Here is a insightful and extremely popular article from June of 2015 that really drives home some excellent points about why marriage won’t work in our brave new world. “5 reasons we can’t handle marriage anymore” by Anthony D’Ambrosio of The Asbury Park (N.J.) Press. They’re so accurate that they are at least five of the nails in the coffin lid of a seemingly dead institution – marriage.
If you are not as inclined to read the article yet, and I strongly encourage you to do so at some point, I have repeated the bullet points here.
- 2) Finances cripple us.
- 3) We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.
- 4) Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.
- 5) Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.
- 1) Sex becomes almost non-existent.
These are all valid reasons why marriage won’t work. However, marriage isn’t a cure-all for our personal issues. We must be careful not to go dragging “marriage busting” personal issues into a relationship, relabeling them as marital issues, and then claiming them as the reason that marriage won’t work. This is coming from the voice of experience. But don’t stop reading because….
Marriage will work and it does work and it absolutely can for you!
(The bullet points aren’t numbered wrong, I left them numbered as they are in the article but put them in a different order to address them.)
“Finances cripple us”
Let’s start with my # 1. From a logical standpoint this one makes little sense unless you’ve married someone with some deep, dark financial secrets such as a gambling addiction, undisclosed debt, emotional spending habits, etc. or you have your own. The synergy of having two people help with the overhead and living expenses of a household should be mutually beneficial not doubling.
Since “money problems” are often headlined as the number one reason for divorce there must be validity in the claim. However, I would also point out that’s it’s actually a lack of mutual disclosure, communication, goal setting, planning, and discipline that are the culprits that unfairly pressure a marriage financially.
I once heard Dr. Phil say something to the effect of “you don’t have financial problems – you have lifestyle (spending) problems.” Admittedly, I am not a close follower of the good doctor but that soundbite stuck – and I agree. If you are living beyond your means that’s an outgoing issue not an incoming issue. Here is a list of some more good information from him. Dave Ramsey also offers an excellent program to get your finances back on track that you can access here.
In all fairness let’s not blame marriage for not being able to shoulder and bear up under the pressures of financial disasters – it was never intended for that. My advice? Disclose, plan, and if necessary wait to get married, and especially wait before having children, until you and your partner have a better handle on debt and financial challenges.
We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.
Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.
Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you
Now, numbers 2, 3 and 4 can probably all be discussed together. The real culprit here is technology. It will be hard to argue that technology and the resulting social media sites aren’t powerful tools when used properly and maturely. (see Burn the Ships )
The challenge is that as a culture we already suffer from too many “self” issues to have them compounded by the bragging, complaining, and “woe is me” boards of other dysfunctional people. (I am not saying everyone on social media is dysfunctional but you know who you are – so do we). We all know that most of it is a compensation for an emptiness that the poster is trying to overcome. And it’s ok if you don’t agree or want to push back on that thought – I know that it is an oversized helping of generalization, but all of us know someone that’s trying to impress someone else on these boards; trying to paint a happy picture for the world to see – a utopic fantasyland of their reality. Why, it could even be us.
Lean in for a second and let’s be real with each other; just you and me. Social media allows us to “friend” the people we like and block or ignore the ones we don’t. Come on, honestly, how many of those “friends” are really friends. Social media allows us to sort through the people we get along with but the truth is it never makes us stop and think about what we may need to legitimately change in us to get along with the ones we don’t because if we disagree with someone we just “unfriend” or block them.
“I’ve never learned anything from the sycophants it’s the dissenters that made me stop and think.” DoMarriage.com
Translation: People always flattering and agreeing with me don’t inherently cause me to stop and think about the things I may need to change in me. It’s not until someone disagrees that I do. Then, if I’m emotionally healthy and mature, I weigh it out, process it, and move on. We are not here to please everyone but to maintain a healthy emotional balance – self evaluation is key. We aren’t always right!
Too often we are so busy seeking the approval of a larger audience, because let’s face it – it feels good, that we forget or maybe even grow afraid of the intimacy of a one-on-one connection. Opening up and being vulnerable to the one next to you can be scary and sometimes painful but it is also the key to living “wholeheartedly” (click here for Dr. Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on “wholeheartedness”).
Wrapping up on numbers 2, 3 and 4. We are so caught up in technology that we need to disconnect from the world to connect with the one who is our world.
You can at least start small and dedicate some time to each other with your “device” in another room on the charger. Heck, I remember mom’s rule growing up was no TV during dinner. Shocking huh? We all ate at the same table, at home, listening to each other’s input and enjoying a meal made there too.
Look, I’m part of the same modern culture as you and I get the challenges, but the fact is that the person you married should be important enough to make them an ongoing priority. Disconnect and reconnect with the one next to you. Give marriage a break it’s not its fault if you didn’t, don’t, or won’t do what’s necessary to express genuine love.
Sex becomes almost non-existent.
Ok, we saved the best one for last. Sex is NOT part of marriage. Let me repeat it for clarity – sex is not part of marriage. Sex is procreation. Sex is what the praying mantises are doing when she eats her mate’s head. (Don’t believe me? look it up here – later)
Marriage was designed for an intimate, soul connecting, physical melding, you are my one-and-only, mind blowing, earth shattering union called making love. It’s the connection that few of us ever find because we are too busy diluting it by polluting and brainwashing our minds with multi-media & fantasy and derailing the intimacy factor with casual and uncommitted sex.
Our Heavenly Father created us differently than ANY other creature – in His own image – and He intended our sexual union to be different. We have too often ruined it, and yes I agree, when you drag everything else – stress, technology, your smart device, work, frustration, others, fantasy and especially expectations into the bedroom – there is little or no room for an intimate connection with your spouse.
That’s not marriage’s fault or shortcoming that’s the beauty, basis, and the need for marriage. Two individuals are to become as one – intimately inseparable. You must truly connect with your partner’s heart and soul on an intimate level before the physical union can possibly be long term what it is intended to be. When you and your partner become one as the Creator intended, your physical intimacy will enter a whole new dimension.
Again, the bottom line is that I agree that these are all valid reasons why marriage won’t work. Marriage isn’t a cure-all for our personal issues. I’ll repeat it, we must be careful not to go dragging “marriage busting” personal issues into a relationship, relabeling them as marital issues, and then claiming them as the reason that marriage won’t work. It will and it does and it absolutely can for you!
But don’t take worldly advice about why or how it will or won’t work – ask the Architect who created it. Ask the One who created man, woman, marriage, and intimate sex.
““Haven’t you read,” Jesus replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV) “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4 ESV) ²³“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” 25″For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.” 33″So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:21,25,28,33 NLT) “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty, ” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”” ( Malachi 2:16 NLT)
You can agree or disagree – I’m okay with that too.
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Thank you and God bless you on your journey.
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