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I download your podcast each week but don't always have time to listen to it during the semester, so (needing a break from studies) I finally spent a day catching up with your (and Earth Beat and TTBOOK) shows and listened to the Valentine special. I loved all the stories! And while I agree with Dr. Anderson's conclusions about healthy people, relationships and sex, I don't agree with his solution that we need to change our view of marriage. Marriage, in itself, is fine - great the way it is. A committed, monogamous, and loving relationship between two people is what defines marriage. *What does need to change*, however, is the societal norms that people *ought* to get married. Why people are pushed and shoved into feeling that they have to "live the American Dream", with the house in the 'burbs, two (or more) children, a dog, cat and membership to the local country club is ridiculous (note, I'm not criticizing them if they truly want those things, only that society force people into thinking that they do).
My husband and I have been happily childless for fifteen years, and look forward to a future without them. We're constantly getting bombarded with "when are you gonna have a baby" or "I can't believe you guys don't have kids! You seem so happy!" or "How can you not like kids? I'd die without mine!". I have a crude answer for all of them, but I give them each a more polite one. Seriously, who are they to tell me what I should or should not do with my life? Answer: Sheep that have been brainwashed into thinking that following societal norms are the only way to live. I'm very happy for people who are happy with their children, as long as they love them, there's no reason for me to criticize or berate them. It's just a choice I don't want for myself.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if a person knows they will not be happy in a monogamous relationship, we need to allow them to live a lifestyle that conducive to their desire - the bachelor life. Instead of making people feel bad for not achieving a goal that just isn't practical for them, which is what so much of the media does; let people explore the alternative. So yes, I think our view of marriage should change, but not in the way Dr. Anderson has in mind.
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