Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marriage & Staying Together "For the Kids"

Despite being happily married, I'd say I'm overall anti-marriage. Or, more precisely I'm against marriage between people who don't actually live up to what we expect from marriage. I'm not talking about genders or sexual orientation. Gay marriage, open marriage, even polygamous marriage is fine w/me as long as everyone's an equal, doing right by each other, & not being an ass to one of the participants. If you're doing this & you're not psychologically damaging children we're going to have to pay to treat through therapy, the courts, jail time, etc., I have no qualms about you touting your happy marriage to the world. You've earned it.

But when you're an abuser, an addict or just a jerk who's making the home environment a living hell for your partner or your kids, don't you dare act like your union deserves the same respect and regard as my happy marriage. That really pisses me off & should piss people off far more than a happy, consenting, functional union between gay individuals.

I also really, really hate religious types and others who tell people to stay in unhappy marriages "for the kids."

First off, these dingbats have likely never lived that reality. They think children are stupid & can't see when something is a total act for their benefit. They think you can brainwash kids.

I lived this "stay together for the kids" crap. It didn't do me any favors. In fact, it really clouded my view of relationships. What good is having a 2 parent household when those parents are always fighting, you have to flee your home when one gets into an aggressive mood and one allows your peace of mind to be invaded against your will?

I once came very close to getting into a physical fight w/my father. He shoved me into a chair & my mom + sister had to hold me back as I got up & started kicking.

Even my academic adviser in college for psychology agreed that this is a bad idea.

Second, kids aren't stupid. What you're teaching them in this staying together for the kids no matter what shit is "you should be so subservient to a mate that you are no longer a person." If you're a girl seeing your mother treated this way, you're going to think that's acceptable behavior. I never did since I had hostility for her allowing us to live in this dysfunctional space & caring more about my father's presence than our piece of mind.

You also teach your kids that marriage is equal to Hell. My mind equated marriage with giving up my identity, something I refused to do. We even see this in society. How many movies & shows portray men as being whipped and women as total bitches??? This plus my home life really bolstered my position.

When I was 7, I told my mom she should get a divorce. She never did. I wish they had since at least we'd have had a safe home & less psychological fallback from it. Maybe we could have had some better role models & seen a good marriage.

Third, most religions wouldn't condemn you for leaving an abusive marriage. You'd never see the religious folk I know of in the South telling someone to stay in a marriage like my mother's or to put up with domestic abuse. The sane ones admit there are some situations you can't fix and you're better off not putting kids through more psychological trauma. For instance, you can't get marriage counseling if both people aren't willing to fix things or admit there are problems. Did my parents ever get therapy? Does my father even admit to his role in humiliating me & my sister by drinking w/an underage kid in our neighborhood? Ha!

You could get killed if you stay in some situations and it's lunacy to expect someone to stay in a domestic abuse situation. Even a situation like mine could lead to death depending on the alcoholic's temperament.

So I have a very hard time holding back if someone says they're staying together for the kids. I've never heard of a person who lived in a high conflict atmosphere suggesting this & if they did, I'd consider them full of it. From first hand experience, don't do this. The world doesn't need more enablers or anti-marriage types, though they might produce some great creative works. I take this very personally since I lived it & the person w/that snappy solution most likely didn't.

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