Learn about the good vs. bad reasons and consequences for getting married and having children.
"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