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"There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends."
Odyssey,9th c. B.C.
"Better to marry, than to burn"
"When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement that can be terminated, we will stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage cond."
-Pope Paul II
"It's better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."
"Let them bear children until they are dead of it; that is what they are for."
(A student recorded this saying by Martin Luther)
"Next to God's word there is no more precious treasure than holy matrimony. God's highest gift on earth is a pious, cheerful, God-fearing, home-keeping wife, with whom you may live peacefully, to whom you may entrust your goods, and body and life."
"From the day you marry you must have no will of your own. The subordination of your sex to ours is enforced by nature, by reason, and by revelation. Of course it must produce the most happiness to both parties. Mr. B. (the intended husband), if he is like others of his sex, will often require unreasonable sacrifices of your will to his. If this should be the case, still honor and obey him.....The happiest marriages I have known have been those when the subordination I have recommended has been most complete."
(Advice to a young woman by Dr. Benjamin Rush...18th century)
'marriage....signifies the chaining of two beings under pain of penal sanction, which implies that, short of this sanction, affection would not suffice to maintain the official family.
The cohesion of a family by force is the legal consecration of the right of reciprocal oppression."
-Praf-javal, Free Examination, 1903
"Dante's motto over Inferno applies with equal force to marriage: "ye who enter here leave all hope behind."
-Emma Goldman, marriage and Love, 1910
"rather Terribly Victorian or Asiatic, dedicated to a climate of affection and comfort..."
-Marriage according to Jacqueline Kennedy
"Love, the strongest and deepest element in all lives, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the deifier of all laws, of all conventions, love, the freest , the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force by synonymous with that poor little State and church-begotten weed, marriage?"
"Love has been in perpetual strife with monogamy."
'Marriage is.....a field of battle, and not a bed of roses."
-Robert Lewis Stevenson
"All marriages are happy. it's the living together afterwards that causes all the trouble.
:"To marry once is a duty, twice a folly, thrice is madness."
"Love hates people to be attached to each-other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is."
"Love is often the fruit of marriage."
"Charles Darwin had some qualms about marriage, so he wrote a list of the pros and cons. Len Fisher quotes it in Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life.
Among the pluses of marriage: "Object to be beloved and played with. Better than a dog anyhow; home, and someone to take care of house; charms of music and female chit-chat; and a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire and books and music perhaps."
As for unmarried life: "Conversation with clever men at clubs; not forced to visit relatives and bend in every trifle; (freedom from) anxiety and responsibility; and money for books.
Proposing-to his cousin Emma Wedgwood-won out. "My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one's whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all-No, no, won't do."
"One does not marry for oneself, whatever may be said; a man marries as much, or more for his posterity, for his family; the usage and interest of marriage touch our race beyond ourselves. Thus it is a kind of incest to employ, in this venerable and sacred parentage, the efforts and the extravagance of amorous license."
"I am faithful-to myself! I am bored to death by monogamy"
Carla Bruni (engaged to marry President Nicolas Sarkozy of France) New York Times Jan 8,2008
"Even concubinage has been corrupted-by marriage."
"Marriage is the highest mystery."
"A rare spoil for a man/Is the winning of a good wife; very/Plentiful are the worthless women."
Euripides (405 B.C.)
"I would give up all my genius, and all my books, if there were only some woman, somewhere, who cared whether or not I came home late for dinner."
"A faithful wife must serve….her lord as if he were a god, and never do ought to pain him, whatsoever be his state, and even though he is devoid of every virtue."
Manu Code (300 B.C.)
In the entire Bible, there is only one description of the wife-"
"That very name of wife and marriage
Is poison to the dearest sweets of love."
-John Dryden "Amphitryon"
"I wonder what Adam and Eve think of it by this time?"
"Okay, where did you hide it?"
"Where do you think?"
"Marriage should war incessantly with that monster that is the ruin of everything. This is the monster of habit."
-Honore De Balzac
"A great poet has seldom sung of lawfully wedded happiness, but often of free and secret love; and in this respect, too, the time is coming when there will no longer be one standard of morality for poetry, and another for life."
-Ellen Key *ed note: see Rhada & Krishna
"Marriage results from the free surrender by both sexes of their personality-a personality in every possible way unique in each of the parties."
"Whoever has a wife and children has given hostages to Mrs. Grundy."
-John Stuart Mill
"The sweetest woman can be turned into a shrew by a man if he excites her but does not fulfill her. To tame her and bring her back to sweetness he must make love to her and bring forth her pleasures, and she will change immediately as night changes to day....She will become a good wife, a good companion, a good mother, and a good human being."
-Haroun Al Makhzoumi 13th century Arab scholar/physician
"When we have an experience...on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time...Psychologists calls this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage."
Stumbling On Happiness
"What was it about marriage anyway? Even if you loved your husband there came that inevitable year when fucking him turned as bland as Velveeta cheese: filling, fattening even, but no thrill to the taste buds, no bittersweet edge."
"We marry for all the wrong treasons, and often we marry the wrong person as well.....We marry to grow up, to escape our parents and to inherit our share of the world, not knowing who we are and who we will become."
"I see no marriage fail sooner or more troubles than such as are concluded for beauty's sake, and huddled up for amorous desire."
"A married philosopher is a figure of comedy."
"There is no doubt about this: the promise of mutual exclusive and everlasting love is a promise that cannot be kept and should not be made. It cannot form a permanent basis of marriage....Yet, there has been a general conspiracy not merely to preserve that fiction but to put it at the front as the primary condition of marriage."
"Marriage is obscene in principle in so far as it transforms into rights and duties the mutual relations which should be founded on a spontaneous urge; it gives an instrumental and therefore degrading character to the two bodies in dooming them to know each other in their general aspect as bodies, not as persons. The husband is often chilled by the idea that he is doing a duty, and the wife is ashamed to find herself given to someone who is exercising a right over her."
-Simone De Beauvoir
"Even a marriage is not firmly assured until the woman has succeeded in making her husband into her child and in acting the part of a mother toward him."
"....marriage is a very alienating institution, for men as well as for women....It's a very dangerous institution-dangerous for men who find themselves trapped, saddled with a wife and children to support; dangerous for women, who aren't financially independent and end up depending on men who can throw them out when they are 40, and dangerous for children because their parents vent all their frustrations on them."
-Simone De Beauvoir New York Times Magazine June 2, 1974
"Our Florence Nightingale of the marriage-bed was Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1880-1959), whom God addressed personally in 1920 amid her years at Leatherhead. Her Married Love sold 1,000 copies a week. Its incidental suggestion, that the wife should clamp the husband in her legs during love, invoked the criticism of an Australian MP: 'Let us in the name of true, normal manhood and womanhood, and indeed in the name of the British Empire, endeavour to keep the imagination down at all costs."
The Alarming History of Medicine
"We made love all day
In our little hideaway
But I blew up our love nest
By making one little request
-Ms. Crow "Diamond Ring" lyrics
"He that takes a wife takes Care."
"Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings....and lawyers."
"A single man has not nearly the value he would have in a state of union. he is an incomplete animal. he resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors."
"How much of my true self I camouflage and choke in order to commend myself to him, denying the fullness of me. How I've toned myself down, diluted myself to maintain his approval."
"Marriage is much more necessary to a man than to a woman; for he is much less able to supply himself with domestic comforts."
"The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married."
"So that ends my first experience of matrimony, which I always thought a highly over-rated performance."
"There are but two objects in marriage, love or money. If you marry for love, you will certainly have some very happy days, and probably many uneasy ones; if you marry for money, you will have no happy days and probably no uneasy ones."
"Marriages, at least in the beginning, take three people. The third provides the glue."
"Every marriage tends to consist of an aristocrat and a peasant. Of a teacher and a learner."
