Marriage

I’ve always liked Uncorrelated but on this subject, he’s just wrong.
He calls this quote, the best on marriage:

Psychologist David Schnarch, author of “Passionate Couples: Love, Sex and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships” said “People still have preconceived notions and distortions about how love and marriage operate,” and anything contrary to those preconceived notions “is hard to get across.” A popular notion, for instance, is that people should marry their soul mate — someone who is “so compatible, so similar that there’s no cause for friction,” he says. But too much similarity is a recipe for boredom. “Marriage is a people-growing machine,” says Mr. Schnarch, who directs the Marriage and Family Health Center in Evergreen, Colo., with his wife, Ruth Morehouse. A real soul-mate marriage is one in which two people forge a relationship “as broad as their differences, rather than one as narrow as their similarities,” he says.

and somehow concludes that gay marriage isn’t what marriage is about.
Marriage may not be about romantic love, but certainly it usually starts out that way. Marriage itself is the commitment of two people to each other. Gay people also want that outside sign of commitment to another along with all the perks it entails within the laws of the state. ie insurance and hospital visits and respectability to the “couple”.

If gay couples were allowed to publicly state that “this is a serious commitment” vs “we’re shacking up”, you could easily see the differences in couples, just like in straight land.

ps I know all of this because as a straight commitmentphobe I still believe marriage is a fantastic institution that deserves full honor and respect. If gay people are not allowed into the club then they don’t get to play with these same rules of “real couple” vs “just a couple” and somehow that just doesn’t seem right. We are who we are, and I sincerely doubt that you could will yourself to be sexually attracted to the opposite sex just for the heck of it.

UPDATE: In response to Mick.
I completely agree with what you on the fact that marriage is different (and more) than romantic love. I think you may be missing some friendships with homosexual people who have made their relationships into lasting “marriages” that, in my opinion deserve the respect of a real marriage. These are relationships that have survived for 20 years or more. Not the flitting bar scene. There is a huge difference. I feel that if gays were allowed to marry that help distinguish between the two just like in the heterosexual community. I lived with someone for 8 years but it doesn’t count, nor should it. We never married and never intended to marry. Marriage is bigger than living together and gay people can appreciate that as well as straight people.
I appreciate the sane discourse on this though and I look forward to your series. Frankly, at the beginning of the debate I was against gay marriage on Christian ground. But have changed my mind over the last couple of years.

One thought on “Marriage

  1. One comment deserves another…

    Your view underscores the problem with this debate–unless you’ve experienced the arc of married life, its purely an intellectual exercise, or worse, a misperception based on imaginings of what marriage is all about. The rolling of the eyes by long-time married people over the naive and exuberant statements of the unmarried or newly married has become a cliche.

    The young can’t imagine being old, the healthy sick, the foolish wise and of course, the unmarried simply can’t grasp what marriage, particularly a long-time marriage where children have been raised, mortgages paid off, and grandchildren babysat–is like.

    The issue is complicated by the fact that the resemblance between same sex and hetersexual courting and love is so strong. One naturally extrapolates the love of two gay men and the love of a man and woman will follow the same trajectories–except the don’t and cannot.

    The debate is hampered by the fact that most people just assign labels like “bigot” to resolve the issue.

    We are working on a series of posts on UNCoRRELATED that we hope will fully explore the issue of same sex marriage from both sides in a calm, deliberate and hopefully very informative manner. I hope you’ll comment.

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