Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Happen to Like My Marriage...thankyouverymuch!

This post may put some of you to sleep. But I had to share how ludicrous I think that it is! My husband had mentioned this jerk to me the other day but I had not really gotten frustrated until I read it. Marriage is hard sometimes and it is a lot of work most of the time, but I would not trade it for the world. I cannot imagine going through life without my best friend there to support and love me. I can't imagine the thought of trying to raise children by myself...or never having any. Or the uncertainty that can come with having children with a man that you are not married to. It just scares me! I am so grateful for my husband and he is never an "unnecessary hardship." The following article was emailed to me this morning from Crosswalk, a Christian marriage newsletter that I subscribe to. I would really like to know your thoughts on it! (If you are not asleep..I promise if you stick with it you will be fired up. i hope!)

Killing Off Marriage? Dr. Ablow Reports — You Decide
Dr. Keith Ablow thinks that marriage is “a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people.” As a matter of fact, that is only one of the accusations Ablow hurls against marriage before eventually calling for its demise. Marriage, he insists, is a dying institution — and he celebrates its death.
Few might know or care of Ablow’s thoughts on the matter but for the fact that he is a psychiatrist and a member of the “Fox News Medical A-Team.” FoxNews.com recently published his assault on marriage, and the essay is sure to gain attention.

Ablow begins by quoting actress Cameron Diaz, who recently asserted that marriage is a “dying institution.” She added this comment: “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.” Well, maybe that says a lot about her own world of experience and influence, but it is a breathtakingly audacious statement. It also reflects a view held by many among the intellectual and cultural elites, among whom marriage has been seen as a retrograde institution for some time.

Keith Ablow adds his hearty approval to Cameron Diaz’s indictment of marriage, adding that he is “not certain marriage ever did suit most people who tried it.”
He elaborated:
From what I hear in my psychiatry office, and from what I hear from other psychiatrists and psychologists, and from what my friends and relatives tell me and show me through their behavior, and from the fact that most marriages end either in divorce or acrimony, marriage is (as it has been for decades now) a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people.

The physician claimed the mantle of a healer in diagnosing the epidemic consequences of humanity’s most enduring institution: “As a healer, I can’t help looking askance at anything that depletes energy, optimism, mood and passion to the extent that marriage does. It is, without a doubt, one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation.” Note his concern for “energy, optimism, mood and passion” — as if these constitute the greatest needs or aspirations of humanity. Dr. Ablow may be a psychiatrist, but a quick look at his books indicates concerns more in line with pop psychology.

The doctor diagnoses the ills of marriage with four arguments. First, he asserts that “the involvement of the state in marriage has been a colossal mistake.” Governmental involvement “debases” marriage, which is properly a religious institution. Government involvement renders marriage “sterile, linked to legislation and weighted down with legal implications that are psychologically suffocating.”

He adds this: “Smart, aware people feel consciously or unconsciously disempowered from the moment they say, ‘I do.’” Really? Just because marriage is a legal institution? This is sheer nonsense, of course, and it is a very unintelligent argument as well. Marriage is granted legal recognition precisely because it is a public declaration with public meaning. The law, he says, should not distinguish between single and married persons (or, he offers as well, three cohabitating people), and individuals or couples could merely go to lawyers for contracts as needed.

That would lead to legal, moral, and cultural chaos. If the state were to “have no role in marriage, whatsoever,” it would simply mean that the government has decided to call marriage by some other name. Given the realities of human life, some standardized means of recognizing privileged relationships is a necessity. No civilization exists without it. This is true even in societies that separate the religious and legal definitions and authorizations of marriage. There is no major society that exists without marriage, and those rare movements in history that sought to eliminate marriage led to disaster.

Secondly, Ablow argues that marriage is dying because of the invention of oral contraceptives. Brace yourselves for this one. “Once human beings understood that they could express themselves emotionally, romantically and sexually without necessarily creating multiple families and perilously dividing their assets, the psychological pain of living without sexual passion (even by choice) was significantly intensified.” If you are looking for a prime example of the psychiatric subversion of all morality, look no further.

Keith Ablow is arguing, quite straightforwardly, that The Pill offers a chemical means of allowing adultery, and that this is liberation for humanity. Marriage, in his view, kills sexual passion. “The vast, vast majority of men and women, in fact, are no longer physically attracted to their spouses after five or ten years (that’s being kind),” he says. “If they have seen one another most of that time.”

He doesn’t stop there. Few “normal people” maintain sexual interest in a marriage, he insists. “Human beings just are not built to desire one another once we have flossed in the same room a hundred times and shared a laundry basket for thousands of days.”

Third, and most inanely, Ablow argues that marriage “inherently deprives men and women of the joy of being ‘chosen’ on a daily basis.” No kidding. He argues that the vows of marriage deprive us of the experience of being chosen by our spouse every single day. Most married people “have to wonder whether their spouses really want to stay, or simply don’t want to go through the hassle of leaving.”
This argument is not only nonsensical, but it makes us wonder if Dr. Ablow has any real understanding of human beings. Does he really believe that — even if marriage were to disappear as a legal institution — men and women would re-decide their most intimate relationships and commitments every day, free to come and go without emotional pain and complication? Seriously?

Finally, Dr. Ablow argues that marriage is being undermined by hypocrisy. In his words: “The fact that millions of Americans take vows to stay in marriages for life, then leave those marriages — once, twice, maybe three times — has so trivialized and mocked those vows that many silently chuckle to themselves while listening to them.”

Well, now he is on to something real and important. No one can seriously doubt that this kind of hypocrisy is indeed weakening marriage both as an institution and as a personal commitment. But, in a strange way, the hypocrisy accidentally affirms the importance of marriage and the marital vows. Even those who break their marital vows do so after affirming in public what marriage ought to be and was always meant to be. The answer to hypocrisy is moral correction and a return to integrity in making and keeping the sacred vows of marriage. We do not solve the hypocrisy of the liar by rejecting the very idea of truth.

