UNBOUND

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Episode 122

October 9, 2022

https://theweek.com/articles/528746/origins-marriage#:~:text=The%20first%20recorded%20evidence%20of,Hebrews%2C%20Greeks%2C%20and%20Romans.

 

https://www.livescience.com/37777-history-of-marriage.html

 

 

By the power vested in me by simple common sense, I now pronounce you free to decide if marriage is for you. I'm Spider... and tonight we're going to be looking at the pros and cons of getting married. Spolier alert, the second column is far more densely populated but there are advantages that we are going to look at, too, because on this show, we always want to see both sides of arguments like this one. We'll get into that conversation in just a few minutes, but first, this week we are going to forego Christians behaving badly and talk for a few minutes about why we were off radar for a few weeks...

 

PATREON/PROMO

 

Next week: Review of Resurrection

 

Unbound October

 

Five Sundays again this October...

 

Two weeks on divination beginning with a discussion about mediumship, particularly those charlatan “mediums” who prey predominantly on grief, but we will look at other ways they rope people in. After that, we're going to talk about parlor mediumship – tarot and card reading, crystal gazing, palmistry, and more.

 

Then we're going to talk about ghost investigations and I'm going to talk about some of my own experiences. I was VERY into this for a while...

 

The Satan Seller's Hall of Shame (Mike Warnke, Bob Larson, and more)

 

Spider and Shelle Review The Amityville Horror

 

 

MAIN TOPIC

 

 

How long has marriage been a thing?

 

The best available evidence suggests that it's about 4,350 years old. For thousands of years before that, most anthropologists believe, families consisted of loosely organized groups of as many as 30 people, with several male leaders, multiple women shared by them, and children. As hunter-gatherers settled down into agrarian civilizations, society had a need for more stable arrangements. The first recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting one woman and one man dates from about 2350 B.C., in Mesopotamia. Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. But back then, marriage had little to do with love or with religion. - The Week

 

 

So what was it about?

 

Marriage's primary purpose was to bind women to men, and thus guarantee that a man's children were truly his biological heirs.

 

Through marriage, a woman became a man's property.

 

In the betrothal ceremony of ancient Greece, a father would hand over his daughter with these words: "I pledge my daughter for the purpose of producing legitimate offspring."

 

Among the ancient Hebrews, men were free to take several wives; married Greeks and Romans were free to satisfy their sexual urges with concubines, prostitutes, and even teenage male lovers, while their wives were required to stay home and tend to the household.

 

If wives failed to produce offspring, their husbands could give them back and marry someone else.

 

You could literally return your wife for a refund if she was perceptibly defective. Only one problem... Mr. Manly Man could just as easily be the reason and this is true to this day.

 

Monogamy may seem central to marriage now, but in fact, polygamy was common throughout history. From Jacob, to Kings David and Solomon, Biblical men often had anywhere from two to thousands of wives. (Of course, though polygamy may have been an ideal that high-status men aspired to, for purely mathematical reasons most men likely had at most one wife). In a few cultures, one woman married multiple men, and there have even been some rare instances of group marriages.

 

 

When colonists first came to America—at a time when polygamy was still accepted in most parts of the world—the husband's dominance was officially recognized under a legal doctrine called "coverture," under which the new bride's identity was absorbed into his. The bride gave up her name to symbolize the surrendering of her identity, and the husband suddenly became more important, as the official public representative of two people, not one.” (LiveScience, History of Marriage)

 

It was only about 250 years ago when the concept of marrying for love, or because you found your “match” started gaining traction. For the first time in history, people were widely getting married expressly because they were in love. It was even more recent, though, that mutual attraction in marriage really emerged as the be-all end-all reason for getting married. In fact, in Victorian England, many unenlightened (and most likely male) individuals perpetuated the ridiculous notion that women didn't have strong sexual urges at all. That's true of some, but it's true of some men, too. Today we have a name for it and it's called being asexual. And guess what, asexual people still get married. “But what's the point if it isn't about love of if you don't like sex?” Well, there are quite a few very good reasons you might want to take the plunge...

 

Reasons to get married:

 

Legal Benefits:

https://www.theknot.com/content/benefits-of-marriage

 

All of these things are difficult and sometimes impossible to pull off if you aren't married.

