Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Does Saving It Make it Better or Divorce-Proof Your Marriage?

A letter was printed at drlaura.com from someone who endorses saving sex for marriage:
Abstinence until marriage is the best!!! It's also the BEST gift you could ever give your future spouse.

To say you WAITED for them, instead of shacking up and throwing the benefits and blessings of marriage to the wind. If you do have sex without the blessing of marriage, you rob yourself and your partner of the best blessing you will ever know.

Its not anything special if you don't wait.
No indication is given as to the sex of the writer, but I think it is safe to say it is a written by a devoutly religious married woman who is happy with her husband, at least for now.

Let's look at it bit by bit.


Abstinence until marriage is the best!!!
There's no guarantee when someone will marry, or that they will marry at all. When a man marries at age 38, he's long left behind his prime sexual years, in terms of his physical drive, virility, and endurance.
It's also the BEST gift you could ever give your future spouse.
That is a gift that may never be delivered. But yes, there are some upsides if people marry as virgins, including confidence that there won't be STDs and assurance that nobody is going to show up as a long-lost child. There are risks and trade offs as well.
To say you WAITED for them, instead of shacking up and throwing the benefits and blessings of marriage to the wind.
One need not shack up to fornicate. I fornicated a lot and never shacked up. What "benefits and blessings of marriage" are we talking about? Sex? It isn't being thrown to the wind. Having sex before doesn't mean you can't have sex now. And as all too many people  have found out, marriage doesn't guarantee good, frequent, or even any sex.
If you do have sex without the blessing of marriage, you rob yourself and your partner of the best blessing you will ever know.
This is one of those assertions you pretty much have to believe or not. There really isn't any way of objectively demonstrating this to be true. Is the "best blessing" "taking" someone's virginity within marriage? Or the knowledge that they have been with no other? Or... what? Whichever, if the person writing the letter waited, they can make this claim as how they feel, but they can't speak for anyone else. If they didn't wait themselves, they are making a claim they've heard from someone else, but can't even personally assert themselves.
Its not anything special if you don't wait.
This is where the experience of billions of other people disagree. Sex, lovemaking, can still be special even if the people engaging in it had prior partners, even if they themselves fornicated with each other before they married. One could infer from this that this person doesn't like sex, but likes the idea that she and her husband can do something neither of them has ever done with someone else.



I can agree with the overall premise of the letter - that sex is for marriage - while still finding the specific arguments made to be lacking or problematic.

There is a caricature (to which too many lend credence) that Evangelical or conservative philosophy treats sex as dirty, unimportant, or only for reproduction. On the contrary, the better side of these worldviews have an elevated view of marital lovemaking, seeing it as a spiritual experience, not a mere bodily function, as so many secular or Leftist people do. It's clear that sex is treated as special by the "save sex" crowd, because all kinds of special pleadings are made based on that unique place given to lovemaking that isn't applied to anything else. For example, if doing something with only one person makes it special, then guys should reserve paying for dates for marriage, right? Paying for dates before marriage cheapens it, right? Hmmmm? Yeah, notice how you'll never hear them saying that.

Let's move on. Due to this coverage at theblaze.com I was alerted to a study that supposedly shows that "women with between zero and one sexual partner are the least likely to divorce later on, with women who had 10 or more partners emerging as the most likely to see their marriages end".

Before I go any further, I can already see some problems. We have no idea if the women are telling the truth. You know how women are about their "history"... it doesn't count if they were tipsy, or if it is was just a hookup, or if they kept their top on, or if it was out of state... things like that. The wording would be better as something like "women who claimed to have between zero and one sexual partner are the least likely to divorce later on, with women who were more honest about having had 10 or more partners emerging as the most likely to see their marriages end".

Women who've actually had just one sexual partner or are only willing to admit to having had one are probably women who have a religious reluctance to divorce, too. While this story is cited by some as "See, if you're a 'good girl' you'll stay married", it could conversely be presented as "Women who aren't extremely religiously conservative are more likely to leave a bad marriage". I notice that maintaining a marriage can often require avoiding the truth. Perhaps women who are honest about having more sexual partners are more likely to be honest in general, and thus unable to keep a marriage together?
“Earlier research found that having multiple sex partners prior to marriage could lead to less happy marriages, and often increased the odds of divorce,” Professor Nicholas Wolfinger wrote in a blog post that announced the analysis.
Yeah, if all I knew was mac and cheese, I might be satisfied eating it for the rest of my life. But knowing there is better out there can make sticking with not-as-good seem like it isn't worth the effort. Also, as the study notes, "sex partners" could also mean co-parents. If someone is bringing their minor children to a marriage, that definitely increases the likelihood of divorce.
"By the 2010s, only 5 percent of new brides were virgins.”
But how can that be? The women who identify as being of a religion that considers fornication a sin is far higher than five percent. Hmmmm.
Wolfinger continued, “At the other end of the distribution, the number of future wives who had ten or more sex partners increased from 2 percent in the 1970s to 14 percent in the 2000s, and then to 18 percent in the 2010s.”
Heh... "ten or more"... "more" is a potentially high number.
That said, the professor did note that the 33 percent five-year [divorce] rate for 10 or more partners isn’t statistically more significant than the 30 percent for two partners, leading to additional questions about what social constructs might be at play. Wilfinger also concluded that the research “ultimately raises more questions than it answers.”
(That's a way of saying "We'll need funding for more research.")

So far, the only sure way of avoiding divorce is to: 1) never get legally married, and 2) never shack up where commonlaw marriage exists.

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