Is Marriage A Lifelong Commitment Essay

An article by demographers at the University of Minnesota published in March 2014 revealed that the current divorce rate is much higher than previously thought, especially among those thirty-five and older. This news suggests that two generations of no-fault divorce (among other things) have altered the general concept of marriage and have severely eroded our society’s confidence that marriage can be counted on.

Indeed, the high divorce rate has ceased to shock or even concern many people. Divorce has become an acceptable, normal fact of life. The predominant view is that many marriages break down through no fault on the part of either spouse: they simply “grow apart.” And so—the thinking goes—one cannot expect married men and women to keep their vows to remain devoted to each other until death parts them. If marriage is a love relationship, and the love has died, is it not pointless to continue with the charade of “marriage”?

But this conventional wisdom is based on a redefinition of what marriage is. In the traditional understanding, the term “marriage” is reserved for the comprehensive union of a man and a woman—bodily, emotional, and spiritual—of the kind that would be naturally fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together (even though in some instances that fulfillment is not reached). In the alternative view, marriage is seen as an essentially emotional and sexual relationship that, by implication, can be dissolved when the relationship is no longer emotionally fulfilling.

This false view has caused marriage to be fragile and has led to immeasurable tragedy for children, wives, and husbands. In this view, children are only extrinsic additions—burdens or benefits. And if the emotional closeness has been lost, it seems to follow that the marriage itself has simply broken down of its own accord and can be dissolved. This view has led to the rising divorce rates we’re seeing reported.

Marriage as Essentially Permanent

Personal relationships are never completely amorphous. They create certain obligations because of the kind of relationships they are. Being a mother, a father, an employee, a teacher, a student, a doctor, a patient—all of these create normative demands on one’s actions; they require one to do some things and to refrain from doing others. Even ordinary friendships have normative implications.

It is the same with marriage. Marriage has a definite fundamental structure, determined by its purpose; and part of that structure is that it requires a lifelong commitment. To see why, let us consider how the need for marriage typically comes to be recognized. A young man and woman fall in love and long to be one with each other. They spend time together, talk, play games, have dinner together, and so on. They eventually desire to unite sexually. They desire this sexual union not merely for gratification, but as an expression or embodiment of their love.

These sexual acts involve a very thorough bodily union: the two become united in a single biological function, the kind of act that could conceive a new human being. Hence they come to realize that this act would be appropriate only as part of a larger and more enduring personal union. They see that what they long for—to form an all-embracing, stable personal union—would be both good in itself and provide a home for any children they might conceive. The purpose of this union is to build up that romantic communion, which, if all goes well, will enlarge into a family.

In marriage, each spouse is internally modified by the other. Each spouse’s life becomes an intrinsic part of the other’s. Only death itself can divide spouses. Because the distinctive form of their union and love is sexual and bodily, their marriage ends with one or both of them physically dying.

Therefore, divorce is not the death of a marriage, but it still is a severe trauma—comparable to the amputation of a bodily organ. It is a wound from which it is incredibly difficult to recover, and from which some people never fully recover at all. If a person attempts to marry with the idea that he might later deliberately end the marriage, then his commitment is not to a sharing of his whole life. Hence the marital commitment is incompatible with a reservation that one might deliberately end it, through divorce for example, and calls instead for a lifelong commitment.

Permanence for the Sake of Children

Marriage is naturally oriented to providing a home for any children that may come from the spouses’ union. The conceiving and rearing of children is not extrinsic to their personal union, but is its natural fruition. And so the spouses should be united in a way that is proportioned to that end. As children mature, they need care and guidance with respect to every aspect of their humanity. It follows that the spouses should be united with respect to every aspect of their lives. They should share their whole lives with each other, and that requires a commitment to a lifelong union.

Just as neither spouse can have sexual intercourse alone, and neither spouse can have children alone, so neither can adequately bring up children alone (though, of course, adverse circumstances, such as death or abandonment, may require that). The union of the spouses is prolonged and fulfilled by conceiving and rearing children together. In turn, the child is fulfilled both by his relationship to his mother and by his relationship to his father—indeed, by his relationship to his mother and father as a marital unit.

