Saturday, April 30, 2011

Damned Lies and Statistics!!

I think I am a very strange person.  No.  I know I am a strange person.  I am a monarchist and I was not excited about the Royal Wedding.  No I take that back... I was marginally excited about it.  It was great to see our future King finally get married to the girl he loves.

But as I was watching, I was wondering.  And I was hoping the statistics are not against them.  The statistics that for couples who live together before they get married, 75% end up divorced.   

I watched and prayed that they would learn from the mistakes of so many who "try before they buy".  I prayed that God would protect their marriage, especially given that it is going to be such a public one.

It is one of the lies of modern life.  That living together before you get married gives the relationship a better chance of working.   It is the same lie that having sex before you get married will make your married sex-life better...or stop you from making a mistake...or something...  

The whole concept of "trying before you buy" has to be the biggest relationship lie there is.  It encourages people to sleep around, comparing the sexual prowess of their various partners, and getting married based on the brilliance of the sex lives they share.  It encourages people to start their married lives together in a spirit of deceit "of course you are the best darling...the very best"...but in the back of their minds there is always that niggling thought..."maybe I didn't truly find the best..."

The lie that society is swallowing hook line and sinker is that the heart of your whole relationship is sex.  If you base your relationship solely on sex, as soon as the sex is bad/difficult/non-existent, the relationship suffers and a partner starts looking for a way out.

Good sex is not a right.  It is something that you learn together with your partner (ideally your first partner) and grow into as your marriage matures and as you share lives together.  Any married couple who begin their married life as virgins (and yes it does happen) will tell you that sex in marriage is a learned skill.  Not something that is all sky-rockets and lightening bolts on the first night.  It can (and often does) take years to grow into a healthy pattern of relating sexually.  

There is a difference between thinking that sex is an innate skill, and seeing it as an investment made between two people for the long term.  If you start out married life with that sense of deception, that niggling comparison in the back of your head, then of course you will never be satisfied sexually by your marriage partner.  It is easy to see why people who live together before they get married have such high divorce rates.  No matter how good their intentions towards each other, the little voice in the back of the head is always saying "maybe I could have down better"...

So when I say I was not hugely excited about the Royal Wedding, it's true.  But I am still less excited about the statistical likelihood of a Royal Divorce...

1 comment:

  1. Joel and I were both virgins when we got married (and while it was lightning bolts and fireworks from the word go for us) I agree that the people who say to me "But how can you know it's good if you've nothing to compare it to' simply don't 'get it'.

    There's something beautiful (to us) about the fact that we waited until our wedding night. That each of us has only and will only ever be with the other. It is something we've shared with noone else. We feel no need to compare. We love sex, love making love, love the intimacy. And love that it is just ours.

    I'm less worried about other people. All I can say for us is that it was perfect and special for us. Learning each other's bodies together. Learning to live together once we were married (also, fortunately for us, we were blessed with an easy, wonderful experience there too).

    15 years in, I've not a single regret.