Coming to the end of his argument, Dr. Ablow insists that the end of marriage is “only a matter of time now.” Marriage is passing away, and we should plan for “what might replace it.” His great goal: “We should come up with something that improves the quality of our lives and those of our children.”
We can only wonder at the audacity of a man who champions the impermanence of relationships, argues that couples cannot long remain attracted to each other, celebrates the sexual liberation from marriage made possible by The Pill, declares marriage “a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people,” and then calls us to something better for our lives and those of our children.

The current controversies over marriage, oddly enough, affirm what Dr. Keith Ablow denies. Marriage is so essential to human happiness and to the organization of human society that it simply cannot be ignored or denied. Of course, there are those who want to deny the obvious — apparently even on the “Fox News Medical A-Team.” Keith Ablow’s assault on marriage is a sign of our times — and an embarrassment.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at mail@albertmohler.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler
Dr. Keith Ablow, “Cameron Diaz is Right — 4 Reasons Why Marriage Is a Dying Institution,” FoxNews.com, Friday, May 6, 2011.


  1. This article makes my blood boil. Our pastor pointed out something in premarital counseling that I think sheds light on this article. I had never given it much thought before, but did you realize marriage was created by God? He created Adam, saw he was lonely, and created Eve to be his companion, supporter, and lover. Thus the creation of marriage. I knew the Bible had lots to say about marriage but I'm not sure I had ever realized that it was actually created by God himself. Knowing that marriage was created by God in His perfect and infinite wisdom, it comes as no surprise to me that our culture is starting to reject it. The world (meaning nonbelievers and our culture as a whole) will never accept, love, or appreciate God's perfect design. They are blinded and bound by sin.

    Every discipline within marriage is a symbol of the relationship Christ wishes to have with us. I do choose my spouse daily (contrary to what the article suggested about my marriage). In the same way, God chooses to show me love even with my imperfections, sins, and weaknesses-unconditionally. I know many couples married for decades experiencing the the closest intimacy they've ever had. Unlike the article stated, passion is also a choice. A choice to say intimate, together, and adventurous. God has a desire to to know me and to be intimate with me!

    On the authors last point, I have to agree. Marriage in our country had been "undermined". And this article only adds to it! Marriage has lost all sanctity. People can enter with little responsibility and leave with even less.

    But I guess that is what brings me full circle. It has lost all sanctity because it is no longer recognized as a covenant or a commitment, but instead marriage is based on love-which is a feeling. Feelings fade, change, waver. This was not how the Lord designed marriage to be and therefore it will not work. The world we live in is rejecting this holy blessing which we were given to enhance our lives, because it is of the Lord. Most do not realize and few will admit it, but this is the truth.

    From a non-biblical perspective and just as a student studying family relations as part of my undergraduate degree, I have a few more thoughts for the author. He stated in the article that his views come mostly from patients he sees in his office and his colleague's offices. I must say, I really don't think this is the best sample group. Am I to understand you are basing ALL your ideas about marriage from the people who are seeking help with their personal lives?!

    As a professional, I also have to ask this "helper" if his focus with all clients is
    "energy, optimism, mood and passion"? Does he really believe those things can sustain a person? Are not all of those characteristics emotions, which are proven to change? Give your patients some hope-something that is a little more grounded which can offer them consistency.

    However, on my last note to this professional, I must say bravo-you truly have given yourself job security. If you are still practicing twenty years from now, I have no doubt you'll be working with all the children of your current clients. Based on this article I assume you are a proponent of divorce, instant gratification, and happiness. I have no doubt that clients leaving your office and putting your words into practice will create offspring who need serious medical attention.

  2. I had to stop reading half way through, I'm all for having your own opinions but blimey, he sounds like he's talking out his what-sit!

    As with everything in life, some paths are right for some whilst another is right for the rest, I don't think the state or the pill are damaging the idea of marriage it's daft idiots like this man spouting off rubbish!

    I see he bases it on friends, family and patients experience, but not his own, says it all really!!! Maybe he's so jaded over marriage because no wanted to marry him!

    Stepping off my soapbox now!

  3. I saw this article! I have to say, I'm glad I don't have the "joy of being chosen" on a daily basis. Somedays, I'm not so sure *I* would choose me, and somedays I might not choose him (those days are VERY rare), but that's why marriage is so great. You can rest in that - there's no choosing, no deciding. Just commitment.

  4. Great post! My husband and I have been married for 25 years and it does not always come easy. But, we are dedicated to making our life together work no matter what situation arises. I chose to be with him and he choses to be with me - DAILY!

    Thank you so much for participating in the Get Wired Blog Hop. I am following. Have a wonderful day!


  5. He has a point with the hypocrisy but his solution for it is way off track! The idea of marriage is ever evolving as society changes its norms however, this doesn't mean that marriage is a dying institution. For some,yes but for all-no! I believe marriage is healthy for the mind and the soul. I would continue to choose my husband day after day. I sure hope his patients know his stance on marriage because if they are looking for a way to "save it" then they are going to the wrong place.

  6. Much like Amanda, I had to stop reading 1/2-3/4 of the way through. This guy was making my blood boil. And Cameron Diaz? Who give a flying excuse-my-french what she has to say? This guy found the one celebrity who blabbed on about her personal views on marriage, that just happened to coinside with his skewed sense of marriage, and republished her words like that's what EVERYONE is thinking. Um no... how about you quote a real person next time and not someone who's thinking has been jadded my the ideals of Hollywood. Thank you very much!

  7. All I can say is it's fox news people