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Is Love A Neurosis Detrimental To Marriage?

kvothe27

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#1
I'm currently reading The Adjusted American: Normal Neuroses In the Individual And Society, and one of its contentions is that love is a neurosis. Their contention is that "American marriages are unstable because Americans marry for love." I'm going to quote some passages, hopefully to generate some discussion. Given our tendency in the West to glorify love, I find the authors' contention especially fascinating. I'm curious as to what you intelligent folk might think of it. As far as I can tell, it seems spot on, but I lack experience in such things nor have I given it much study beyond this.

Firstly, love is viewed by them much as hate is -- that is -- love is generated, in part, by an alienated aspect of the self projected onto someone else.

Men love much as they hate; the mechanism of the one emotion is an inversion of the other. When a person alienates from himself some quality or potential which he despises, he projects it onto someone else, where he hates it. Conversely, when he alienates some quality or potential which would like to experience in himself but does not, he projects it onto someone else, where he loves it. The people he loves, like those he hates, are merely convenient targets for his projections.
And so opposites attract. . .

They advise against the concept of love full of equivocations among definitions for that term(mature love, romantic love, young love, etc.), instead defining it as the following.

For the sake of clarity, we have restricted the word love to that attraction which based on the projection of alienated but desired characteristics. Such projection leads to an intense desire to be with the person on whom the projections are hung, to exhilaration when he is present, to depression when he is absent, to possessive jealousy, Our usage is thus consistent with the kind of feeling an American usually has in mind when he says, "I love you."
In this sense, they seem to be elevating a nurture explanation over a natural one. I've read some studies indicating that love is chemically similar in the brain as the effects of cocaine. A quick, lazy search:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/205973.php


However, they caution elsewhere that, while love may be fun (due to its resultant feelings, "Yet at best love is a temporary euphoria"), it is not a stable basis on which to base marriage. In this case, I wonder about the direction of causality. Does the cocaine-like high lead to an increase in the tendency to project, or the other way around? Do they happen together by strengthening each other (I'm being a bit lazy here, but I'll probably add to it later)?

Moreover . . .

It may be that the phrase "mature love" is sometimes intended to convey the idea of this kind of relationship, but if so the usage is misleading, for it implies that the so-called "mature love" is a natural outgrowth of romantic love. This is hardly the case, for love leads in the opposite direction. It is no accident that the greatest tales of love end with the death of the lovers; there is simply no other plausible ending that would not conflict with the myth of love. Love may form the basis for a charming weekend, but it is an unstable foundation for marriage.
In any case, marriage often fails if based entirely on love because familiarity provides cracks in the projections. Instead of trying to create a bond by which both parties can be happy through intimate association whereby each individual mirrors each other for self-growth (think of an intimate/candid friendship), couples in marriages become more concerned with whether they love each other. Since love is a fleeting emotion, American marriages tend to fail. Indeed, love wasn't the original basis for marriage, but here I'm obviously not saying earlier bases were necessarily better.


A Neurosis is a non-organic barrier to need satisfaction. People "love" those on whom they hang those beloved alienated projections. Projections induce a neurosis when it presents a barrier to need satisfaction. When a person is viewed as the sum of projections the need for intimate association, at least via the marriage, is blocked. When a need is blocked, tension rises, and then fighting, adultery, etc., ensues.

I posted a different article about love being similar to the effects of cocaine on a different forum and some of the members became really inflammatory about it. I'm not sure what to expect here.

How might we integrate such a thing into the MBTI? It certainly seems to fit with studies that indicate that the types are actually often better off not marrying their opposites, despite the attraction.

What do you think? Is all this bunk? If you think so, with what model would you suggest it be replaced and why? What are your personal experiences on the matter? To what conclusions have your personal studies lead in regards to this subject?
 

Cognisant

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#2
Conversely, when he alienates some quality or potential which would like to experience in himself but does not, he projects it onto someone else, where he loves it.
I can attest that projection is incredibly difficult to avoid, indeed the basis of love seems to be that the person who is loved means something to the one that loves them, however I don't think we project as in the example above, I'm generally more attracted/interested in women I find relateable, with who I see some degree of commonality.

