Why get married? Why have children?

  • #1
3,077
3

Main Question or Discussion Point

I have not been married by age 50 because, among other things, I am afraid of divorce, eventual incompatibility or the randomness of choosing one from a billion nubile women ("the grass is greener"). I know all too well what falling in love feels like - one of the most intense passions (temptations?) I have had the pleasure to experience - but that alone cannot make a lifetime bond. I love more my closeness with a girlfriend of seven years, but not enough to risk my future and savings with marriage. I am sorry if she thinks I am leading her on.

If I appear miserly, let me explain with the example of children. Because of a serious inheritable illness, I would not want to pass onto them my genes - likewise, adopt kids. Similarly, my emotions would erode under the stress of 24/7 kids, although I love children in general. My savings and small salary are enough to live comfortably into old age and a decent nursing home (I currently prepare by volunteering at one), but not to support a family. Also, there are way too many dangers in this world for me to justify bringing kids into it.

Please relate your experiences with these major life decisions.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
373
0
I have not been married by age 50 because, among other things, I am afraid of divorce, eventual incompatibility or the randomness of choosing one from a billion nubile women ("the grass is greener"). I know all too well what falling in love feels like - one of the most intense passions (temptations?) I have had the pleasure to experience - but that alone cannot make a lifetime bond. I love more my closeness with a girlfriend of seven years, but not enough to risk my future and savings with marriage. I am sorry if she thinks I am leading her on.

If I appear miserly, let me explain with the example of children. Because of a serious inheritable illness, I would not want to pass onto them my genes - likewise, adopt kids. Similarly, my emotions would erode under the stress of 24/7 kids, although I love children in general. My savings and small salary are enough to live comfortably into old age and a decent nursing home (I currently prepare by volunteering at one), but not to support a family. Also, there are way too many dangers in this world for me to justify bringing kids into it.

Please relate your experiences with these major life decisions.
Marriage can also lead to happiness. You are looking at the possible bad outcomes of marrying someone. Also nursing homes are NOT good places. I am not going to live in a nursing home ever. They are the most depressing places on earth. There is most likely something afterdeath, or there may be nothing, either way it could not be worse than living in a nursing home for me. Children are not for every one, they are alot of work however sometimes having a child with another person will make a divorce less likely.
 
  • #3
346
0
I have not been married by age 50 because, among other things, I am afraid of divorce, eventual incompatibility or the randomness of choosing one from a billion nubile women ("the grass is greener"). I know all too well what falling in love feels like - one of the most intense passions (temptations?) I have had the pleasure to experience - but that alone cannot make a lifetime bond. I love more my closeness with a girlfriend of seven years, but not enough to risk my future and savings with marriage. I am sorry if she thinks I am leading her on.

If I appear miserly, let me explain with the example of children. Because of a serious inheritable illness, I would not want to pass onto them my genes - likewise, adopt kids. Similarly, my emotions would erode under the stress of 24/7 kids, although I love children in general. My savings and small salary are enough to live comfortably into old age and a decent nursing home (I currently prepare by volunteering at one), but not to support a family. Also, there are way too many dangers in this world for me to justify bringing kids into it.

Please relate your experiences with these major life decisions.
I find your argument interesting. In Chinese culture, people want to have kids. This is because in Chinese culture, your kids are supposed to take care of you in old age. It is all part of a deeply entrenched perception of filial piety in Chinese and some other Asian cultures. Filial piety is stressed in Confucianism, which has influenced a number of countries in East Asia historically.
 
  • #4
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
1,789
10
There could not be any reason nor justification that anyone else could give that would apply to you. If you are confident with the validity of your statement, if it truly portrays your attitude, then there is no reason to "justify" it. If your girlfriend knows this position, yet is somehow pressuring you to take the next step, my guess is that she is not as confident as you as she approaches the second half-century of life (big assumption on my part).

I got married at 27 because I knew that I wanted to. On previous considerations of the same question (with other girls) there was always a voice in the back of my head that said "no, get out of this." WHen there was no such voice, I could not think of a reason not to get married (ironically, the wedding process itself turned out to be a reason not to). If there is any small voice in your head before getting married, I can only imagine that it would get louder and louder through the years.

As far as kids go, they are difficult, exhausting, exasperating, infuriating, and worth every minute. [/glurge]
 
  • #5
I never wanted to get married until I met a woman that I fell in love with. She expected marriage from a serious relationship and since I loved her I would have given her that. She left me though, long before any marriage, and now I'm not so sure whether I would get married. Part of me likes the idea.

Children. I don't really want to have children. If I were to get a woman pregnant I would not run away. I would not otherwise choose to be a parent. Perhaps if I were well off financially I might consider adoption.
 
  • #6
Because of a serious inheritable illness, I would not want to pass onto them my genes
It is worth noting that there is a reasonable possibility that there will be a cure for whatever illness you speak of in their lifetime.
 
  • #7
364
2
Please relate your experiences with these major life decisions.
You haven't truly fallen in love yet. You will know you are in love when you care more about the other person than you do yourself. Then, you will not even think about risks, but only how to make that other person happy.
 
  • #8
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
I love children in general.
I can't stand them - I was hoping to have some in order to live out my sporting dreams vicariously through them, but it never happened.
 
  • #9
misgfool
I can't stand them - I was hoping to have some in order to live out my sporting dreams vicariously through them, but it never happened.
I always thought that kids are great. Then I had to babysit my brothers son once... what a vicious little bastard.
 
