Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

The Marriage Discussion

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Well, the time has come, I've made the committment, I'm getting hitched next summer. My girlfriend and I have been together for several and have decided to embrace the time-tested institution of marriage.

I firmly believe in the value of marriage, I think it's one of the most (rationally)selfish things one can do. Of course it involves long range thinking, a true understanding of your values, and a full understanding of what you are "getting yourself into." Contrary to the beliefs of many of my colleagues, peers, and family members, I do not embrace the view that marriage entails "selflessness" and "sacrifice" but instead requires selfishness to the utmost degree. The decision to share a life with someone does not require that you abrogate your ego, but reinforce it with a partner who reflects your values and provides you with a source of admiration.

I am so absolutely certain that my marriage will be successful that I wish others could feel the same way. I am utterly convinced that success in relationships comes from a rational foundation and the complete rejection that a long-term committed relationship is founded on altruist ethics. For example, one might say to me, "being married means you can't go to the clubs as much, party it up, and pick up chicks; aren't you sacrificing for your marriage?" I don't have you explain to the members of this forum why that is not the true meaning of sacrifice.

Are there any other members that are married or planning on getting married? I'm interested in a general discussion about marriage from an Objectivist perspective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check the link in my sig. I'm 86 days and counting.............

Instead of giving favors, we are getting business cards made that give people the choice to have donations made to 1 of 2 places. One is Bunny Buddies which is a rabbit rescue group my fiance and I both work with and ARI's adopt a classroom program. The second choice is the one I want. Either way, we'd rather give the money we'd put towards jordan almonds or oddly shaped tea infusers, and other such novelties as gifts. How many weddings have you gone to and been given personalized chocolate bars or cd's and just tossed them?

Our friends and families know us well enough to not be shocked by it. Plus, I managed to work a couple of plugs for ARI into our wedding site.

Congratulations by the way to both of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice website Scott, very cute. You guys seem very happy! Do you find that your views on marriage and relationships differ from your peers and family? Some people are shocked when they hear me discuss how love is rational, it seems to fly in the face of the dominant conception of love as an unknowable feeling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Nice website Scott, very cute.  You guys seem very happy! 

No, actually we are miserable. :)
Do you find that your views on marriage and relationships differ from your peers and family?  Some people are shocked when they hear me discuss how love is rational, it seems to fly in the face of the dominant conception of love as an unknowable feeling. 

 

Actually, my fiance and I still have a differing view on the selfishness of love and how it's an entirely rational emotion. Mind you, she has come a VERY far way from when we started dating. Her family is quite Catholic and her parents and I have had a chance to discuss the topic at length and they were surprisingly understanding of the concept of love being a rational response to their daughter and not an "irrational emotional spark" or other such thing.

Oddly enough, my mom and sister, who have read quite a bit of Rand's fiction and some of her non-fiction but are FAR from being Objectivists seem to have the hardest time understanding the rational responses to her.

Oh, and from a practical standpoint, the website makes things a WHOLE lot easier when it comes to the registries, directions, and all the gazillion stupid little things you as a guy have no concept or clue that have to be kept track of to make a wedding get pulled off successfully. I've literally had IPO's get launched with less trouble. :thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you find that your views on marriage and relationships differ from your peers and family?  Some people are shocked when they hear me discuss how love is rational, it seems to fly in the face of the dominant conception of love as an unknowable feeling.

This is something that's always annoyed me. When I hear people talking about how love is selfless, my response is usually along the lines of "So, you're saying you'd rather go fishing or something, but since you're in love you're going to give up what you really want to do and spend time with your fiancee instead?"

When I got married (about eight and a half years ago, and it's still going great, thanks for asking) my wife and I wrote our own ceremony. The first sentence was "Love is a profoundly selfish emotion." I'm still proud of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the time has come, I've made the committment, I'm getting hitched next summer.

Congrats!

For example, one might say to me, "being married means you can't go to the clubs as much, party it up, and pick up chicks; aren't you sacrificing for your marriage?"  I don't have you explain to the members of this forum why that is not the true meaning of sacrifice.

Ironically, consider this: If you truly, honestly value your marriage & spouse BUT go out "partying & picking up chicks" instead of spending quality time with your wife THAT would be a sacrifice. An Objectivist knows the word means giving up something one values or exchanging a higher value for a lower value or for nothing at all in return. The problem with the generally accepted definition of the word sacrifice is that some people regard it as meaning some form of delayed gratification. The fact that they never thoroughly check their premises means they are open to the deceitful motives of those that use this misunderstanding to make people accept actual sacrifices.

Are there any other members that are married or planning on getting married?  I'm interested in a general discussion about marriage from an Objectivist perspective.

My wife & are both Objectivists. We were when we met. We've been married for 14 years. It's the best! I jokingly refer to her as my "better 60%" :lol: .

When I got married (about eight and a half years ago, and it's still going great, thanks for asking) my wife and I wrote our own ceremony.  The first sentence was "Love is a profoundly selfish emotion."  I'm still proud of that.

