me each day as I leave for work and greets me with the same when I return.

I do the same for her. Were either of us lost to the other, we would be devastated. It's a risk made acceptable by the joy we have now. Ms. Geller risks nothing, but deprives herself of this joy in the mistaken notion that independence is the greatest goal. She's so wary of being oppressed that she forgets to love. I would be sad if I didn't feel so sure that I wouldn't like her much if I met her. To deny your reliance on others is to deny one of the most vital portions of your humanity.

The article neglected to mention that marriage is also vital to the raising of emotionally healthy children. This is not to say that some single parents don't do a great job, but all things considered, two parents, together, not divorced, make better parents than one woman or one man. Some may disagree, but frankly, they are just as wrong as Ms. Geller.

The real tragedy is that so many people have bought into the modern notion that divorce is not so bad. True, a bad marriage can be a remarkably excruciating experience, and sometimes, divorce is inevitable, but if marriage was not viewed as a temporary institution, maybe people would make better decisions about who to marry.

In conclusion, let me say simply that love is the greatest thing. And the greatest expression of love is to commit your life, 'til death do you part, to the person you love.

Subject: To Texwiz
From: Fray Editor
Date: Jul 26 2001 6:17 PM

Great post.

Just wanted to alert you to your appearance in Best of the Fray this week, in case you missed it.

Moira Redmond
Fray Editor

Subject: To Slate
From: Texwiz
Date: Jul 27 2001 2:34 PM

Thanks for the heads up and for the posting. I will never again question the wisdom of your editorial judgements.:-)

The length of your quote from my post on marriage and your kind words were immensely gratifying. Many of us post on the Fray because we have opinions we want to get out there, to be challenged and to think through our positions and opinions, often in the light of intense opposition.

To have one's opinion singled out from so many as worthy of consideration is an honor. This may be a rather obscure forum but when you feel as strongly as I do about marriage (and quite a few other topics), it matters that one's thoughts can be shared with others. I sincerely consider it an honor to be allowed to discourse with so many obviously intelligent, thoughtful people as I do here on the Fray.

Subject: RE: Marriage and its Discontents
From: Mangar
Date: Jul 26 2001 6:31 PM

Ah, jeez, dude, you make me want to go out and get married!

I couldn't help sharing in some of your joy while reading your post...I hope you don't mind my borrowing a little. All political ramifications aside, I'm happy for you, pure and simple. You may or may not be aware of all the effort you must have put into this relationship, but the bottom line is that it was worth it, no? Imagine the day...TEXWIZ is an inspiration!

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