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Marriage and Children - Reasons and Consequences to Consider
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
- Oscar Wilde
Hello. I want you to think for a moment about why you want marriage and children and why you think it's important. Meditate on it for a while, and you will realize that you don't really know why. And neither do most people. If you ask most people, they will simply say "because it's an important part of life" but they cannot explain WHY. This is because they were not taught to think about it. They merely assumed that if everyone else believed that, then it must be so.
This is similar to how most Christians cannot explain why they think the Bible is true or is the word of God. They simply assume that because others in their family and Christian subculture believe it and told them so, that it therefore must be true. They do not analyze it, question it, or think critically about it. But as the legendary great philosopher Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." So let's do that and examine this issue.
I think it helps first to ask yourself why you want marriage and children. There are good and bad reasons for wanting them. Here are examples of both, with comments below each:
Bad reasons for wanting marriage and children
- "Because I need to follow tradition and am under social/family pressure to get married."
Let me give you a slap in the face on this one. Look, just because something is a tradition, doesn't mean it has to be followed. In the ancient Aztec Empire, it was a tradition to sacrifice people to the Gods by slaying them on the altar. Does that mean that it's a good thing? Would you do that too if you were an Aztec? Stop being a mindless automaton.
Moreover, if all you did was follow tradition, how would you be any different than the animals, who also follow the "traditions" programmed in their DNA to eat, survive and reproduce? How would your life be anything special? You'd just be another mindless robot following tradition, with no ambition, aspiration, higher purpose or passion. No great person in history is ever remembered for just following a tradition. What a wasted life. To do something just because it's a "tradition" is to be a programmed automaton, not a thinking human being who acts on logic, reason and rationality.
Finally, just because family and friends are pressuring you into doing something, doesn't make it right or good or the best thing for you. They are merely following their programming and traditions too, rather than acting out of reason or rationality.
- "Because they are an important part of life."
Not necessarily. You don't need marriage and children in the same sense that you need food and water. They are choices, not necessities. You only think they are important because everyone else thinks so, and because society makes them sound important. But the truth is, they are only important if you MAKE them important. And if, after reading this whole essay, you still decide that they are important to you and your goals, then that is up to you. No one can decide that except you. But make sure that you make an informed choice, for the right reasons and not the wrong ones, which this essay will get into.
The reality is that everyone is different. But the fallacy of society is that it assumes that everyone is the same in wanting and needing marriage and children. That just isn't so. Some people have no need for such binding commitments and obligations, and others are just simply not cut out for them. For them, marriage and children would be a hindrance and interference with their priorities, plans and values.
- "Because everyone else I know is already married and has kids. I'm the only one left."
If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? Enough said.
- "Because it is a duty to get married and have kids. My parents expect it and society expects it. Even if I don't love my spouse, I will still get married as long as he/she seems like a good prospect. Our love can grow after that."
It is not a duty to get married, only an expectation. You are brainwashed into thinking it is your duty. In fact, there is no such thing as a "duty". The concept of a "duty" is merely a psychological coercion technique designed to make you feel obligated into doing something without regard for your free will. There is no logical or rational reason why you "must" get married and have kids. If you always try to conform to everyone's expectations, you will never find peace, happiness or freedom.
Again, just because family and friends are pressuring you into doing something, doesn't make it right or good or the best thing for you. They are merely following their programming and traditions too, not acting out of logic or reason.
Moreover, even after you get married and have kids, the expectations from family/friends won't stop. You will be then expected to work hard, earn money, raise your children to be obedient slaves and get good grades, show off your success with a nice house and nice car to "keep up with the Jones", etc. etc. The pressure will never stop.
You will never find peace or rest if you keep trying to live up to other people's expectations. By doing so, you will be giving away your power, control and freedom to others. In the end, you will be nothing but a washed up slave who never "lived true to yourself".
- "Because I want to have children and need a husband to be a provider for them."
So you want to enslave someone you don't love, just for your own self-interest? What about his needs?
- "Because I don't want to be lonely and grow old alone."
Geez. Isn't that a selfish reason to bring kids into this world of enslavement and suffering, just for your own benefit? By doing so, you are dragging innocent souls into this world, to become enslaved by the economic system - raised and groomed like a product on a shelf so they can become productive obedient slaves in a world of suffering and greed. Isn't that sort of cruel in a way? Think about it.
