Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June/ Chapter 14: Marriage

Now excuse me for being pessimistic but my real parents are divorced. My mum and stepdad are happily married (I think), but I don't know what my real dad looks like because I haven't seen him since I was 2 years old.

Sob stories aside, I don't quite get why people want to get married in the first place. Now a few of my friends are married, a few more are getting married soon, and I was the best man at my best friend's wedding. So I'm familiar with the whole process. But what's the point of the whole thing?

Now just about all girls want to get marriage one day, and of course us guys are the ones to propose so guys want to get married as well. But do people even know what they're getting themselves into? The divorce rate in the US is about 55%, in the UK it's 42%, and in HK it's 34%. The rate is probably only lower as well in Asia because so many men visit professional sex workers. There's no data on the percentage of married men that visit sex workers, but I would guess it's more than 50%. Don't believe that figure? There's 10,000 sex workers just in HK, and more in Macau and just across the border, and they serve several men a day. Since most guys don't go regularly, that's a lot of men and a huge market.

When I look at the figures I realise that either most people are not really in love when they marry and only do so because they think they should. Or they are in love but fall out of love over the years. I mean when I look at most of my friends, most people have never been in relationships for longer than 2-3 years. When people find out I was in a relationship for 5 years, they go wow. But really, I don't think that's a very long time. If I get married soon, live a full life and never get divorced I'm going to be married 10 times longer than that!

There are some real distinct advantages to marriage. It's a social norm. Society judges people and because our parents are married, and everyone else is, it's better to get married rather than well......fuck around forever.
It's a better environment to have kids. A guy once told me he's given up finding the right girl for him, since that girl doesn't exist. Rather, he'll settle for the mother of his children. You'll be surprised how many men decide to finally get married because they realise they too are getting old and need to have kids soon if they want them.
Economic union. Now I don't know whether that's an advantage or a curse. Depends if you stay married or divorced I guess. But certainly with kids, it helps a couple budget and work together as a unit to keep the family going.
Commitment. Someone once told me nothing's different now that she's married, but it showed commitment from her man. Yeah, I agree with that one, if a guy can't even buy a ring and settle down, better ditch the guy because he probably never will.
People get lonely when older, and it's nice to have someone to count on in times of need.

But although there are advantages to getting married the divorce rate is still staggeringly high. Also, many married couples stay together but are not happy, and the men cheat whilst on "business trips". So what's the problem here? The fact that people want to get married even though the divorce rate is so high tells me people have hope their own marriage will work and be different from everyone else's, even though they themselves are in the pool.

The problem is most people try to achieve those advantages from the wrong perspective. I've seen big fancy weddings before, and the girl wanted to have a big fancy wedding because it was meant to be her "big special day". What about the next 50 years? Firstly, don't get married because of other people, seriously, you have to live with the person, not your parents or the 200 guests at the wedding you're trying to impress

Secondly, don't just focus on yourself, your needs. That's why marriages fall apart in the first place, people thinking about themselves when it was meant to be a partnership. When a marriage fails might as well throw away the wedding pics of that grand wedding....

What about kids? We only get to live once, and now we've evolved to be animals that understand our own needs beyond our evolutionary instincts, it really isn't a smart idea just to have kids for the sake of it. Kids that grow up in broken marriages don't grow up in a healthy environment. If people really want to get married, they should be creating a partnership with someone. To think of the other person as a partner in a team, and not cater to just one's own needs. Most people can't even do that in a 2 year relationship, and that's why the relationships fail. If you're always thinking about what you want in a relationship then it's best to just fuck around forever, at least it's more fun...

The one thing worse than being lonely is being lonely whilst in a relationship.


missmaomao said...

well i come from a single parent family too .. parents got seperated when i was 3 .. but luckily my mum and dad are still good friends and yet both of them are not remarried.

anyways, what i wanna bring up on this is .. i think individuals who come from a broken family tend to crave for a healthy & happy marriage more than anyone else .. well at least i am ... i always crave to look for my "the one" but guess .. hmm haven't met the right one yet, or timing was another factor or sighh fell for the wrong guy again? =S arghhh frustratesss me and yet i have one of those who are "having too much fun" so maybe single is the best still =p lol

as you have mentioned, there are abt or over 50% of divorced rate in today's society and most of them cheat. I figure, its not only men who cheat but women do that often in today's society as well. Which is quite sad. To the point where i start to think if its worth it to get married in the future? but deep down, that's my dream/goal in my life .. sounds stupid but really .. i do wanna find that THE ONE and build MY OWN happy, healthy and long lasting family with the man i love til the day i die

Carlton Bradshaw said...

Yeah, I share your sentiments exactly. I think people from a broken family are more aware of the dangers of picking the wrong person for marriage. That can make it harder for us to find the right match, but it's better to break things up earlier than to get married and unhappy.
Life's not easy, this is just one of those challenges in life.

selma said...

Hi Carlton,
This is like a book. Is this part of a book? Aren't u not worried about copyright? You write pretty well :)

Maybe because we all come from broken families and pretty much seen our folks do it wrong; and have tried the whole deal ourselves (being in a domestic relationship) out of wedlock and done it wrong- maybe that's the reason why we want to hang out for that perfect relationship. It's so true that sleeping around all your life is just a lonely and sad thing -and even more so when you are ruining other families. Even the other extreme is not a better option... the irony of being in an unhappy, lonely relationship// but that's when we can hope.

missmaomao , I don't think it's silly to have that dream :) You want to support your man and that's a good thing.

And Mr Bradshaw, maybe that's why you blog here. You want a girl who wants to understand everything about you, and you are reaching the masses. Good on you for your honesty.

Carlton Bradshaw said...

Thanks, sorry for the late reply, I've been missing comments o nthe older posts.

I'm writing a book now. This blog isn't structured or good enough.

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