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Old 2nd April 2009, 10:39 PM   #1
Ageing Grace
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Redefine the marriage contract?

This is another artile from the Times, entitled "Love Lessons from Divorce". In it, Naomi Woolf says
Quote:
The divorced can teach us a few things about domestic bliss.
Her premise is that, after divorce, parents make conscientous & legally-binding agreements regarding childcare and finances - plus, both partners gain enough free time to invest in new romantic liaisons.

Woolf says that, if we made these legally-binding arrangements upon marriage, we wouldn't need so many divorces because everything's in place for a well-managed family, financial, and romantic life. I think she has a strong point! She further says that civil partnerships, for example gay marriages (in the UK), lacking a pre-existing legal structure, have to get these matters sorted out by contract prior to commitment and therefore have a better chance of survival than traditional marriage.

I'm quoting her final paragraphs. You can read the whole article here.
Quote:

Let’s also get the state out of the marriage union. In spite of the dress and the flowers, marriage is a business contract. Women, generally, don’t understand this, until it hits them over the head upon divorce. Let’s take a lead from our gay and lesbian friends, who, without state marriage, often create domestic partnerships with financial autonomy and unity spelt out. A heterosexual parallel: celebrate marriage with a religious or emotional ceremony — leave the state out of it — and create a business- or domestic-partner contract aligning the couple legally.


Finally: our absurd cultural assumption is that once you’re married, your spouse is supposed to accept you “as you are”, but when you are courting you are expected to be considerate, charming and seductive. If you’re married, I suggest you forget that, and treat your spouse as if he or she is that hot single person across the hall


AG
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:53 PM   #2
rppearso
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

some spouces are dilibertly baiting and switching and if they were held accountable for it (ie no child support or alimony) through a standard marriage contract you would see far less divorce. People dont just wake up one morning in a happy healthy marriage and say I want a divorce. The spouse that caused the divorce through a bait and switch should be left holding the bag (ie taking the kids with no support), after all the bait and switch spouse lured there partner in manipulitvly got pregnant under false pretences and now plays the "love your spouse card" and that is a no go and thats why we have so many problems. If peoples manipulation had consequences you would see a sharp decline in divorce. Prude women who want a kid can adopt them and raise them on there own instead of baiting some poor guy into it and then extorting him for 18 yrs because she stopped putting out and he cheated on her.
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Old 5th April 2009, 03:34 AM   #3
1aokgal
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Such a ridiculous viewpoint. So children should lack clothing or school money or not eat properly to "punish the wife" for not meeting a mans' sexual demands?

In your own situation you now make excuses as "she made me do it." As if you had no moral responsibility for cheating in the marriage. Just as a man will beat a woman and say,""She made me do it." That is such an abusive and immature way to see the situation.


Do you really think about what you say before you say it? So the children are to be used as pawns in some mating call of the wild? Such a primitive way to see the world. I love the "manipulatively got pregnant" part. The man gets a woman pregnant.....it is not an act done on ones' own. Too much!

Last edited by 1aokgal; 5th April 2009 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 5th April 2009, 04:10 AM   #4
rppearso
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Some (In my opinion a fair number) but I will say "some" for the sake of argument want a kid but are prudes and they realize that they need to have sex for this to happen they also know guys dont like prudes so they put on a show in the beginning so that they can get what they want and then once they have the man legally responsible for the kid they just go back to there prudish ways.

Like I said if a prudish woman wants a kid she can adopt the child and raise it on her own. If she actually wants to be a wife first and a mom second then she can get married and get pregnant.

The child should not lack clothes or food the woman should work to support the kid and put the kid in day care. Obviously it would have to be taken on a case by case basis, if the wife was giving her husband what he needed and he still cheated or abused her then he would be left holding the bag. I know that woman can play a passive aggressive role and make men do stuff.

