Marriage Before and After the Ceremony

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Marriage Before and After the Ceremony

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You will wonder why I have placed this chapter after the one on Mate Selection and not before. After all, we fall in love before we select our mate, don't we? Or do we? One thing is sure, anyway! We all hope to fall in love. We can't imagine marrying any person we don't love. Vaguely we feel a certain mild disappointment that the love we bear for the other is not quite as passionate, quite as romantic, as it should be. But we hop that all will be well in the end. What's wrong here? For something is at least mildly wrong. Almost no one feels that passionate, violent, all-or-nothing sensation which we think we should feel. But if no one else feels it, why do we believe it exists? The truth is that we maintain and support two wholly contradictory views of love. And this contradiction causes more mental agony, more neuroses, and more breakdowns than any other aspect of our harrowing age.

The Idealized woman

The male believers that one day he will meet the perfect woman, the one and only woman who is made for him. they sealed unto all eternity. He will marry her, love her, and cherish her till death. She will bear him fine, healthy, intelligent children. She will be the perfect lover, keeping him enthralled with an endless series of erotic inventions that will be infinitely superior to anything any other woman has ever thought of. At the same time she will be a devoted mother, never missing any child's slightest heartbeat, sacrificing herself for them when they are sick, raising the boys to be loyal but independent, the girls to be gentle but not weak. She will run her household to perfection, impress the neighbors, be admired for her community activities, stay beautiful into old age, keep a perfect figure, never cheat her husband with another man, watch her household money without ever being mean, be gay, and amusing, and successful, and never get sick.

The Idealized man

The girl believes that one day she will meet the perfect man, the one and only man who is made for her. They will recognize each other at first sight. Their fate will be sealed unto all eternity. He will ask her to marry him; she will say yes. He will be handsome, strong, kind, and just. He will make a great career, yet never neglect his wife or children. He will always put them ahead of his business activity, understand the kids, be strong and firm, yet kind and just with them. He will be a virile lover, making her adore and admire him without ever forcing her to do anything against her will. He will open new worlds to her, but he'll do it gently and with infinite patience. He will be a perfect father, never failing to be available for the kids when they need him. he will be a good provider, never pampering anybody but always making ample resources available when they're needed. He'll age gracefully, staying lean and trim, with a sunburned face and short-cropped white hair. He'll never cheat her with another woman. He'll be witty, gay and admired by everyone in the community. Theirs will be the perfect American family planning. Others may make mistakes, but they won't. Because they'll be together. They'll love each other and find their own small world in each other's company. They'll never despise anybody, but they won't need anybody either because they are sufficient unto themselves.

Every American boy, dumb or bright, believes this. Every American girl, ugly or beautiful, accepts this as her inalienable right. None of us ever gets anywhere near it. For it doesn't exist. The whole thing is a fraud from beginning to end.


The Dream Vs. Reality