Discussion in 'General Chit-chat' started by deluks917, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    At least in this country, the biggest benefit of marriage for children is that it highly increases the likelihood of fathers' actually being involved in the kids' lives. In this country, future poverty, involvement in crime, and low education really unfortunately go hand in hand with marriage. No, marriage isn't a panacea that automatically fixes those problems, but it's so deeply entrenched. There are tons of studies out there that try to figure out the why's.

    This is not to say that people who co-habitate can't elect not to marry while also raising a good foundation for children at home. If everything else is the same, there's probably no observable difference in how children are raised. However, in practice, that simply isn't the norm in this country. If I had to guess, I'd say co-habitating couples who raise children probably eventually move on to marriage, but the ones that don't often end up with children who only have one parent (usually the mother) raising the kid on her own.

    I think it's really pessimistic to think that people who feel emotional benefits of marriage have "false beliefs."
  2. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I strongly doubt that's the case.
    I agree there may be a correlation, I doubt though that marriage lower those things.

    ?? I don't see how that can be pessimistic.
  3. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    There's so much data out there. I don't feel like searching for the next 20 minutes, but here's some starter material:

    From the last site: "Children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent
    household, experience instability in living arrangements, live in poverty, and have
    socioemotional problems."

    Marriage itself might not be a magic elixir, but when marital status of parents becomes such a powerful predictor of a child's likelihood to end up impoverished, involved in criminal behavior, poorly educated, etc., we probably shouldn't be so quick to brush it off.

    Maybe the first question to ask is what you mean by "false beliefs," because I'm not sure what exactly you mean. When you ask, though, "What benefits does your relationship get in emotional regards when you marry?" is that supposed to be some rhetorical question in which the answer is supposed to be "nothing"?
  4. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Jobber, it doesn't matter how much statistical evidence you find that shows a correlation between marriage and good children. The statement, "I believe there is correlation between X and Y, but not causation" cannot be disproven by showing gobs and gobs of correlation between X and Y.

    Waterd is saying that there is no difference between 2 good parents who marry before children, and 2 good parents who don't. What you are showing is that good parents get married before having children while bad parents do not, which is a different thing.

    To answer's waterd's claim, I think he is overlooking the social benefits. It's too much of a social norm to get married before children. Even if a legal document has no effect on how you treat your children (which is debatable), it will certainly affect how you and your children are treated by the community.
  5. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    All those articles point out is that families that are poor or in low education tend to not marry, and of course low education and being poor is bad for children...

    I guess this is a valid theory.
  6. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    This whole thread seems to be getting bogged down in marriage vs legal marriage.

    Essentially you can be 'married' without going through the legal steps to do it. 2 parents in a monogamous relationship with kids and co-habitation are probably under some sort of implicit or explicit assumption of the core idea of marriage (together forever, your partner is as important to you as yourself) even if they haven't signed legal documents or had a big ceremony.

    Legally it's just a cost benefit analysis and isn't really an interesting or meaningful discussion. The only thing is that some people here seem to be misjudging the cost benefit analysis because they undervalue the benefit to the spouse/kids. If you're getting married their well being is as (or more, especially in the case of kids) than your own which changes the cost/benefit of the situation. To make it more clear if you are worth 1x to yourself and your kids are worth 2x to you and you had something that could be 50/50 to either cost you 1.5 or benefit your kids 1 you'd do it because it's a positive EV.

    The concept of entering into a marriage relationship (monogamous, assumed to last until death, etc.) seems to be the more interesting question. Of course that makes it hard since all/most studies would be looking for legal marriage.
    Gavisi likes this.
  7. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    I figured "correlation" and "causation" would rear their heads here. That's why I mentioned the fact that marital status of parents itself is a strong "predictor" (specific word I used) of various "bad" (for lack of a better term) outcomes for children should be reason enough for you to at least consider what the specific effects, if any, are. I don't think the dialogue should move into the territory of, "Well, we can't prove that it causes this or that, so let's just call it a correlation and move on." The next logical question, if you're research inclined, should be WHY is the correlation so high. And since this is ultimately an opinion question of whether or not marital status has any benefits, then I'm going to point out the correlation and guess that marriage for parents is probably a good thing for children. Maybe my problem was that I didn't use the expressions "I think" or "I believe" enough.

    Your second point was one I alluded to ("This is not to say that people who co-habitate can't elect not to marry while also raising a good foundation for children at home. If everything else is the same, there's probably no observable difference in how children are raised."). My point was that that ideal-ish situation described generally isn't put into practice, at least not in this country. You could probably create the same positive home environment with two co-habitating people with children, without marriage, but that's not (yet, at least) really emerged in this country in large samples with the desired results.