I pose a question to you (you probably wont answer or will add modifyers to the question as to completely skirt around it but I will ask), what would you do if you put on an act for a man you were interested in to get him to marry you and so you could get pregnant then when you were done with the act (ie stopped giving BJ's or having sex everyday or whatever) he became depressed and completely withdrawn (he did not cheat on you or leave you though) and was not interested in being apart of your kids life or spending time with you (let say he still gave you a hug and/or a kiss when he got home and tried to make some kind of an effort but because the depression was so great it did not amount to much) but went to bed early and did not want to talk or engage in a meaningful way becasue he was so hurt and his life sucked and maybe he would go to counseling with you but nothing meaningful came out of it. and if you asked for a divorce he refused to sign the papers unless he would not have to pay child support. What would you do? How would you act? Would you want to live out that existance for the rest of your life because you chose to be manipulative in the beginning of the relationship? Bear in mind the question is not about if what he is doing is right or wrong because someone being in a state of mental depression is not sin. If you want to skirt around it or answer a question with a question please do not bother responding but if you can answer open and honestly I would love to hear your response.

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Originally Posted by 1aokgal View Post
Such a ridiculous viewpoint. So children should lack clothing or school money or not eat properly to "punish the wife" for not meeting a mans' sexual demands?

In your own situation you now make excuses as "she made me do it." As if you had no moral responsibility for cheating in the marriage. Just a a man will beat a woman and say<"She made me do it." That is such an abusive and immature way to see the situation.


Do you really think about what you say before you say it? So the children are to be used as pawns in some mating call of the wild? Such a primitive way to see the world. I love the "manipulatively got pregnant" part. The man gets a woman pregnant.....it is not an act done on ones' own. Too much!
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Old 5th April 2009, 06:48 AM   #5
1aokgal
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

This seems based on your own life. Why don't you ask a mental health counselor the "what if" questions?

You and I cannot converse.
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Old 5th April 2009, 02:36 PM   #6
clockwork orange
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Don't think anyone can converse with rp. But anyhow, back on topic. Not sure about "redefining" so much as carefully considering the implications and potential consequences before taking the step. There is a place for pre-marriage counselling, imho, where all areas of marriage can be discussed, and potential problems, blind-spots, areas of compromise (or not) etc can be tackled. If the big issues can't be resolved, then cancel the wedding.

I have cancelled a wedding - its a hard thing to do, but 20 years later we can still talk to each other and it was the best thing to do, for both of us. Marriage would not have succeeded in that case. I have also heard of others who decided to cancel after pre-marriage counselling, having decided that however "in love" they were, their relationship did not have what it takes to build a marriage.

Civil Partnerships are not exempt from these problems either - I did hear a report the other day that the separation rate is similar to that of married couples.
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Old 5th April 2009, 04:18 PM   #7
1aokgal
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Dear Clockwork..

What courage to cancel a marriage in the cold light of reality and not give in to social pressure as..what will people think? When people don't have the same goals and values then it is only a matter of time. In todays world, the other close look is how someone handles money. Do both have a realistic outlook on savings and working toward things?
The flashy car and lots of spending might mean that person has to have immediate gratification. That could be a bleak future of debts and problems.
Then there is the work ethic. Some just don't have it. How many jobs have they had and why did they leave? One should look into that. Sometimes in love, or in heat we don't look close enough. What kind of values do we share? Later on, it will all matter.
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Old 5th April 2009, 10:43 PM   #8
clockwork orange
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

1aokgal, you talk so much sense. The second time around for me was about 10 years later, and we did have pre-marriage counselling. Many of the points you mention were covered. That is not to say we didn't have problems down the line, or that our marriage is trouble free now. But we did have a framework to build on, similar values in life and so on. So often its the small things that were never mentioned up front that become the deal-breakers, but with a good base to work from even deal-breakers can be resolved.

I also think that a good support base within our value system is so important. For us, it was the times we were not in fellowship in a good church that things went badly wrong. Now, it is the first place we look for support when we need it. We all need a confidential shoulder to cry on sometimes, even our menfolk. But how often are we too proud to admit it?

PS - not sure it was courage so much as self-preservation!!!
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Old 6th April 2009, 01:17 AM   #9
1aokgal
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Clockwork...

Well spoken, my girl, you have a square head on your shoulders. Then one just needs some good luck and stable conditions to make the way in this difficult life. Glad you have the church connection.

I got all the great stuff with my man and it bogged down in the area I never would have expected. I still think after 29 years he is the best man I could have found. He does have significant problems that have altered and hurt the marriage.

His job has many positive points but one is neg, as he is never here. That is hard to overcome. You always make good sense.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 6th April 2009 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 6th April 2009, 02:52 AM   #10
rppearso
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

If a deal breaker can be resolved its becasue either it was not really a deal breaker to begin with or the other partner agreed to meet what ever deal was being broken (so to speak). Otherwise that statement does not makes sense.

