Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

  • Advertisements

A Good Marriage is Hard to Find

Posted by Dale Kuehne on April 23, 2010

Liberals and Conservatives are concerned about the state of marriage in America.

Why is marriage becoming an endangered species?

Is it the men?

Is it the women?

Is it the culture?

Is it …?

I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman
No I could never take a chance
Cos I could never understand
The mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman

You can run from love
And if it’s really love it will find you
Catch you by the heel
But you can’t be numb for love
The only pain is to feel nothing at all

U2, “A Man and a Woman” How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)


3 Responses to “A Good Marriage is Hard to Find”

  1. Terrell said

    Did you see this?

  2. Bruce M said

    A couple of thoughts. I heard a sociologist say a while ago that the black community is a few years of the white community, that what goes on with them in one year, sociologically, is what the white community ought to be going through similarly in say twenty years. Speaking about marriage, male disenfranchisement, joblessness, etc. I think.

    The other thing is that I’m of the opinion that the centuries long struggle for economic prosperity (contra the Luddites) is to enable everyone to have the benefits of rich people. Eternal youthfulness, sunglasses on their swimming pool decks with Margueritas in their hands, gated communities to keep out the riff raff, and private music orchestras that you can carry about in your pockets. Wealth would not be worthy its reputation if you had to defer to other peoples’ preferences and, for that matter, their presences. Hire nannies. Get the benefit of family without the personal abrasiveness of families.

    When everyone is poor, you have to have a spouse to be able to eat and survive day by day–at least, by and large. When everyone is affluent, no one is actually required to have an annoying spouse that will make you die to yourself day by day. The present cost of being there where you don’t want to be half the time is quite expensive. The opportunity costs, articulated as grass-is-greener, is added to the felt cost and annoyance of family. Compare these accumulated costs against the experienced benefits of family-versus-nonfamily. In the present situation of civilization at large, the only serious cost of being nonfamily is that one experiences an intermittent loneliness. And even that loneliness ranges from the profound to the trivial, so that the lonely nonfamilied ones only feel the profound pain in part of the group. And of that smaller group for whom being nonfamilied is costly, compare the costs of that same person being in a family, which is also filled with pain and intermittent loneliness.

    Among Christians who accept a Biblical point of view, the main draw to marriage, I surmise, is that of being heroic. People who want to be heroic and embrace the call to sainthood take it upon themselves to ignore the sociological and economic costs.

    But certainly Christians who are primarily formed by the iWorld reject the main attraction to a Biblical point of view toward marriage and family and community.

    Adding and subtracting here, I would imagine that maybe 5-15% of the whole population are situated to have good prospects for a stable marriage in the long run, or perhaps to find it attractive to have a stable marriage in the long run.

    Returning to the political question you raised here, the cost to society of everyone individually rejecting marriage for themselves, trusting other people to pick up the slack, is a problem that the entire political leadership will have to accommodate. I for one see only the prospects of widespread poverty, totalitarianism like that of the Communist Revolution in 1916-18, and/or an awakening like that of Britain in the time of Wesley, Whitefield and Wilberforce.

    This is because the economic forces are stacked up against us to require heroism or disaster, which almost nearly guarantees disaster if we only go by the odds.

  3. Terry Barton said

    Ugh. Good grief. How intensely depressing. Is that really what marriage boils down to nowadays? No wonder people don’t want to get married. If that’s what most of the population thinks, then just hang it up, for goodness sake. When I got married, I thought it would be a life-long partnership with my best friend…to become what I could be, to let him become what he could be, to share life, to raise children for the good of them and us and others. I thought it was a glorious dream of oneness and beauty. I thought it was a way for two people to complete each other in love and commitment. I thought it was a little microcosm of God’s love in the human experience. I thought it would be a family to nourish ourselves and glorify God. But, of course, I had my idealistic vision dashed on the rocks of reality. I don’t know that I’ll ever get remarried. It makes me so sad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: