Archive for July 16th, 2012

PhotobucketI apologize in advance if this blog entry steps on any toes because I really do not mean for it to. My therapist told me not to beat myself up over my marriage because at the time I was deciding who to marry (I was 23 and straight out of school), I had nobody in my life telling me what to look for in a marriage. After 20 years of marriage, I still don’t understand what marriage is supposed to be, and I don’t want to drive both hub and me crazy by having some skewed understanding, so I am hoping you readers can help me out with this.

I don’t intend this blog entry to be specifically about **my marriage.** Instead, I want to explore what marriage is supposed to be – I guess what the “goal” of marriage is supposed to be. Is it supposed to be the coming together of soul mates? A contractual relationship that is negotiated between two parties? If so many married people are so miserable, why is this an institution that society keeps encouraging its children to enter into? Is our culture (at least in the United States) responsible for setting up men and women to drive each other crazy in marriage?

My understanding of marriage as a girl (and I do think this is a common perception in the South in the United States) was that I would grow up and marry a man who “loved me for me.” He would be drawn to the person I am on the inside (primarily my soul/spirit over my physical body) – pretty much be a soul mate.

However, my observation of many marriages (both those that continue and those that end in divorce) is that many of the men were looking for the hottest woman to have regular sex with who would also take care of their other physical needs, such as cook, clean, and rear children. In return, they would pay the bills. As long as the wife keeps her body up, has regular sex, and tends to the household stuff, he is happy even if there is no emotional connection with the wife at all.

Are men and women really that different? Or has the fact that I live in the South in the United States and mostly interact with women who used to be emotionally damaged and are now healing skewed the sample I am viewing? If “I love you” means “I want to have sex with you” to a man and “I see and am attracted to your soul/spirit” to a woman, no wonder the U.S. divorce rate is so high!

What are your thoughts on marriage? Other than not driving you crazy, what is the purported goal and point of marriage?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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