Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph Blog Marriage: Profound or Pathological? – Dr. Ellen's Blog

Marriage: Profound or Pathological?

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

Marriage is a highly over-rated institution. It is not for everyone. Yes, it is a profound stabilizing force in society — but not when untold millions of children suffer the effects of ill-conceived marriages between emotionally inadequate spouses.

LET ME SAY IT THIS WAY: Marriage is disastrous between adults who are still children emotionally.

Marriage on the other hand between co-equal and mature individuals who both come from emotionally nurturing families is a wonderous thing.

All manner of relationships between individuals from equally nurturing backgrounds are good. Traditional marriage between co-equal and mature individuals who come from emotionally nurturing families is still the optimal environment in which to raise children. Such marriages have more continuity,  legal security, and often more financial security.

NOTE: marrying someone, even someone you love, doesn’t mean that children should necessarily follow.

Rule #1: adults from emotionally chaotic, abusive and enraged families growing up should never marry. They will be much more emotionally stable throughout life as a single person. Marriage has a way of rattling those troublesome old relationship ‘cages’ that can quickly turn a marriage into an emotional prison akin to the family of origin that they experienced as a child.

Rule #2: marriages between partners where one or both come from emotionally cutoff families should remain childless. They should instead concentrate their relationship energies on cultivating a moderately distant but pleasant and co-equal relationship with their spouse so as to avoid too much togetherness and the resultant feelings of emotional encroachment that it inevitably triggers.

Rule #3: marriages between mature individuals who are desirous of children should still wait (after marriage) for 5-or-6 years before getting pregnant with their first child. This will help ensure that the marriage endures well in the face of life stressors in general and in the face of family and in-law stressors in particular.

When I was in high school in the 60’s, the population of the entire world was 3.195 billion (1963).

By the time I entered graduate school in 1970 it was 3.687 billion.

In 2015, the world population climbed to 7.2 billion, and to 7.4 billion in 2016.

[Do you think maybe humans are making too many babies?]

Oh, and don’t forget about the possibility of adopting an American foster child if you cannot produce your own child. There are many needy children right here in our own backyards.

Lengthy and costly fertility treatments have their own perils, one of which is putting entirely too much emotional focus on the developing child. This kind of parental over-focus predictably produces emotionally symptomatic children.