"Marriage is based on the theory that when a man discovers a brand of beer exactly to this taste he should at once throw up his job and go to work in the brewery."
-George Jean Nathan (1882-1958)
"Marriage is incumbent on all who possess the ability."
Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed 297)
"Never marry but for love, but see that thou lovest what is lovely....It is the difference betwixt lust and love that this is fixed, that volatile. Love grows, lust wastes by enjoyment; and the reason is that one springs from a union of souls, and the other from a union of sense...."
"People insist on confusing marriage and love on the one hand and love and happiness on the other. But they have nothing in common. That is why, the absence of love being more frequent than love, there are happy marriages."
"Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one your are married to."
"Marriage is a step so grave and decisive that it attracts light-headed variable men by its very awfulness."
Robert L. Stevenson
"I, with a deeper instinct choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
"Matrimony is the union of meanness and martyrdom"
-Karl Kraus (1874-1936)
"Honesty has ruined more marriage than infidelity."
-Charles McGabe (191501983)
"The best part about married life is the fights. The rest is merely so-so."
"Yes, marriage is hateful, detestable. A kind of ineffable, sickening disgust seizes my mind when I think of this most despotic, most unrequited fetter which prejudice has forged to confine with its energies."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley
"There is no subject more productive of comic relief than politicians discussing morality. at the moment they are all prodigiously excited about whether to preserve the mysterious Clause 28, a law which prevents local authorities from allowing their schools to tell children that homosexual relationships are as good as marriage. As always, politicians are extolling the virtues of 'family life," which can be a bed of delights or, as readers of Greek drama, Shakespeare, the Bible and the News of the World well know, a fruitful seed-bed for murder, incest, sadistic cruelty and pathetic marital deceit. Which is more moral, a marriage in which the drunken father beats the wife and sexually assaults the children, or the loving home and long relationship of a gay couple living with two longhaired terriers in Guildford?"
-John Mortimer The Summer of a Dormouse
"What do you think of gay marriage?"
Gore Vidal: "Since heterosexual marriage is such a disaster, why on earth would anybody want to imitate it?"
Time Magazine Nov 20,2006
"What a rare find is a capable wife!
Her worth is far beyond that of rubies.
Her husband puts his confidence in her.
And lacks no good thing.
She is good to him, never bad.
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax,
And sets her hand to them with a will
She is like a merchant fleet
Bringing her food from afar
She rises while it is still night.
And supplies provisions for her household.
The daily fare of her maids.
She sets her mind on an estate and
Acquires it; She plants a vineyard by her own labors.
She girds herself with strength
And performs her tasks with vigor
"There is indeed no more beautiful symbol than a wife."
"He is the most perfect Muslim whose disposition is best; and the best of you are they who behave best to their wives."
Muhammed (Sayings of Muhammed)
Sayings of Muhammed by Allama Sir Abdullah Al-Mamun Al-Suhrawardy
"What man could stand a perfect wife?"
"There are some men in the world who behave with the greatest complaisance, civility and good nature to all ladies whatsoever; except one."
"Marriage could be the greatest success in the sociological history of humanity if the man would or could play fair. But, I believe any woman with independent instincts, with the dream of making her individual personality count for something in the world, might just as well shun marriage."
"Marriage today is in no way viewed as an equal partnership, intended for the equal advantage and happiness of both parties. Nearly every man feels that his wife is his property, whose first duty, under all circumstances is to gratify his passions, without the least reference to her own health and happiness, or the welfare of their offspring: and so enfeebled is woman's judgment and moral sense from long abuse that she believes so too and quotes from the Bible to prove her own degradation."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"To put it another way, we were classically in love, holding the classic beliefs: Everything is possible between us, we can authentically care for each other through not just the coming days but, should we live long enough-and surely we will, so marvelously bolstered are our immune systems-through the numerous busy decades to come. We are one in true understanding. These brief days and nights of being given-at last, at last-everything we need, and some things we didn't know we needed, have left us fully stocked with reserves of loving-kindness, such that we-well, everybody can tell the story. It's in no way denigrating to admit what we all know: This time comes and then it goes."
The Dangerous Husband
"I can’t think of anything more boring than to be married to a nice complacent husband."
Dame Sybil Thorndike
"Women, deceived by men, want to marry them; it is a kind of revenge as good as any other."
Philippe De Remi (1246)
"The particular charm of marriage is the duologue, the permanent conversation between two people who talk over everything and everyone till death breaks the record. It is this back-chat which, in the long run, makes a reciprocal equality more intoxicating than any forms of servitude or domination."
The Unquiet Grave
Amer-Indian Marriage (Utes)
"A boy was considered a man and ready for marriage when he was able to provide meat. His first big game kill would be given away after he was rubbed with the blood of the animal. Deer blood would make him fleet of foot, the coyote's blood would make him shrewd and hard to deceive, while the mountain lion's blood would help him to be strong and able to follow tracks. This ceremonial bath of blood was followed by a great deal of advice concerning marriage and life. He was told to be good, to never quarrel, and that partners in marriage should do things for each other. He should never let the sun catch him in bed. The old men would say, "If you're going to be lazy, you won't be worthy." A poor hunter or horse raider might have difficulty in obtaining a suitable wife."
Utes: The Mountain People
"Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences."
"Marriage is a good deal like a circus: there is not as much in it as is represented in the advertising."
Edgar Watson Howe (Country Town Sayings, 1911)
"But conjugal love is tricky, and most people leave this world with an unsatisfied heart."
"Relationship is surely the mirror in which you discover yourself."
"….it runs in the blood of a man that he should care for womenfolk. It’s a need in him, deep as motherhood to a woman, and it’s a thing folks are likely to forget….If he’s to feel of any purpose to himself, he’s got to feel he’s needed, feel he stands between somebody and trouble."
"It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilized society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together."
"A bad marriage is like an electrical thrilling machine: it makes you dance, but you can't let go."
Collected Works, 1911
"Even the deepest love doesn't stop a marriage from being a constant struggle for control."
Love & Marriage
"If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it."
"Marriage cannot be a job as it has become."
Germaine Greer The Female Eunuch
"Is this what marriage is? Discoveries and discoveries, changes and changes, until everything you had is gone?"
The Dangerous Husband
"The comfortable estate of widowhood is the only hope that keeps up a wife’s spirits."
Francis Galton (1822-1911)
"A husband is what is left of the lover after the nerve has been extracted."
"Marriage is the triumph of habit over hate."
"No slave is a slave to the same lengths, and in so full a sense of the word, as a wife is."
John Stuart Mill
The Subjugation of women
"Often the difference between a successful marriage and a mediocre one consists of leaving about three or four things a day unsaid."
"When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity."
The Power of Myth
"All advanced Spiritualists-though few have the courage to confess it-repudiate marriage in its legal sense, and believe in the doctrine of affinities.-"
(The Founder of the Free Love Society, a Spiritualist, in a letter to the New York World 1856)
All bonds without friendship are shackles and their is no virtue in their maintenance . "
In the long run, the 'minor' virtues are the only ones that matter. Politeness is more reliable than the moist virtues of compassion, charity, and Sincerity; just as fair play is more important than the abstraction of justice. The major virtues tend to disintegrate under the pressures of convenient rationalization...,"
"Marriage may be compared to a cage the birds outside despair to get in and those within despair to get out."
"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
Table Talk (1569) (ex-monk & ex-nun)
"Marriage is to politics what the lever is to engineering. The state is not founded upon single individuals but upon couples and groups."
"War is no strife
To the dark house and the detested wife."
"Marriage: A legal or religious ceremony by which two persons of the opposite sex solemnly agree to harass and spy on each other for ninety-nine years, or until death do them join."