The child needs both his mother and his father. Having both is not always possible: for example, a father may be called into armed service, may die, or may abandon his child. But a child has a natural need for—and a right to, if possible—the love and care of both his mother and his father. Therefore, the spouses should be committed to being united at least for the duration of their child-rearing years. Yet the marital relationship should not be treated as a mere means to conceiving and rearing children. To do so would be to treat the children as mere products rather than as persons worthwhile in themselves. Children should be appreciated as gifts that supervene on spouses’ love for each other and not as mere products.

Their marital union—paradoxically, even for the sake of the children themselves—should not be contingent on “getting the job done” of raising the children. As G. K. Chesterton noted, children cannot have a true sense of home “if there is an assumption that Papa is only waiting for Tommy’s twenty-first birthday to carry the typist off to Trouville.” And to view their relationship as a mere means to children would also cheapen their relationship to each other and reduce their bodies and their sexual acts to mere means in relation to external benefits. Hence the spouses should love each other for their sakes, and their love should be unconditional.

The Marital Bond Remains

But what of those couples who simply “grow apart”? If marriage is a love relationship—embodied in sexual union and naturally oriented to children—nevertheless, does it not simply die if the love between the spouses has died? Part of the answer is that while one does not have direct control over one’s feelings, one can still choose to remain devoted to one’s spouse. And that may bring it about eventually that the feeling of love returns. When a man and a woman commit to marriage, they commit to what they can do, not to what they will feel. You can't promise what you have no control over. When the spouses vow to “love and cherish” each other, they are committing themselves to do certain things, to voluntary conduct.

The mutual commitment creates a moral bond—a set of rights and obligations to each other—and initiates the marital community. So there is a distinction between the marital community the spouses are committed to developing and deepening, on the one hand, and the set of rights and obligations created by that mutual commitment, on the other. That set of rights and obligation can be called the marital bond. It is the minimum, the core of marriage—what exists even if the spouses are emotionally estranged and perhaps even live in different cities. Although the marital communion may become weakened, the marital rights and obligations continue: the couple remains married.

The commitment to be faithful to one’s spouse—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, until death parts them—is not a pledge to keep the same feelings that they have as bride and groom on their wedding day. Rather, the commitment to marry is a decision to enter a relationship that has an objective structure independent of the wills of the spouses. Men and women can decide to enter or not to enter the marriage relationship, but they cannot by their wills alter the fundamental kind of relationship marriage is. Marriage is the kind of relationship that should be lifelong.

Patrick Lee is the McAleer Professor of Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is coauthor, with Robert P. George, ofConjugal Union: What Marriage Is and Why It Matters.

My esteemed Judges, illustrious coordinators, fellow contestants, informed audience, all other protocols duly observed. I remain my humble self, Obinoscopy (Contestant 2), and I am indeed honored and privileged to be given, yet again, an opportunity to speak against the motion that: marriage should be a lifetime commitment. Marriage should not be a lifetime commitment or bondage; the couples should be the ones to dictate the length of their marriage. If they want to live together forever, so be it. But if they want to separate, they should! So if you ask me the question: “Is marriage a lifetime commitment?” My answer would be an emphatic NO!

When a man and a woman love each other so much and feel they are compatible enough, they may decide to get married. This marital ritual involves the exchange of vows and the establishment of rights and obligations between the couples, between the couples and their unborn children, between the couples and their in-laws and – by extension – between the couples and the society at large. The man promises to love and care for his wife, the woman promises same. They declare their faithfulness “till death do them part.” They say these words because they have to. They recite the words as read out to them by their pastor or imam. Those words are not said from their heart. How can it be said from the heart? How can you promise to love and care for someone for the rest of your life? This is probably someone you knew for just 3 years or at most 5 years. And you feel the five years friendship and companionship you enjoyed with him or her is enough to make you extrapolate such friendship and companionship for the rest of your life? My dear you are making a very dangerous extrapolation. No one knows the future, except God.

