It is typical of philosophers like me to rattle at weddings that the issue is not how beautiful the wedding is but how long and how well the marriage lasts. Recently I began contemplating my father’s generation and how long their marriages lasted. My respected folks on Helpers of Your Joy proposed that arranged marriages of the last century tend to last longer than our present day marriages. Bishop Tudor Bismark mentioned something similar at the recently concluded Greater Works Conference.
Well, not surprisingly, I began musing on the theory. On Helpers of Your Joy the thought communicated was that when marriages were arranged, the tendency is that parents who made the arrangements had more experience and could see what young people could not see when their faculties had been skewed by vibrant hormonal movements. Makes sense I guess. After all, they say “Hormones are blind” … or was it “Love is blind”. Whichever!
My little concerns on the arranged marriage thingy and the length of time marriages lasted in the last century border on how free a woman was to speak out if she was unhappy with a marriage in Africa in the year 1980… What options she had … what the effects were on her being single or divorced…. I also wondered whether the men who had lived with their wives for 300 years actually really had no intimate relations with any other women throughout the 300 years before their blissful wedlock was suddenly interrupted by the year 1990 (as in the Information age of short marriages) oops!
Well, seriously speaking I think something between communal values, stigma and maybe even the security created by a family arrangement kept marriages together in the last century not really the fact that the marriage was arranged. Women generally tended to let sleeping dogs lie in the past. I could be wrong. On the other hand I guess they got the benefits of a companion at old age when the turbulent middle-ages were long gone when they had to swallow plenty lumpy green things thrown at them by their beloved spouses (and vice versa as a matter of fact). So long marriages still did pay off!
Please do not misconstrue my point. I do intend to have a permanent marriage (Till Death that is) however it will not be on the basis of an arrangement or the tendency to shove things under the carpet. It will be by genuine consent of both parties to remain together under the supervision of The Umpire. A three-fold cord cannot be broken, you know. What do you think?