    All that being said, I did see a CDC stat that numbers of children born from cohabiting couples is on the rise, so maybe the observable benefits correlated to marriage could be on the decline.
  8. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    That's not a totally correct assumption, because you're assuming "poor" or "low education" are the starting points. There can be situations in which a person from a middle-class family, with a good educational background (or at least on the right track) has a child but no stable partner for economic and other support, which hampers future income and educational track. Moreover, you might be right, but single-parenthood itself can be a detriment itself toward getting out of poverty or increasing one's own education.
  9. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    I'm not stating that dual or multiple parents is better or worse than one.
  10. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

    I got married when I was 23 and now I am 27 and still married. Becoming married has made my relationship better in every way. Humans are social creatures, and having a spouse who is committed to keeping a healthy relationship makes all aspects of life better. When a guy and a gal decide to make a commitment to each other to stay with each other and support each other for life, then their lives will improve. If either of them decides to split their loyalty or to be selfish or to give up on the relationship, then both people end up worse than they started.
  11. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    dzebra, I don't think those kinds of bonds require a marriage, though. I know at least one non-family person who I would trust with my life. I agree that it's possible to strengthen a bond with it, but I would hope that I can make strong interpersonal bonds without the implicit threats that come with marriage.

    I'm not sure what "split their loyalty" means. Could you explain?
  12. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

  13. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

    By that I basically mean not having the other person's best interests at heart. Like if I decided that some other woman's needs are more important that my wife's needs, then my loyalty is split. Or if my job's requirements are more important that my wife's well-being, then that's another split loyalty.

    And to your other comment, I don't mean to indicate that legal marriage is the marriage that matters. I'm talking about a pledge of commitment and devotion for life. I would actually prefer if the state didn't recognize any marriage union, but that's not what this thread is about.

    I don't know what implicit threats come with marriage. I can't think of any threats other than the risk of it not lasting for life. If both people go into the marriage with the mindset that it is a true lifetime commitment, so they need to do whatever it takes to make it work out, then that risk is mitigated.

    I think the reason that marriages end is that people in the back of their mind think "If this goes bad, then divorce is an option." If instead, they both think "I will not divorce, not matter what," then conflicts get resolved when they come up because you know you're going to be with that person, and it's better to resolve conflicts than to live miserably forever. Also, don't get married to a person if you have trouble resolving conflicts with them. That's probably the most important marriage skill.
  14. matt.lashof

    matt.lashof Well-Known Member

    Well, I'll chime in as someone who just got married (6/16/2012)!

    My wife and I have been living together for 4 years before our wedding, and so being married doesn't feel much different to us. I think our relationship had already passed out of the rapid-change phase into slow evolution by now.

    But we wanted to share our joy in our relationship with our friends and family in an official celebration, wanted the health and other legal benefits. We also want to in the future raise children, and we definitely wanted the protection of marriage for that.

    People in this thread have been thinking of divorce as the only thing that could end a marriage, but there's also the (sad) possibility that one of us dies young. If you are married, that helps protect you in that situation with survivor benefits, bereavement leave from your employer, whatever.

    Also, not that I'm looking to get divorced or anything, but a legal divorce is much better and fairer than an impromptu asset-splitting after you've been living and having money jointly for years. In the terrible event that my relationship would end, I'd much rather have a standard process to go through for splitting our assets and responsibilities, than to just have to do it willy-nilly at a point where neither of us would likely be in much of a state to communicate well with one another.

    Marriage is OP! Nerf nerf nerf :)
    Scattercat and vivafringe like this.
  15. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

  16. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Any contract has implicit threats associated with breaking it. That's the whole point of a contract.
  17. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the answer.
    Nor did I.
    There are social and legal consequences for breaking it. As I said above, that's true of any contract, and marriage is a contract.
    If they're that committed to maintaining the relationship, what purpose does the marriage serve? I work hard to maintain relationships with people close to me, I don't need a marriage to make me do that. I almost feel there's a confirmation bias here, where you attribute people staying together to a marriage when they might have anyways, if they are good at resolving disputes.

    From a mechanical perspective, I think a marriage makes more sense when two people are compatible not quite confident enough in resolving disputes, and the pressure of the marriage gives them that extra push to make it work. Of course that is not how people think, and I'm sure we can agree the idea is a little silly. I suppose you could argue that a marriage gives a strong incentive to learn conflict resolution skills.
  18. deluks917

    deluks917 Yomi League 1 Champion

    I am pretty sure most men who been through a divorce do not agree with that. How many divorced men have you spoken to about this?
  19. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Prenup = playing to win.
  20. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    WTF, Lofobal... it's like your entire post is a random mish-mash of philosphical debates about how marriage changes people (or not?), combined with some nebulous statement about contracts being negative (how???) And then everyone else's post is like "Here are a list of the express legal benefits I received, with no downside".