Marriage is not a prison house. Marriage is not an institution where there is only one way in and no way out. Marriage is not bondage. The essence of marriage is for companionship and for procreation; if a man or a woman is not getting either of these, then he or she should call it quits. There is no need pretending or acting. Even professional actors cannot keep on acting for the rest of their life; there will come a time when he or she has to resign from acting and face reality. Many men and women have met their untimely death because they have been in bondage for too long in their marriage. Ailments such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, depression, etc. were pointed out as the cause of their demise but the real cause of their death is their marital bondage. It was the marital bondage that precipitated those ailments.1 Domestic/marital violence has led to depression, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, lacerations, internal bleeding and injury to or death of the fetus.2,3 How do you expect one to remain in such bondage after all these health implications?

Marriage is not a lifetime commitment, rather marriage is the coming together of two people who are in love with each other and who are compatible with each other. As long as that love and compatibility remains, the marriage remains. But once the love or the compatibility fades, the marriage should fade as well. That is why the word ‘divorce’ exists. Even the Catholics who claim to be against divorce also endorse ‘annulment’ which is a form of divorce. For clarity sake, I wish to state categorically that I am not a proponent of divorce for every marriage. Divorce certainly has its negative effect. However I am of the opinion that divorce must be called in once it has been discovered that the benefits of the wedlock have been outweighed by its risks.

For those that feel divorce is very expensive and stressful, there is a possible solution to that effect. Lizbeth Rosas Montero, a Mexican legislator, drew up a bill that will permit newlyweds to take a minimum of two years marital contract before deciding to renew their marital ‘contract.’4 If this bill is passed, there will be a sharp decline of divorce rates in Mexico. This is because once the contract expires, the couples would go their separate ways; no need to go to court to sign divorce papers. Of course, the contract will also make provision for any child that was a result of the wedlock. The beauty of this type of marriage is that it makes the couples remain faithful to each other. Most men cheat on their wife because they know their wife cannot leave them due to the lifetime marital vow they exchanged. The woman too will lose her respect for her husband and is not bothered since she knows he cannot leave. But if they had agreed on a marital contract, they will remain faithful to each other so that they can renew their contract once the previous one expires. Also the renewal of marital vows has a way of strengthening the love between the couple.5,6

Marriage has never been a lifetime commitment in the past. I have searched several libraries and the internet for the definitions of marriage, the history of marriage, the etymology of marriage and I am yet to see any connection between marriage and the word ‘lifetime’ through my search. It is our religious leaders who brought up this ‘lifetime’ principle. Even the bible never brought up the term ’lifetime commitment’ in all its verses about marriage. This same bible gave us an instance where divorce is justified (Matthew 5:32). The bible never spoke against couples who want to end their marriage, rather the bible only spoke against the influence of a third party on a marriage. Some churches support divorce. Islam also has separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic law (Sharia). For traditional marriages, divorce is very simple: just return the bride price and the marriage has been annulled. If all these religious bodies support divorce why should we say marriage is a lifetime commitment?

Marriage should be regarded as a legal relationship between a man and a woman, nothing more. The issue of ‘lifetime’ should be left for to time to decide. If the couple leaves happily ever after, we will rejoice. But if they are having issues that are threatening their happiness, their health and their life, then I say they should end that commitment and seek companionship elsewhere. Marriage is not a lifetime commitment, its simply a commitment.

REFERENCE
1. University of Toronto (2000). Bad marriages Exacerbate High Blood Pressure. Sciencedaily. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001214160933.htm
2. Jones RF, Horan DL. The American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists: a decade of responding to violence against women. Int J Obstet Gynecol 1997;58(1):43-50.
3. Barnett OW. Why battered Women Do Not Leave, Part 2: External Inhibiting Factors—Social Support and Internal Inhibiting Factors. Trauma, Violence & Abuse 2001;2:3-11.
4. BBC News. Mexico City Plans ‘renewable’ marriage. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15114406
5. Westan R. The Real Benefit of Renewing Your Weddings Vows. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from http://www.thirdage.com/marriage/the-real-benefits-of-renewing-your-wedding-vows
6. Wedding Vow Renewal. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from www.weddingclipart.com/guide/wedding-vows/wedding-vow-renewal.html

6 Likes 1 ShareRe: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 8:46pm On Nov 23, 2013

Contestant #1 For the motion.

