linked to an interesting article about relationships, called Why Marriages Fail
. I thought there was a lot of sensible stuff in there, but still wanted to chuck in my two cents.
What makes marriage so special? Divorce rates are always brought up, and then people are alarmed at how high they are, at, say, 50%. Why doesn't anyone ever look at non-marriage relationships? In a person's life, how many romantic relationships are actually life-long? How many end? In the world, out of all total romatic relationships, how many end? Marriages are the ones we think, or hope, might go the distance, but even if only half of them do, I would guess that's a lot higher than for non-marriages. I haven't been married, so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but setting the obvious legal and economical changes aside, what's so different between being married, and just living together?
I've been with my bf for just over 6 years, we've lived together for about 5 1/2, we've got a shared bank account for household expenses, we make important life decisions together. If we get married, I imagine we'll have to sort out how to celebrate christmas, because doing it apart will seem a bit silly at that point. But other than that, it seems we already have most of the things a marriage has. Yet, if we break up, that's apparently ok, because it won't affect the divorce rate. That's a bit silly isn't it?
Why marriages fail. Fail
. It's always failiure when a marriage ends. Why is that? I don't think it should be seen that way. A relationship that blows up - everyone hates each other, the kids get stuck in the middle, blame and acrimony flying all over the place - that's a failed relationship. A relationship that ends amicably, where the parties agree they've grown apart, can still be friendly, and cooperate about the kids - that's just an ended relationship. Lots of relationships end. I don't see a problem with that, as long as they end well. I don't see a problem with marriages ending, as long as they end well, and I wish our society would stop being so obsessed with the end
part, and focus more on the well
The only reason we're so upset about marriages ending
is that we have some idea that they shouldn't. The church says it's forever, so it should be. That's dumb, and obviously not true for at least 50% of marriages. Keeping this mindset, I think, leads to a lot of marriages continuing after the relationship should have ended, because you're not supposed to end a marriage. That makes no-one happy. Except possibly christian statisticians. Instead, lets embrace the concept of ending relationships well
. Death can be one such end - if you want to stay together for the rest of your life, great!. I'm happy for you. If you don't, you probably shouldn't. But please try to avoid blowing up. It causes too much debris and collateral damage.
There is, of course, the issue of children. It used to be that children were primarily produced within marriages. This is no longer quite so much the case. Having children introduces a whole host of responsibilites for the parents - but those responsibilities are the same wether you are maried or not. Once you have children, the relationship can never completely end, you will always be linked by your kids. But it can change. You don't have to be more to each other than co-parents, and as long as you take that seriously, that can work out just fine. And, imo, better for the kids, than having unhappily married parents. I say this as a child of happily divorced parents.
 The article itself links further, to something about why evolutionary psychologists think men like blondes with big boobs
. That might all be true for all I know, but it sounded ridiculous, so until I get better explanations, I choose to be an unbeliever :o)
 There are reasons for this, involving the fact that my parents are divorced, and I'm selfish about christmas.