Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Sacredness" of marriage

I know an LDS guy who is pushing 30 and is yet unmarried, a guy who recently brought a girl home for Christmas. Everyone wants this kid to marry the girl. As such, the two of them have been through a hazing. Initiation and all.

And you know, it's fun when someone you love is in a serious relationship. It's exciting.

That said, I have my thoughts about this particular guy, but I realize I could be wrong. Still. A single LDS man who hasn't (as far as I'm aware) gone on many dates and is pushing thirty...well. Flags raise.

Is that wrong? I've other hints I won't divulge here. Nothing huge, but hints.

Not that I'd care--but his family and friends and community sure as hell would.

So his family discussed his situation the other day. One declared he simply needs to "man up" and just ask the girl to marry him already. Everyone agreed. After all, he and his girlfriend are acting engaged. And they are. I guess. I suppose this is reason enough to put the ring on her finger already?

Who knows.

His father said his son has doubts, a lot of doubts. The kid knows what he needs to do, his dad said, but he's scared. It must be due to lovin' the single life, to freedom, to doing whatever he wants. Maybe it is. But maybe it's not quite that simple. After all, it's not as if he's out partying every night. He travels. He does charity work in South America. He's getting his master's degree. He works for the church. He has friends. You know?

But, his sister chimed, he loves children, and if he wants children he'd better do it now. After all, she has four children and she's only few months younger than he is. He'd better get to if he wants even one kid. If he waits too much longer, parenting will simply exhaust him. If he waits too much longer, kids will be out of the picture.

And forget children, they said. What of the marriage? All these people waiting to get married. Don't they know? The older you get the more set in your ways you become and therefore the less willing you are to compromise. "Man up" said that that's why you marry young, while you're still used to sharing with your brothers and sisters.

It's dangerous to wait until you know who you are before you marry someone because then you're an old dog who can't learn new tricks. In this situation, they reasoned, divorce is far more likely.

Nevermind that he wants to get married. Just maybe not to this girl. Maybe.

I bit my tongue throughout the conversation. So much was wrong.

If marriage is so sacred perhaps he ought to be completely certain he's ready for it. Maybe he ought to marry this girl because he wants to marry this girl. Maybe he ought to marry her because he loves her and wants to make a lifelong commitment--not simply to satisfy cultural, religious, and familial expectations.

After all, there will be kids to consider. The life of a girl he cares about. His own happiness.

His family has his best interests at heart. They want him to marry, to have children, to be happy. They think he's happy with her, that they're better when they're together. I have a feeling, though, that this girl could be any girl and his family would be foaming at the mouth for him to marry her.

Their rationale just sounded so selfish to me. The whole thing was striking given the sanctity of marriage schpeal I've heard so often over the last few years.

Some girl, any girl, JUST MARRY A GIRL.

You know?

I'm not about to say this family is completely wrong. They know him better than I do, but I have a different lens with which to view him. A lens not skewed by the church.

It just bothered me. So much for sanctity. After all, he's running outta time. For god's sake, soon enough he'll be part of the "Single Adult" group--*shiver*

Isn't that reason enough?



  1. Well, your last point -- being part of the Single Adult group at church is a scary thought.

    However, if he is a TBM who works for the church and isn't married yet -- yes, that's a red flag. Don't know what it means exactly. I mean it could mean he doesn't want the responsibility -- Mormons don't exactly make marriage look fun... But the pressure to tie the know is huge. I hope things work out for him!

  2. My dad once told me that he'd known too many of his friends who married the first girl they kissed after high school, and how that can lead to problems.

    It's odd that the church preaches "get married early and pop out kids" but the typical GA has married later and waits to have kids.

  3. There is so much about what this family was saying that just bugs me. I got married at 19, because that's what I was supposed to do... and it didn't really matter WHO I married... all that mattered was WHERE I got married.

    If marriage is the goal, then all that matters is getting someone to marry you...

  4. Gotta say, if being married meant being sealed for all eternity, I'd give it a TON of thought. Then I'd take up binge eating, or something.

  5. i AM 30 and single. i'm screwed.

    statistically, adults who get married older have a smaller divorce rate.

  6. Living a full, rich, rewarding life does not have to include marriage, except to the Mormons. And THAT should be what his relatives want for him. Not to be married to any girl that will have him.

  7. jen: yeah. nevermind how much i wanted to say how much i feel i've lost by getting married so SO young. 99% because i was supposed to, 1% because of pressure from friends marrying. I still would've married Eric, just later. And we would've waited a while longer to have kids, that's for sure.

    murr: that's what i'm saying!

    jess: i was GOING to say that (about the lower divorce rate), but it just didn't seem like a good time to be "that girl." i wonder if that's such a terrible thing, though. to be "that" girl.

    it wasn't the only thing i wanted to say. other things like "it's not the end of the world, y'all. he's doing just fine." because he is. aside from the immense pressure to get married.

    Also, my inclination is not so much that this particular person is...uhm, too weird for anyone to marry, but perhaps not batting for the hetero team.

  8. Well duh, Lisa. I kept waiting for SOMEBODY to pick up on that! So typical of a TBM family to at least act like they're not even considering the possibility that he should be searching for MR Wonderful, not Miss Right.

  9. rob: i was waiting, too!

    I think they've considered it (at least his mama has after a few hints had been dropped), but it was all with a nervous laugh and subsequent dismissal. years ago.

    there's no such thing as gay. you just ignore it and it'll go away. /stupid selfish fantasy

    i just hope that, if he is, he doesn't marry her. or any girl. and i ultimately hope that he drops the church and finds his happiness where it will be, not where someone says it "ought" to be.

  10. It's just so much "you must be x, y, and z in order to be happy." What a bunch of crap. He could be straight, and just not interested in marriage. Not everybody is!!! It's so cruel to force this very narrow definition of what is the right way to live on people.

  11. Why can't those family members BACK OFF and let the guy marry whom, when, and if he choses? This kind of pressure is unhealthy.