The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams (1923)
"Lastly we recommend every young married man, who wishes to render his home happy, to consider his wife as the light of his domestic circle, and to permit no clouds, however small, To obscure the region in which she presides. Most women are naturally amiable, gentle and complying; and if a wife becomes perverse and indifferent to her home, it is generally her husband’s fault. He may have neglected her happiness; but nevertheless it is unwise in her to retort, and, instead of faithfully reflecting the brightness that still may shine upon her, to give back the dusky and cheerless hue which saddens her existence."
Decorum a practical treatise on Etiquette and dress 1877
"A young man asked me: ‘What in your opinion is the ideal husband?’ I cast about hastily in my mind and then replied; ‘Why-no husband at all."
Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948)
"The worst trial I had to endure, was having a husband continually on my hands."
"It is ridiculous to think you can spend your entire life with just one person. Three is about the right number."
Claire Boothe Luce
"The American girl makes a servant of her husband and then finds him contemptible for being a servant."
Steinbeck a life in letters
"Some cunning men choose fools for their wives, thinking to manage them, but they always fail."
"Marriage was all a woman's idea, and for man's acceptance of the pretty yoke it becomes us to be grateful."
The Province of the Heart, 1959
"NEVER consent to have the day of your wedding fixed until you
have good evidence that you are to have a furnished Home of your
own to go to. "
(advice taken from "Happy Homes & How to Make them "
a Victorian self-help book)
"The idea of a woman even consenting to be a wife, and yet being aware that she is entirely incompetent (as so many are) to cook a potato, or make a shirt! It may be fairly said that half the food consumed by the working classes is more or less spoiled in the cooking; and in addition, a large and extravagant proportion is wasted. "
"True education should prepare a young woman for her peculiar duties as the companion of man and the nursing mother of the rising generation; she would then be a real treasure, instead of being, as is too often the case, a burden and a snare. " "If you get tied to a woman whose propensity is to buy "great bargains" , whether she wants them or not, you will soon find that you have an outlet for your money which will require a large reserve to supply. Don't therefore, be led astray by any "pretty foot," duck of a bonnet" , or the "latest fashion' in dress, for these are often only advertisements of an empty mind. "
(advice from J.W. Kirtons "Happy Homes & How to make them"
Victorian advice to young women seeking husbands)
"Girls, beware of transient young men. Never suffer the addresses of a stranger." Recollect that one good farmer' s boy, or industrious mechanic, is worth all the floating fops in the world. The allurements of a dandy jack, with a gold chain round his neck, a walking stick in his paw, a three penny cigar in his mouth, or some honest tailor' s coat on his back, and a brainless, though fancy skull, never can make up the loss of a good father's home, and a good mother ' s counsel , and the society of brothers and sisters: their affections last, while that of such a young man is lost in the wane of the honeymoon. "
(for young men-the following advice)
"Should you select a 'vixen' , don't wonder if your friends sometimes say, "I wonder whatever induced him to pick her up! "
(for young women)
"Listen to no word of love from a man who swears, gambles, breaks the Sabbath, tipples, or associates with bad companions. "
"They that enter into a state of marriage cast a die of the greatest contingency, and yet of the greatest interest in the world, next to the last throw of eternity. Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. A woman, indeed , ventures most , for she hath no sanctuary to retire from an evil husband; she must dwell in her sorrow, and hatch the eggs which her own folly or infelicity hath produced; and she is more under it, because her tormentor hath a warrant of prerogative, and the woman may complain to God, as subjects do of tyrant princes, but otherwise she hath no appeal in the causes of unkindness. though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it again; and when he sits among his neighbors, he remembers the objection that lies in his bosom, and he sighs deeply."
(celebrated Victorian Sermon "Marriage Ring)
"I have not changed my mind , I am not reconciled to society, and marriage, to my way of thinking, is one of the most barbarous institutions it has engendered. I have no doubt that it will be abolished if the human species makes some progress toward justice and reason; a more human and no less sacred link will replace it, assuring the existence of children who will be born of a man and a woman without forever shackling the freedom of one and the other. "
"The way they shut their doors, these married people, and shut themselves into their own exclusive alliance with each Other, even in love, disgusted him, It was a whole community of mistrustful couples insulated in private houses or private rooms, always in couples, and no further life, no further immediate, no disinterested relationship admitted a Kaleidoscope of couples, disjoined, separatist, meaningless entities of married couples."
Women In Love
"When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, exhausting state until death do them part."
"Marriage is the hell of false expectations, where both partners, expecting to be loved, defined and supported, abdicate responsibility for themselves and accuse the other of taking away freedom."
Marriage Is Hell
"Union is only possible to those who are units. to be fit For relations in time, souls, whether of man or woman, must be able to do without them in the spirits."
"How do I hate those words "an excellent marriage." In them is contained more of wicked worldliness than any other words one ever hears spoken."
"Marriage is for those who have given up the struggle."
"We study ourselves three weeks, we love each other three months, we squabble three years, we tolerate each other thirty years, and then the children start all over again."
"Trouble is, no woman in her right mind would marry a fool, and I’m certainly one."
"A lot you know about women!" she scoffed. "Did you ever see a fool who didn’t have a wife?"
Come to that, I hadn’t ."
"The trouble with many married people is that they are trying to get more out of marriage than there is in it."
"There is no character in the comedy of human life more difficult to play well than that of an old bachelor."
"Marriage: the conventional ending of a love affair. A lonesome state."
Oliver Herford and John C. Clay
Cupid's Encyclopedia (1910)
"There is nothing worse than solitude, growing old without a shoulder to lean on. Marry, marry-even if he's fat and boring!"
"The more you reveal your feelings and your trust in leaving your husband free , the more devoted he will be. All happiness in marriage consists of trust and constant kindness. Foolish love is soon past, but you must respect each other, and whenever possible be useful to each other. Each must prove the others true friend, in order to be able to bear the misfortunes of life and to establish the welfare of the House...All marriages would be happy if only one would conduct oneself like that . "
(Empress Maria Theresa's advice to her daughter)
"In the West, a man has legally one wife, but through his promiscuity his so-called "romantic adventures, he really has as many as an African Chieftain; and today, women are little better."
-Ponder on This
"After a few years of marriage a man and his wife are apt to be, if nothing else, at least the sort of enemies who respect each other."
"Don't marry for money, go where the money is, then marry for love."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
"A man and a woman marry because both of them don't know what to do with themselves."
"Is there life after marriage? The answer is no. The constant proximity of another person will cramp your style in the end: unless that person is somebody you love, and then the burden will become unendurable at once."
"Marriage must incessantly contend with a monster that devours everything: familiarity."
Honore De Balzac
The Physiology of Marriage 1828
"One of the great reasons why so many husbands and wives make (a) shipwreck of their lives together is because a man is always seeking happiness, while a woman is on a perpetual still hunt for trouble."
"The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged throughout eternity."
"And if a husband and wife love each other , it ' s no ones business what goes on between them. And whatever quarrels they may have , they mustn’t ' t allow even their own mothers to judge between them and must never talk about one another . They ' re their own judges . Love is a divine mystery , and must be hidden from the eyes of the world, as must whatever takes place between lovers. They have respect for each other, and marriage based on that respect. And since love existed once, since they married out of love , why should love die?"
Notes from the Underground
"Marriage is a very alienating institution, for men as well as women; it's a very dangerous situation-dangerous for men, who find themselves saddled with wife and children to support; dangerous for women, who aren't financially independent of men who can throw them out when they're forty; and very dangerous for children, because their parents vent all their frustrations and mutual hatred on them. The very words "conjugal rights" are dreadful. Any institution which solders one person to another, obliging people to sleep together who no longer want to, is a bad one."
Simone De Beavoir (New York Times Mag ,June 2, 1974)
"He didn't say, Why had I gone. He didn't say, When would I return. He didn't ask anything about my plans, or tell me anything about his. Instead, when at last He spoke, Dennis said, "I'd be curious to know what you think marriage is. If the word 'marriage' has any meaning for you.?"
What an excellent question! It was elegant-succinct, dignified, painful, and utterly shaming-a beautiful response.
On the highway trucks blew past. I stood in a hot wind, clutching the receiver, trying , against daunting odds, to compose the felicitous answer his query deserved. Nothing would do. Not the intimidated child's "I don't know." Not the political campaigner's "I'm glad you asked." Not the overextended adulterer's "Please don't question me now. " After a long, potentially fertile, but finally unproductive silence, I said, "I think when you and I got married we felt we really loved each other."
And canny Dennis said, "I ain't talking about love."
Jane Shapiro The Dangerous Husband
"The order of the Kingdom is centered on the marriage bed of the King and Queen, and that bed is rooted in the earth. "
The Unsettling of America
"Maybe the bride-bed brings despair,
For each an imagined image brings
and finds a real image there;
Yet the world ends where these two things ,
Though severed , are a single light. . . "
William Butler Yeats
"Tailtean marriage-Celtic trial marriages lasting a year and a day-could only be dissolved at the place where the wedding was celebrated. The man and woman stood back to back and walked apart. "
"Americans , unlike many other nationalities , have never accepted the idea that a man should have a wife to bear his children and a mistress to provide romance. Even in the relatively new concept of couples living together without marriage , the emphasis has been on mutual emotional support. Americans want love to work. They are more committed to the ideal than any other people in history. "
"A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude."
Rainer Maria Rilke
"When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest-never vicious and cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership."
"The fundamental trouble with marriage is that it shakes a man's confidence in himself, and so greatly diminishes his general competence and effectiveness. His habit of mind becomes that of a commander who has lost a decisive and calamitous battle. He never quite trusts himself thereafter."
Prejudices: Second Series, 1920
"It has been discovered experimentally that you can draw laughter from an audience anywhere in the world, of any class or race, simply by walking onto a stage and uttering the words "I am a married man."
"A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing."
"More superstitions pertain to marriage than to any other occasion in life."
Ethel L. Urlin
A Short History of Marriage
" 80% of the couples I know who have built a house or a boat, they build it, then they split up. Happened to me too. "
Stuart Brand (Whole Earth Catalogue)
"No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not." .
H. L . Mencken
"The most shining moment of my life naturally has to do with love. It is the one in which your eyes Meet those of the woman you love and you guess she loves you too. . . "
"If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry."
A. Chekhov .
"The bonds of marriage are light and reasonable compared to the wilder and darker contracts with lawless love. "
G. K. Chesterton
"If the entire universe persuaded me to reconcile with the defendant, I would not."
Nelson Mandela (In divorce court with Winnie)
"JOHANNESBURG-South Africa....March 2010
"Look what they make him do. The great Mandela. He has no control or say anymore. They put that huge statue of him right in the middle of the most affluent white area of Johannesburg. Not here where we spilled our blood and where it all started. Mandela is now a corporate foundation. he is wheeled out globally to collect the money, and he is content doing that. The A.N.C. have effectively sidelined him, but they keep him as a figurehead for the sake of appearance."
"The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots."
Dame Rebecca West
"Man and woman are two locked caskets, of which each contains the key to the other."
"It is so many years now since Adam and Eve were first together in the garden, that it seems a great pity that we have not learned better how to please one another…..I wish that once, in all the time of men and women, two ambassadors could meet in a friendly mind and come to understand each other."
"The 'great' commitment is so much easier than the ordinary everyday one--and can all too easily shut our hearts to the latter. A willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice can be associated with, and even produce, a great hardness of heart."
"I would rather be a beggar and single, than a Queen and married…..I should call the wedding ring the Yoke ring."
Queen Elizabeth I
"I don’t think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they are doing the same thing."
Prince Philip (husband of Elizabeth II)
Quoted in Daily Mail, London 7,Dec 1988
"When I think of a merry, happy, free young girl-and look at the ailing, aching state a young wife generally is doomed to-which you can’t deny is the penalty of marriage."
Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
"London is full of women who trust their husbands. One can always recognize them. They look so unhappy."
Lady Windermere’s Fan
"In that second it dawned on me that I had been living here for eight years with a strange man and had borne him three children."
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1901)
A doll’s House
"A new kind of woman with deep-rooted values is changing the way we live, market researchers call it "neo-traditionalism." To us it’s a woman who has found her identity in herself, her home, her family….She is part of an extraordinary social movement that is profoundly changing the way Americans look at living-and the way products are marketed. The home is again the center of American life, oatmeal is back on the breakfast table, families are vacationing together, watching movies at home, playing Monopoly again. Even the perfume ads are suddenly glorifying commitment."
(Advertisement for Good Housekeeping…NYT 17 Nov 1988)
"Marriage is part of a sort of 50s revival package that’s back in vogue along with neckties and naked ambition."
A study of 853 human societies turned up this: the practice where each man has only one wife is normal in only 16%….
"Now, sisters, list to what I say; with trials this world is rife. You can't expect to miss them all; help husband get a wife! Now this advice I freely give, if exalted you will be, Remember that your husband must, be blessed with more than thee. Chorus: Then, oh, let us say, God bless the wife that strives, and aids her husband all she can to obtain a dozen wives."
(a pioneer song for Utah pioneer women)
"A man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality looks fresh, young and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man."
Heber C. Kimball (early pioneer elder of 'Church of Latter Day Saints)
"I am now almost daily sealing young girls to men of age and experience. Love your duties, sisters. Are you sealed to a good man? Yes, to a man of God. It is for you to bear fruit and bring forth, to the praise of God, the spirits that are born in yonder heavens and are to take tabernacles (i.e. bodies) on the earth. You have the privilege of forming tabernacles for those spirits, instead of their being brought into this wicked world that God may have a royal Priesthood, a royal people, on the earth. That is what plurality of wives is for, and not to gratify lustful desires. Sisters, do you wish to make yourselves happy? Then what is your duty? It is for you to bear children.....are you tormenting yourselves by thinking that your husbands do not love you? I would not care whether they loved a particle or not; but I would cry out, like one of old, in the joy of my heart, 'I have got a man from the Lord!" Hallelujah! I am a mother-I have borne, an image of God!"
(FROM a speech given by Elizabeth Joseph at a meeting of the Utah chapter of the NOW…She is an attorney and a journalist. living in big Water, Utah)
"I’ve often said that if polygamy didn’t exist, the modern American career woman would have invented it. Because, despite its reputation, polygamy is the one lifestyle that offers an independent woman a real chance to "have it all."
One of my heroes is Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, a physician and a plural wife who in 1896 became the first woman legislator in any U.S. state or territory. Dr. Cannon once said "You show me a woman who thinks about something besides cook stoves and washtubs and baby flannels, and I will show you nine times out of ten a successful mother." With all due respect, Gloria Steinem has nothing on Dr. Cannon.
As a journalist, I work many unpredictable hours in a fast-paced environment. The news determines my schedule. But am I calling home, asking my husband to please pick up the kids and pop something in the microwave and get them to bed on time just in case I’m really late? Because of my plural marriage arrangement, I don’t have to worry. I know that when I have to work late my daughter will be at home surrounded by loving adults with whom she is comfortable and who know her schedule without my telling them. My eight-year-old has never seen the inside of a day-care center, and my husband has never eaten a TV dinner. And I know that when I get home from work, if I’m dog-tired and stressed-out, I can be alone and guilt-free. It’s a rare day when all eight of my husband’s wives are tired and stressed at the same time.