That is awesome! Good thinking!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My fiance is also Catholic...although, she's what I like to call an "apatheist."  It hasn't really caused any problems.

I remember. There was a thread right after you signed on I think. You and I had alot in common relationship wise I seem to remember when it came to our then girlfriends. I started using the term apatheist with my fiance and she was kinda tweeked at first but has grown to accept that it is a pretty decent description. Great word Moose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually didn't come up with that word...it was on some other forum from someone describing what he saw as being descriptive of most Americans.

Anyway, my fiancee goes to church but that's about it. I go with her, but she's well aware that I don't believe any of it, and, quite often, I'll tell her why something the preacher said doesn't make any sense. For instance, we accidentally wandered into some Pentecostal church last week and the preacher said that one of his friends in South Africa told a legless man to get up and walk...so the man grew new legs right there in the middle of a shoe store. Of course she agreed that that was ridiculous, but I just had to make sure.

Anyway, my fiancee has been raised Catholic and her whole family has Catholic. Surprisingly, my overwhelmingly anti-Catholic family hasn't made an issue of it at all. She's not really the philosophical type, but on the occasions when I'm able to draw her into deep discussions, she's pretty rational and usually winds up agreeing with whatever I say. The problem is that, like most people who were brought up Christian, the existence of God is accepted as an axiom, rather than something that needs evidence.

My greatest challenge so far was protecting her from the crap that her Marxist professor spewed in one of those stupid "cultural diversity" classes that so many schools require. But I was successful, because she thought he was full of crap too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, my fiancee goes to church but that's about it.  I go with her, but she's well aware that I don't believe any of it, and, quite often, I'll tell her why something the preacher said doesn't make any sense.
She goes when she is with her family but that is it. A C&Er as my friend the minister described. They go on Christmas and Easter and they are satisfied at that. But given she's Catholic she feels guilty about it. :D When I visit with her family, I go to services with them and they know fully well I am an Atheist. They are actually pretty happy with me going in that they can show me off as the good guy their daughter is marrying sort of thing. And I don't mean that to sound in the vacuous or cheap sense. They are happy that she's marrying a good guy. They just don't go around introduce me as the Atheist since they are both kind of higher ups.

Anyway, my fiancee has been raised Catholic and her whole family has Catholic.  Surprisingly, my overwhelmingly anti-Catholic family hasn't made an issue of it at all.
Funny, yet another similarity between us. My family are actually Orange Order. For those not familiar, Orangemen are basically militantly anti-Catholic protestant Irish. They used to always say they didn't matter what race or religion I married as long as she wasn't a Catholic. Once they met her, they forgot their old bigotries and couldn't care less.
She's not really the philosophical type, but on the occasions when I'm able to draw her into deep discussions, she's pretty rational and usually winds up agreeing with whatever I say.  The problem is that, like most people who were brought up Christian, the existence of God is accepted as an axiom, rather than something that needs evidence.

My greatest challenge so far was protecting her from the crap that her Marxist professor spewed in one of those stupid "cultural diversity" classes that so many schools require.  But I was successful, because she thought he was full of crap too.

Same here, except she hates arguing with me becuase she always seems to loose. he he he. But being a lawyer to be, and a criminal defense lawyer to be at that, what would you expect. But there is a certain pleasure in trumping someone who argues for a living. There is not an emoticon with enough of an emoticon with an evil grin big enough to insert here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel very greatful to have a fiance who is very much on the same playing field as I am regarding our philosophical convictions. It didn't start out that way though. Interestingly, we both discovered Ayn Rand together and we both seemed to mutually say, "wow, this completely brings it all together."

When we met, I was more of a tradition oriented conservative, and she was a wishy-washy liberal. Objectivism seems to have united us in our convictions since it united my conservativism (moral absolutes, free markets etc..) and her liberalism (reason over faith, this-worldly etc..), all the while we continue to check our premises and live life to the fullest. We still have disagreements, but it makes a big difference when you see eye-to-eye on your deepest convictions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been married almost two years to my ideal partner ("Pony Girl" on this forum).

We are both computer people: she's into security and I'm into network engineering, which is a big part of our marriage. I own a small ISP -- our ceremony was held in the network center before all the blinking lights of routers and equipment that we both love. They are the focus of our productive lives and one of the physical embodiments of our happiness, in addition to being symbolic of our meeting and courtship (which was largely online in IRC, facilitated by that very equipment).

We wrote our own entire ceremony. It started with the definition of love and involved us stating explicitly the values we shared and how we felt about them and each other. It was truly an incredible experience -- we plan to do it again someday :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are both computer people: she's into security and I'm into network engineering, which is a big part of our marriage.

Neat.

On a totally unrelated topic, I'm an engineer at Cisco with a focus on security. The three of us have *got* to get together and go bowling...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a question for Scott and Moose. I've often wondered how I'd handle the "does God exist" question if my wife was not an atheist like me. I was wondering if either of you have figured out an approach to the question which would be acceptable to you and to your fiancee.

