What's Wrong with Marrying for Love?

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Falling in love is the expected and proper prelude to marriage. As presently interpreted, this means that you marry for love and that you work at it after marriage. A successful marriage is the final realization of a romantic attraction. A good marriage is one that contributes freely and fully to personality development; a poor marriage is one that hinders it. Getting married is primarily a romantic adventure with an emphasis upon individual rights and freedom from parental control, rather than a carefully reasoned choice involving a prudent weighing of other factors important for a lifelong union. Passionate attachment and anticipated happiness outweigh such considerations as companionship, cultural similarities and common social experience. We proudly announce that we no longer marry for convenience, to promote a career or to please our families but to establish a personally desirable relationship that is voluntary, rests on personal choice, and aims at individual happiness and personality development.

Romance is beautiful. Wonderful. But as the primary basis for selection of matrimonial mates? On which to build a lifelong union? Many things must be considered. This is the verdict of other centuries. Young people need the counsel of their elders. Parents do know something about the nature and needs of their own children. They can judge their mates through the eyes of their greater age and experience. And 'they do seek the happiness of their children. Does modern research throw any light on the validity of romance as a basis for mate selection? What are the findings of recent studies of marital problems? Romance according to some researchers is a process of fantasy formation, usually adolescent when one idealizes another person, ignoring the faults and magnifying the virtues of the loved one. (After marriage there is usually an emotional return to reality.) Other students of the problem see it as a striving for emotional security, so lacking in casual relations Df our everyday life.

Whatever the facts may be in each of these interpretations, it should be noted that all see romantic love as some brm of compensating emotion, personally satisfying, ide-ilizing someone else but unrelated to reality. Studies of marital failure and success show quite clearly hat the longer the period of acquaintance before marriage, he greater the chances of marital success.

Perhaps most essential is the importance of similarity of ocial background for marital success. This means that like hould marry like. "Marriage," writes a well-known family sociologist, "involves living with a person, not merely loving him." It is this prosaic fact that places romantic love in its proper proportions as a basis for marriage. Romance must be termed the prelude to the more sober and realistic consideration of a mate hut


There are Some Rules for a Happy Marriage

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The timeworn admonitions, such as "Praise her new hat", "Share his hobbies", "Be a sweetheart as well as a wife", "Don't keep a blonde in the guest room" have been avoided inthis article not only because they are threadbare from repetition, but also because they don't seem to accomplish their purpose. Maybe what we need is a brand-new set of rules. Here they come.

RULE ONE: Neither party to a sacred union should run down, disparage, or badmouth the other's former girls or beaux, as the case may be. The tendency to attack the character looks, intelligence, capability, and achievements of one's mate's former friends of the opposite sex is a common ease of domestic discontent. Aspersions, insinuations, reflections, or just plain cracks about old boy friends and girl friends should be avoided at all times.

RULE TWO: A husband should not insult his wife publicly, at parties. He should insult her in the privacy of home. Thus, if a man thinks the souffles his wife makes are as tough as an outfielder's glove, he should tell her so when they are at home, not when they are out at a formal party where a perfect souffle has just been served. The same rule applies to the wife.

RULE THREE: When a husband is reading aloud, a wife should sit quietly in her chair, relaxed but attentive. If he has decided to read the Republican platform, an article on elm blight, or a blow-by-blow account of a prize fight, it is not going to be easy, but she should at least pretend to be interested. She should not keep swinging one foot, or clap her hands in an effort to catch the mosquito to bite her when her husband is reading aloud. She should not break in to correct her husband's pronunciation, or to tell him one of his socks is wrong side out. When the husband has finished, the wife should not lunge instantly into some irrelevant subject. It's wiser to exclaim, "How interesting!" or, at the very least, "Well, well!" She might even compliment him on his diction and his grasp of politics, elm blight, or boxing.

RULE FOUR: A husband should try to remember where things are around the house so that he does not wait for his wife to get home from the hairdresser's before he can put his hands on what he wants. Perhaps every wife should draw for her husband a detailed map of the house showing clearly the location of everything he might need. Trouble is, I suppose, he would lay the map down somewhere and not be able to find it until his wife got home.

RULE FIVE: Two persons living in holy matrimony must avoid slipping into the subjunctive mood. A husband is always set on edge by his mate's "Far be it from me" or "Be that as it may". The safest place for a happily wedded pair is the indicative mood, and of its tenses the present is the most secure. The future is the domain of threats and worries, and the past is a wasteland of sorrows and regrets.


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