In my experience at least projection is more about storytelling, if I "love" someone I project upon them how I see us in a relationship and for the most part I seem to have no interest in a wife, rather I want a life partner, someone who will participate in my interests/activities and share hers with me, perhaps because I don't think merely "being in love" is enough to sustain the kind of relationship I desire.

Love is a chemical thing, it's the affect of the genetic program on the mind and there's a set script to it, being in love with a person is nature's way of ensuring people pair off and practice exclusivity enough that when pregnancy occurs it's clear who the father is, which then gives him motivation to stick around. Personally I'd like to be I love, but as a part of something more than a biological imperative, I actually want to spend time with the person and share my life with them for the sake of doing so, I guess more than anything I want the security of a long term friend.

A female long term friend, sure other guys are great and all but as long as I'm not in a sexual relationship, horrendously old or a robot, I'm always going to be on the lookout and frankly I find the bros first mentality kind of, wrong, I mean either I'm the bad bro who ditches his mates the moment he isn't single anymore or I'm a good mate, but the girl dosen't come first so she's just the person I have sex with, a replaceable thing of minimal emotional attachment.

Of course some people juggle priorities (that would just exhaust me) some aloof people aren't close with either, but y'know no matter how it is there's only so much time and you have to prioritise somehow, one can never please everybody.
 

Cognisant

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#3
This is what I think they mean by marriage for love not working out, it's only a chemical thing, if kids aren't on the way it'll wear off, it's supposed to wear off, and when two people essentially realise that their relationship was purely chemical, that they have no common interests/activities then of course they go their separate ways, as nature intended.

I think my ideal partner would be a humanoid GlaDOS.
After the euphoria wears off (Portal 2) we'd still have the Science :D

Lol, yep I'm going to die alone.
(assuming I ever do)
 

Duxwing

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#4
The study's conclusion about neurotic projection not being a stable basis for marriage is so obvious as to be trivial: mental diseases cause problems. It is, however, not without triumph. Proving that most American marriages are based on attraction to projections tears the cloak of romantic myth from the hideous face of reality.

@Cognisant The ethical quandry posed by programming an AI that will love you remains, but to find one in the wild would be quite beautiful. As for choosing between your friends and your lover, you needn't. Just let the relationships grow naturally and tell each person involved that while you have the best of intentions, you'd like them to tell you if they feel ignored.

-Duxwing
 

Hayyel

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#5
It is an interesting article.

I have to add something to this also. I don't think that I was ever in love, but I feel that I came close to it, like in a crush. I feel that this whole package is on a real steep line harboring on obsession. I know that I felt jealousy and I also know that they usually happened when we had seemingly a lot of things in common, and when we could talk about pretty weird things without blinking.

Of course, me being me I kept everything inside so nothing came out of it, and I'm absolutely grateful that I did, because it didn't take much for it to wear off.

And also, considering my parents I totally agree that love isn't what everyone imagines it.

I'm kind of thinking about it in relations to history. I don't know much about love in the past - like reaaaallly in the past, I'm thinking ancient times-, but I somehow feel that being in love is somewhat of a modern invention and thus we adapted to it.
 

kvothe27

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#6
The study's conclusion about neurotic projection not being a stable basis for marriage is so obvious as to be trivial: mental diseases cause problems. It is, however, not without triumph. Proving that most American marriages are based on attraction to projections tears the cloak of romantic myth from the hideous face of reality.
Beautifully stated.

I'm kind of thinking about it in relations to history. I don't know much about love in the past - like reaaaallly in the past, I'm thinking ancient times-, but I somehow feel that being in love is somewhat of a modern invention and thus we adapted to it.
The book makes observations of love about the past and how it transformed into modern love:

