Marriage – or Forward to the Past

Marriage – or Forward to the Past – by P.K. Odendaal – December 2015


Whether it is forward to the past or back the future, I do not really know or care, because what is important is that we do not want to go here – a place we call today. I mean with regard to marriage, the family, education and cultural and social affairs. We have seen enough and we have had enough. Who will save us from ourselves?
When I wrote A Parody on Marriage, there were just too many questions, idiosyncrasies, pretension and contradictions to keep a rational person sane in the dichotomies which developed from the conclusions. So, I had to rethink and relive the whole thing. What was clear, however, was that the way of choosing a spouse today was just not working anymore and was leading us nowhere, if such a destination could be found at all. In fact, the remedies we are applying to save our marriages are exactly those which destroy it.
Western marriages have generally been reduced to business transactions or formal relationships, with the superficiality of both. The reason for that is not hard to find.
Firstly, in bygone days, the parents and other family had a strong preference for the selection of the spouses for other members of the family and they have sometimes exercised that preference violently, or their influence was felt strongly.
Secondly, families were functional and support could be had from them in the choice of the spouse. Today you have to depend largely on your own meagre evaluation of the spouse. It does help by the time you are choosing spouse number five.
Thirdly, class was strongly felt and applied in any family or community, but these days it is not politically correct to even talk about class.
Fourthly, communication was intense and intimate, but today the only communication would be spouses have, is smart phones and web servers.
Lastly, in days gone by, the preparation or familiarization process between prospective spouses took years before they got engaged, whilst today one can finish all this business in a morning, leaving the rest of the day to more serious things.

Here are the divorce rates of the type of marriages I have been talking about above:

Belgium                  71%
Portugal                  68%
Hungary                 67%
Czech Republic        66%
Spain                      61%
Luxembourg           60%
Estonia                   58%
Cuba                       56%
France                    55%
USA                        53%
Russia                    51%


Marriages just do not work anymore in this secular western cult. We will have to go back to basics, or forward to the Past.
Traditionally, spouses were selected by the parents on both sides, and it seemed to work quite well. One of the oldest arranged marriages we find in the Bible:
Gen 24:2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
There was no need for divorce there.
Closer to home and today:
More than a decade ago I visited Turkey, and found that it was common practise for the parents to choose the spouses of their children, and I sincerely hope it is still being done today in some meaningful way. When a girl is born to a family, the friends of the parents would visit the newly born girl, and if they so felt, they would bring along a cradle as a present for the newly born girl. If the parents of the newly born girl accepted the cradle, then a marriage between the newly born girl and the son of the friends giving the present is finalised just there and then. One can safely assume that the newly born girl will not be able to choose a spouse at that stage, so it is fortuitously done by the parents.
The reasons for successful marriages here are manifold, of which the most convincing are that the parents of the girl are wiser than she can ever be and the friends and the parents are from the same class, the same culture and share the same habits and values – what a great recipe for success.
The divorce rate in Turkey was 20% in 2011 and Libya 5% in 2002! QED
Yes, there are members of every group who hate their marriage or partners and who would kill on provocation, but that is not my mission of today to entertain that – I mean to entertain the idea and not the killings. To entertaining the killings, a large dose of religion is much better, especially when you have access to explosives!
Will I choose the latter arranged marriage in general? No, never. I think a healthy mix of both is a better recipe for success.

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