Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Simple Key To Success: Get And Stay Married

Once big discoveries are made in a particular field, scientists fall to tackling smaller and smaller ones until they're dealing with relatively trivial issues. Being scientists, they still want to trumpet their findings and, needing to sell newspapers, reporters still want to make a big deal out of them. The reader, however, is probably not affected much by these progressively smaller discoveries and could tune out without much risk.

Marriage, as studied by sociologists, is one such field. It was discovered long, long ago that marriage gives you an advantage in life. For one thing, jokes about your wife are a lot funnier than ones about "my co-habitating, semi-committed partner." Without marriage, the prose is unruly and the punchline gets lost. Here's another example from one of my favorite writers, Megan McArdle.
However, that doesn’t necessarily tell us whether selection effects are at work. A society’s values about marriage aren’t the only thing that affect the stability of its unions; economic forces also undoubtedly play a role, for example, and those vary widely by country. A simple international comparison cannot tell us whether anything we discover is selection effect or causation.
This bit of obfuscating drivel is from an essay pondering the alleged chicken-and-egg problem of the superiority of marriage over shacking up. It's obvious one exists. That's the big discovery from long ago. Now sociologists are debating whether this is a cause or an effect. Studies are done, correlations are found and the press rushes about with each new one telling us whatever fits their preferred narrative. Today, it would be anything supporting homosexuals.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, these discoveries have the same impact on our lives as French avant-garde art. None at all. It doesn't matter if the correlations point one way or another. Get and stay married. There, that's it. Now we can all go cook delicious food and watch the game with friends while the eggheads sit in the study alone, arguing about t-tests and cross-correlations.

For the love of Pete, how many times can we hit the woodwork in one game and not score? Newcastle should have won this one 4-2 at least.

Say, has anyone seen Megan? Dinner is almost ready. Could someone go see if she's still in the study?


Foxfier said...

As much as I want this to be true... I think that it's more a matter of "if you get and stay married, naturally, you'll also be successful."

Er, relatively. My husband will have to be REALLY dang successful to measure as "successful" with five plus kids, and I...well, how "successful" I am depends a lot on the kids themselves. *wry* Got high quality material, here, but if you're expecting 'can trade rap lyrics and will spread their legs at a blink' as well socialized, they'll never be that.


That said, unlike most women my age-- I have no worry that TrueBlue will walk off. Nevermind the marriage thing, his response to my uncles' best intimation attempt was to geek out about the blades. As his grandfather told him was right--and he, being American, tried all sorts of things before this-- marry someone you're a friend with.

I don't have a lot of friends. Before we even dated, he was a "family that was somehow born to a different family" type friend.

Meanwhile, older friends have things like being heartbroken because their fiance of a decade plus just walked out the door. (....)

Foxfier said...

Sort of related, a lot of the "blessings" of a faithful life come directly from the rules involved.

IE, 'don't sleep around'. No STDs, no complicated loyalties, no split kids.

tim eisele said...

I agree that a *good* marriage is best for everyone all around. That said, I do not think that we should be trying to encourage *everybody* to get married, because I have met quite a lot of people who are simply incapable of being part of a good marriage. I think the number of such people is actually quite high, somewhere between 10% and 25% of the population. They are impossible to live with, and if they do get married they make the life of their spouse miserable, and their kids (if any) wind up seriously screwed up.

I do not want to encourage these people to reproduce, and married people have about twice as many kids as unmarried people. If the people who can't or won't be part of a good marriage are willing to stay out of it and remove their descendants from society, then I am perfectly happy to let them.

IlĂ­on said...

"A Simple Key To Success: Get And Stay Married"

And onr of the keys to staying married is: "keep it in your pants until you "are* married" -- don't pressure her to put out (*) ... and if she pressures you to "take it to the next level", you might as well stop wasting your time on her (**).

(*) for one thing, if you do and she does, then she'll subtly resent you for the rest of your life.

(**) well, unless you want a marriage in which sexual activity is infrequent and is used to manipulate and control you.