If concern about the authenticity of an ecstatic experience has a medieval ring, it might be recalled that romantic love is an invention of the Middle Ages. The troubadours built the myth of love and fashioned such ideas as love at first sight, the existence of the Ideal lover for each person, and the power of True Love to conquer all. One glimpse of the fair maiden leaning over the parapet and the knight was supposed to be smitten. He might pine away if his love was not returned, but let his lady encourage him by some token and his strength was increased tenfold. Possessed by love, he had the power to conquer all obstacles in his path, including any dragons guarding the maiden.
But in the Middle Ages love was not the basis for marriage. Family connections, land ownership, political convenience, and at times even military alliance were the foundations of aristocratic marriage. And peasant marriages were contracted on similarly pragmatic bases. Romantic love was an aristocratic diversion, but the nobility that amused itself with love explicitly assumed that love and marriage were incompatible. The daily familiarities of marriage could only erode romance. So it was not his bride that the medieval prince expected to love, modern fairy tales to the contrary notwithstanding; when the knighthood was in flower, one knight's love was another knight's lady.
At the end of the Middle Ages, the emerging middle class adopted the aristocratic ideology of love. But the middle class was uncomfortable about the extramarital setting, so they made love fit their moral code. Keeping the medieval idea of love nearly intact, they wrapped it into a neat middle-class package by making love the basis for marriage. As individual choice gradually superseded family dictates, marriage for love became part of Western tradition.
 

kvothe27

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#7
It is an interesting article.

I have to add something to this also. I don't think that I was ever in love, but I feel that I came close to it, like in a crush. I feel that this whole package is on a real steep line harboring on obsession. I know that I felt jealousy and I also know that they usually happened when we had seemingly a lot of things in common, and when we could talk about pretty weird things without blinking.

Of course, me being me I kept everything inside so nothing came out of it, and I'm absolutely grateful that I did, because it didn't take much for it to wear off.

And also, considering my parents I totally agree that love isn't what everyone imagines it.
I've been in love several times. In one case it was reciprocated but quickly disintegrated painfully. Looking back, it is obvious it was the projections I hung on her that made me love her. In fact, when we attempted candid association via conversation, I suddenly found myself thinking that she might not be a good fit for me. I then proceeded to attempt to reinstate those projections by avoiding candid association. Hah! The projections I hung on her reveal much about myself and it is . . . uncomfortable to recognize, to say the least.

In another case, a brief relationship I had was more about attempting to be more of an ideal American male ("indirect self-acceptance"). This also failed quickly.

Both my parents are socially odd, married after only two weeks, and their resultant marriage was catastrophic because they were incapable of or unwilling to engage in candid association with each other.
 
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#8
I think my ideal partner would be a humanoid GlaDOS.
After the euphoria wears off (Portal 2) we'd still have the Science :D

Lol, yep I'm going to die alone.
(assuming I ever do)
I am working hand over fist to ensure that doesn't happen. ;) Well.... ok not that hard.

Without love the only reason to have a wife (apart from physical needs or whatever) would be as an object or someone to do things for you. "Look guys at the social status I must have to have this wife." I mean that happens anyway in loveless marriages. Part of the reason everything falls apart is the loss of love.

Maybe I am just a hopeless romantic. Don't base everything on love though. Love, logic and various other stuff...

I did actually dump someone I loved (kinda loved? I'm not really sure anymore) once due to logic. It took about a month of talking myself out of it listing every reason we shouldn't be together and then letting her down nicely.

Disclaimer: I'm tired and not in my right mind.
 

kvothe27

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#9
I am working hand over fist to ensure that doesn't happen. ;) Well.... ok not that hard.

Without love the only reason to have a wife (apart from physical needs or whatever) would be as an object or someone to do things for you. "Look guys at the social status I must have to have this wife." I mean that happens anyway in loveless marriages. Part of the reason everything falls apart is the loss of love.

Maybe I am just a hopeless romantic. Don't base everything on love though. Love, logic and various other stuff...

I did actually dump someone I loved (kinda loved? I'm not really sure anymore) once due to logic. It took about a month of talking myself out of it listing every reason we shouldn't be together and then letting her down nicely.