At some point around 4 or 5 our son asked us about God. Actually, he did not really ask, but started making factual statements like: "Jesus is looking over my shoulder." We explained to him that some people believe in God and that we do not. We also took care to tell him, in terms he understands, that people feel strongly about this, and that he does not need to debate it at his age.

If one parent believes in God and the other does not, one could handle it by saying "I believe in God, but mom does not". However, this essentially undercuts the "believing parent".

So, if this is something you have discussed and wouldn't mind sharing publically, I'd be curious as to what you have concluded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it will be a while before we have kids, so we've only touched on the subject. Basically, we've agreed that he just needs to be taught to think for himself. I don't think there's anything unhealthy in letting children know that their parents don't agree on everything, so long as one doesn't try to make the other look dumb. My children will be taught to think for themselves, from both of us. Andrea (my fiancee) has agreed that she will not teach Christianity in a way that makes other belief systems look ridiculous, as is done in many Christian households. So she'll present her beliefs and I'll present mine. At an appropriate age, our child can make the decision for himself. Since I know more about Christianity than my fiancee and since she is not particularly devout, I do not forsee him becoming a Christian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  Andrea (my fiancee) has agreed that she will not teach Christianity in a way that makes other belief systems look ridiculous, as is done in many Christian households.  So she'll present her beliefs and I'll present mine.  At an appropriate age, our child can make the decision for himself.  Since I know more about Christianity than my fiancee and since she is not particularly devout, I do not forsee him becoming a Christian.

I'm finding myself with you agin Moose. Danyel and I have talked about the obvious differences in our beliefs. She does want our kids to be "raised Catholic" ie do the whole baptism/god parent/communion thing but we agreed that if the kids ask me questions I'll present my views honestly and openly. Plus, Danyel is far from devout and questions strongly the teachings of the church. In fact, I am more of a fan of the pope than she is so when we visit her parents they've noted how funny it is their atheist son to be is defending the "holy father" and their good little Catholic daughter is doing nothing but complain about him.

I've had friends with "mixed" marriages and their kids seem to come out somewhere between atheists and very mildly religious. I have no doubt that in all likelihood, I'll have a better crack at the kids philosophically than her. But, that is a hurdle we will have to face when and if we face it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Sorry if I'm intruding as a noob here, but...

I have one question to those of you who are marrying religious types. How can you possibly reconcile the religion issue, particularly when it comes to children?

When I read Fountainhead, I was mormon. When I finished Atlas Shrugged, I became an ex-mormon and divorced my mormon ex-husband.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I read Fountainhead, I was mormon. When I finished Atlas Shrugged, I became an ex-mormon and divorced my mormon ex-husband.

They rationalize about what is truly of moral value to them.

Is it true that mormons are particularly poor in their treatment of women?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, not really. However, the men are lazy and use their priesthood title to serve as merit for their character verses doing something productive. You should see how pretentious these guys are, not to mention self righteous, without so much as an iota of intelligence. Those who are intelligent are ostracized and ridiculed. The morons (no pun intended...well, maybe a little :)) who spit this crap out of their mouths quote scripture that the "learned man is an enemy to god." That about says it all, doesn't it?

The truth is, all religions advocate their idea of "truth," rationalizing all manner of self-immolation and empty piety. Heck, they can't even agree what the god-head are, much less the definition of "truth Christianity," whatever the heck that is.

Can you tell I'm a bit put off by religion? :) LOL

Edited by Chickenbuttlips
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry if I'm intruding as a noob here, but...

I have one question to those of you who are marrying religious types. How can you possibly reconcile the religion issue, particularly when it comes to children?

When I read Fountainhead, I was mormon. When I finished Atlas Shrugged, I became an ex-mormon and divorced my mormon ex-husband.

I am a graduate of the Seminary program, and former Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I live and think for myself now.

I wrote the bishop of the University of Utah student ward a brief letter asking to have my name removed from the membership lists. Two months later, I got this HUGE handwritten letter that was chock full of all kinds of personal details about me. This guy did his homework in an attempt to shame me back into the church.

I was friends with another guy who had gone through the MTC (Missionary Training Center for you who aren't in the know), and asked to be let go days before they were going to ship him off to North Korea. He smuggled in the Fountainhead.

I'll drink a beer, a cup of coffee, and a cup of tea to thee. I'll even burn a couple of cigarettes for you too. Here's to rationality!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the sad truth is, despite out right field Mormons are, they aren't the worst culprits of religious inculcation. I've met some very belligerent "born agains" who could make Branch Davidians appear subdued.

Although this is an extreme, the dichotomy between religious types and atheist is rather distinct in that reconciling opposing fundamental beliefs, such as praying, original sin, etc. How do you overcome such issues, so that when a child is born the couple can keep an open dialogue where their children won't feel threatened or the need to choose sides. I just don't see a way around it. So, if anyone can enlighten me, I would appreciate it.

Oh! BTW, Thank you for the lovely compliments.

Edited by Chickenbuttlips
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...