If you are lonely, then get out there and do what you love and go somewhere you love, and you will meet many great wonderful people who can be your friends or lovers. There are many quality people with enriched lives with lots to share all over the world! Among them are many fish available to be your girlfriend/boyfriend or romantic lover. You can find a soulmate, and establish a deep monogamous relationship with him/her. If you last long, you might even get to grow old together. But understand this: You don't need
to get married. There is no reason to seek state involvement and approval for your relationship (aka a marriage license). That just gives the government another reason to control you. The less control from them, the better. I'm sure you know that. In reality, marriage is not necessary for two people to cohabitate or be together. It's just a piece of paper and does not create love. Marriage is not about love - it's about duty and obligation, which often puts a damper on love. You only "think" marriage is necessary because you were brainwashed/programmed to. When you analyze it rationally, this becomes apparent.
However, you can get married and grow old with your spouse without having children too - that's another option. And if you need someone to take care of you when you get old, you can always hire a caretaker. It'd be much cheaper than raising kids, that's for sure. Also, there are always other old people to keep old people company. At Denny's and in public parks, for instance, there are many old timers who are lonely and glad to talk to strangers.
Another thing to consider is that the money you spend to raise children from birth to adulthood, could be better spent invested into your own business, real estate properties, savings, or mutual fund portfolio. That will, you can achieve financial independence without the burden of children draining away all your resources. Then you will be more able to travel the world, and meet all the wonderful great people across the globe who can become your friends, teachers and lover(s). This makes more sense, but of course, you are not programmed to think this way.
On the other hand, if you succumb to tradition and family pressure, and give up your life, freedom and resources just to raise some "spoiled little brats" so they can grow up and say "thank you mom and dad" before they ride off into the horizon to start their own life, you will have wasted your life, and will be left as a washed up slave with your best years behind you.
Finally, ponder this: If every generation lived only to prepare the way for the next generation, and never lived for themselves or for the present moment, then what's the point of life? If you live only for your children, who then grow up and live only for their children, and so forth, then life would be just a neverending sequence where everyone "passed the baton" without end. Any purpose for existence would be defeated. See how silly and pointless that would be?
Good reasons for wanting marriage and children
- "Because I love him/her and can't live without him/her and trust him/her."
- "Because I've found my soulmate and am sure that this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with."
- "Because I do not need many friends or lovers. I only need one stable monogamous partner/soulmate to live together and grow old together."
- "Because I love children so much that I can't live without them. My life would be empty and meaningless without kids. I'd rather bear the burden of them than suffer the emptiness without them."
- "Because my passion in life is to raise a human being from birth to adulthood."
These are more valid reasons for wanting to marry and have kids. They are much better than marrying just for the "sake of marriage" or having kids just to follow tradition and conform to family/social pressure. Such reasons and intentions, if applicable to you, make for the chances of success in marriage and family life much better, than the bad reasons listed above.
However, understand this: Just because you've found a compatible soulmate, does not mean that you "must marry" him/her, for the reasons already mentioned above. Also consider this: To promise someone that you will love him/her forever is a sort of dishonesty, because no one can promise never to change or that his/her heart will always remain the same. That is an unrealistic promise and commitment to make, and a dishonest one at that. You can't control love with a marriage contract anyway. Love runs its natural course regardless of a marriage contract. Being together in love is the most wonderful thing in life. Nothing compares to it. But marriage isn't about love. It's a commitment, obligation and duty. Marriage was not created for love. It was created to secure a proper two parent family environment for children to grow up in, to bring order to asset inheritance, and to give women a sense of security (if that's what they want). It was not designed in your interest personally, but in the interests of children and society.
The Facts and Consequences of Having Children
Here are the facts and consequences of having children that you need to know before you have them. You need to look at the reality here, rather than the myths, expectations or traditions you were fed about children being "wonderful blessings that you will make your life complete". The media brainwashes people by depicting the notion that "getting pregnant = good news". But it is not always good news, when you consider the reality of the following:
1. Children are detrimental to your health and peace of mind, which are the most important things in life.
They give you lots of constant worry and stress, which is bad for your health. And as we all know, health is priceless and the most important thing in life. Peace of mind is the next most important thing in life. But children are not good for either one. Also, if you have a quick temper, children will often aggravate it and cause you to "blow your fuse", often over little things, which can become an emotional hell - all for nothing too, because you will get NOTHING in return for putting up with this trouble and disruption to your peace of mind.