"Is Marriage a Life time Commitment"

The short answer here is yes.

But why you may ask?

Firstly, let me start by defining marriage;

“Marriage is a monogamous, lifelong union between one man and one woman”.

But why?

Because at it’s heart, marriage is about procreation and the raising of children. And a male and a female are all that are required to do just that (A).

Marriage takes biological functionality; man + woman = children and perfectly solves a social need; how do we best - and at least (social) cost - raise the next generation?

Certainly, there are other benefits and considerations, not least companionship, but none of the subsidiary benefits need to be, or are necessarily benefited by being institutionalised in their own right.

Whatever one believes, this anthropological reality is inescapable. There is no real social benefit or requirement for state intervention in any other human relationship that cannot be readily dealt with by contract law.

And intervention by the State, where it occurs, should be to shore-up, support and strengthen the institution. Marriage pre-dates the state – and organised religion - and it is not the State’ place to vary it – in any way.

So to capture the essence as well as the definition, marriage may be captured thus;

“Marriage is a monogamous lifelong union between one man and one woman, which is open to children”.

Open?

But why?

Because although in principle husband + wife = children, for various reasons children may not be the result. So whilst It may not always be the case in practice, the principle and the reality holds. Still today, the vast majority of children are born within marriage.

But even where procreation is not the outcome, the model remains the best for rearing any children if the couple decide to foster or adopt. However, the axiom is maintained, even where children are not a consequence and society is strengthened.

The balanced input of both genders is essential for the proper psychological development of a child. The input from either gender will vary through the child’ development, but it is noteworthy, that in the first few years of life, a mothers input is most critical, while a father comes into his own as children become older and develop greater awareness – especially regards gender (B).

It is also worth noting – especially for those that would try to vary the definition or alter the essence – the UN has codified by charter, that children have the right to be raised by their biological parents (C)


So having established what marriage is and exactly what marriage is for, I’ll proceed to show why it should be a lifelong commitment.

Divorce is devastating for children. And it is traumatic for couples – even those without children. It can also create dissension between the “wider” family. Divorce has even been shown to have a negative impact on the economy (D). What’s not to hate?

Child rearing & care do not necessarily end when children are grown up. Children often need advice and assistance even as adults and not just moral guidance or financial support.

Grandparents can be greatly influential and serve a crucial role in nurturing successive generations. Helping to raise and stabilise their own families – and reinforce the husband/wife union - and wider society. The generational benefits of marriage are manifold.

Dissolving the union even if the children have attained adulthood is negative as it relays the wrong message and shakes faith in the institution. Not only in children of the union but also in wider society.

Marriage unites a man and women in commitment to each other and to any children that they may have. Where there are children, the wife typically makes a disproportionate sacrifice during their formative years. Broken marriages on the whole leave women and children economically worse off where the children have not attained adulthood and the wives where they have.

Some of the corollary benefits of marriage come into their own as the marriage matures. Most notably friendship & companionship, which are life-sustaining and enriching as the couple age.

One must understand what marriage is and what it is not. Marriage is not solely the validation or solemnisation of adult desires – no matter how much love is claimed or how strong the desire is. One could also ask “why not have short or fixed-term marriages”? Perhaps even with contractual stipulations? Any such notions would be spurious, defeat the purpose of marriage and not actually leave society with a vehicle that serves us as marriage does. Not to question why any such arrangement could not be instituted apart from marriage? Why change something that has served so many, so well, for so long?

Historically, societies that have repudiated marriage – especially as a means of normalising sexual behaviour – have done so at their own peril. Whatever the attainment or progress of any society or nation (nation being meant more in the “people group” sense), the family has underpinned that flourishing. Marriage - more than any other thing and better than any other way - establishes families.

So again,

“Marriage is a monogamous lifelong union between one man and one woman, which is open to children and rightly witnessed and celebrated by society”.

Please don’t ask me why.

Enjoy your marriages and families this weekend. I certainly will.

TV


A. Noting that polygamy is not idea. Not delivering the same benefits, having various drawbacks, and usually underlying imperatives other than procreation and nurture.

