Why do you want to get married?

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
Considering how hard it is to find a good Orthodox spouse, most men and women suffering from various childhood traumas, mental illnesses or scars from a previous sinful life, why look for marriage?

(I am on the fence right now, and looking for pro and con arguments).
It's a personal decision. Personally, being in a loving romantic relationship has always seemed more ideal to me than being alone. Now that I'm Orthodox, I feel that being there for each other during trying times can help with salvation. It seems that whenever I'm really struggling, my husband in stronger. And when he's struggling, I'm stronger.

However, some people may feel they can be closer to God not being married. One of the saints I seriously considered as my patron saint was Saint Thekla. She resisted a number of marriage proposals because she felt she could stay closer to God as a virgin, even defying her mother, who was concerned about her worldly life (some of her suitors were wealthy). She was under fire a number of times, and there was always another miracle to save her.
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
However, some people may feel they can be closer to God not being married. One of the saints I seriously considered as my patron saint was Saint Thekla. She resisted a number of marriage proposals because she felt she could stay closer to God as a virgin, even defying her mother, who was concerned about her worldly life (some of her suitors were wealthy). She was under fire a number of times, and there was always another miracle to save her.
What a blessing that women can inherit wealth now!
 

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
lol now I need a vacation by myself.
I'm sorry you had to go through that! It does give some perspective to my situation, though. My husband has many shining qualities, so far has no struggles with alcohol or employment. And generally we are very compatible. We do have some major differences, though, and navigating those can be frustrating at times.
 

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
What a blessing that women can inherit wealth now!
Agreed. Incidentally, from what I understand, inheritances are one of the few forms of money that are not considered community assets, provided they're left to only one spouse. But they can become commingled, for example, if that spouse puts the money in a shared bank account. (I'm no expert, but this is my understanding and what some legal sites online say.)
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
I'm sorry you had to go through that! It does give some perspective to my situation, though. My husband has many shining qualities, so far has no struggles with alcohol or employment. And generally we are very compatible. We do have some major differences, though, and navigating those can be frustrating at times.
I think major differences are great, when they compliment one another. But the bartender marrying a drunk was lol not complimentary.

Like, if someone has a really fiery personality, sometimes you need a stonefaced British type to stoically blink slowly to show they understand I stead of fighting back.

I'm sure marriage is hard. I think the greatest disservice people do their children is letting them think marriages are easy. I assumed every man was going to be just like my dad. He got really angry about financial things when they weren't done correctly, like a $500 phone bill when roaming charges were a thing, but he was generous with his time and affection, figured out how to fix things when they broke, and listened with the intent of knowing me. And when he was explaining to me how to do something, he usually just did it himself because he was sure I couldn't do it right. So now I'm 40, have a yard that's over an acre, and still don't know how to mow a lawn.
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Agreed. Incidentally, from what I understand, inheritances are one of the few forms of money that are not considered community assets, provided they're left to only one spouse. But they can become commingled, for example, if that spouse puts the money in a shared bank account. (I'm no expert, but this is my understanding and what some legal sites online say.)
I think if I got married again, when I get my inheritance I would re-invest my assets for my children to have in the future. And then start a 501c3 to lol archive some information I'm curious about, because I would finally have someone safe to travel with.
 

MrsD

Sparrow
Woman
Orthodox
Considering how hard it is to find a good Orthodox spouse, most men and women suffering from various childhood traumas, mental illnesses or scars from a previous sinful life, why look for marriage?

(I am on the fence right now, and looking for pro and con arguments).
Fr.Kosmas has a wealth of thoughts and insight on the Orthodox purpose of marriage, singleness, and monasticism if you have time and interest I cannot recommend his talks highly enough. He works to answer this very question you ask here, and talks about how there are people due to many circumstances who are better off in neither marriage nor monasticism. I found it really helpful spiritually and interesting too as I am a convert not cradle.
https://www.orthodoxtalks.com/talk-11-better-to-marry-than-to-burn-with-passion/

One thing I have heard about monastic life is that one is not supposed to have any particular or special aka best friend(s). So while there is surely a love and sisterhood (or brotherhood, naturally) it is not quite the same experience of the bond and friendship possible between husband and wife. Not saying anything about rankings just that if one is wanting that exclusive feeling marriage is the only institution that can hold that kind of bond safely. I craved that kind of connection, which made marriage appealing to me. Admittedly, I was not Orthodox when I met my husband so as a Protestant the options are single celibate irrelevant, or married which is lifted up as the ultimate in the church life I was used to. Monasticism was never a thought for me.