It’s helpful to think of polygamy in terms of a free-market approach to marriage. Why shouldn’t you or your daughters have the opportunity to marry the best man available, regardless of his marital status?
I married the best man I ever met. The fact that he already had five wives did not prevent me from doing that. For twenty-three years I have observed how Alex’s marriage to Margaret, Bo, Joanna, Diana, Leslie , Dawn, and Delinda has enhanced his marriage to me. The guy has hundreds of years of marital experience; as a result, he is a very skilled husband.
It’s no mystery to me why Alex loves his other wives. I’d worry about him if he didn’t, I did worry in the case of Delinda, whom I hired as my secretary when I was practicing law in Salt Lake City, Alex was in and out of my office a lot over the course of several months, and he never said a word about her. Finally, late one night on our way home from work, I said, "Why haven’t you said anything about Delinda?"
He said, "Why should I?"
I said, "She’s smart, she’s beautiful. What, have you gone stupid on me?"
They were married a few months later.
Polygamy is an empowering lifestyle for women. It provides me the environment and opportunity to maximize my female potential without all the tradeoffs and compromises that attend monogamy. The women in my family are friends. You don’t share two decades of experience, and a man, without those friendships becoming very special….".
"I have already stated that man is polygamous by nature, and polygamy is therefore the prevailing type of sexual relationship throughout the world. It is the legally recognized relationship of the sexes among more than two-thirds of the inhabitants of the earth, and is practiced in some form or other by all nations on the globe. A strictly monogamic people does not exist, and strict monogamy in the individual man is as uncommon as strict celibacy, even among us."
O.A. Wall M.D.
Sex and Sex Worship
"Even in civilized mankind faint traces of monogamic instinct can sometimes be perceived."
"It is very interesting to remember that when the modern bride goes to the altar in her white dress, and crowned with orange-blossoms, when she has a ring placed on her finger and afterwards eats the wedding cake, she is actually repeating the customs of her ancestress tresses in times when Europe itself was unknown.
Ethel L. Ulin
A Short History of Marriage
"Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory."
"Men and women should marry one another to live together in the joys of the body as well as in the communion of souls; but the spiritual element in the relationship of the sexes should be paramount for it implies companionship and elevation of the woman while the predominance of the sensual element in love involves the subjection, degradation and prostitution of the woman, even in wedlock. This even more appreciated among some of the so-called savage nations than among ourselves, for among the Iroquois and Hurons young couples were obliged to live together without sexual intercourse for one year after Marriage, to prove that higher motives than the gratification of sensual pleasure had brought them together."
O.A. Wall M.D.
Sex and Sex Worship 1920
"I married that I might live and go to the Ball, the Opera, the Promenade, and the Play."
Mmde d’ Houdetot
"Quinsommas, what is it you have against marriage?
"What I have….is this: in an age when the family is tending towards self-destruction, when private interests impels each of its members into divergent paths, when the need to get rich at all costs destroys the hearts sentiments, marriage seems to be a heroic futility…."
Jules Verne 1863
Paris in the 20th Century
"In Marriage a man becomes slack and selfish and under goes a fatty degeneration of the spirit."
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
"….We can’t overlook the fact that our society’s past efforts to fuse those historically odd bedfellows-passionate love and marriage-have failed miserably."
"…Love in marriage cannot live nor subsist unless it be mutual; and where love cannot be , there can be left of wedlock nothing but the empty husk of an outside matrimony, as undelightful and unpleasing to God as any other kind of hypocrisy."
"Top keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule; Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other war and far enough apart-about a finger’s breadth-for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule."
Marnie Reed Crowel
Marriage: A word that should be pronounced "mirage".
"Look at the typical American family scene: Man walking around farting! Woman walking around scratching. Kids going around hollering, hey man, fuck that."
"When a girl marries she exchanges the attention of many men for the inattention of one."
"Whenever you want to marry someone, go have lunch with his ex-wife."
"God, for two people to be able to live together for the rest of their lives is almost unnatural."
"Many a marriage hardly differs from prostitution , except being harder to escape from."
"Marriage cannot cause happiness. Instead it is always torture, which man has to pay for satisfying his sex urge."
I believe woman is enslaved….by sex conventions, by motherhood and its present necessary childbearing, by wage-slavery, by middle-class morality"
"A man’s wife has more power over him than the state has."
"….great for taxes, necessary for children, but abominable for romance."
"A man is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished."
Zsa Zsa Gabor
"Men are irrelevant. Women are happy or unhappy, fulfilled or unfulfilled, and it has nothing to do with men."
"When you’re a married man you’ll understand a good many things you don’t understand now; but whether it’s worth goin’ through so much to learn so little I don’t know."
"Marriage is slavery….Human personality must develop quite freely. Marriage impedes this development; even more than that, it often drives one to "moral crimes", not only because forbidden fruit is sweet, but because the new love, which could be perfectly legitimate , becomes a crime."
Nelly Ptashkina (1903-1928)
"But the one thing that is bow-legged
and can't put its feet together
is the rainbow.
Because one foot is the heart of a man
and the other is the heart of a woman.
And these two, as you know,
Save they leap
oh hearts, leap high!
-they touch in mid-heaven like an acrobat
and make a rainbow.
-D.H. Lawrence (from a poem "The Rainbow")
"Charms of music & female chitchat, good for one’s health; but forced to visit and receive relations, terrible loss of time."
Charles Darwin (1839)
"So they were married-to be the more together-
And found they were never again so much together,
Divided by the morning tea
By the evening paper,
By children and tradesmen’s bills."
"Among Majorcan peasants who live beyond the tourist range, no man would ever think of buying or selling so much as a hen without his wife’s approval."
"I submit to my fellow dramatists that the unfaithfulness of a wife is no longer a subject for drama, but only for comedy."
W. Somerset Maugham
"By all means marry; if you get a good wife you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher."
"I’ve been reading a lot lately about Indian captives. One woman who had been captured by the Indians and made a squaw was resentful when she was rescued because she’d found that there was a lot more work to do as the wife of a white man."
Stephen Vicnent Benet
"The chief reason why marriage is rarely a success is that it is contacted while the partners are insane."
Dr. Joseph Collins
"In a bad marriage, friends are the invisible glue. If we have enough friends, we may go on for years, intending to leave, talking about leaving-instead of actually getting up and leaving."
"You don't think one needs the 'experience' of having been married?" she asked. "Do you think it need be an experience?" replied Ursula. "Bound to be, in some way or other, " said Gudrun, coolly. "Possibly undesirable, but bound to be an experience of some sort." "Not really," said Ursula. "More likely to be the end of experience."
Women in Love
"It takes a long time to be really married. One marries many times at many levels within a marriage. If you have more marriages than you have divorces within the marriage, you're lucky and you stick it out."
"Nothing in life is as good as the marriage of true minds between man and woman. As good? it is life itself."
"Two pure souls fused into one by an impassioned love-friends, counselors-a mutual support and inspiration to each other amid life's struggles, must know the highest human happiness;-this is marriage; and this is the only corner-stone of an enduring home."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"Search as I may for the remedies to sore injustice, endless misery, and the incurable passions which trouble the union of the sexes, I can see no remedy but the power of breaking and reforming the marriage bond."
"Marriage is the ultimate goal of love. When love ceases, or is absent from the beginning, all that remains is sacrifice.. .All very well for those who understand sacrifice...there is probably no middle way between the strength of the great-hearted, and the convenient negative attitude in which the poor-spirited find refuge-or, rather, there is a middle way, and its name is despair,"
"One must love, say I, with all of one's self-or live a life of utter chastity."