2. Children disturb your peace and quiet, as well as sleep.
If you like peace and quiet, then children will become your worst nightmare. They will bring constant noise, disturbance, tension, problems and conflict, especially if you have two or three of them fighting and arguing. If you like having a good night's sleep, you might want to consider that you will be awoken and disturbed many times by your baby crying in the middle of the night. These are just words, but once you experience this, you will realize the gravity of it all. It is more than you can imagine or conceptualize, and more than words can describe.
3. Children take away your freedom, enslave you, tie you down, and transform your life into one of servitude.
They destroy and impair your personal freedom for 20+ years. You will be obligated to give up your life and freedom to become enslaved in servitude to the needs of a "spoiled brat". And if you hate or regret it, then tough luck, because once you start, there is no quitting or turning back. Thus, it could turn out to be the worst thing that's ever happened to you! As a parent, you will be "tied down" while you work hard everyday to provide money for a good home for them. Your life will no longer be your own, but indebted into servitude for their welfare. It is also hard and unpleasant to travel when you have kids, whether you bring them along or not. (Think of the Chevy Chase "Vacation" movies where family trips are anything but fun) So if you really love to travel, you might want to consider that.
Even though you are in a position of authority in relation to your children, still, your life role and function are essentially transformed into that of a SERVANT once you have kids. As they say, "Once you become a parent, your life is no longer your own." You exist primarily to "serve" the needs of your children and their best interests, not your own. Your life becomes one of servitude, which becomes your duty, according to the ethics of society. Therefore, if you don't like being a slave or servant, then you might want to reconsider having kids. Of course, you can always rebel against your duty and obligation to become a servant, as many men have, but in doing so, you will undoubtedly incur the condemnation of others, so you will have to be discreet about it.
4. Children are a big burden and drain on your resources - in terms of finances, time, energy and emotions.
You will not be reimbursed or reap any tangible rewards or benefits from your sacrifice - except for intangible emotional ones. So from a business standpoint, having children is the worst business decision you could ever make, as the relationship is a completely one-sided affair, with them receiving all the benefits while you get sucked up dry. The money you spend raising them from birth to adulthood, would be better spent investing in a business, real estate properties, savings, or mutual fund portfolios so that you can be free to travel the world and live to your heart's desire.
5. Children destroy the romance between you and your partner.
When you and your partner have kids, the focus then becomes on the kid rather than on the two of you. Both of you begin to live for the child rather than for each other, in effect becoming "servants" to the child. It's a real romance killer for sure. How can there be any romance when the kid keeps hogging all the attention and complaining about every little thing as though he/she were royalty and you his/her unpaid servant?! Sheesh, why should I give all my attention to my kid rather than to my lover? For what? A kid isn't exactly that interesting you know. Geez. Society is also stupid and wrong to make children out to be some special group that is more precious and important than adults. That's stupid. At what age does one stop becoming precious and special? That's so dumb. Sheesh.
Anyhow, I don't know about you, but I would never exchange the dynamic passion and pleasure of romantic love for the "joy of child rearing". There's no comparison at all. I shouldn't have to explain why. The latter simply does not fill any need or longing of mine, while the former does. So it makes no sense to exchange romance for parental love. That's one of the worst exchanges imaginable, and it's no fun at all.
Overall, having children is NOT a logical decision - as it involves huge sacrifices in time, money, energy, life, freedom, etc. for little or no return.
No one would do that rationally. Now I can understand putting up with all that if only truly loves and needs to have their own children. However, even then, they often turn out to be more than you bargained for. But the point is, if you do NOT need children in your life, then there is NO reason to have them and put up with all the above, just because others are having them or society tells you to, or you feel that it is a "duty" to have them. If you fall for such a trap, of doing something that's not right for you just because society/other people say you should, then you could end up making the BIGGEST MISTAKE of your life!
Moreover, even if you love children, you are still taking a big risk by having them, because:
1. You have no control over what kind of personality your child will have. He or she may have a personality that may not get along with your, or may be incompatible with you.
2. There is no guarantee that the child won't be born with chronic health problems or complications, which would become a big burden and worry on you.
So in effect, you are risking a lot of trouble simply because society and others say so.