B. Any re-arrangement of genders violates the definition of marriage as children are impossible in principle and in practice to couples of the same sex. Those who argue that the genders are interchangeable are simply wrong. To claim that two males or two females can deliver the same input as the historical and still almost universally accepted male + female model is not validated by any critical study. http://www.fatherhood.org.au/resources/21%20Reasons%20Why%20Gender%20Matters%20A4low%20res.pdf
http://www.whygendermatters.com/

C. http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/humanrights/resources/child.asp;http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/UNCRC_summary.pdf

D. http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1112/how-divorce-can-adversely-affect-the-economy.aspx

E. Experience, life, anthropological history

1 Like Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Tgirl4real(f): 8:49pm On Nov 23, 2013

Let the rebuttals begin.

Remember to quote when you want to query your opponent.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 9:02pm On Nov 23, 2013

[The balanced input of both genders is essential for the proper psychological development of a child. The input from either gender will vary through the child’ development, but it is noteworthy, that in the first few years of life, a mothers input is most critical, while a father comes into his own as children become older and develop greater awareness – especially regards gender (B).
Don't you think you shot yourself on the foot with this truthful statement of yours?

The fact that the inputs of both gender is essential at different stages in the life of the child confirms the fact that it's not a must that the couple must live together before the child can get their parental inputs.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 9:07pm On Nov 23, 2013

“Marriage is a monogamous lifelong union between one man and one woman, which is open to children”.
Please can you provide me with the source to this definition of yours, I'm more concerned about the use of the word "lifelong". I need to see where it was used.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 9:18pm On Nov 23, 2013

Divorce is devastating for children. And it is traumatic for couples – even those without children.
Your statement: "Divorce is devastating for children" is too general and thus a falsehood. Or are you saying that a child will benefit more from a family where his father beats up his mother everyday than if they are separated? Don't you think we should spare the child of those domestic violence? There are certainly instances were the inability to seek divorce should be what is to be termed devastating.

1 Like Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 9:23pm On Nov 23, 2013

Historically, societies that have repudiated marriage – especially as a means of normalising intimate behaviour – have done so at their own peril.
The argument is not about the repudiation of marriage, I personally will never deny the benefits of marriage, the argument is about whether it should be a lifetime commitment. So can you tell me the import of the statement of yours on the debate topic?

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 9:30pm On Nov 23, 2013

Child rearing & care do not necessarily end when children are grown up. Children often need advice and assistance even as adults and not just moral guidance or financial support.
Must the parent of this grownup child be married before they can provide them with the needed advice and assistance? Or is it the marriage certificate that will provide the advice and assistance?

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Tgirl4real(f): 9:50pm On Nov 23, 2013

TV01,

Please, we are waiting for you.

Thanks.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:03pm On Nov 23, 2013

When a man and a woman love each other so much and feel they are compatible enough, they may decide to get married. This marital ritual involves the exchange of vows and the establishment of rights and obligations between the couples, between the couples and their unborn children, between the couples and their in-laws and – by extension – between the couples and the society at large. The man promises to love and care for his wife, the woman promises same. They declare their faithfulness “till death do them part.” They say these words because they have to.

Whatever a couples reasons for getting married - and love or proof of love has never been required - a couple should understand and embrace what marriage represents to society. Marriage is not forced upon any couple. So no, it is a fallacy to claim they say them because "they have to"

They recite the words as read out to them by their pastor or imam. Those words are not said from their heart. How can it be said from the heart? How can you promise to love and care for someone for the rest of your life? This is probably someone you know for just 3 years or at most 5 years. And you feel the five years friendship and companionship you enjoyed with him or her is enough to make you extrapolate such friendship and companionship for the rest of your life? My dear you are making a very dangerous extrapolation. No one knows the future, except God.

It is a far stretch to claim that vows exchanged are not from the heart. Especially at the time of exchange and absent coercion or undue pressure. Yes, some find they entered unprepared or without the requisite understanding and some lose their resolve. Your claim that a couple cannot take lifetime vows is discredited simply due to the fact that it has been lived and accomplished and continues to be.

As to your reference to God, marriage as biblically outlined is for life. Marriage as instituted by God can by His grace, endure. Divorce is a fail whatever you believe.

