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Sex&Love8: What IS Marriage?


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Some of you might know I’ve been pretty opposed to “marriage” for many years.  Yet I’ve come to see an enormous flaw in my position, which is – I have NO idea what “marriage” really is.  And before you get your hopes up – no, today’s podcast doesn’t give much in the way of answers.

Being “in favor” of marriage is no better or worse than being “against” marriage, when “marriage” is so poorly defined in the first place (if ever really defined at all).  Some people manage to craft a marriage (or non-marriage) that works well – and many people like that readily admit that their secret is “luck!”

I’d like to find a way to improve our chances.  I’d like to have a world of rational, useful definitions of “marriage” that empower, deepen and enliven human relationships, and I’d like there to be a system in place – or at least a commonplace practice – that builds community support for these relationships.

Pretty please?


5 comments to Sex&Love8: What IS Marriage?

  • marriage…ohmigod. I could go on for days. suffice it to say that I am married again…this is different. I am sure you have heard that before.
    We got married for purely financial reasons so that if something happened to edmund I would be taken care of financially…it was sweet, it was different…it felt real…it felt right to us both so we did it.
    We love each other as best we can from what we know . we talk alot…we share even more so that we can figure out this thing called life we have been given…we trust each other to be human…trust is huge because we trust we hope it will inspire growth… so that we can be eachothers’ support in the process…is that what “inside out is?” anyway…i like this marriage alot. I also think my husband is adorable. he also loves me and thinks that it is important for me to feel loved and he puts alot of effort into making it so…(not that it is hard…Its just obvious how much he wants to give me that feeling…)
    not sure at all this is what I intended to say…but it is what I said now…and like amy it might change a bit at another time…but the reality holds true we married only for financial reasons…we felt totally committed to each other and were not looking else where for what we wanted…before the marriage…we both felt like we found our “home base” in each other…and it works.

  • Tessa Rose

    “Marriage” is, perhaps, as hard to define as “democracy,” because it means what people want it to mean.

    I’ve been pondering this lately because of the thing that’s been going around on Facebook about getting a million fans in favor of gay marriage. I’m probably in favor of it, but it somewhat depends on how people are defining “marriage.” Who has to agree that you’re married for you to be married? The two of you, your friends, your parents, your church, the state, or all of the above? What kind of obligations do different kinds of marriages impose on the partners, or upon others outside the marriage?

    For instance, a hospital *must* allow me in to see my husband – that’s an obligation that our married status (blessed by the state of PA, in this case) imposes on them.

    No time for more, but I hope I have time to listen to this podcast sometime soon.

  • Tessa Rose

    I listened to the podcast, finally, and it raises a lot more questions than it answers – which is a good thing. This has my mind swirling, and I may have to write a blog post about it. Why have churches and governments historically had so much control over people’s love relationships?

    A young man says to a young woman, “I want to enter into a legally binding agreement with you that neither of us will have sex with anyone else until death do us part – that’s what marriage means to me.”
    The young woman says, “So … if I want to have sex with someone else, I’ll have to kill you?”

    Maybe it’s time for more sensible definitions of marriage.

  • amychilds

    Tessa, if you do blog more about it, please post the link here! I love hearing everyone’s thoughts, and I’m glad the show is stirring things up…. xoAmy

  • amychilds

    Or in my case:
    “if you want to end our marriage, you have to go out and commit adultery.”
    “but I don’t want to.”
    “too bad. them’s the rules.”