    Some people in this thread are way, way, way overthinking things. Marriage is something you do because you find yourself in a life situation where you want to do it, and it makes sense from a financial standpoint. It's not some evil cultural dinosaur that runs around eating otherwise happy folks. As long as you're not getting married for the wrong reasons (and I could come up with a list of these a mile long), it will probably work out. Sadly, too much of the populace doesn't seem to bother checking first.
  21. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Do you have a question for me to clarify? It's not a "random mish-mash" at all.
  22. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    Oh? I thought they were legally binding. If they're not, even less reason to get married.
  23. vivafringe

    vivafringe Moderator Staff Member

    Lofo: If I am thinking about whether to end a relationship, but decide not to due to the negative effects of ending my marriage contract, then the marriage has already failed. I think the primary benefit to marriage (other than the legal/social ones) is the positive feedback loop that you start by showing each other that you are both committed.
    dzebra likes this.
  24. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Hmm, that sounds plausible. I will think about that for a bit.
  25. dzebra

    dzebra Active Member

    By making the relationship "officially" permanent, then it changes the baseline of things. For instance, if I am moving, then it's the baseline stance that I'll be taking my wife with me. If I'm not married, then that is not automatically a given. There's a lot of good things that come from stable long term relationships, and anyone with any friends knows that. Officially committing to a spouse in marriage makes the relationship as long term as possible, and all the things that are already cool about relationships are slightly increased with this added stability.
  26. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    I think a small benefit of marriage is that it forces a couple to confront important decision making. When you're actively in the process of signing legal documents, take pre-marriage counseling, talking to friends and family about the decision to wed, organizing the ceremony, and all that other fun stuff, you're forced to communicate in many so ways as compared to a lot of couples who operate under implicit understandings to stay together.

    I also wonder if all those things I mentioned accelerate "cold feet," and help break up a doomed relationship faster and help a couple to move on sooner.
  27. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Well, no, because I honestly don't believe you could give a satisfactory answer. But to point out what I meant, your two posts above go from "contracts as implied threat" (what threat, seriously, name one?) > "social and legal consequences" (that's not a clarification...) > "marriage as incentive for conflict resolution" (WTF?).

    Vivafringe has basically said everything I could better at this point, though... which is that marriage is an external mechanism for legal recognition of a relationship. It's not a internal mechanism to make a relationship function when it otherwise wouldn't.
  28. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    I'd have to say this is my viewpoint in a nutshell.
  29. Scattercat

    Scattercat Active Member

    I've been married for seven years at this point. Quite happy with it, thank you.

    It was never really a question for us, honestly. We were basically 'married' for most of the three years we were dating, too. The only reason we made it official was to get the legal benefits (easy joint accounts, home purchasing, insurance, hospital visits, etc. etc.) It's nice to have a culturally sanctioned and visible commitment ceremony, as well; it reassures everyone else and is a nice romantic gesture to make for one another. (Even if you personally and privately commit to one another, there is a difference when you do it in public and in a manner that other members of your society recognize as legitimate.)

    I wouldn't have a problem if the institution faded out, however; the benefits it provides are not nearly as relevant in the modern world as they once were, and any sort of public commitment ceremony would work fine for the psychological aspect of it. It's also not for everyone, and that's okay, too. (Though as long as we're attaching legal benefits, it would be nice if they extended to everyone, and here I'm including poly relationships as well as the current issue of same-sex marriage.)

    For my part, I'm basically monogamous by nature. Yes, I know. I'll turn in my testicles at the door. But really, it's not that I don't look at some women and go, "Ooh, hawt." I just find forging new relationships to be stressful and uncomfortable, and I have zero interest in sex for its own sake. (If all I want is an orgasm, masturbating is way faster and easier to come by, especially in the age of free internet porn.) I need a deep emotional connection for sex to be enjoyable, and I have that with my wife; why would I jeopardize it? (Not to mention all the work in creating and maintaining a whole second relationship, let alone the stress of keeping it secret.)
    Wobberjacky, garcia1000 and bbobjs like this.
  30. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

  31. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    If Vegeta and Bulma can make it work, anyone can. ;)

    In all seriousness, more power to anyone who makes marriage work. I don't think I'll be one of those people.
    link6616 likes this.

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