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
1aokgal, you talk so much sense. The second time around for me was about 10 years later, and we did have pre-marriage counselling. Many of the points you mention were covered. That is not to say we didn't have problems down the line, or that our marriage is trouble free now. But we did have a framework to build on, similar values in life and so on. So often its the small things that were never mentioned up front that become the deal-breakers, but with a good base to work from even deal-breakers can be resolved.

I also think that a good support base within our value system is so important. For us, it was the times we were not in fellowship in a good church that things went badly wrong. Now, it is the first place we look for support when we need it. We all need a confidential shoulder to cry on sometimes, even our menfolk. But how often are we too proud to admit it?

PS - not sure it was courage so much as self-preservation!!!
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Old 7th April 2009, 05:09 PM   #11
clockwork orange
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

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Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
If a deal breaker can be resolved its becasue either it was not really a deal breaker to begin with or the other partner agreed to meet what ever deal was being broken (so to speak). Otherwise that statement does not makes sense.
You think? Try this one on for size then. I am what the world out there calls bisexual, probably more on the gay end of the spectrum. My husband did not know about this until I had an affair a couple of years ago. I can't change what I am any more than my husband can "meet the deal". So don't say the statement makes no sense - my marriage proves it does, but only by the grace of God. And no, I am not seeing anyone on the side, before you jump to that conclusion.
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Old 7th April 2009, 07:15 PM   #12
rppearso
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Then its not really a deal breaker and you have worked it out, either that or you are lying to yourself and its just a matter of time before you crack. Also a man can satisfy a woman in the same way another woman can, he may not have the same body type but he can perform the same sexual acts that another woman would so maybe thats what he is doing for you to meet that deal, I dont know.

Deal breaker = you need X and spouse refuses X, X is so important that you no longer want to be in the marriage because of the lack of fulfillment that X provides you.

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
You think? Try this one on for size then. I am what the world out there calls bisexual, probably more on the gay end of the spectrum. My husband did not know about this until I had an affair a couple of years ago. I can't change what I am any more than my husband can "meet the deal". So don't say the statement makes no sense - my marriage proves it does, but only by the grace of God. And no, I am not seeing anyone on the side, before you jump to that conclusion.
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Old 7th April 2009, 09:15 PM   #13
clockwork orange
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

1aokgal is right - we can't converse with you. You missed the "by the grace of God" bit. Don't accuse us of misinterpreting your comments when you clearly can't practise what you preach.
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Old 7th April 2009, 11:46 PM   #14
rppearso
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

I dident miss it, I agree that there are natural sexual desires and then there is being gay and bi (which im not gay or bi so I cant really attest to how stongly thoes desires might be). When you have established sexual deal breakers that are within a male/female sexual relationship and he/she is just being a prude then likely the relationship will fail especially if thoes expectations were made upfront.

I think you need to expain to me what is confusing about what I post?

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
1aokgal is right - we can't converse with you. You missed the "by the grace of God" bit. Don't accuse us of misinterpreting your comments when you clearly can't practise what you preach.
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Old 8th April 2009, 05:22 AM   #15
1aokgal
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Re: Redefine the marriage contract?

Dear Clockwork...

I am glad things are going better for you and that you have strong faith. You have been very honest with your situation. I appreciate your sharing this personal information and hope you find support and advice that helps. Your area of concern is also a problemfor my daughter and her SSA. It was a revelation to me and I met the other person last summer. Let us say I was a bit rocked and needed no explanation for I understood right away.

Yes, I am disappointed and upset about this. I do like this person who is hardworking and decent. I can also see the great attraction to someone in great shape, runs marathons, likes outdoor activities and who is a great pal. Both are in police work. It is for that reason I worry about safety concerns in such a macho environment.

Believe me when I say that I understand this is not temporary. So it remains for me to offer support and love regardless of my reservations.

Concerning RP here. I get it the poster enjoys talking about his sex life or non-sex life. Maybe part of the thrill is to go on a Christian forum for shock value? It all comes back to a rant about sex. It is a bit like a teen who just discovered his unit.
Since we are all adults we heard it before. I just don't like to hear it here. I say no style, no substance.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 8th April 2009 at 06:56 AM.
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