Take a look at all these hundreds of mothers railing about motherhood being the biggest mistake of their lives, resulting in neverending suffering: http://www.justrage.com/I_Hate/i-hate-being-a-f***ing-mother-and-i-dont-care-if-you-call-me-a-bitch/
Let's take a look at some of the reasons that people have children:
1. Out of the biological instinct to reproduce.
2. Cultural or social programming.
3. Pressure from family and friends.
4. Out of a natural love for children.
5. Out of a desire to continue one's lineage.
6. To have an inheritor for one's assets or business/corporation.
7. By accident during sex.
8. To have someone care for them during old age.
Let's look at these reasons: #1 is natural and understandable. However, humans have intelligence and the ability to reason. They can choose to follow their instincts or choose not to. That's what differentiates us from animals. Also, you can have sex without having children if you use proper birth control. Not everyone wants kids or is cut out for them. As to #2 and #3, well they are pure brainwashing - nothing else needs to be said there. #4 is a legit reason to have kids. But you have to really love them, A LOT! Enough to sacrifice selflessly for them.
However, the problem with this is that you can't be sure what your child will turn out like. Not every child is cute, intelligent and well-behaved. Some are monsters who are out of control and disruptive, and do not respond to disciplinary measures. Others have mental or functional disorders. Not all children are the same. Like adults, they are individuals. You do not know what you will get. It's a risk you take, with permanent consequences, which may not turn out the way you want.
Also, it's one thing to think
that you love kids and are willing to sacrifice for them, but it's another to actually do it. Some actually regret it later when they are overwhelmed by the burden and disruptions to their life, but by then, it's too late. That's why this is something that could turn out to be the biggest mistake of your life. You gotta understand that thinking and doing something are completely different. For example, many veterans before going to war thought it was an honor to "serve their country" and were willing to die for it. But once there, they realized it was a mistake and not what they thought it was, and many paid a huge price for it. It was the most costly mistake of their lives. As they say, "having and wanting are two different things".
Imagine having a baby disturb your sleep every night with his crying, and then disrupt your daytime with his constant yelling and screaming. Some even cause disruption out in public and embarrassing you. Imagine having no peace and quiet, and no privacy, everyday! No one has 100 percent tolerance. Your breaking point will eventually be reached, and will be reached sooner if you are annoyed easily. At some point, you will eventually ask yourself, "Why should I put up with all this? What for? What do I get out of it? NOTHING?! What a scam! What a cruel trap that society has placed on me! Why didn't anyone warn me? Why did everyone trick me into thinking that having kids was a wonderful blessing I needed to be complete? What a scam, trap and prison! This was the BIGGEST MISTAKE of my life! And worst of all, the consequences are permanent!"
#5 is understandable too. However, it's an illusion because after you're gone, you probably won't even know that your lineage didn't continue anyway, as you may not retain your memories in an afterlife state. #6 is a rare reason because most people do not own any corporate empire to pass on to, nor do they think of their assets when having children. So it is not a primary reason, mostly a secondary one. #7 is a tragedy, because as mentioned before, having an unwanted child is a costly mistake with permanent consequences.
#8 is a selfish reason to have kids, bringing them into the world just so you won't have to be alone in your old age. Again, this is a secondary reason, not a primary one. One can also hire a caretaker - it's much cheaper than raising children, that's for sure. Moreover, you don't really know if your children will take care of you, especially if you in the USA, where many children rarely see their parents after they turn 20 and move out, and selfishness is considered a virtue and right. Plus, you don't have to be alone during old age. You can make friends, have a spouse to grow old with, or chat with other seniors - there are many at Denny's and in public parks who are glad to chat with strangers.
Children can give you love and other intangible emotional benefits. Sure. But is it worth all the above? Think about it. If you love children, can you instead become a teacher, daycare worker, babysitter, Summer camp counselor, volunteer to help children, or tutor them? That way, you can enjoy their presence without being burdened or enslaved to them for 20 years with no way out, which could turn out to be a mistake that you regret. Think about that and consider it.
You need to take all these consequences into account, and not just have kids because everyone else is, or because of family/social pressure, or because of a duty to follow tradition - all of which are the wrong reasons. Don't just buy into the media propaganda that "children are a wonderful thing and being pregnant is good news." The media is there to brainwash you into conformity, not to disseminate truth, knowledge, wisdom or awareness to you for your best interest. (That's what I'm here for
) So don't listen to their BS. Think for yourself and evaluate the consequences as well as your values, priorities, goals and ambitions.
Consider this: If you succumb to tradition and family pressure, and give up your life, freedom and resources to raise some "spoiled little brats" so they can grow up and say "thank you mom and dad" before they ride off into the horizon to start their own life, you will have used up your life, and will be left washed up with your best years behind you. I'm not saying that you will regret that, but you should consider it as a consequence. No one knows yourself better than you, so only you are best to judge whether you will regret it or not.
