There's nothing insane about a starter marriage, provided the people involved are in agreement that that is what it is. Or, you can try for forever, but then come to the agreement that it simply isn't working. Ending what isn't working, once you come to terms with that fact, is simply sane; it is insane to persist at a dead end. (The Holy Grail plague scene, and the Norwegian Parrot come to mind, don't they?)
As other posters pointed out, it fucks up the kids, but hey, really.. Isn't that sentiment also a manifestation of traditional values? Why not question those as well? Very many people I know are products of broken homes. The status quo calls this 'unfortunate' and says that these kids are 'damaged' by the expereince.. But really, are they?
I know, screaming "Darwinism" in any room where people actually believe in their opinions is a sure way to become a crispy critter.. Oh well. It's been my personal experience, that the people who grew up sans parent(s), in a difficult social situation, or in some other 'abnormal' context, have turned out stronger for the expereince - albeit they are exponentially more angstful than their 'well adjusted' peers.
Anyhow, children aside, a starter marriage is a perfectly acceptable thing. Even if you do not go into it with a short term end in mind. People buy starter homes all the time. They get starter jobs, sometimes expecting them to be careers. A marriage is an experience, and if it doesn't work out, you lick your wounds, sign your papers and part ways.
There is something implicit in your post.. That you expect and intend for marriage to last forever. But you have no guarantee whatsoever that it will, can or should. Accepting the concept of a starter marriage as a valid choice is a step towards openning your eyes to the possibility of it not working out. A starter marriage, as an idea, may not be right for you, and that's fine.. But digging in your heels until you are 'sure' it will work, only to find out that it doesn't, is a lot more painful.
Personally, the more I think of it, the more I like the concept of handfasting. You swear to a year and a day, and if you like it, you rinse, lather and repeat till death do us part, and all that.. And if you don't, you don't. And if you really don't, you leave whenever you feel that it is absolutely necessary to do so (as in the case of abuse).
I'm not arguing that starter marriages are necessarily good, or that everyone should have one as a proof of concept. Not at all. I am saying though that the phenomenon (I love how all changes in traditional trends and values are called phenomena) is clearly the result of the "Me First" generation that grew up in the 70's and 80's. All those displaced, 'disenfranchised' latch-key kids that resulted from those times are now doing the best they can. They're fully used to uncertainty, and can more easily accept change on the level of baseline values.
To some people, marriage is a legal contract, with certain terms. If those terms are not honored, or the partnership has outgrown its usefulness, it is dissolved. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this. It tweaks people's morality and conventions, but hey, all's fair in Love, War and Business. If people want to be DINKS, fine! Who are we to tell others how they should live their lives?
There's nothing 'insane' about making rational choices. There is nothing 'insane' about realizing the pragmatic value of the married legal status. And you are right, Love should come last. People who marry for Love are setting themselves up for failure. Marriage is a strategic maneuver, not an empassioned proof of devotion.
You do not even have to like, or even see, the person you are married to. Hell, used to be that marriage was little more than a guarantee of a land deal or military alliance, for those who could afford such things. That and a means of propagating one's line of inheritance in a way that was acceptable to Big Brother Church. We've evolved.
In today's world, with open relationships, medical insurance, expensive child care, complex tax laws, expensive homes, and many other modern conveniences, marriage is more of a pragmatic assurance of legal recourse than anything else.
I posit that those who go through the motions of a starter marriage, intentionally or as a learning experience, are better equipped for life in the modern world than those who hold out past their 'marketable years' (past which they have to settle or be alone - in the marrital sense) or hang on tooth an nail to a failed marriage because of some promise they made to their imaginary friend.
At present, I see Marriage in very much the same terms as I see Citizenship. It's a legal status change what opens certain possibilities. As a Citizen, I can own a handgun and vote.. If neither of these are important to me, why become a Citizen? I can marry someone who will agree with me that marriage is nothing more than a legal state, and we go on living separate, 'single' lives, but file jointly..
Or I can marry because everyone else is jumping off that bridge as well, and only afterwards realize that it really isn't for me. Reason and contemplate as I might, I really can't know for sure how it will be until I do it. I can suppose, I can project, I can research my friends lives, but I won't know until I do it.. And if it really isn't right, it ends. Hence your 'Starter Marriage'.
Now, what "it really isn't right" means is wholly subjective. For children of "Me First" parents, that line is much more banal than for others.. Can you blame them?
|"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"|
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