  • #10
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
  • #11
misgfool
  • #12
378
2
  • #13
918
16
my brothers son ... a vicious little bastard.
I'm still working this one out.
 
  • #14
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
  • #15
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
174
Speaking as someone who didn't have children, I can honestly say that I have regretted it...for at least five minutes...maybe ten. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have watched other parents and thanked God that we don't have kids.

Tsu would say pretty much the same thing; less perhaps the ten minutes of regret.
 
Last edited:
  • #16
2,425
6
there was always a voice in the back of my head that said "no, get out of this."
And you were 27 when this voice disappeared. Interesting. If I knew how old you are now, I could investigate whether the voice came to me, because it has not left yet.

You haven't truly fallen in love yet. You will know you are in love when you care more about the other person than you do yourself. Then, you will not even think about risks, but only how to make that other person happy.
Indeed. My other person has still not understood how marriage is pointless for us both. Marriage matters only to make other people share your happiness. Once she will have fully realized it, I'll ask her to get married. In the meantime, I re-educate her.
 
  • #17
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
In the meantime, I re-educate her.
I think I detect a fundamental flaw in your plan!
 
  • #18
misgfool
Marriage matters only to make other people share your happiness.
Marriage is nice, if death vanquishes either one.
 
  • #19
Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,213
174
I have often be amazed by the people who spends tens of thousands of dollars [medical] for just to have children. Clearly these folks have a drive that I never did.

I have also seen a few cases where the woman got pregnant just before she and her boyfriend were about to split - the man trap.
 
  • #20
418
0
I can't stand them - I was hoping to have some in order to live out my sporting dreams vicariously through them, but it never happened.
I think MEN are the biggest kids in the world!:biggrin:
 
  • #21
... I could not think of a reason not to get married (ironically, the wedding process itself turned out to be a reason not to).
Hee-Hee -- That's part of why we "eloped"!

Seriously, my mantra was always: "I want to die young and childless" (maybe or maybe not married). My husband and I were both transitioning when we met, and figured we might as well just commit and make transition plans together (he is the marrying kind... and even bad marriage number one didn't stop him from believing himself this way).

Shortly after marriage, the oldest son moved in with us (my husband's strength makes it easier for him to provide the requisite level of care needed). Sadly it took a while for their mom to let the youngest move in too, although we are certainly the healthier situation there too (in addition to the fact that WE think it isn't right to have the boys apart). Kid 3 is in the works largely because we got in a stage of looking at little girls and thinking... wouldn't it be nice to have one of them too (thank goodness it is predicted to work out that way via two ultrasound predictions).

My stepkids are (for all their "problems" -- ADHD with the youngest and multiple developmental difficulties with the oldest) actually pretty decent... especially for me. Maybe that's because I set up clear situations and boundaries (I'm sad to say their dad and mom aren't so good at that). Hopefully Baby 3 as a girl will be easier... until she's a teen, when I hear girls can get horrendous (and which I do remember myself being). I'm pretty sure we'll stop there however... my husband and I both come from sets of three, so we think three is a good number to stop at... especially since she's working out. And kids CAN be fun. They're a good excuse for some activities.

Marriage does help us financially... our salaries are disparate, and our heath-care plans would be also.. his family plan is much better for us (especially since he'd have to pay family plan anyways for the boys).
 
  • #22
418
0
My other person has still not understood how marriage is pointless for us both.
If she is a smart woman and you are a man of the "big Kid type" then I can understand why. No offense meant. Just telling it like it is in *real* life. Of course as a woman, it's natural for me to defend my species.

Marriage matters only to make other people share your happiness. Once she will have fully realized it, I'll ask her to get married. In the meantime, I re-educate her.
WoW! Humanino, now you are going to marry her with conditions attached. :rolleyes: I suspect she is an intelligent woman otherwise you wouldn't hang around with her so I conclude you needn't have reason to "re-educate" her for the sake of that alone. The majority of married adults that I know simply LOVE each other with the desire to share their life with each other for the pure joy of it all, whether it be a calm day or stormy one. I've noticed people that jump ship aren't always great swimmers. :smile:
 
  • #23
1,482
3
It's certainly difficult to have kids in developed countries, in contrast to living in the jungles or the savannah and marrying someone from another tribe if possible, the way it used to be for millions of years. You didn't have worry about kids because from the time they learned to walk they go play outside all they long.

Today you have to pay god knows how many insurances, and have stress from complex jobs, and deal with little brats that picked up on American idol. I'd rather face a sabretooth tiger.
 
  • #24
918
16
I'm not married myself, but my wife is. So I asked her if she wanted to get married and have kids. She said no, once is enough and two is enough. Besides, at my age I should start to think about whether I want grandkids or not. These, I'm told, are a lot easier. While the little ones drive your kids to distraction, you pile on with advice and spoiling tactics. After what they did to me, I can't wait. My daughter says she'll never marry and have kids. Now it seems to me that I heard those very words several decades ago, but I can't recall from what quarter.
 
  • #25
My daughter says she'll never marry and have kids.
Remind her of that when she wants a big wedding... and later when she wants you to take the kids while she and the hubby go on a beach vacation.
 

Related Threads for: Why get married? Why have children?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
34
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
14K
  • Last Post
7
Replies
158
Views
16K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
3
Replies
52
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
3K
Replies
128
Views
19K
Top