Disclaimer: I'm tired and not in my right mind.
Marriage for social status is also problematic in that it is a form of "indirect self-acceptance" (attempting to accept the self by gaining the acceptance of others), according to the concepts provided in the book. Marriage, as far as I can tell in my very limited experience and according to my very limited knowledge, mostly provided by the book is the following. Firstly, it is sexually convenient. Secondly, it can be, but often isn't, convenient for candid association (possibly leading to localized self-acceptance, according to the book). Thirdly, it can be used as a collaborative effort to approach life in a way that is happy for both parties involved. Lastly, it apparently is the best institution we can come up with for child-rearing most likely due to a lack of imagination, inertia, and tradition.
 

kvothe27

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#11
Is it just me or does that not sound like love at all? Lust, yes. Love? I don't think so
There are many different definitions of love, which is why the whole thing is often confused (lots of equivocation among definitions of it). My understanding is that lust is an intense longing for sex, while the love defined in the book is entirely different from that and goes beyond just sex. How would you define love? Which part of the quotation sounds most like lust?
 

~~~

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#12
Sounds like a narrow definition of the term. I think the psychological literature uses a much broader definition.
 

kvothe27

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#13
To be clear, they are challenging "mature or immature, real or illusory" forms of love. For example, a parent's love for a child is argued as being love for the projected attributes of the parents which the parent has alienated. Those alienated attributes might include, for example, the desire for dependency, to act more child-like, etc., which can lead to some problems explicated in the book. I may go into more depth later to help you guys understand, but I would suggest reading the book, if you are interested in their ideas. There are a lot of unique ideas that are provided that really put things into perspective. There's an overarching theoretical framework provided on which most of this depends. If you have specific questions, fire away. Explaining this stuff helps me refine my ideas of it, aids in memory retention, and may help me see whatever cracks it may contain more clearly. My overall intention is to see more clearly through the matrix of American culture to which I've been socialized.
 

Hayyel

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#14
Since I don't believe on "love at first sight", this part is what I was talking about:

"The troubadours built the myth of love and fashioned such ideas as love at first sight, the existence of the Ideal lover for each person, and the power of True Love to conquer all. One glimpse of the fair maiden leaning over the parapet and the knight was supposed to be smitten. He might pine away if his love was not returned, but let his lady encourage him by some token and his strength was increased tenfold. Possessed by love, he had the power to conquer all obstacles in his path, including any dragons guarding the maiden."

In my world, love at first sight is equal to lust, since it focuses on the whole "first sight" problem. I can believe that a man would feel attracted to a pretty lady, especially when they are just a little bit lower on the social standing thing than the woman... forbidden fruit and all that. (and if it happened on one of those contests they used to have, all the more fun, because they were pumping all kinds of hormones already).

Oh, and let's not forget that a big percentage of these people were freaking young... like teenagers.

Or is that just me?
 

Architect

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#15
Mating is more complex than love and compatibility, which are vague terms.

For type people tend to make alike on E/I & S/N, and different on T/F & P/J.

Sensors tend to be more influenced by position; the potential mates job and family, and intuitives on love, "fate" and "mind mates".

Women tend to marry a bit more on men that make them laugh (if you can't make a woman laugh you'll never get laid) and work/profession. Men tend to marry a bit more on attractiveness.

As for what makes marriage work there's a lot of things that are beyond all this. I've seen two phases where people get divorced. First is a year or two after young couples have kid(s), the second is midlife (often around affairs). The earlier divorces are due to rushing into marriage while too young and inexperienced, with the pressures of having kids being the trigger. The later divorces are due to the pressures of mid life (mid life crises). Often the men initiate the series of events as they have affairs or whatnot, due to their own declining testosterone and their wives going crazy with menopause.
 

kvothe27

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#16
Since I don't believe on "love at first sight", this part is what I was talking about:

"The troubadours built the myth of love and fashioned such ideas as love at first sight, the existence of the Ideal lover for each person, and the power of True Love to conquer all. One glimpse of the fair maiden leaning over the parapet and the knight was supposed to be smitten. He might pine away if his love was not returned, but let his lady encourage him by some token and his strength was increased tenfold. Possessed by love, he had the power to conquer all obstacles in his path, including any dragons guarding the maiden."

