Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What To Marry For?

'. . . Jane and Albert were there, just back from Paris.'

'Where they, now?' said Paul with interest. 'And how are they? Happy?'

'Wretched, I believe. Did they expect anything else? What a silly marriage that was, to be sure.'

'Oh dear,' said Paul gloomily, 'it really is rather disillusioning. When one's friends marry for money they are wretched, when they marry for love it is worse. What is the proper thing to marry for, I should like to know?' 

'The trouble is,' said Amabelle . . . 'that people seem to expect happiness in life. I can't imagine why; but they do. They are unhappy before they marry, and they imagine themselves that the reason of their unhappiness will be removed when they are married. When it isn't they blame the other person, which is clearly absurd. I believe that is what generally starts the trouble.' 

'I expect that is quite right,' said Paul, sighing. —Nancy Mitford, Christmas Pudding 

Well, this segment got me nervous. Now I had to analyze my reasons for wanting to marry. 

I'm not a romantic; I harbor no fantasies of teddy bears or flowers or slain dragons. Cross that one out.

Is it because another human being will "complete" me? Well, I feel rather complete. I think maybe the word I'm looking for is "compliment." Like how ties shouldn't match the suit and shirt, but compliment them; a blue suit looks ho-hum with a navy tie, but pops with red. 

I don't wish to marry just because "everyone else" is; "everyone else" chooses to don a number of unflattering trends, so that has never been a reason for me before (thank the Bashefer that the tunic era is drawing to a close). 

A ruminator by nature, my musings began to get a little hysterical.

Those couples that divorced—no one really knows why. Is it something I can avoid? Is it based on my awareness, my making the right choice? Would the state of my marriage function strictly in terms of my motivation, which could doom it from the start? If my will is selfish as opposed to selfless, would that corrupt my so-far nonexistent future relationship? What if my inducements are noble, but his are not?

Deep breaths, deep breaths . . . 

Perhaps one wants to marry simply because we have been crafted to, the same way we were designed to breathe air. By my programming, my circuits have been wired to flash "Helpmeet."

So it's the Eibishter's fault; He molded us gals to want to marry, that's why He didn't bother to give us the commandment to. 

I'll blame Him, then.  


Daniel Saunders said...

I suspect the desire to give to someone (rather than nebulous notions of 'romance') is a good reason for marriage. And complementing oneself, as you say, being able to achieve more than you could alone.

As for divorces, I don't think they were necessarily doomed from the outset. Some probably were, but I believe (admittedly on no evidence!) that some 'bad' marriages can be saved by positive behaviour, if both partners want to save the marriage. Likewise marriages that are 'good' on paper will fail through neglect.

Single on the Scene said...

Princess-this post reminded me of an email I once received from a 'new' shadchan (and of course, never responded to)

Princess Lea said...

DS: Yup, that is true.

SotS: So I'm just being paranoid? Oh thank goodness!