If my husband were to die, I highly doubt I would remarry. I would want to keep that special bond in a way with my husband even after his death (yes I know marriage ends but the connections between people remain) and spend my time commemorating him and working on my own salvation and being ready for my own death. Marriage in the abstract or for it’s own sake to whoever just so I’m married is not what I’m into. Same thing with sex. My drive is higher than my husband's even when he’s well, but I won’t be looking for the male prostitutes you mentioned for many reasons but not least of which is that I am interested in sex with him, not just mere sex. For me, I don’t think I am advanced enough spiritually to make progress with my salvation with the discipline required of monasticism with all the services, and my nature does not seem a good fit so I think I would just end up bringing judgment on myself. My take is if you think you can do it, hey, that’s fantastic and the way to go they say, and I agree, it seems worth examining.
 

Carolus

Robin
Protestant
you have to manage your behavior in such a way that it would be pleasing to your spouse, adherence to traditional gender roles that a person might find stifling
These are pros not cons.

And women being able to inherit is not new. Women with great personal wealth and inheritances dates back to antiquity. This is feminist propaganda.

@OP: If the idea of submitting to a man is so unpleasant to you, devote yourself to God instead. There is no shame in this. But most women are far happier in a traditional marriage than outside of one. I do understand that it is hard to find a traditional man in these times. Also keep in mind that if you do not act like a traditional women, you will not find a traditional man.
 
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PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
These are pros not cons.

And women being able to inherit is now new. Women with great personal wealth and inheritances dates back to antiquity. This is feminist propaganda.

@OP: If the idea of submitting to a man is so unpleasant to you, devote yourself to God instead. There is no shame in this. But most women are far happier in a traditional marriage than outside of one. I do understand that it is hard to find a traditional man in these times. Also keep in mind that if you do not act like a traditional women, you will not find a traditional man.
Women inheriting wealth does not date back to antiquity in my family. But we are only the seventh generation on our land.
 

Pray_Everyday

Robin
Woman
Other Christian
Please don't take it as argumentation (it seems I come across that way sometimes), but I'm going to break down the 'why not' for those reasons, for  me (other women may feel differently).
A list of common reasons women want to get married:

- they desire companionship (but this they could also get in a monastery, with the other sisters)
-structure and leadership (again, could be achieved in a monastery, by doing obedience to the elder sister)
To be honest, I want the companionship and to be under the leadership of a man. It could just be unresolved mother issues, but the idea of being obedient to a woman sounds like torture. It could be unresolved daddy issues, but I want a man to give me affection and attention, which comes along with the companionship. And I personally feel that I tend to relate to men better, and overall my husband and I get along great. It makes me sad when I head about married couples who can't stand being around each other.
-nurturing children (but you can take care of orphans and poor children)
An acquaintance I had, who coincidentally has been the only Orthodox woman I've met in real life, who was suffering from infertility confided to me that while yes, she wanted children, she also wanted to experience being pregnant. And, I'm going to have to say that I agree with her.

When my husband and I were experiencing infertility, though I was and am still open to adoption, I was heartbroken that I couldn't experience pregnancy. After much prayer the Lord blessed us, and while I can't say I loved every second of being pregnant, I loved 99% of it. All I'm saying is that while raising and nurturing children is very important, some women want to bear children too.
-a shoulder to cry on (probably achievable in a monastery, I have no idea)
This one also is super unrelatable for me, as I can't imagine feeling comfortable around anyone but my husband to really let my guard down.
-attention and validation (an excuse to be pretty)
Hmm, I wouldn't call it an "excuse", but I admit that I enjoy attention from my husband, though I keep it in check lest it turn into pride.

-fear of loneliness
-fear of being considered a loser or a failure and a desire to fulfill social expectations

The last two reasons are very common among secular people and often lead to a disastrous marriage.
In a secular psychology class when I was in college, the teacher said - and the more outspoken women in the class agreed - that the reason they wanted to get married was to have a big, fancy expensive princess wedding. I was absolutely horrified.

