By Tom Quiner
A young man wants to live together with his girl friend. But he doesn’t want to get married because he has some “serious commitment issues.”
Read yesterday’s post for the set up for today’s post (The Mysterious Benefits of Marriage.)
The young man’s commitment phobia gets to the heart of the marriage debate.
Why do people get married?
Why does society want people to get married?
As Quiner’s Diner has suggested before, it’s all about the children.
The young man who wants to live together, and presumably enjoy the conjugal benefits of marriage, does not want to be responsible for the consequences of those benefits.
Marriage was designed to protect the kids.
Here’s what I’d recommend that young lady say to her would-be lover:
“Let me get this straight: you want to live with me so you can have sex with me whenever you want? Right?
But you don’t want to make any sort of long term commitment. Right? What if I get pregnant?”
By this time, the young man may be squirming and muttering something like “… don’t worry, we’re using birth control.”
And our young lady should respond thusly:
“There is only one form of birth control that is one-hundred percent effective, and that is called abstinence. Other methods are only partially effective. Did you know that:
• 8 out of 100 couples using the patch get pregnant in a year. Same for the Pill and the Ring.
• 15 out of a 100 couples using condoms get pregnant in a year.
• 3 out of a 100 using the birth control shot get pregnant in a year.
The list goes on. What if we … what if I … am one of the women whose birth control method fails? What if I get pregnant? You’re telling me you’re not willing to make a long term commitment. How do I know you’re not going to leave and stick me with raising OUR child all by myself?”
By this time, the young man is hopefully very uncomfortable. I can hear him sputtering “… but, but I love you.”
And our young lady should respond:
“If you truly love me, then you will honor and respect me by deferring the ultimate expression of our love until we’re married. I very much hope we’re blessed with children, and I want my … OUR children … raised together in a loving household with a mom and a dad.
Marriage is all about love. And love is all about sharing, and commitment, and even self-sacrifice. Are you willing to share, to commit, and to sacrifice on my behalf? I’m willing to do so for you.”
This leads me back to my earlier question: why does society want people to get married? The introduction of no-fault divorce legislation changed the focus of marriage away from children and toward the relationship itself. The impact was profound.
The divorce rate in the U.S. doubled from 1960 to 1980 as thirty-five states adopted no-fault divorce legislation. No-fault divorce has since spread to the rest of the states in some form or another.
The impact on children has been nothing short of tragic. With children relegated to second-class status, couples with marriages under stress found divorce an easy-way out. Interestingly, more than eight out of ten no-fault divorces are unilateral, which means that one party objects to ending the marriage.
In other words, if someone is upset with their spouse, divorce may seem like an easy out, because it is easier to get, thanks to no-fault divorce. The impact on our society is measurable, as this blog pointed out two days ago (How to condemn a child to poverty.)
On average, children raised in a married household with a mom and a dad become more productive members of society than those who aren’t.
I am not casting aspersions on single parents anywhere, so many of whom do a wonderful job raising their children under difficult situations. But the data is compelling.
Marriage makes our communities better.
Marriage protects and nurtures our posterity.
In the name of our children, we should revisit no-fault divorce laws at once. Let’s return marriage to its rightful place as a critical institution for safeguarding civilization.
No-fault divorce hurts our kids, and that hurts America.