Alarming News

May 28, 2008

Unoptionable

I like Will Smith’s take on marriage, it is much like mine:

“What I found is divorce just can’t be an option,” he said. “It’s really that simple. And I think that’s the problem with L.A. — there are so many options. So a huge part of the success for [Jada] and I is that we just removed the other options.”

Imagine if Pam Anderson couldn’t have her yearly 3-month marriage, if Britney had no choice but to stay married to Jason Alexander and if people in general got married with the idea that they had to stay together forever, come what may.

It’s a misconception about me, being 31 and unmarried, and being seen in my day-to-day life as something of a free-spirit, that I never married because I disapprove of the institution. Regular readers of my blog probably know this is not so, but I felt it should be stated. I take marriage very seriously, don’t see divorce as an option, and believe that when you make a promise to your partner in front of G-d and your family, you better keep that promise.

Posted by Karol at 11:15 AM |
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Comments

Wholeheartedly agree.

Posted by: Shawn at May 28, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I have saw the idea that they had to stay together partner in front of G-d and your family.

Posted by: Deutsche Versicherung at May 28, 2008 at 1:08 pm

“and believe that when you make a promise to your partner in front of G-d and your family”
what “marriage” are you talking about?
It only has to be in front of the gov’t to be marriage. family and the G-D of your choice, optional.

Posted by: E5 at May 28, 2008 at 1:16 pm

In the words of the Mrs.:
“Divorce is not an option. If it came to that, it’d just be a matter of which one of us got to the gun, blunt object, or gasoline first.”
(On an aside, we’ve been married 8 years this month and I’ve only just now got Vegas to stop giving her 5:1 odds.)
Good for you on waiting Karol–it takes more courage to keep sifting until you get it right than just take “good enough” because all the cool kids are doing it. Better to be alone the rest of your days than be in a bad marriage just one of them.

Posted by: James at May 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

So if a woman marries a guy who beats her up, or cheats all the time … divorce is not an option and she should figure out how to make it work?

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at May 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Dont be an idiot Grossberg, the point being is to not make the decision as lightly as so many seem to do. Those that are prone to abusive behavior normally give clues well before the marriage stage of a relationships. The next point is when approaching the subject of “marriage” one can not entertain (even in the back of thier mind) the “Well if it doesnt work out I can always get a divorce”. Its an improper mindset indicative of our throw away society. Context Man, Context….

Posted by: TerribleTroy at May 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

No, Joe, ideally they’ll take the advice of the comment above yours and choose to be alone rather than in a bad marriage.
And, obviously, extreme circumstances warrant extreme action like divorce. I just want it to be seen as extreme.

Posted by: Karol at May 28, 2008 at 2:06 pm

No, Joe, that’s hardly what Karol or Will are talking about. Do you not realize that, or are you just trolling?
Karol and Will are talking about people treating divorce as the easy way out: if they get bored, or they get married after a week only to discover they’re “incompatible,” ah well, no problem! One of my friends was only 28 when she got married for the third time. Another got married at 26, got divorced a couple of years later. They, and others I know who did similarly, simply jumped into things quickly. That’s the moral hazard of “no-fault” divorce.
“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32)
Jesus was talking about the same thing: people even then wanted to believe that even God allowed easy divorce. Not so. In that chapter, Jesus said “It hath been said” several times, but he was pointing out that what people heard and repeated was not the actual actual scripture, but scripture that people misquoted and perverted for their own convenience. If you read the Hebrew Bible, God actually established some required conditions for divorce.
I’m finally getting married, and I literally thank God that I waited for the right one. There were a couple of good possibilities, I suppose, but I’m glad God had me wait a few more years for the best match.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 28, 2008 at 2:38 pm

As another take on “moral hazard”:
how bout you get all the legal perks out of marriage to stop enticing people to get married to begin with?
The gov’t offers all sorts of perks for married folks, then wonders why people rush into it!?!?!

Posted by: E5 at May 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Hate to rain on your parade, but Will Smith was married, had a kid, and then divorced his first wife in the mid 90s prior to his current marriage.
He even rapped about it in one of his music videos.

Posted by: Alex at May 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm

So if a woman marries a guy who beats her up

Or, in your case Joe, when every woman beats you up.
The gov’t offers all sorts of perks for married folks, then wonders why people rush into it!?!?!
I can see getting an additional $20 back from a tax return as a solid foundation for marraige. Who could posibly argue with that?
So-called friendlier tax rates for marrieds is more a reward than an incentive. One of the FEW things gubmint gets right.

Posted by: Radical Redneck at May 28, 2008 at 3:05 pm

right, cause we all know that income tax changes are the ONLY way the gov’t changes it’s treatment of couples once they’re married.

Posted by: E5 at May 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Hate to rain on your parade, but Will Smith was married, had a kid, and then divorced his first wife in the mid 90s prior to his current marriage.
Guess he didn’t make it unoptionable in that marriage.

