It is the rare fight that is about what is said during the fight.
Everyone grows up once and thinks of themselves and their experience of growing up as ave rage; or as being the norm. Whatever that is supposed to be.
It is truer that what you experience is normal for you and why when we impose our own experience as normal – we end up in poor communication with people who grew up in different “normal” circumstances from birth order to the number and gender of parents as a base on up to how the family structure functioned for everyone.
Dysfunctional family structure has never had a truth sense to it for me, since the families that operated with various abuse, addition, absentee in spirit or physically parents still got through the day and functioned in their own manner of functioning.
Malfunctioning seemed to my mind the more accurate term.
It seems that each of us carries the family norms, the structure, the roles, the battles in our heads and we end up projecting that onto our second families – the ones that we make as an adult.
Only now, it’s not here’s the family structure – but a blend of two family structures with all the battles, assumptions and expections of the first family structure – our childhood family imposed on the second adult family that we form.
A sustainable marriage, which is the better measure than the vague “happy”, since sustainable ill include happy, but also be a stronger basis as it includes managing through difficult times that are externally or internally not happy – it’s the sustainability in the longer term that is the hallmark of successful marriages.
One way to ensure sustainability is to keep the marriage between the two married people.
Each of us has an impression of what our parent’s relationship was like – or what the pattern of relationships of each of our parents and maybe the pattern of relationships that one or both parents also had – the step parents!
In any case, like a family with multiple children, each parent will have a favorite kid, so to do the kids grow up favoring one parent over the other – it may change during our lifetimes and the reasons for which is favoured will vary.
But it seems to me that when our own relationships fails, it is largely because we are engaged in our minds in the resolving of the conflicts in the relationships we observed as children – as if we are both parents in our minds trying to resolve their conflicts in our own relationships with a person who has their own parental conflict resolutions also being projected into the current you and them relationship.
When the structures are not compatible, depending on the values both raised and society’s values – we either end the structure in divorce and move onto third and maybe fourth families or not.
Certainly the advent of divorce allowed for unsustainable families to disentangle themselves – so it’s telling that religious camps are the ones who most often lament the end of families in divorce or the prevention of family creation by abortion.
Not only do they tend to politically have the mindset of my country, right or wrong – but this is extended to families, right or wrong.
To the fundamentalist, it is family and country that matter, rather than whatever qualities and sustainability said family or country has.
In a way, fundamentalists are the ultimate idealists, as it is the idea that they hold most dear and so far above all else that the reality of how the ideal is being uphelded or lived is literally beside the point.
Fundamentalists are so emotionally attached and invested in the ideal of family or country or god, that they cannot actually define any on a way for fear it will fall short.
Which is why the ideal cannot be questioned – for questioning whether the country’s policies are right or wrong is to question the idea of country – and same for family and god.
But, by not qualifying the ideal, for those of us who are not fundamentalists, we need the why the how and what for…. we can’t buy into the ideal of anything.
Ideals are guides, not goals, the process and the quality is what matters for it is the journey or process that gives meaning. An ideal is cold comfort and empty of content until you define and measure it.
So, it’s not until society is inclined to change what family aka marriage means that the religious folks get all uptight and appear inconsistent when they opposed gay marriage but remain silent on the subject of polygamy.
To the religious person, polygamy is not inconsistent with marriage, since it is merely one man with several simultaneous wives – in practical terms, little different than a man who has a series of wives over a lifetime – only he’s just married simulatanuously.
And why gay marrriage seems to fundies to be wrong because their ideal of marriage was suddenly no longer understood to mean 1 man and 1 woman, and they now had to scramble to define marriage as such in order to maintain the exclusivity by exclusion.
Fundies only appear to be hypocrites about who gets included in marriage, since they held the ideal without definition until their ideal was challenged.
This explains why they do not have a definition of marriage outside of not two same gender people, but marriage can include atheist heterosexuals, non-breeding by choice heterosexuals, elderly and polygamy, but no thought to polyandry (one wife with multiple husbands, because is it rarer and too culturally remote.)
And why, non-fundies who go by the practical application and who don’t define themselves by group values and ideals, have no issue with gay marriage, since, a gay marriage and a straight marriage – both as 2 people exclusive of others – are not incompatible.
Despite the fundies plea for tradition to be unquestioned – it is because they have not questioned what exactly the tradition is, that they appear to be hypocritical – they have never defined marriage across the board socially because it was always assumed that marriage was 1 of each gender – and why fundies cannot now answer what is marriage when you factor in things like transgendered couples – what if one member of a gay couple changes gender – can they get married now that they are legally different genders?
And why when they attempt to define marriage in ways that exclude gays – non-procreative sex – they are at a loss to explain how heterosexuals who cannot have or choose not to have children still get to be included in marriage but not gays who may choose to not have children, or who could adopt or use other procreative methods.
For those who attach strong value to ideals to the point of not being able to define them – are then at a loss and are inconsistent in then defended the ideal; which is an impractical and impossible standard because one size rarely fits anyone, never mind all.
And, this explains why fundies are so terrified of non-conformity – because if we all conformed, we wouldn’t need to define the ideal, because we’d all just know.
Which is why, there can truly be no god, because we would all just know – and we all know different things and we know them differently.
Cleaving to an ill defined god is the ultimate in unified conformity, but there is no actual god or uniform conformity. This is the central internal conflict of the fundie/godbot – and why there is no much inconsistency in religious ideas, because it’s patch-working the flaw at issue, without looking at the comprehensive whole to resolve by definitions in a way to include every possible situation.
There is nothing that can unify everything, so no idea that unified everything can be true – expect for one.