In my world, love at first sight is equal to lust, since it focuses on the whole "first sight" problem. I can believe that a man would feel attracted to a pretty lady, especially when they are just a little bit lower on the social standing thing than the woman... forbidden fruit and all that. (and if it happened on one of those contests they used to have, all the more fun, because they were pumping all kinds of hormones already).

Oh, and let's not forget that a big percentage of these people were freaking young... like teenagers.

Or is that just me?
Actually, the less people in love know about each other the stronger the projections can potentially be. This is why it's an unstable basis for marriage. People are marrying their projections, not the actual person. The fact that people are in love, means that they are not engaging in the kind of candid association that would break through the projections, according to the definition of love provided by the authors. Distance, psychological or otherwise, limits or blocks such candid association, so the projections can remain strong and thus the feeling of love. This means that love at first sight is possible if, at first sight, the person has alienated some desired characteristic of himself and projected it onto that person.

Don't get so hung up on that particular example. It is an example of an ideal scenario of love that helped contribute to the strength of it as an ideology for the middle class. Whether this particular example is viewed as possible to some in the middle class is irrelevant to the overall argument.


Americans differentiate many levels and types of love, for much the same reason that the Arabian nomads had a thousand words for "sword." But the underlying psychological mechanism of love is essentially the same, whether the love in question be called puppy love, mature love, romantic love, platonic love, parental love, or any other relationship that involves adoration of one person by another
 

Duxwing

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#17
Beautifully stated.
Awww, thanks! :)

The book makes observations of love about the past and how it transformed into modern love:
Perhaps we ought to stop using the word "love" and start saying "delusional projection as a basis for attraction". We'd certainly be more precise. And besides, redefining a word to suit a need defeats the purpose of using that word in the first place.

-Duxwing
 

kvothe27

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#18
Awww, thanks! :)



Perhaps we ought to stop using the word "love" and start saying "delusional projection as a basis for attraction". We'd certainly be more precise. And besides, redefining a word to suit a need defeats the purpose of using that word in the first place.

-Duxwing
Normally, I'd agree. However, the problem with the word "love" is that many seem to view it as some mystical experience or as something beyond comprehension. Redefining it serves the purpose of providing insight into a term that is poorly defined in the first place, hence all the equivocation in what people mean by "love." Defining it as the authors did provides some explanation as to why it may seem mystical or beyond comprehension. It provides an "underlying psychological explanation" for a term with many different meanings.
 

kvothe27

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#19
In regards to infatuation, in case anyone is wondering:

When a man first falls in love he simply hangs this image on some woman and loves it. If the fit is extremely poor, he may soon withdraw his projections -- and believe that he was only "infatuated." But if the ready-made image fits her reasonably well (with a few alterations in minor details) and if other positive projections supplement those of the original image, he is soon a man in love.
Bystanders (who are not making comparable projections) may wonder what he sees in her, or shrug and say that love is blind. In a sense it is, for the lover peers through a haze of projections. Even if the projections are a good fit, it does not alter the fact that it is his own alienated potential that he loves. The compelling power of love derives from the desire to reunite with the alienated and loved capacities of the self.
 

Hayyel

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#20
All right, so if we take this projection into consideration, would that mean that the few people on Earth who practically live a full life without ever being in love are somehow level-headed and well balanced? So would this be a good thing or a bad thing?
 

Duxwing

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#21
Hayyel, I've put your point more concisely: Is all love just projection?

:)

-Duxwing
 

scorpiomover

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#22
" love is a neurosis" heard that from scientists before. "Love is just a chemical called oxytocin", etc.

Let's be honest, how many of you would have had a relationship with or married your current or exes, if you had NOT fallen in love with them?

As to MBTI, Architect was correct to point out that Sensors value more practical reasons. IME, NTs tend to value mental compatibility, shared interests, shared values, etc. NFs tend to be the ones most interested in marrying for love.
 

Hayyel

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#23
Scorpio, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who don't marry for love. And now I'm not talking about arranged marriages.. there are those who marry out of responsability, or just to escape a constant pressure. There are those who marry because it is the right thing to do and everyone expects it. There is marriage out of neccesity or just between two good friend as a cover. I could go on :-)
 

kvothe27

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#24
All right, so if we take this projection into consideration, would that mean that the few people on Earth who practically live a full life without ever being in love are somehow level-headed and well balanced? So would this be a good thing or a bad thing?
