Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Justifying Unmarried Fornication is Not the Same As Planning to Cheat on Your Spouse

Ah, two entries in a row inspired by the Dr. Laura Show. As I often do, I'll say I love her show, books, etc. and I generally agree with her and I think she does a lot of good for people.

With that out of the way...

In the first hour of yesterday's (March 3, 2015) show, a woman called to ask about letting an unmarried middle-aged couple stay in the same room of her family home while they visited for an event to which they were going. The caller was against it; her husband was OK with it. She and her husband did NOT shack up themselves. Her husband was justifying the fornication of their friends by saying that dating was to get to know someone, and sex was part of that and people did it so they wouldn’t get "defrauded" into marriage. Dr. Laura claimed that the statistics are that when people don't shack up and don't have sex before marriage that their "success rate in marriage is much greater".

I’d like to believe that. That's how my wife and I handled it, after all, and this is a claim I have always accepted. I think I've gone into great detail about that before on this blog about the various  reasons that statistic might be true. One of them is that the kind of person who is willing to wait until marriage for sex and cohabitation is also likely to avoid filing for divorce, no matter how miserable or toxic things get.

Anyway, if the call had ended there, that would have been great. But it didn’t.

Dr. Laura then told the caller to be "very worried" about her husband's mentality because "sex outside the marriage may be the next thing he justifies." The caller was stunned. "Yeah," Dr. Laura continued, "He’s going in a direction, can't you see that?" Then when the caller revealed they got married when he was 45 (he'd never been married before) Dr. Laura said she would have talked the caller out of that one, and ended the call. But she went on to say "He's creeping out from under the covers. We're hearing more and more the truth."


There are many, many people who think it is "OK" for middle-aged people to fornicate monogamously with each other who do NOT think it is OK to cheat on their spouse and never would cheat on their spouse. I know, I know, there are people who say fornication is cheating on your future spouse, which, of course, assumes someone will have future spouse. But that's a very specific religious view. I'm instead talking about general mindsets in society.

I largely agree with Dr. Laura’s overall moral mindset, but I know there are many people who do not think like "us" and thus do not see all sex outside of marriage under the same general category of immorality. In their minds, cheating on a spouse is entirely different than having sex with your longtime monogamous partner you are with under the intention of finding a spouse.

I'm not sure telling that wife to be suspicious of her husband was a productive thing to do.

The more likely way this pertains at all to the marriage of the caller is that her husband himself might feel like he was defrauded. But the caller said they didn't shack up, not that they didn't fornicate. I'm fairly certain from what the caller said and didn't say that they did fornicate and so the husband "knew what he was getting himself into".

So Dr. Laura's nudging of the wife towards suspicion seemed to me to be a mistake on her part. The call should have been ended with the fact that the wife is co-owner of the home (assuming she is - she might not be given the ages, and if she's not Dr. Laura probably would have said that was wrong, too) and she doesn't want unmarried couples spending night together in her home, and that should be the deciding factor.

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