Jan M discussion about sex & marriage, and Child Brides show on WE

OK, i don’t watch WE (women’s entertainment) much. But Dharma and Greg is on that channel. And then the On Demand had a show called The Secret Lives of Women: Child Brides that was from WE, and I downloaded it and watched it Friday morning while snuggling my two sleeping babes.

It was an interesting show, but the reason I mention it here is a woman raised in traditional Hmong culture, where her parents arranged a marriage for her at 14 or so. She, being American and going to an American school, etc., really resented it and ended up leaving her husband because she just was not attracted to him (and then he got mean about it). It got me thinking about arranged marriages in general. From the reading I’ve done on the subject (which has not been extensive by any means), it would seem that as long as both partners are reasonable and decent humans, it actually works out OK. I mean, if either or both are stupid jerks, it’s not going to work out, but then neither would a regular marriage probably be that great, either.

Another Child Bride from the show is still married to her husband and she’s like 50 now. He became an alcoholic during their marriage and then stopped drinking also, and they lived through it and worked it out. Leaving was just never an option for her, and she reports that she is very happy. They certainly seemed affectionate.

And Thursday, Jan Mickelson had an interesting reading. Unfortunately, it got interrupted by a call from a customer so I missed part of it, but it was a reading from a book “Ask Me Anything” by J. Budziszewski. It’s in the second hour from the Podcast. It was retelling a story of when a young male student approached the author asking if he could discuss WHY God reserved sex for marriage. The young man was saying that he certainly wasn’t trying to second-guess God, but he thought it might be easier to keep that little requirement if he understood why.

In the course of the discussion, the author said something about Love. It would be silly to base a marriage on a promise to feel love, because we can’t promise to have feelings for ever. Anyway, the whole discussion was a great one, so there’s the link up there.

These thoughts are more jumbled than I meant. They all fit together so nicely in my head but I’m so tired today and trying to type before the battery on Randy’s laptop runs out.

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4 responses to “Jan M discussion about sex & marriage, and Child Brides show on WE

  1. I listened to all of that Jan M cast, and it was really good and made a lot ofsense. I might have to track down the book just to see what else is discussed. Made a lot of sense….not that I needed sense. My hubby and I followed the rules…

  2. The idea that married couples have to be in love romantically is quite recent. That would not have been part of the package for most of human history.

    If you didn’t expect your spouse to be your best friend, if you lived with an extended family in a village where your closest companions were other women, probably an arranged marriage would work.

    In our culture, there is no way this could work.

    • I agree (about our culture). Apparently my rambling post on the subject left out my thoughts about how this obviously works OK in traditional Hmong culture…but it didn’t work out here, because of our culture. She was more American than Hmong. But I know there are closely-knit communities of traditional cultlures where that type of stuff DOES work, because the people are more culturally their own culture than American… they have a whole community supporting them.

      Re: marrying off a teenager – it also makes more sense in a time or a culture where people don’t live as long. When your life expectancy is like 75 or whatever it is here (OK, I have no idea)… marrying as a teen doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. (Though, physically, late teens/early 20s is still the best time to have a baby.) When your life expectency is like 35 or 40 – that makes a bit more sense.

      One of the things I’ve found interesting when I start reading into pop culture history is the whole development of the “teenager.” Teenagers didn’t exist a few generations ago. There were children, then adults.

  3. Forgot to mention that the Biblical age of adulthood is 12 for girls and 13 for boys. The idea that teenagers are not really adults is also quite recent. For most of history no one would have considered a 14-year-old a “child bride.”

    Knowing what we know now about human development and how long it takes for people to mature psychologically, it seems insane for anyone to want to marry off a young teenager.

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