Hayyel, I've put your point more concisely: Is all love just projection?

:)

-Duxwing

Given the widely different uses of the term it is possible that there are couples in the world that use the term in a way that would not be accurately explained by the way the authors explain the usage of the term. They're using it to explain a neurosis common among Americans.

The authors believe many humans have a misunderstanding as to what they actually need.

Most of the problems which the adjusted American experiences in connection with his needs for mental, physical, and sexual activity reflect his profound misunderstanding in yet another area -- which we shall term the self needs
The needs of the self-concept or ego or self needs ...

[...](1) the need for an accurate and acceptable self-image; (2) the need to verify this self-image and expand the self through association; (3) the need to verify the self-image and expand the self through action.
When a relationship is based on projections, the need to verify the self-image and expand the self through association is blocked because you're not associating in a candid way. This results in deprivation of a need of the ego. Candid/intimate association, self-honesty, among many other things that are explained in the book, can help one meet these needs.

So, just going through life without experiencing love doesn't necessarily mean one is level-headed or better off. For example, someone could go through life alienating hated aspects of the self and projecting them on to others. This would block having an accurate self-image. They may go through life not being honest with themselves or with other people. There are many different examples of American neuroses that could prevent one from being "level-headed and well balanced."

Honestly, I think this book is brilliant and explains a great deal about why the American way of life often ends up being unfulfilling.
 

Hayyel

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#25
I know it's a book based on the views of people in the US (or is it the whole America?), but what do you think this would all mean for those who live in other countries?

There are quite a few ways marriages occur out there - for instance I heard of a place where if a woman marries a man, she also literally marries his "family", meaning his brothers. They will all literally be her husbands, with basically the same rights. In light of this, can you be in love with multiple people at the same time?
 
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#26
"For the sake of clarity, we have restricted the word love to that attraction which based on the projection of alienated but desired characteristics."

yeah, clarity... let's say that. rather for the sake of building a case out of nothing.

MARRIAGE is the neurosis.
 

scorpiomover

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#27
Scorpio, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who don't marry for love. And now I'm not talking about arranged marriages.. there are those who marry out of responsability, or just to escape a constant pressure. There are those who marry because it is the right thing to do and everyone expects it. There is marriage out of neccesity or just between two good friend as a cover. I could go on :-)
I knew plenty who used to. But these days, it's pretty rare in the UK, because it's legal and easy to move in together, and because there is no longer any stigma in the UK on couples living together out of wedlock, or on having kids out of wedlock, gay or straight. You only do so, if you're ultra-religious, and the majority aren't.

But I've read several posts on the internet, that it's still true in the USA, that a lot of young women married to get out of the family home ASAP. But then again, that is more about American attitudes in general, rather than marriage, per se. Americans buy the latest gadgets, years before we buy them. In terms of adoption of modern secular Western values, though, we're about 20 years ahead of America. That's more because Brits tend to accept things, rather than fight them, while Americans have a tendency to reject authoritarianism, and stick to what they think.

So I think that it's more likely that you're just playing catch-up, in the marriage stakes.
 

Hayyel

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#28
What about those who marry so they would get an instant citizenship? I actually know a person who did that, and they stayed together and had kids in the end, without ever being in love.

I'm guessing that it can be done. At least for some people.
 

scorpiomover

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#29
What about those who marry so they would get an instant citizenship?
"it's pretty rare in the UK".

I actually know a person who did that, and they stayed together and had kids in the end, without ever being in love.
1 person out of how many million people?

I'm guessing that it can be done. At least for some people.
Of course it can be done. Especially if they are Sensors, and especially if they are SFJs.
 

Duxwing

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#30
I knew plenty who used to. But these days, it's pretty rare in the UK, because it's legal and easy to move in together, and because there is no longer any stigma in the UK on couples living together out of wedlock, or on having kids out of wedlock, gay or straight. You only do so, if you're ultra-religious, and the majority aren't.
Cool!

But I've read several posts on the internet, that it's still true in the USA, that a lot of young women married to get out of the family home ASAP. But then again, that is more about American attitudes in general, rather than marriage, per se. Americans buy the latest gadgets, years before we buy them.
