Marriage of convenience

by Nickolas 15 Replies latest social relationships

  • Nickolas

    Just a few weeks back my wife and I attended the wedding ceremony of the child of a couple with which we associated in the past. He and I worked together in the same industrial complex and shared a common interest in antique cars. I liked the older British sports cars and he liked American steel. We go back almost 40 years but our lives have taken us in different geographical directions. His elder daugher and my elder son went through school together, but that was a relatively long time ago - they're both in their mid-30's. We haven't lived in the same area for 11 years. This, just to provide a little context.

    At the wedding was another couple we associated with later on and with whom we've not had much contact in more than a decade. They are outwardly still a dedicated couple, but it turns out that he spends much of his time in the remote family cottage doing the things he likes to do (like hunting, fishing and boating) while she spends much of her time in the condo 400 miles away in the city doing the things she likes to do (like culture, theatre and art). Probably 75% of the time they're together, ostensibly doing things they both like to do. They'll be our guests this fall for a two-day tour of vineyards and wine tasting.

    They seem happy enough, as they always have in the 30 years I've known them, but it is clear they have settled on a sort of marriage of convenience. They spend only 3/4 of their time together, the rest of the time doing what each other wants to do that doesn't happen to interest the other.

    There are individuals in here, who shall remain nameless but who I might expect to join in this particular conversation, who have experienced an intellectual/philosophical separation from their mates, whether male or female. Specifically, they have detatched themselves from the Watchtower while their mates have not, yet they remain mates. Given the all-or-nothing of Watchtower doctrine it seems to me that these individuals have entered into a marriage of convenience. They stay together because they love their mates and their mates love them, but they are hopelessly (or perhaps hopefully) divided in what they perceive as reality. The question is, have they admitted the marriage of convenience to themselves and are they content to allow it to remain the way it is until the end of their lives?

  • sd-7

    Yes to the first. And yet the a battle of wills--the honorable mind vs. the dangerously exposed, emotionally vulnerable heart--and thus only time will tell.

    At least that's what a friend of mine would say, if he were asked.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Marriage of convenience has stigma attached to it. How do we know they are not more married than other people? I don't see how anyone outside the relatinship can judge someon else's marriage-unless domestic abuse or child neglect is happening.

    Marriage of convenience makes me think of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. She way gay. They were both doing field work in the South Sea area. It was very difficult for single peple to infilitrate and study native groups. Missionaries did the same thing. And there are mail order brides even today.

    As a matter of fact, marriages used to be trade agreements and personal contracts rather than personal liking. People who lived then prob. could not conceive of romantic love. Romantic love involved lower social class misstresses, not brokered wives.

    Any marriage that can survive the Witness must be extraordinary. A house divided against itself.

    I view it as very sad. My value judgment and prejudice is present, though.

  • discreetslave

    I don't have enough time behind me. I just escaped the JW Matrix. I will say if the past week 2 weeks is an indication of what our relationship will be like even with him still it is far from a marriage of convinience. It was starting to feel like our marriage was that way as a JW but now that I'm free things are so much better. As a JW I internalized a lot but now we're so open. We've really been talking to each other and very affectionate. The only thing we can't share is our worship of God and our friends. I hope for the friend part to change. I need to form friendships with people who have no JW connection and then we can share them.

    It has only been two weeks so with the passage of time I hope for one of two things. A)We continue this way or B) he takes the red pill (wakes up from JW).

  • Nickolas

    We've really been talking to each other

    That is precisely what I do not have. Then again, you still believe in God, so you have something in common. The Watchtower, it seems, forbids baptised Jehovah's Witnesses, even if they are in a marriage relationship, to actually discuss the Watchtower with their mates, unbelieving or otherwise. Off limits. They automatically have a wall built between them and their lives are dedicated to accomodating it.

    and very affectionate.

    that we still have. It seems incompatible with not talking to one another about the thing that divides us most.

  • Curtains

    nickolas, I would hesitate to label what you have described as a marriage of convenience and suggest that the the couple you describe have a very mature and independent outlook on marriage. Both get to enjoy their separate time doing the things they like and then they also have a lot of together time.

    In my own marriage the all or nothingness of the watchtower isn't my all or nothingness although it may be my husband's - and it isn't the all or nothingness of our marriage. My husband goes out of his way to understand me and I do the same for him although I have to admit we are intellectually and philosophically very different. I respect him and he respects me - the way I see it we are both partaking of eternal processes each in our own way and not the same ones. Also I think we have a dynamic marriage and I see no need for labelling it a marriage of convenience although there may be times when it is like that, we both know however that it is not always like that.

  • Nickolas

    My husband goes out of his way to understand me and I do the same for him although I have to admit we are intellectually and philosophically very different.

    I might observe that the thing that makes it work for you, curtains, is your mutual effort to understand one another. You communicate. I was under the impression, however, that Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to discuss the Watchtower with their unbelieving mates.

  • NewChapter

    Wow Nick, that marriage you just described sounds like absolute paradise! How I wish I could find someone secure enough to continue persuing their own interests and secure enough to let me persue mine. I don't view this as a marriage of convenience. I view it as 2 mature people crafting the marriage so that they get more of the benefits and less of the negatives. It certainly isn't stagnate. Think of all the things they have to talk about. I'm a person that needs a lot of time alone. I try to date, but the all consuming attitude of most men out there just suffocates me. I WANT them to do their interesting things---and leave me alone to write or stare at the wall. It's miserable dragging someone to a play when they hate that sort of thing.

    I recently read an essay, and can't remember by whom, but it broke it down this way. It is unreasonable to think that one person can fill all of our needs. Expecting it is a recipe for failure, because the other person will never be able to do it. The demands can't be met. Mature people realize that and go off on their adventures with friends. The most interesting friends I have are those that are comfortable travelling without their husbands. They have fully formed personalities, they love their husbands, and they feel good that while they are gone, their husbands are doing thing they like.

    I am too old to be consumed anymore. Perhaps in my 20's that was an attractive idea---which is good for children. But now in my 40's with no children at home, I want to do things that fulfill me. I pulled away from my last boyfriend because he seemed lost on his own. We did plenty together, but he did nothing alone. It was exhausting. I'll quote Alanis Morsette here: I'm not the doctor!"

  • Curtains

    I agree completely, newchapter

  • aSphereisnotaCircle

    My husband and I spend way less then 75% of our time together. He works in Alaska and is gone 3.5 months out of the year, he also spends about 4-6 weeks a year in the deep woods hunting, sometimes I go, but not always.

    I like to spend a week or two each year at the coast with my dog and maybe another friend.

    I think we have a great relationship.

    As a matter of fact, hubby is coming home from his Alaska gig this very evening, and to say we are excited to see one another again is putting it mildly. Our time apart makes our time together that much sweeter.

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