The Case for Marriage
Course DescriptionIs there case to be made for marriage, long the bedrock institution of civilized society? Or is it just another social antique, the creation of an outdated patriarchy and no longer relevant in modern life?
Taught ByDennis Prager
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TranscriptThe Case for Marriage
Unfortunately, it is probably harder at this time in history to make the case for marriage on purely rational grounds than almost anything else. And unfortunately, equally unfortunately, it is unbelievably necessary, because so many men and women wonder, why get married? Iím going to deal with some of the objections.
First, let me just say that this is primarily addressed to men because more men need to be convinced, because women, by natureóyes I believe there is a feminine and a msasculine natureówant commitment. Nevertheless, this is addressed to both sexes, but especially to men. So, letís deal with it: The case for marriage.
Well, first of all, do you want to build a life with someone? Itís so simple, isnít it--do you or donít you? I donít know why people would want to live a life, without having shared it with somebody, or shared it with a series of somebodies over a course of a lifetime.
Thereís no comparison: Do you want to get deeper? Do you want to grow up? And I know this sounds a littleóalmost insulting. Itís not meant to be insulting, but come onóeverybody who has married, whether theyíre divorced or they are still married, knows, marriage makes you more mature. It canít have any other effect, because when youíre single, your primary concern, totally understandably, is you: When will I get up? What will I do today? Where will I be this weekend? What will I do? What will I think? How will I feel? What will I eat? But when you get married, itís "we." That makes you grow up. That makes you a deeper person as well, because the deepest relationship that exists in the world is that of a husband and wife. That is the deepest relationship. Iím not saying that there are no other spectacular relationships and there are no other great friendships. I have wonderful, deep, loving relationships with men I have had my whole life. I love that; I canít live without that. But there is nothing that quite compares to the depth of the relationship between a husband and a wife.
Now, people will say, "aw, come on, why get married? Hey--I can live with somebody, why get marriedóitís just a piece of paper? I love that line: Itís just a piece of paper. To which I always sayóletís say youíre with a man for now for 4, 6, 8 years and youíd like to marry, but he says, "nah, itís just a piece of paper." I have a great answer for you: "Well, honey, if itís just a piece of paper, why donít you sign it?" Because everybody knows itís not just a piece of paper. There is a world of difference, even though it may not be in oneís heartóthere is a world of difference between being married and living together with somebody. Let me tell you something: There is a very big difference between the word boyfriend and the word husband, between the word girlfriend and the word wife, even between the word partner and the word husband or wife. Itís not just a piece of paper.
Now I know all the arguments aside from just a piece a paper: fear of commitment--especially men have this. I understand that; I understand it as a man. Of course, you tell a guy: "this is the only woman youíll be able to touch for the rest of your life," letís be honest, it causes men to start to hyperventilate. I understand that. So, you have a choice: Would you like to have a deep, committed relationship with a woman or a succession of women and on your tombstone will be written, "Here lies so and so. He had eight great relationships." I donít think thatís the better way to live a life, and I donít think it makes you happier as a man, let alone as a woman.
Oh, and another one: "Thereís so much divorce." So what? Itís like saying there are so many car crashes I wonít get a license. Yes, there are car crashesóthere are marriages that end up crashingóand everyone is a tragedy, so what? Why is it an argument against marriage? All it is is an argument to marry the right person, but itís hardly an argument against marriage.
And society needs marriage. Society wants people to take care of each other. Itís better for the world when people marry. Yes, the case for marriage is powerful. The fact that our age needs that case is a very troubling fact. It is simply a better life for society, for me, for the person Iím marrying, for our children, for the world: marriage. Iím Dennis Prager.