I never knew that.

In terms of adoption of modern secular Western values, though, we're about 20 years ahead of America. That's more because Brits tend to accept things, rather than fight them, while Americans have a tendency to reject authoritarianism, and stick to what they think.
Did you mean to equate these two terms? :confused:

So I think that it's more likely that you're just playing catch-up, in the marriage stakes.
Doubtlessly so.

-Duxwing

P.S. You needn't so many commas: "...you're just playing catch-up, in the marriage stakes" can be "you're just playing catch up in the marriage stakes". Also, "per se" means "for himself/herself/itself" when you really mean "in se," which means "in himself/herself/itself". :) Note that my spelling, grammar, and vocabulary are in no way perfect, and I welcome any corrections that you may have.
 

kvothe27

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#31
"For the sake of clarity, we have restricted the word love to that attraction which based on the projection of alienated but desired characteristics."

yeah, clarity... let's say that. rather for the sake of building a case out of nothing.

MARRIAGE is the neurosis.
I just want to point out that the two need not be mutually exclusive. It is possible that love and marriage could be dispensed with for a more effective tradition or other arrangement for child rearing. What I'm curious about is what institution might be a better alternative to marriage. The temptation might be to say that an institution would not be needed in the first place, but I'm curious about the potential fallout for the progeny. I'm not saying, however, that marriage necessarily results in healthier offspring because I really do not know. There are a number of reasons why a single parent home can end up being disastrous though, at least in the context of current culture and institutions.
 

kvothe27

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#32
I know it's a book based on the views of people in the US (or is it the whole America?), but what do you think this would all mean for those who live in other countries?

There are quite a few ways marriages occur out there - for instance I heard of a place where if a woman marries a man, she also literally marries his "family", meaning his brothers. They will all literally be her husbands, with basically the same rights. In light of this, can you be in love with multiple people at the same time?
I don't really know much about that particular arrangement. I'd say that if this particular arrangement is based on love and such a thing is possible, then the woman would be alienating desired characteristics of herself and projecting them on the family as a whole or as individuals, but most likely the individuals, depending on how distinct each individual's identity is to each other. Perhaps she would reserve some projections for some individuals, while having others for other individuals of that family, according to how well they fit each respective brother.

What do you mean by rights? Do you mean each brother has the right to intercourse with this woman?
 

Hayyel

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#33
Might be marriage is a way to ensure there are only so many kids running around. If everyone in the world would feel no moral obligation or love or whatever to stick to one person there would be even more people around.
 

Hayyel

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#34
I don't really know much about that particular arrangement. I'd say that if this particular arrangement is based on love and such a thing is possible, then the woman would be alienating desired characteristics of herself and projecting them on the family as a whole or as individuals, but most likely the individuals, depending on how distinct each individual's identity is to each other. Perhaps she would reserve some projections for some individuals, while having others for other individuals of that family, according to how well they fit each respective brother.

What do you mean by rights? Do you mean each brother has the right to intercourse with this woman?
Yes, this is to ensure that a family passes on I guess- if something happens to one, no biggie.
 

kvothe27

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#35
Might be marriage is a way to ensure there are only so many kids running around. If everyone in the world would feel no moral obligation or love or whatever to stick to one person there would be even more people around.
I found the following quote on wikpedia:

In almost all societies, access to women is institutionalized in some way so as to moderate the intensity of this competition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

This makes sense to me. If the stronger males are getting most of the women, the weaker males may gang up on the stronger males. It may also prevent deaths over competition for some particular woman. There are other reasons, to be sure.
 

kvothe27

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#36
haha Actually, I found the following in The Adjusted American:

Many of the characteristics which are alienated from the self and loved in others are those which the culture has assigned to the opposite sex. Most societies designate some behaviors and qualities as "masculine" and others as "feminine." But this does not mean that men are devoid of potential normally attributed to women, or vice versa. On the contrary, what is normal masculine behavior in one culture may be normal feminine behavior in another. Margaret Mead reports that among the Tchambuli of New Guinea the women are expected to be practical, comradely, and sexually aggressive, whereas the men are expected to be passive and artistic, to gossip and primp. For that matter, not far back in Western history the dashing cavalier wore long curls and perfume; with the rapier and stallion went powder and lace and soft leather boots that displayed a well-turned calf. Whatever is defined as "manly" at a given time and place determines to a large degree which of his potentialities a boy will try to realize and which he will alienate.
 