"Where love is absent there can be no woman."
"I have no wish for a second husband. I had enough of the first, I like to have my own way-to lie down mistress, and get up master."
"Women want mediocre men, and men are working hard to become as mediocre as possible."
"A certain sort of talent is indispensable for people who would spend years together and not bore themselves to death."
Robert Louis Stevenson
"More marriages have been ruined by irritating habits than by un-faithfulness."
"I don’t think it would be a bad idea if we dissolved the whole idea of marriage. I think possibly we’d end up doing the same things we’re doing now anyway."
"I think ten mistresses are better than one wife. Since I’m a good husband, I can only dream."
"Marriage is the waste-paper basket of the emotions."
"It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness."
"Man is lyrical, woman epic, marriage dramatic."
"The rare occurrence of genius with domestic comfort is perfectly awful. Take Dante, the exile, who left his wife never wishing to see her more; take Tasso, wifeless; Petrarch, wifeless; Ariosto, wifeless; Milton, thrice married, but only once with much comfort; Dryden, wedded like Addison, to a title and discord; Young lives alone till past fifty; Swift's marriage is no marriage; Sterne ' s , Churchill ' s , Byron' s , Coleridge ' s , marriages broken and unhappy. Johnson had a wife loved , and lost her. It is almost enough to make women tremble at the idea of allying themselves with genius, or giving birth to it. Take the philosophers-Bacon, like his famous legal adversary, Coke, seems to have enjoyed little domestic comfort, and speaks , for, as he says, 'certain grave reasons,' disapprovingly of his partner. Our metaphysicians-Hobbes , Locke , Bentham, Butler-are as solitary as Spinoza and Kant. The celibate philosopher Hume conducts us to the other great bachelor historian-Gibbon and Macaulay; as Bishop Butler does to some of the princes of, English divinity-Hooker cajoled into marrying a shrew, Chillingworth unmarried, Hammond unmarried, Leighton unmarried, Barrow also single, I only take foremost men; the list might be swelled with monarchs and generals in marriage. "
Lacon in Council
Sterne complains that the presence of his wife stops the flow of his ideas, and finds inspiration in the society of another man' s wife. "
"Everybody marries a stranger."
"Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something your said; after marriage, he’ll fall asleep before you finish saying it."
Helen Rowland (1876)
"If we take matrimony at its lowest, we regard it as a sort of friendship recognized by the police."
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
"Even if so inclined, an artist has no business to marry."
Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908)
"The capacity of women to make unsuitable marriages must be considered as the cornerstone of society."
"I have thought that men and women should never come together except in bed. There is the only place where their natural hatred for each other is not so apparent."
"Always trust your instincts; not what someone tells you, if you expect to have any happiness in love or marriage. Don't marry a man you don't know all about. If you are offended, disgusted with anything he does in the love relation, drop him at once. That's what you instincts are for! If you want a child, have it then, no matter what you circumstances may be. If you marry, and begin to hate your husband, quit before you're tempted to murder him! Marriage without love is prostitution, no matter how legal or respectable, or financially secure it may be."
"There is trouble with a wife, but it’s even worse with a woman who is not a wife."
"A husband is one who stands by you in troubles you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t married him."
"He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief."
" A woman means by unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others. Thus each sex regards the other as basically selfish."
"there is so little difference between husbands you might as well keep the first."
Adela Rogers St. John
"Seldom, or perhaps, never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crisis; there is no coming to consciousness without pain."
"Marriage is a ghastly public confession of a strictly private intention."
"There are some good marriages, but practically no delightful ones."
Francois de La RocheFoucauld (1613-1680)
"The older I have grown, the more serious and irremediable have seemed to me the evils and disadvantages of married life as it exists among us at this time."
Evil comes to us men of imagination wearing as its mask all the virtues. I have certainly known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots. "
"It is not lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages . "
"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished."
"Unmarried men very rarely speak the truth about the things that most nearly concern them; married men, never."
"It is not surprising that our society, being directly dominated by men, comes to regard Woman, not as an end in herself like Man, but solely as a means of ministering to his appetite. The ideal wife is one who does everything that the ideal husband likes, and nothing else. Now to treat a persona as a means instead of an end is to deny that person's right to live."
"I generally had to give in."
Napoleon (Speaking of his relationship with Empress Josephine)
"Marriage always demands the greatest understanding of the art of insincerity possible between two human beings."
"It destroys one’s nerves to be amiable every day to the same human being."
"Marriage….begins, not with setting up house, counting wedding presents, blowing kisses, looking at wedding groups, but with two bodies confronting one another like wrestlers."
"The chains of marriage are so heavy it takes two to carry them, and sometimes three."
"Nothing in life is as good as the marriage of true minds between man and woman. As good? It is life itself."
"Marriage is a shared political consciousness which can lead to greater joint efforts in building Socialism and increasing-- production. "
(appearing in a magazine Chinese Youth Fortnightly)
"What has become of the old-fashioned boy and girl that became one in wedlock when they went just across the spring branch from the old folks on the slope of the hill and built a house under the shadow of the old oak tree and raised a family and lived for God and humanity?"
San Angelo, Texas
The Trail Drivers of Texas
Marriage is a romance in which the hero dies in the first chapter.
"Marriage is a custom brought about by women who then proceed to live off men and destroy them, completely enveloping the man in a destructive cocoon or eating them away like a poisonous fungus on a tree."
Beverly Hills People, 1979
"Love is the invention of a few high cultures, independent in a sense, of marriage-although society can make it requisite for marriage, as we periodically attempt to do. But in terms of a personal, highly intense choice, it is a cultural artifact.
To make love the requirement of a lifelong marriage is exceedingly difficult, and only a very few people can achieve it. I don't believe in setting up universal standards that a large proportion of people can't reach."
Margaret Mead New York Times Magazine April 26,1970
"Most marriages in our civilization begin with the illusion of romantic love. The best definition of romance is: the desire to be pampered. Pampering is the desire for personal recognition. In short, it is evidence of persistent infantilism and a lack of self-reliance. It is the desire to "expect from another." It is the opposite of the creative attitude, which "gives out" rather than "sucks in." In romantic love, each one expects to "get" happiness from the other. The partner is supposed to pamper him. Both sit and wait for the other one to get busy. A row begins when the show doesn't start on time.
The infantile attitude toward marriage is almost unbelievable. We can only guess at the extent of it when we realize the number of love stories that are ground out and consumed each month for books, periodicals, TV, radio, movies and the like. People would not buy such stuff if they did not believe in its probability. We find no such sale for fairy stories, which are no more fantastic. after stuffing ourselves with such material, is it any wonder that partners resent each other when they find out that marriage is mostly "When do we eat?" and related mundane questions?"
Willard & Marguerite Beecher
Beyond Success And Failure: Ways to Self-reliance and maturity
"But the majority of couples go on living together out of habit, cowardice, of fear of what-will-people-say. They are the most assiduous club members, their eyes shine and their wit sparkles only with strangers, and they distil around them an inexpressible boredom that is as perceptible as the scent of moth-balls diffused in October by a garment that has been packed away all summer long.
Finally, some couples-many more than you may think-are united by a virulent hatred which they cannot do without and which at least helps them to live intensely. This is the case of the couple in Virginia Woolf, and who wouldn't be afraid of her?"
-Genevieve Antoine Dariaux
The Men In Your Life
"Thinking that ecstasy and intimacy can only be increased geometrically by marriage, we decide to take the big step. We recite our promise: "For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, till death do us part." Because we are all entranced by love, we secretly believe our vow magically guarantees that we will be joined for better, for richer, and for health. Sometimes after the honeymoon ends, however, we begin to fall out of love and into reality, and "the worst" that we have previously hidden begins to emerge. With growing disillusionment, we discover we have purchased damaged merchandise. his delightful casualness brings with it a careless inattention to details; he can't balance the checkbook and has only a promiscuous relationship to household order. her forthright manner and sense of responsibility are linked to a ruthless inflexibility, a tendency to blame, and an inability to hang out in bed on Sunday morning.