Marriage is not a prison house. Marriage is not an institution where there is only one way in and no way out. Marriage is not bondage. The essence of marriage is for companionship and for procreation; if a man or a woman is not getting either of these, then he or she should call it quits. There is no need pretending or acting. Even professional actors cannot keep on acting for the rest of their life; there will come a time when he or she has to resign from acting and face reality.


You are making baseless assumptions about "prisons & bondage"without accounting for individual willingness to remain married regardless of desires or outcomes. With full disclosure prior and a willingness to live with whatever occurs after the exchange of vows, the love you claimed can keep couples together. If procreation does not happen naturally there are options that can be explored.

Many men and women have met their untimely death because they have been in bondage for too long in their marriage. Ailments such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, depression, etc. were pointed out as the cause of their demise but the real cause of their death is their marital bondage. It was the marital bondage that precipitated those ailments.1

The fact that all of these happen outside marriage amply proves that these ailments are not caused by marriage, but by individual human frailties and inability to cope with the demands of the marital union. Marriage will not necessarily cure you of destructive behaviours. Best one is mature enough to form mature, caring and committed relationships prior to marriage.

Domestic/marital violence has led to depression, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, lacerations, internal bleeding and injury to or death of the fetus.2,3 How do you expect one to remain in such bondage after all these health implications?

Glad you co-termed that "Domestic violence". Studies show that of all the relationship arrangements male/female marriages have the lowest levels of abuse. One does not need to be married to experience abuse. As I noted above, maturity, care & commitment.

Marriage is not a lifetime commitment, rather marriage is the coming together of two people who are in love with each other and who are compatible with each other. As long as that love and compatibility remains, the marriage remains. But once the love or the compatibility fades, the marriage should fade as well. That is why the word ‘divorce’ exists.

A feeling of being in love does not demand marriage. Two people "in love" can do whatsoever they please. The societal value and importance of marriage demands that if it is in view, that feeling of love become a "commitment to love". A commitment to love demands that the relationship is nurtured and protected by all involved.

Even the Catholics who claim to be against divorce also endorse ‘annulment’ which is a form of divorce. For clarity sake, I wish to state categorically that I am not a proponent of divorce for every marriage. Divorce certainly has its negative effect. However I am of the opinion that divorce must be called in once it has been discovered that the benefits of the wedlock have been outweighed by its risks.

Annulment is for valid reasons, amongst which are non-consummation, which defeats one of the principles of marriage - hence why sodomites cannot marry, as they cannot consummate. It is not for "fading love or compatibility".

The negative effects of divorce ripple through extended families,out into wider society and through generations. Those are the wider negative effects to be considered. And they far outweigh any individuals seeking to satisfy their selfish desires.

For those that feel divorce is very expensive and stressful, there is a possible solution to that effect. Lizbeth Rosas Montero, a Mexican legislator, drew up a bill that will permit newlyweds to take a minimum of two years marital contract before deciding to renew their marital ‘contract.’4 If this bill is passed, there will be a sharp decline of divorce rates in Mexico. This is because once the contract expires, the couples would go their separate ways; no need to go to court to sign divorce papers.


Just as easy to constitute something else, lets for debates sake call them "Civil Partnerships". Marriage serves a vital societal service, to vary it in anyway we should ask what incrementall value are we adding?

If a union ends, whatever you term the dissolution, it's a failed marriage. Semantics don't change anthropological or natural facts, neither does wilful legislation. Legislating for same sex couples to be equal to opposite sex couples has not enables same-sex couples to have their own biological children has it?

