Love and Marriage – Part 2 – Here comes the Bribe

Love and Marriage – Part 2 – Here comes the Bribe – by P.K.Odendaal – July 2015.
I have written quite a few articles on marriage and although, when I start, I am adamant to write seriously about it, I always end up in satire. Why this is so I do not know, but I would think that a healthy dose of satire and humour is an essential ingredient to making marriages work.
Secondly, I am always uncertain from which viewpoint I must write about it. From my own viewpoint it would be quite farcical, emotional and chauvinistic, but this article is not a farce and neither should it be emotionally loaded and it should also be a balance between the sexes, because a successful marriage is a very delicately balanced institution.
Although a marriage normally starts off for the wrong reasons, it is supposed to survive for the right reasons. The desires and motivations of a man and a woman at the marriage feast (sorry for the oxymoron) are so drastically different and the secret, if that can be attained at all, is to melt together like when your hands are clamped in unison by crossing the fingers of both hands into one fist. The real problem however, is that the selfish purpose of the marriage will be for the man to get the woman to toe his line and for the woman to get the man to toe her line. It will not work.
I expect the love about which I wrote in the first part of this series to prevail in all marriages, but when I look around me I find quite the opposite and that is why I said that I find the horse and carriage analogy so befitting this, because the horse is alive and well and pulling the cart where it thinks it should go and the carriage follows lifelessly. I must admit that there are a few marriages which superficially seem to work or to have tender loving care, but I find it few and far between and even some of them hide the agony so well.
As you might know, I am writing these articles for the unhappy or divorced people – for the chauvinistic males and the feminists and all nuances in between – a group we would naturally not like to be members of, but hypocrisy is rife and maybe persons who are free from these encumbrances do not exist or are hard to find.
Let us face it, when we are young and we choose our marriage partners, it is a recipe for disaster, as we are too young and ignorant to face the real threats and challenges of marriage or to even know what it is. In such an instance I prefer arranged marriages and by this I mean choices by adults for adolescents, not by friends for acquaintances. When adults choose for adolescents, they know what it takes and it is usually best to listen to them. Getting out of the starting blocks with a venomous mother in law or father in law is looking for trouble.
This article or this part of the series was prompted by a lady friend who asked me whether polygamy was a good thing. Although all men silently yearn for this, I have never given it much thought, so I had to answer her by shooting from the hip - without aim or certainty. My first reaction was that it was indeed a very beneficial thing, because it lacks many of the undesirable ingredients of monogamous marriages – or to be really satirical about it: what you lose on the swing you gain on the roundabout. Is that why they are called swingers?
Do not for one moment think I am not aware of the purpose of marriage. If I leave out the tender loving care part, it is to have and rear children, and my focus is always on the children and almost never on the marriage partners. If both of them cannot rear children properly with tender loving care and security in a monogamous marriage, what the hell are they in a monogamous marriage for!
When I look at the record of polygamous marriages with one male and multiple females, I find that the children are well brought up mainly for the following reasons:
  • The spouses are less jealous of each other than in a monogamous marriage.
  • The children are plentiful and they will tend to and even bring up the children of other mothers with the same father.
  • Mothers will look after other children of the same father and not only their own.
It does not work the other way round, because men are too jealous. But wait, before you think that I am really a chauvinistic male consider this:
I have the utmost empathy with spouses in unhappy marriages, but I have much more empathy with the children of broken up families and with children with a single parent.
The divorce rate is more than fifty percent and if you add unhappy or dysfunctional marriages to that, it becomes overwhelming so that marriages are the cause of our present dysfunctional societies, high crime rates, low skills levels and poverty. As such I can safely say, to our mutual chagrin, that marriage in this twenty first century has become a failed institution. It is not what I like it to be. I am overwhelmingly an exponent of happy marriages and well brought up children, but if I have a choice I will prefer well brought up children, on whatever basis, to dysfunctional families.
And so back to my heading for this part. What is the bribe?
I think the biggest incentive for the suitability of prospective spouses is pretense, money and false security. Posturing to seem to be the perfect husband or wife whilst we are not is bribery. Cosmetics can also do wonders and pretending to have money whilst we have none is bound to land us with a wife seeking fame and fortune.
Pretense, however, is the biggest culprit in broken marriages – and don’t we all pretend that we are more beautiful, clever, rich and accomplished than we really are. It is said that love is blind and that marriage is the magnifying glass which make us see and once we start to see what we have landed ourselves in and reality sets in, then we start to suffer in silence or repent at leisure.