I don't know, but the Clintons are still together.
He's getting his appetite filled elsewhere, and she's been known to play for the other team. Maybe I'm thinking of the 90's/00's Clintons...
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Unless you don't live in the West, that's a regional thing or a personal one.
We are mostly of British and Irish descent and Southern. The entire county is in a land covenant for soil and water conservation. They basically shun you if you marry outside your clan, even though there are extremely high rates of hereditary diseases in Southern rural protestant populations. But they've been shunning us for several generations now. ;)

We have a lot of land, but there's no Orthodoxy for 100 miles. And I don't drive myself. So I made an icon corner. And I don't regret my decision to stay here in the wilderness. Turns out it takes a lot of pine pulp to make Amazon boxes.
 

Carolus

Robin
Protestant
We are mostly of British and Irish descent and Southern. The entire county is in a land covenant for soil and water conservation. They basically shun you if you marry outside your clan, even though there are extremely high rates of hereditary diseases in Southern rural protestant populations. But they've been shunning us for several generations now. ;)

We have a lot of land, but there's no Orthodoxy for 100 miles. And I don't drive myself. So I made an icon corner. And I don't regret my decision to stay here in the wilderness. Turns out it takes a lot of pine pulp to make Amazon boxes.
I don't want to derail this thread any further but that sounds like a very challenging situation. Good luck and godspeed.
 

christie2

Woodpecker
Woman
Other Christian
@Cristina provided a great topic thread for conversation. Thanks.

This statement is interesting; given some of the marital expectations (specifically copulation) that have been presented within multiple thread topics:



Very true MrsD.
A strong secure and healthy marriage will endure chastity.

As @Cynllo mentioned when harmony, purity, coming together, utopia are in the hearts of a husband and wife there is intimacy. Intimacy is what makes marriages successful, not sex.

How many marriages would fail (end in divorce) if copulation was absent?
I think I get what you're saying, stay strong
 

Kitty Tantrum

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
I was molested as a very young child, and I was left with a premature and highly disordered (hyperactive) libido. But zero inclination toward promiscuity - probably having much to do with my deep aversion to being around people in general.

I set my sights on marriage and motherhood beginning around age 9, and was absolutely certain by about 12 years old.

I always thought I would have been a nun (in spite of being raised anti-Christ), if I had not been saddled with sexual knowledge - and seemingly inevitable impulse - during my formative years. I didn't think it would be possible for me to be a nun.

So, basically, the first time around, as a young woman, I got married for the sex. And because I desperately wanted a man to put himself between me and the rest of the world. And I really wanted babies.

It was a huge mistake. Not the part where I got married and had children, but the part where I married ASAP because I wanted to slap a little band-aid on a gaping spiritual wound I'd carried around forever without acknowledging or understanding.

Not that I ever had a chance to know any better. But the healing I needed should have been a prerequisite to marriage - not something I expected marriage to provide for me.

Any similarly burdened/wayward sisters of mine out there (because I know you exist even if you're not posting here) ought to take heed: That's how you end up unwittingly entrusting your already broken self to a man who will exploit your weaknesses and perpetuate your traumas instead of protecting you.

Don't do it. Take care of your issues first. Talk to your dad. Talk to your priest. If you don't have a father figure or a priest you can talk to about these things, work on that FIRST. Maybe marriage can be part of your healing - but women who are motivated to marry because they crave sex (ESPECIALLY if there is history of sexual trauma, but probably even without) should not be trusted to choose their husbands.

There is nothing really wrong with getting married because one needs an appropriate outlet for the sexual appetite. But the dangers of allowing the sexual appetite to guide the search for a spouse cannot be overstated.

There are enough pitfalls for men, where there exists an entire traditional body of knowledge regarding the masculine need for sex, and the (toxic) feminine inclination to use sex as a tool or a weapon.

I suspect I am not the only woman who naively thought that having a high sex drive could only ever be a bonus in marriage (especially if I saved up all that desire for my future husband), and had no idea at all that there were "men" out there who would flip that script, until I found myself married to one.

I don't even know what you call the female equivalent of the completely-cucked-beta-bucks-husband, but ladies... you don't want to do like that.
 

Ah_Tibor

Pelican
Woman
Orthodox
Without being too weird or graphic, I can say that women thinking sex is a chore isn't true at all; I think we are just more susceptible to varied conditions. It doesn't mean we don't think about it constantly LOL (at least for me, being in my 30s vs. 20s is like night and day, 30s being like going through puberty all over again but ten times worse)

Sometimes responsibilities or life get in the way-- work schedules, stress, as @MrsD mentioned illness can be a big one-- it doesn't mean you stop loving and supporting each other, marriage becomes even more important in times like that.