Of course, the contract will also make provision for any child that was a result of the wedlock. The beauty of this type of marriage is that it makes the couples remain faithful to each other. Most men cheat on their wife because they know their wife cannot leave them due to the lifetime marital vow they exchanged. The woman too will lose her respect for her husband and is not bothered since she knows he cannot leave. But if they had agreed on a marital contract, they will remain faithful to each other so that they can renew their contract once the previous one expires. Also the renewal of marital vows has a way of strengthening the love between the couple.5,6

Wrong in all respects I'm afraid;

1. The optimal provision for any child is to be raised by their biological parents, so any provision will be sub-optimal
2. How some people are unfaithful before during and after marriage. If vows won't make you faithful, why will contracts?
3. Most men do not cheat. And where they do, it's not simply because they feel their wives won't leave them. It's deeper than that.
4. A short tem contract will not compensate for peoples immaturity or irresponsible/destructive behaviour.
5. Lifelong married couples are able to renew their vows as often as they choose

In all, a philanderer and gamers charter. Two years here, then 2 there, before another 2 here. For how long? Imagine loads of old people looking for partner. Bet they'll be looking for longer than two years then. At best fit for only the irresponsible and immature - people who shouldn't be marrying in the first place.

Marriage has never been a lifetime commitment in the past. I have searched several libraries and the internet for the definitions of marriage, the history of marriage, the etymology of marriage and I am yet to see any connection between marriage and the word ‘lifetime’ through my search. It is our religious leaders who brought up this ‘lifetime’ principle. Even the bible never brought up the term ’lifetime commitment’ in all its verses about marriage. This same bible gave us an instance where divorce is justified (Matthew 5:32). The bible never spoke against couples who want to end their marriage, rather the bible only spoke against the influence of a third party on a marriage. Some churches support divorce. Islam also has separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic law (Sharia). For traditional marriages, divorce is very simple: just return the bride price and the marriage has been annulled. If all these religious bodies support divorce why should we say marriage is a lifetime commitment?

Bible? Easily and speedily debunked. Romans 7:2 - For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Divorce being permitted does not mean it's intention is not lifelong.

Marriage should be regarded as a legal relationship between a man and a woman, nothing more. The issue of ‘lifetime’ should be left for to time to decide. If the couple leaves happily ever after, we will rejoice. But if they are having issues that are threatening their happiness, their health and their life, then I say they should end that commitment and seek companionship elsewhere. Marriage is not a lifetime commitment, its simply a commitment.

Marriage is what it is and it has served mankind well through the ages. If people would like alternative arrangements - legal or otherwise - fine. But unless marriage is varied in a way that enhances the current service it provides society it should remains as is.

Marriage -properly entered into - does not endanger, rather it enhances and it enriches. The couple, thier children and wider society. Your motive for diluting marriage is clear throughout your submission, even in closing. The inability to maintain a marital relationship is resolved in "seeking companionship elsewhere".

I hate clichés, but marriage is not by force. If you want alternatives, lite-versions dimunitions or pseudo-boyfie/girlfie type arrangements, by all means, but legislate for and name them as such. But please leave marriage as it is. Serving society through the ages and for generations to come.

TV

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 10:11pm On Nov 23, 2013

Whatever a couples reasons for getting married - and love or proof of love has never been required - a couple should understand and embrace what marriage represents to society. Marriage is not forced upon any couple. So no, it is a fallacy to claim they say them because "they have to"
You don't seem to understand what I meant by "they have to". I was talking about that clause "Till death do us part". They might not have been pressured into marriage but they certainly were made to recite that clause without meaning it. This is because if they had meant it, there will be no divorce.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:13pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: Don't you think you shot yourself on the foot with this truthful statement of yours?

The fact that the inputs of both gender is essential at different stages in the life of the child confirms the fact that it's not a must that the couple must live together before the child can get their parental inputs.

I have a young family. My input varies to that of my wife in some aspects, but is no less critical and could not be delivered remotely with the best will in the world. Emergency dashes at 2am to the hospital? Tactical changes to childcare plans due to unexpected events at home or work?

More specifically children are aware and deeply affected by the dynamic between their parents and typically internalise any division as their fault or meaning they are not good enough.

You would seriously postulate non-proximity as equal to husband and wife together when raising children? Please don't propagate such notions.


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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:17pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: The argument is not about the repudiation of marriage, I personally will never deny the benefits of marriage, the argument is about whether it should be a lifetime commitment. So can you tell me the import of the statement of yours on the debate topic?