Also, ponder this: If every generation lived only to prepare the way for the next generation, and never lived for themselves or for the present moment, then what's the point of life?
If you live only for your children, who then grow up and live only for their children, and so forth, then life would be just a neverending sequence where everyone "passed the baton" without end. Any purpose for existence would be defeated. See how silly and pointless that would be?
Finally, in addition to all the above, consider that by bringing children into this world, you are dragging innocent souls into a world of enslavement and suffering.
Once born, everyone is a slave to the economic system for their survival and basic needs. They are groomed and molded by the state to become obedient productive citizens and treated as economic resources. Remember, this is a world where greed, conflict and suffering is everywhere, where evil thrives and prospers, power corrupts and "might is right". That's not exactly an ideal world to bring new souls into now, is it? You might want to consider this aspect, especially if you aren't in a position to provide kids with a good nurturing life, or are not a stable secure "settle down and plant roots" type of person.
Now I know someone reading this is going to think, "Well if everyone thought like that, then the human race would come to an end. And if your parents thought like that, there wouldn't be you." Well yes that's true. But that doesn't invalidate the facts and consequences above. The fact is, everyone is NOT going to think like me, nor will I think like them. I am not like my parents, and you can't expect me to be. I could use the same type of logic and say to you, "Do you want to be a garbage collector? If not, then if everyone thought like you, there would be no one to collect the garbage." Or I could ask you, "Do you want to spend 8 years in medical school to become a doctor? If not, then if everyone thought like you, there would be no doctors or healthcare system." You see how that would go? The lesson here is that you can't force someone to be something they are not, just to live up to YOUR expectations.
People are different. Some need children. Others don't. Some are suited to be parents enslaved to their children. Others are not. You can't label me as something I'm not and expect me to live up to it. That's a fallacy - to assume that everyone is like you and wants the same things you do. They are not and they don't.
Now let me make a distinction here. I do not hate children. I like them - when they behave and are cute and sweet that is. But just because I like them doesn't mean I want to be enslaved by them. Liking something and wanting to be enslaved by it are two different things.
I like my friends, but that doesn't mean I want to be enslaved by them. I like animals too, but I wouldn't want to be enslaved by them. You can like sex and alcohol too, but would it be a good thing to be enslaved by them? See what I mean? Not everyone is cut out for slavery and servitude to children. You gotta understand that.
The truth is that not everyone is cut out to be parents, despite our biological instinct to reproduce. But the tragedy is that the media is totally one-sided on this issue. It only portrays people who say that children are "wonderful and rewarding", but never those who say that having them was the "biggest mistake of their lives". In reality, there are plenty of people who are miserable with the burden and loss of freedom that comes with having children. But the media and society don't like to show you that. The media does not do its job in covering both sides of this issue, so you only hear one side. As a result, many fall under the impression that everyone is suited to have kids. This creates a social trap
where people not suited to be parents make the mistake of having kids and regretting it afterward. That's a tragedy and injustice. And that's what I'm trying to warn people about, to help save those unsuited from a costly mistake.
I am not here to tell everyone that having children is bad for them, nor am I here to tell everyone that it is good for them either. I am only informing them of the consequences, and encouraging people to THINK about it more before succumbing to social/family pressure.
The truth is, marriage and children are not right for everyone, nor are they wrong for everyone either. This should be treated on a case by case basis, by looking at the consequences involved, as well as your own capacity and values, so that people don't fall into the social trap thinking that "it's right for everyone" when it's not. In reality, except for food, water and air, there is no "one thing that is right for everyone."
Bottom line: Consider the above consequences and effects when deciding on whether to marry and have children (one or the other or both).
Don't just do it because everyone else is, or because it's a tradition and duty set by your society, or because of pressure and expectations from family and friends - those are all the wrong reasons. And don't buy the media propaganda that tells you that everyone needs to be tied down by marriage and children, and are empty/incomplete without it. That's the classic "slavery = fulfillment" type of mind control that society tries to instill in you.
The truth is, there are many alternative ways of living that are more effective and sensible that you can find, which the media and society will never tell you about or encourage. But unless you want to remain an automaton, you will have to learn to think for yourself, think outside the box, discover yourself, live true to yourself, and do what's best for you.
Thank you for reading.
Last edited by Winston on Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:34 am; edited 29 times in total