Love, companionship, family. I wouldn't go back to being single (even when my husband keeps leaving his stuff next to the hamper instead of in it and then wonders why his jeans don't get washed).
 

Cristina

Pigeon
Woman
Orthodox
These are pros not cons.

And women being able to inherit is not new. Women with great personal wealth and inheritances dates back to antiquity. This is feminist propaganda.

@OP: If the idea of submitting to a man is so unpleasant to you, devote yourself to God instead. There is no shame in this. But most women are far happier in a traditional marriage than outside of one. I do understand that it is hard to find a traditional man in these times. Also keep in mind that if you do not act like a traditional women, you will not find a traditional man.
The idea of submitting to a man is not unpleasant to me, on the contrary (you might have misunderstood a sentence I took from F. Kosmas, the one talking about distractions and married people not being solely focused on pleasing God, but also focused on pleasing their spouse).

Speaking of being a traditional woman, just yesterday I was going to the well to fetch water and met an old neighbor, who gave me advice how to meet my future spouse. He told me that living with my grandmother, taking care of her and the family farm and going out only to Church on Sunday or to grocery shopping is not going to provide me a husband. He advised me to go out in the town to a concert, a theatre spectacle, or simply go and spend time in the shopping mall. But this I don't really want to do, firts of all because I don't like that kind of activities, second of all because I do not have the time.
How should a traditional woman behave in this day and age and where can she find a husband (except Church)?
 

Carolus

Robin
Protestant
He advised me to go out in the town to a concert, a theatre spectacle, or simply go and spend time in the shopping mall.
This sounds like great advice if you want to find the wrong kind of man. Unless it's a classical music concert, perhaps...

I can't really give specific advice since you live on the other side of the world from me. Where I am, outside of Church and through family/neighbors, the best place to meet decent men would be doing some kind of activity or joining a club like rock climbing or archery or whatever. Also, women have brothers, so a knitting club wouldn't be hopeless. The general idea is to be involved in something social that isn't for finding sexual partners or going to be full of degenerates.

But I've no idea what options are available to someone in rural Eastern Europe.
 

Ah_Tibor

Pelican
Woman
Orthodox
Speaking of being a traditional woman, just yesterday I was going to the well to fetch water and met an old neighbor, who gave me advice how to meet my future spouse. He told me that living with my grandmother, taking care of her and the family farm and going out only to Church on Sunday or to grocery shopping is not going to provide me a husband. He advised me to go out in the town to a concert, a theatre spectacle, or simply go and spend time in the shopping mall. But this I don't really want to do, firts of all because I don't like that kind of activities, second of all because I do not have the time.

I actually agree that church (going through the regular calendar cycle) typically isn't the best place to "meet," (especially since in Orthodox chuches men and women are usually doing their own things) and the marriages I know who did meet in church don't really do any better-- or worse, for that matter-- than anyone else. Church-related social activities can lead to great relationships, though, at least in the US.

I think getting involved with a hobby or interest that throws people together is good, like a library or animal shelter. It also sounds kind of weird, but reaching out to old friends can be fruitful. People tend to start inviting you to weddings/funerals/birthdays etc. and you just start building or rebuilding social connections.
 

Thomas More

Crow
Protestant
This sounds like great advice if you want to find the wrong kind of man. Unless it's a classical music concert, perhaps...

I can't really give specific advice since you live on the other side of the world from me. Where I am, outside of Church and through family/neighbors, the best place to meet decent men would be doing some kind of activity or joining a club like rock climbing or archery or whatever. Also, women have brothers, so a knitting club wouldn't be hopeless. The general idea is to be involved in something social that isn't for finding sexual partners or going to be full of degenerates.

But I've no idea what options are available to someone in rural Eastern Europe.
Are there organizations for farmers you could participate in? I think part of the goal is not necessarily to put yourself in a position to meet eligible men directly. It is to create a larger social circle of the right kind of people, such that they will introduce you to someone they know that they think would be a good match for you.

Church is obviously a good start, but as many have noticed, each individual church could have only a handful of eligible singles, with none of them being a desirable match. I think the solution is to get involved in activities that connect with a larger group of people, to network socially among the right sort.
 
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