Certainly. If you vary marriage without due cause and/or adding value, their will be ramifications. Here you are proposing short-term contract arrangements. The effect on children alone will be horrendous. To vary it in part - especially in a way that diminishes it as a whole - is in essence to repudiate it and the purpose it serves.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 10:20pm On Nov 23, 2013

As to your reference to God, marriage as biblically outlined is for life. Marriage as instituted by God can by His grace, endure. Divorce is a fail whatever you believe.
Provide the chapter and verse in the bible where the bolded was implied

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:21pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: Your statement: "Divorce is devastating for children" is too general and thus a falsehood. Or are you saying that a child will benefit more from a family where his father beats up his mother everyday than if they are separated? Don't you think we should spare the child of those domestic violence? There are certainly instances were the inability to seek divorce should be what is to be termed devastating.

Divorce for whatever reason harms children, and can never be described as a falsehood. Abuse in the relationship is simply additional harm to that child.

Mature, caring and committed adults do not abuse their spouses. Hint, hint.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 10:26pm On Nov 23, 2013

You are making baseless assumptions about "prisons & bondage"without accounting for individual willingness to remain married regardless of desires or outcomes.
What would make one want to remain in a bad marriage? It's only bondage that can.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:27pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: Must the parent of this grownup child be married before they can provide them with the needed advice and assistance? Or is it the marriage certificate that will provide the advice and assistance?

True.
But consider the dynamic. Children are often bitter when their parents get divorced. It often cause estrangement. Even where it does not, it's hard to seek certain types of advice from someone who cannot model marriage, who in your eyes have lived a lie or betrayed someone you love dearly.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:28pm On Nov 23, 2013

Tgirl4real: TV01,

Please, we are waiting for you.

Thanks.

I think the time difference threw things somewhat. I'm an hour behind.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:33pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: You don't seem to understand what I meant by "they have to". I was talking about that clause "Till death do us part". They might not have been pressured into marriage but they certainly were made to recite that clause without meaning it. This is because if they had meant it, there will be no divorce.

In as much as divorce happens for a number of reasons, it does not mean that couples did not mean their vows at the time of exchanging them. Marriage vows are well known and not a surprise on the day.

The reasons for divorce are legion, but for the most part boil down to individuals not understanding or having the right expectations of marriage, or being unduly selfish and engaging in wilfull/destructive behaviour after.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 10:35pm On Nov 23, 2013

Bible? Easily and speedily debunked. Romans 7:2 - For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
The bible gave instances where a woman is free of her husband besides death. This confirms the fact that even the bible is aware that not every marriage is lifelong.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Obinoscopy(m): 10:40pm On Nov 23, 2013

Divorce being permitted does not mean it's intention is not lifelong.
Again this a false statement. If divorce is permitted, it means every marriage is not lifelong since there's a termination clause. You cannot say you can live forever when you have a terminated clause: death.

Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:44pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: What would make one want to remain in a bad marriage? It's only bondage that can.

Your use of the term "bad" is pejorative. Not having ones desires satisfied does not mean "bad". I have friends with daughters and no sons and vice-versa. Others with no children even though they would dearly love them. Some men consider that bad, others choose to remain committed to their wives and any children regardless

Voluntary commitment is not bondage. Marriage in truth is about serving the other. If you can't do that or cannot aspire to it, then forego it. Your relationship does not have to be witnessed and validated as marriage by society if you are not willing or able to confirm and commit it's value to that same society. There are various other options available. I'm sure there is one that suits whatever arrangement a couple have.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:45pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: The bible gave instances where a woman is free of her husband besides death. This confirms the fact that even the bible is aware that not every marriage is lifelong.

Where? Please show us.

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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by TV01(m): 10:48pm On Nov 23, 2013

Obinoscopy: Again this a false statement. If divorce is permitted, it means every marriage is not lifelong since there's a termination clause.

Biblically divorce does not mean re-marriage. One is bound until death. Please read Romans 7 as quoted above.


Obinoscopy: You cannot say you can live forever when you have a terminated clause: death.

You need to re-read this carefully.
Biblically, death is reason for re-marriage


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Re: Is Marriage a Life time Commitment? Live Debate - Semi Finals by Tgirl4real(f): 10:49pm On Nov 23, 2013

Kindly indicate when you are satisfied with your opponent's and you have nothing more to add.

Thanks.

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