For a time, he and she accommodate and set out surreptitiously to change each other. The early manipulations are usually subtle-suggestions of a better way to do things, hostility expressed under the cover of humor, the imputation of guilt and shame. When changes in the other are not forthcoming, the heavier weapons are brought to bear: withholding, fighting, affairs. Gradually, the light dawns: This marriage is not going to yield perfection. We are not going to fulfill all of each other's needs or desires. The tension is growing. We can't go on like this.
In the crisis, the marriage is either broken or transformed. A choice is made to end the imperfect relationship, to settle for an "arrangement," or to undertake to fulfill the vow of unconditional love"
Hymns To An Unknown God
"It is idle to talk about abolishing the tragedy of marriage when you cannot abolish the tragedy of sex. Every flirtation is irrevocable."
The Iroquois nation consisted of sedentary women and nomadic men. While the women lived permanently in their ' longhouses' the men roamed about for months , sometimes years. Traveling was the males' full-time occupation.
" "For through many centuries have not knights and adventurers undergone incredible pains and trouble in order to come to harbor in the quiet peace of a happy marriage? Have not novelists and novel readers worked their way one volume after another in order to stop with a happy marriage? And has not one generation after another endured the troubles and complications of four acts if only there was some likelihood of a happy marriage in the final scene"
Soren Kiekegaard "
" "Hence, when one finds in our times a strong disposition 'to abolish marriage, this is not as in the Middle Ages because the unmarried life is regarded as more perfect, but the reason of it is cowardice and self-indulgence. It is also evident that such marriages as are contracted for a definite time are of no avail, since they involve the same difficulties as those which are contracted for a whole life, and at the same time are so far from bestowing the required strength for living that on the contrary they enervate the inner power of married life, relax the energy of the will, and diminish the blessing of confidence which marriage possesses. It is also clear at this .Point, and will subsequently become more so, that such association is not marriage. There is also something upon which you will agree with me entirely, for how often and how surely have your mockery and your irony hit the mark when you were denouncing what you call 'fortuitous love affairs' and the 'bad infinity' of love-when one is looking with his sweetheart out of the window, and that instant a young girl turns the corner into another street, and it occurs to him, 'It is with her I am really in love, ' but when he would trace her he is again unsettled, etc.."
"Every estate has its traitors, and so also has the estate of matrimony. I, of course, do not mean the seducers, for they have not entered into this holy estate-I hope that this investigation will encounter you in a mood which does not incline you to smile at this expression. I do not mean those who by divorce have left the ranks , for at least they have had courage to be open rebels . No , I mean those who are only rebels in thought, who do not even venture to let the thought express itself in action, those miserable married men who sit and sigh over the fact that love has long evaporated-out of their marriage; those married men who as you once said of them, sit like madmen each one in his matrimonial cell and shake the iron bars and rave about the sweetness of engagement and about the bitterness of marriage; those married men who, according to your own correct observation, are the ones who with a certain malicious joy congratulate everyone who becomes engaged. I cannot describe to you how despicable they seem to me.. .."
" Soren Kierkegaard
"We went to the council of our group-commune it was then called-and she was given me in marriage, and within a year she had borne me a son. We saw much of one another, and talked ourselves very close together. My faithful friend she became and has been always, and for a time we were passionate lovers. Always she has loved me and kept my soul full of tender gratitude and love for her; always when we met our hands and eyes clasped in friendly greeting, all through our lives from that hour we have been each other's secure help and refuge, each other's un-grudging fastness of help and sweetly frank and open speech....And after a little while my love and desire for Nettie returned as though it had never faded away.
No one will have difficulty now in understanding how that could be, but in the evil days of the world malaria, that would have been held to be the most impossible thing. I should have had to crush that second love out of my thoughts, to have kept it secret from Anna, to have lied about it to all the world. The old-world theory was there was only one love-we who float upon a sea of love find that hard to understand. The whole nature of a man was supposed to go out to the one girl or woman who possessed him, her whole nature to out to him. Nothing was left over-it was a discreditable thing to have any overplus at all. They formed a secret secluded system of two, two and such children as she bore him. All other women he was held bound to find no beauty in, no sweetness , no interest; and she likewise, in no other man. The old-time men and women went apart in couples, into defensive little houses, like beasts into little pits, and in these "homes" they sat down purposing to love, but really coming very soon to jealous watching of this extravagant mutual proprietorship. All freshness passed very speedily out of their love, out of their conversation, all pride out of their common life. To permit each other freedom was blank dishonor. That I an Anna should love, and after of love-journey together, go about our separate lives and dine at the public tables, until the advent of her motherhood, would have seemed a terrible strain upon our unmitigable loyalty. And that I should have it in me to go on loving Nettie-who loved in different manner both Varrall and me-would have outraged the very quintessence of the old convention."
In the Days of the Comet
"If you don't get married you'll never have a good man. On the other hand, if you ain't married you don't need one."
"Brought up on the infantile pablum of romance, a young couple is led to imagine that marriage is a box full of goodies that any couple can buy at the license bureau. They are reliably informed that they can sit down and eat out of this box all their lives and it will never be empty. Marriage is a box, and it can be bought for a few dollars. But it is empty. There will never be anything in it unless the partners put it there! And if they do not want it to be empty, they must put in a lot more than they are in the habit of taking out. But the young romantic who imagined it ought to be endlessly full of goodies institutes a law suit against God and the marriage partner as soon as he discovers the score of the game. he feels swindled. But he imagines the next box he buys will be full even though the first one was empty."
Willard & Marguerite Beecher
Beyond Success And Failure
NEW YORK-(AP)-A growing body of research has found that contrary to popular belief, people who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce.
According to a report released this week from the National marriage Project at Rutgers University, studies done over the past decade found the same connection between living together before marriage and splitting up after…….
"Let us then cast up the account once for all. You talk so much about the erotic embrace-what is that in comparison with the matrimonial embrace What richness of modulation in the matrimonial 'Mine! ' in comparison with the erotic! It re-echoes not only" in the seductive eternity of the instant, not only in the illusory eternity of fantasy and imagination, but in the eternity of clear consciousness, in the eternity of eternity. What power there is in the matrimonial 'Mine ! ' -for with , resolution and purpose have a deeper tone . What energy and possibility!-for what is so hard as will and what so soft? What power of movement! not merely in heaven, and duty permeates the whole body of the universe to its utmost limits and prepares the way and gives assurance that to all eternity no obstacle shall be able to unsettle love ! So let Don Juan keep the leafy bower , . and the knight the starry dome of heaven , if he can see nothing above it ; marriage has its heaven still higher up. Such is marriage; and if it is not thus, it is not the fault of God, nor of Christianity, nor of the wedding ceremony; it is not due to cursing nor to blessing, but it is man's own fault. And is it not a sin and shame that men write books in such a way as to make people perplexed about -life, make them tired of it before they begin, instead of teaching them how to live ! And this would be a painful truth , even if they were in the right , but in fact, it is a lie. They teach us to sin, and those who have not the courage for that they make equally unhappy in other ways. Unfortunately, I myself am too much influenced by the aesthetic not to know that the word ' husband' grates upon your ears. But I don't care. If the word husband has fallen into discredit and almost become laughable, it is high time for one to seek to restore it to honor. And if you say, ' Such a sight as this one never sees, although one often enough sees marriages' , this does not disquiet me; for the fact that one sees the greatness in marriage, especially in view of the fact that people do everything to belittle it. For have not you and your sort carried this thing so far that the maiden who gives her hand before the altar is regarded as a more imperfect being than these heroines in your romance with their' first love'?"