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#37
I'm currently reading The Adjusted American: Normal Neuroses In the Individual And Society, and one of its contentions is that love is a neurosis. Their contention is that "American marriages are unstable because Americans marry for love."
Like a tripod there are three ingredients to keep "love" in balance: (1) the erotic, (2) playfullness and (3) companionship. Any one of those can get out of balance and the tripod tips over. The amount of neurosis or absence of good judgement in the face of emotion is the measure of the neurosis.

The erotic is a driving force. Do we want it right away or do we want to provide it a good home?

The person we want to be with should generate fun. It makes living worthwhile.

Companship has many aspects. Who are we and with whom do we want to share? Hope will cause projections. If one doesn't do enough checking and ties a knot that is hard to unravel or retie, one will be unhappy.

love is generated, in part, by an alienated aspect of the self projected onto someone else.
That is where self-knowledge is important. If we are not sure who we are, we can hope for the wrong things.

And so opposites attract. . .
No one has everything. Do we want to be alone? Opposites attract or complements attract?

They advise against the concept of love full of equivocations among definitions for that term(mature love, romantic love, young love, etc.), instead defining it as the following.
The tripod tips three ways.

In this sense, they seem to be elevating a nurture explanation over a natural one. I've read some studies indicating that love is chemically similar in the brain as the effects of cocaine.
If it were not for hope, the human race would not survive. We can let emotions run or question what they're about.
 

scorpiomover

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#38
Did you mean to equate these two terms? :confused:
No. Rather to say, that in the UK, we'll tend to accept what our overlords want, and then grumble about it at dinner-time. Right now, our overlords and Cameron, Clegg, the EU, and Western cultural values of the moment, which tend to be secular, and being of the moment, modern. Religious fundamentalism in the West appears as much of a counter-culture at the moment, in that such groups seem to start with the members, and work up to political influence, rather than suggestions from the top, which in America, consist of "First Amendment. Not getting involved." or "We're a secular country."
 

Duxwing

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#39
No. Rather to say, that in the UK, we'll tend to accept what our overlords want, and then grumble about it at dinner-time. Right now, our overlords and Cameron, Clegg, the EU, and Western cultural values of the moment, which tend to be secular, and being of the moment, modern.
At least your overlords are benevolent. :)

Religious fundamentalism in the West appears as much of a counter-culture at the moment in that such groups seem to start with the members and work up to political influence, rather than suggestions from the top, which in America, consist of "First Amendment. Not getting involved." or "We're a secular country."
A problem arises when the suggestions are no longer carried out, as has disturbingly become true in some Southern and Midwestern states; religious fundamentalism can drive the people to bend the laws that they've created, to subvert the ideals for which their sons and daughters bleed. It's a sad thing, really. And the religiosity of the movement isn't my greatest objection, either: any movement that puts the party line ahead of science worries me.

-Duxwing
 

Trebuchet

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#40
However, the problem with the word "love" is that many seem to view it as some mystical experience or as something beyond comprehension.
If there is neurosis in love, I think you nailed it here.

In the US at least, love pretty much means romantic, sexual love. It is okay to love your parents, children, and siblings as well, as blood relations are supposed to be mystical as well.

What isn't okay is to love anyone else. I know lots of people on this forum have seen House, M.D. I think it is pretty clear that House and Wilson love each other, but there is no way to actually say that in the US without it meaning that they are sexually involved. And saying that someone loves someone else "as a friend" means that it isn't real love.

BAP was right to say that no one has everything. The idea that your romantic love with one special person must satisfy every emotional need is completely neurotic. I had a coworker once who thought it was adultery if her husband bought a Playboy magazine, noticed someone pretty at the beach, or even had some female friends. Sheesh! Then I found out my other coworkers agreed with her, so apparently that is a common idea.

So yes, I think American love often is neurotic, based on projection, addicted to giddiness and lust, possessive, and completely unrealistic. But love (in any country) can be real and healthy, based on being glad that someone is in your life, in any role, romantic or otherwise.
 

crippli

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#41
I have bad time, as I plan to go out, to find love, and it's soon going to close. So didn't read this thread very well.

But I think the persons who invented love, was drunk, and not so smart, and probably thought they where very smart.
 
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