 

 

 

Reasons not to get married

 

 

Living together first is smart

 

Weddings are expen$$$ive

 

Weddings are also very misogynistic (giving the bride away, taking the husband's name is usually a given although this IS changing...). To this day a wedding can have the look and feel of a transfer of property and it starts long before the ceremony. How many men do you know who wear engagement rings?

 

Weddings place undue expectations on the bride – weddings are too much about the bride, perpetuating this notion that your wedding has to be on par with your friends, that it has to be the “best day of your life” and more. Weddings have to look a certain way, have a certain feel, almost all of it being very feminine in nature. It's a bridal party, not a wedding party, it's a bridal bouquet, not a wedding bouquet – some things are more neutral and inclusive but the wedding almost always puts the bride in the spotlight and opens her and everything about her wedding up to sometimes very uncomfortable critique.

 

Weddings can divide people more than they join them together

 

Domestic Partnerships are a thing

 

Societal conventions are becoming antiquated

 

Divorce is expensive too

 

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/cost-breakdown-of-a-divorce

 

many sources suggest $15,000 as a total cost of a divorce. The legal website Nolo.com suggests that the average total cost is $12,900, including $11,300 in attorney fees and $1,600 for court costs and fees for tax advisors, real estate appraisers and other experts.

 

 

...and emotionally draining

 

...and fucks your credit

 

...and it's never simple

 

You are trying to build your career

 

You've been divorced already

 

You aren't wired for monogamy

 

You are too controlling or fear your partner will become controlling

 

You're more likely to wind up divorced than not

 

You find the concept of marriage confining

 

You like the idea of casual relationships

 

You can't settle on what you want in a partner

 

Your reasons for wanting to get married revolve around sex

 

People in your life are pressuring you

 

You think it will advance your professional goals

 

You have trust issues

 

You value your freedom

 

You like your life the way it is

 

You have lingering doubts about your partner

 

Your partner is an abuser

 

You and/or your partner have mental and emotional issues that need dealing with

 

You loathe the idea of weddings in general

 

You don't have a valid reason for getting married

 

You're constantly playing break-up-to-make-up

 

You think you can change your parter

 

You enjoy being alone

 

You don't want a traditional family

 

You don't think you can do better than your current partner

 

You don't get along with your partner's family

 

You don't want to be alone

 

People change over time

 

Married people are not statistically happier than single people

 

You should only ever consider marrying someone if you KNOW you are capable of monogamy (and that does NOT apply to as many people as society dictates it should) OR you've decided to partner with someone to help each-other have the benefits we talked about a minute ago. In this instance, it should be someone you trust implicitly because decisions about your health, your finances, and possibly your life itself could eventually rest in their hands. It doesn't have to be traditionally monogamous if you're getting married more for the legal benefits than for love in the first place. If you decide to go this route, however, take the time to discuss various details at length with your partner before taking the plunge.

 

Talk about things like each-other's expectations of how the other partner will manage the relationship. Will it be a romantic or platonic relationship (does the other partner want a lover or just a roommate / eventual executor or power of attorney)? Talk about managing finances. Talk about your spending habits. If you're going to have joint accounts it's just a tad bit important to know how your partner deals with money. And, yes, no matter how young you are, talk about your end of life wishes. What responsibilities and obligations will your partner have and what decisions are they allowed to make for you?

 

Don't forget that your marriage COULD still end up in divorce and there go any benefits of doing this in the first place.

 

Most of all, don't use getting married as an excuse to have sex. Sex works without wedding rings and if you break up, it's a lot less complicated without them. And for our newly minted ex-evangelicals, nothing you've heard about “one flesh” or that it devalues you as a human if you have sex outside of marriage is a crock of shit. Most people don't have these kinds of hangups. No, really, they don't. And most don't care if you're married, living together, or anything in between. Being partnered, cohabitating, and unmarried does not carry the stigma your pastor would like you to believe it does.

 

Just remember that the decision is yours. You can dismiss every reason not to if you can't find anything in that list that applies to or worries you about your relationship. It's not necessarily a bad idea, it's just not always necessary. The freedom to manage your relationships however you want is something you should recognize and enjoy. Your relationship is valid, ethical, beneficial whether you choose to tie the knot or simply stay legally unbound.