"Marriage is surely the only institution where sex without love and love without sex are accepted."
Tony Lake & Ann Hills
"We keep hetarae for our delight, concubines for the daily needs of our bodies, wives so that we may breed legitimate children and have faithful housekeepers."
"You can't leave the dishes for later, wash the dishes badly, not use soap, drink straight from the container, make crumbs without wiping them up (now, not later) or load the dishwasher according to the method, that seems most sensible to you....You can't not make the bed. You can't not express appreciation when the other person makes the bed even if you don't care. You can't sleep apart, you can't go to bed at different times, you can't fall asleep on the couch without getting woken up to go to bed. You can't eat in bed. You can't get out of bed right away after sex. You can't have insomnia without being grilled about what's really bothering you."
Against Love: A polemic
"Domestic coupleDom is modern love's mandatory barracks. Domestic coupleDom is the boot camp for compliant citizenship."
"And then all the pettiness marriage brings with it. 0 yes , here you will be ready enough to agree with me , but at the same time I will pray God to deliver you from it . No , there is nothing that educates so much as the petty. There is a period in a man's life when he ought to keep it at a distance; but there is also a period when it is good, and it requires a great soul to save one ' soul out of the petty-but one can do
"Nothing anybody tells you about marriage helps."
"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution."
"Man and women, unhappily mated, live together in a condition of contention, strife, jealousy, hate, and bring children into the world. These children are heirs, in degree, to the misery, unrest and quarrelsome moods of their unfortunate parents. Such children are terribly handicapped for the game of life."
Elbert Hubbard Oct, 1913
"Yet, when two souls meet, with their horoscopes so arranged in Earthly time and cosmic place that the Moon of the woman is on the same degree as the Sun of the Man, then there is no alternative but for them to draw together, and marry. To marry, as the cabbalistic lore insists, requires that man and woman look upon each other face to face, so that no other gaze can weave its eyebeams between the two. The whole cosmos conspires to bring two lovers together. Because of the grandeur of this conspiracy, if an end is to be made of love; if the two are to be dragged apart; if the archetypes are to be wrenched from their places in Heaven-then, such a deed must be done by the gods. This is why the marriage ceremony warns the congregation that the heaven-wrought union they have witnessed should not be pulled asunder by man."
"Women used to be told that they would learn to love their husbands after marriage, however disagreeable they might find them at first. But some women began demanding that the possibility be proved before the wedding, or at least that the man should first convince them that he loved them. Once this happened, men lost control of courtship, because there was no technology for falling in love, no institution which could arrange it. The results can best be traced in the history of courtship in the USA, the least secretive, the most varied and probably the most influential world-wide. Americans were already complaining of a crisis of masculinity in the 1860s. But every generation, conscious only of how it differs from its parents and its children, forgets how old are most of the subjects of argument between men and women, how humans persist in banging their heads against the same wall.
William Alcott, in a book entitled The Young Wife (1833), wrote that there was a 'very general opinion' that 'the love of husband and wife must after marriage necessarily begin to decline'. Courting couples of the time have left letters bemoaning 'the almost universal unhappiness of married persons'. Brides in particular were frightened by the 'great and unknown duties for which I feel incompetent', not only domestic duties, but the need to turn their husbands into 'virtuous and happy' men. 'It is awful thus to bind myself for life." 'Grateful joy' did indeed balance the 'fearful responsibilities' and the feeling that intimacy was often quickly lost. So two centuries ago women had already started working on modifying their links with men."
An Intimate History of Humanity
"The basic goal of most lovers today is the official recognition of their relations by a secular marriage bureau or a church. Research has shown that young couples do not adequately plan for their future life together. If a couple should try to determine their course of life together after marriage, it is a vague conjecture at best. Psychologists observe that it is the hope of each would-be newlywed that, after joining together, their life will be improved by their partner.
They all hope that the elevated life-fulfilling state of love will carry on after marriage. But the love is fleeting. The surrounding space becomes routine-far from reminding them of their earlier feelings of being in love, it starts to become irritating through its routineness and primitiveness.
The irritation can also arise in the couple's relationship to one another. Few suspect that something other than this irritation is at the root of the couple's actions after marriage. Dissatisfaction actually results from an inability to make proper use of the state of Love.
As practice has shown, neither secular laws nor religious admonitions are capable of ensuring continuing mutual affection or even an attitude of mutual respect.
Now let us take a look at the actions of the young couple in the account presented by Anastasia and try to come up with a logical, scientific interpretation.
First, the declaration of love in itself is quite striking:
"With you my beautiful goddess, I could create a Space of Love to last forever," the young man told his intended. And if the girl's heart responded in kind, she might answer: "My god, I am ready to help you in your grand co-creation."
Now compare this with the declaration of love formulated by the famous poet, which comes the closest to describing the gist of modern attitudes toward the energy of love:
I love you so, what can I say more,
What else could I tell you besides...?"*
*From Tatiana's declaration of love in her letter to Onegin in Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (better known in the West as Tchaikovsky's opera of the same title) Act I, Scene 2 (JW translations)
The Energy of Life Nr 7 in the Ringing Cedars Series
"Besides-why shouldn't they get married? Why should straight married couples be the only ones who never have sex, argue incessantly over what to watch on TV and walk around on a daily basis harboring a deep and bottomless well of resentment and anger pierced together brick by murderous brick over years and years of both real and imagined slights and emotional warfare and wallpaper choices? Shit-I say marry every gay and willing couple off right now. mark my words-just like the rest of us-within eighteen months at least half of them will come running back to court begging to be released from such an endlessly mind-and-libido-numbing fate."
-Dr. Denis Leary
Why We Suck
"There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage."
-George Bernard Shaw
Book: "Matrimony" by Joshua Henkin
Book: "Monogamy" by Adam Phillips
Book: "I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage" by Susan Squire
Book: "Marriage: The Dream That Refuses to Die" by Elizabeth Fox-Genovse
Book: "family and Civilization" by Carle C. Zimmerman
Book: "The Physiology of Marriage" by Honore de Balzac
See: HOLDING UP THE SKY TOGETHER by Mary Catherine Bateson…Civilization, May/June 1995
Book: "Misogyny in the Western Philosophical Tradition" Ed by Beverly Clack
Book: "Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice" by Jack Holland
Book: "Not To People Like Us: Hidden Abuse in Upscale Marriages" by Susan Weitzman
Book: "What is Marriage For?" by E.J. Graff
Book: "Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love conquered Marriage" by Stephanie Coontz
Book: "Curious Customs of Sex & Marriage" by George Ryley Scott
Book: "The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People" by D.P. Barash & J.E. Lipton
Book: "The Marriage Quotation Book" edited by Jennifer Taylor
Book: "A History of the Wife" by Marilyn Yolom & Harper Collins
Book: "The 501 Best and Worst Things Ever Said About Marriage" by Ronald B Schwartz
Book: "Either/Or" Soren Kierkegaard
Book: "The Bitch in the House" Cathi Hanauer,ed
Book: "VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About heir Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework, and Commitment" by Neil Chetnik
Book: "Married Women Who Love Women" by Carren Strock
Book: "Against Love: A Polemic" by Laura Kipnis
Book: "Life Sentence: The Guy's Survival Guide to Getting Engaged & Married" by J.D. Smith
Book: What is Marriage For?" by E.J. Graff
Book: "Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others: The Fascinating Research That Can Land You the Husband of Your Dreams." by John T. Molloy
Book: "The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love." by Alice A. Carter
Book: "Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage" by Stephanie Coontz
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