Posted by: Karol at May 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

There are three reasons to get a divorce:
1.) Abuse
2.) Addiction
3.) Adultery
Anything else, one or both parties aren’t trying hard enough or you shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.
As to the perks given for marriage–okay, so you’re saying government gets nothing out of this in return? Let’s look at the statistics with regards to marriage’s effect on:
1.) Criminal behavior
2.) Child support / care
3.) Property ownership
If memory serves (as it’s been awhile since I’ve taken a sociology class), criminality goes down, the state is far less likely to be stuck taking care of the child, and married couples are more likely to own property (you know, where the real tax gouging occurs) than single people.
So, hey, government could take away the perks for being married, but then you’d end up in a society where half the children are born out of wedlock. Oh, wait, we seem to be there in a lot of states.
I even said this as a single person–there’s reasons for the state to support and license marriage. Just because the state incentivizes it, however, does not mean people who rush into it are in any way more justified.

Posted by: James at May 28, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Well, Karol, you think that because you’re not married -yet.
I remember when my sister visited us when my son was about 1ye, she was giving out all kinds of …er..advice and opinion on raising children – product of her own thinking as well as reading on the topic.
Then, in just 14 years, she’ve got to have her own – and boy, isn’t that kid spoiled!

Posted by: Tatyana at May 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm

This wasn’t meant to be a judgment of divorced people, just of divorce as an “option” when people get married. I understand that marriages don’t work out, things happen. I just wonder about what marriage would look like if divorce wasn’t seen as such a Plan B.

Posted by: Karol at May 28, 2008 at 5:59 pm

It’s not difficult to imagine – just ask your Catholic friends, especially those whose parents are still married after 50 years of misery.

Posted by: Tatyana at May 28, 2008 at 8:05 pm

check to make sure you’re not counting correlation as causality, James.
Unless you’re really willing to support the claim that the act of getting married itself is what makes those people law abiding… and not that the people themselves who chose to get married later in life happen to be law abiding people in general.

Posted by: E5 at May 28, 2008 at 11:43 pm

right, cause we all know that income tax changes are the ONLY way the gov’t changes it’s treatment of couples once they’re married

Is it just me or does everyone sense a hyper-emotive, self-absorbed, plaintive screech wailing for gay marriage coming up?

Posted by: Radical Redneck at May 29, 2008 at 3:45 am

E5,
I’ll grant you that the correlation / causality connection may be present, but I know I’ve seen those statistics pointed out both in government and private studies.
Radical,
You know, you can call a discussion of gay marriage hyper-emotive in advance. Or, alternatively, you can wait until someone makes it a discussion point and then counterargue using stone cold logic. For the moment, why not stick to a discussion on hetero marriage and the shakiness thereof?
I think that the Germans have some aspect of it right with their divorces. No, not the blatantly woman-friendly rules, but the fact that you can’t just walk in, sign some paperwork, and get a divorce in 60 days. Oh no, barring extreme circumstances, you have to wait almost a year to get things nullified. I think that’s a good thing.
Tatyana,
I have many Catholic friends, some of whose parents are, yes, not exactly happy. In those cases where folks have been “miserable,” it’s pretty clear that one or both parties have thrown in the towel. Sorry, but if a person basically refuses to come out of their corner and _fight_ for the marriage then, sorry, as far as I’m concerned they can stay on their stool crying to the trainer and be da*ned. No one said marriage was going to be easy (and if they did, people should’e recognized the village idiot’s voice). Unless there was a shotgun and/or an arrangement involved, both parties walked in with eyes wide open.
Yes, there were probably changes in both people, but that’s the part which _someone_ (especially if the parties are Catholic–hello, pre-marital counseling?) should have pointed out was going to happen. There is no, repeat no, excuse for two people to be together for 50 years and be “miserable.” If there’s abuse, cheating, addiction, end it. Otherwise, stop whining and _fix_ it if for no other reason than life’s too short to spend waiting for your spouse to kick the bucket.

Posted by: James at May 29, 2008 at 8:47 am

“Is it just me or does everyone sense a hyper-emotive, self-absorbed, plaintive screech wailing for gay marriage coming up?”
Probably just you.
Most people probably have realized by now that my point isn’t about the govt sanctioning MORE marriages for MORE people (gays, etc) but LESS.
Ideally marriage should be about as significant as a bar mitzvah or a confirmation in the eyes of the gov’t – basically they don’t give a shit one way or another what ceremony you and your temple or church has.
And as any Jew or Christian will tell you, the bar mitzvah or confirmation is a hugely important ceremony. and the this lack of state-sponsorship of bar mitzvahs hardly makes it insignificant.
After all we don’t NEED laws and regulations from the state in order for something to be important to us.
Now that you’re up to speed, I’d be more than willing to discuss the pros and cons of having the gov’t involved in marriage or not, but at least keep up and understand what the topic even is, radred.

Posted by: E5 at May 29, 2008 at 9:38 am

Right there with you, Karol.
I’m betting that people would be more wary of getting married if the “It’s okay, I can just get divorced” mentality didn’t exist.
As for anyone who gets snarky about Will Smith’s first marriage, his statement shows me that he’s learned from his previous experiences. How is that a bad thing?

Posted by: Pokerwolf at May 29, 2008 at 10:26 am
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