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Gimme Three

Survey Off the Grid

Today, I turned to IRL people for the answers (and intentionally refused to gaze at the email). I discovered some pretty amazing things about marriage from some interesting sources.

Who says?

My survey participants included singles, shack-ups, happily marrieds, not-so-happily marrieds and some still in the aftershock of divorce. The age ranges were from 16 to 67. They ranged the religious spectrum from devout to “no thank you”. Ethnicity and nationality were broad.

What?

The question was a Red Special:

Name your three top benefits of marriage.

This was an exercise in creativity and individuality. The answers were as diverse as the participants. Some were funny. Some were very touching.

Survey Says

Only four answers were given by more than six participants: Companionship, Strength, Growth and Stability. The remainder of the answers, in no particular order were:

  1. Financial stability/advantage
  2. Family
  3. Better health/longer life
  4. Unity
  5. Dream creation/fulfillment
  6. Emotional stability
  7. End of dating
  8. Safe sex
  9. Security
  10. Faith
  11. Trust
  12. Children
  13. Comforter
  14. Having someone to care for/about
  15. Having caregiver
  16. Having someone to test boundaries
  17. Help mate
  18. Having someone to complete self
  19. Sharing joys and tragedies
  20. Love
  21. Grandchildren
  22. Having someone be everything
  23. Having someone to grow old with
  24. Having someone to submit or submit to
  25. Having someone to support opinions
  26. Best friend ever present
  27. Physical closeness of beloved
  28. Validation
  29. Reflects God’s love of humanity
  30. Friendship
  31. Partnership

In the grand scheme of things, marriage is sounding like a beneficial institution. Very few of the answers were about what a spouse can do for the other.

The Big Four

Far and away, the most commonly named benefit of marriage was companionship. While some answers were similar, the disqualifiers were in the explanations. Partnership, friendship, sharing joy/tragedy and best friend all came with statements making them different from the companionship couples employ in marriage.Β Stability was the other answer which was similar to, but became vastly different from, others which made the list.

Companionship

While also cited as a reason for divorce, companionship as a benefit of marriage is the day-in-day-out presence of Mate; the ability to talk about anything at the drop of a hat; the fun; the sounding board of ideas; the partner-in-crime secrecy; the acceptance without judgment; and the steadfastness associated with ’til death do us part.

Strength

We have delved deeply into strength on M3. The strength of marriage takes personal strength to a new level. Two are stronger than one and can fulfill the weaknesses between them. The strength is not only being about to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against adversity but also enmesh in one another to forge a unit stronger than the sum of its components.

Stability

Marriage makes celebratory the mundane. The beneficial stability of marriage comes in knowing how Mate will react to certain stimuli; when events will happen; what events will never happen; what to expect from certain behavior; peace in knowing Mate will take care of certain things; and the ability to withstand outside forces, such as family, peer pressure and encroaching suitors.

Growth

As with strength, the beneficial growth in marriage goes far beyond the personal growth anyone attains on a solo trip through the world. Mates help one another grow spiritually and emotionally; they mature; they teach one another; they challenge each other’s beliefs and opinions; they open minds; they find solutions; they bring hope; and they help one another attain and maintain harmony.

Next:Β We will explore some of the other benefits of marriage over the end of this series.

~~~~~~~~~~

What are your top three benefits of marriage? What would you add to the explanations given to the top four? Did the surveyed couples miss some important benefits which do not make your top three?



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17 Comments

  1. Well said Red. I told Tracy the three answers I gave you and she said “sounds good to me.” I like being married (for 40 years now). Tracy had to stay over Sue’s house one night a few months ago to look after the girls. This house was scary empty feeling while she was gone. I cannot imagine living alone.

    John

    Reply
    • I know what you mean about the whole empty house thing. A lot. Glad she agrees πŸ˜‰ Give her a squeeze, Red.

      Reply
  2. Mutual strength, stability and dual/personal growth are tops, but really –the big four are IT Red. Excellent social value –and it was very encouraging to confirm pretty much what I thought about marriage. Strangely, the empty house “feel” does not bother me, but confirms “mutual strength” –even at a distance. The topic overall was covered pretty well! This may be one of your most valuable posts. ~R

    Reply
    • My ones where I engage others always are, Ray. Proves I am not rattling around by my lonesome. Red.

      Reply
  3. Very interesting… although that might be a tough question to answer off the top of my head. Can I say there are so many benefits it would take me a while to narrow them all down as they all deserve proper consideration (see, I’m very well trained, aren’t I)?!
    πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Why, yes, I believe you may be. My survey participants were quite blindsided by the whole affair, as I asked for the top three (in a word). And as impatient as I am, they all knew say the first three. Only three ppl changed their answers when I quizzed why this or that. All the rest stuck to the first three. Red.

      Reply
  4. I answered to late darlin’ and of course my top answer sorta does and sort doesn’t match anything on the list –

    Shared Pain – as in someone to share life’s crappy moments with so they aren’t quite so crappy.

    Well done though, very well done as always.

    Reply
    • Thank you, my sweet sister. Yours did kinda fall along the lines of shared joy/tragedy (why can I NOT type that right the first time…ever?). But the whole misery loves company is so much better when you love the company. Red.

      Reply
  5. Companionship
    Steady Sex
    Financial Stability
    Foundation (home, kids, traditions we create…..)

    Reply
    • Ironically, the pings I have gotten (from those afraid to type out SEX) have mostly mentioned the value of steady sex. Although, to be perfectly honest, I know some of the emailers…and it is not akin to your next comment.

      Reply
  6. Steady sex with one person. In case there was confusion, I thought I’d clear that up.

    Reply
  7. Steady sex? lol

    Good post. I like what you did with it. It’s definately good when you engage your readers – you’re quite good at that.

    One reason I say the companionship aspect – sooner or later, you’ll get old, the sex will wane, the kids will be gone and you’ll be left with one person. This person will be like an old slipper – well worn, but very comfortable. There’s a lot to be said for that in the end πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • My posts like this are good because I have a fabulous audience who enjoys being part of the post. There is something great about knowing what you say means something.

      After all the hoopla recedes, being comfortable with Mate is so very important. Makes all the discovery worthwhile. Red.

      Reply
  8. Hi Red! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the visit and comment! πŸ™‚

    Yep! πŸ™‚

    It was a pretty good day and the storm last night was quite exciting, although there were two deaths and a lot of injuries from falling trees and roof’s, so rather grim in reality… πŸ™

    Yes, I like to talk to old friends too, but real world problems have meant I’ve lost a lot of friends… πŸ™

    Hope you have a lovely day Red and God Bless! πŸ™‚

    Prenin.

    Reply
  9. Just caught your second comment! πŸ™‚

    We’re pretty exposed here too as we’re on top of a hill, but the wind we had over the past 48 hours is rare, I haven’t seen a winter storm this bad in over a decade! πŸ™‚

    Pity you couldn’t grow them indoors on your window ledges – I used to grow plants, but they were killed off by my ‘friends’ who fed them beer and cigarette ash…

    I’m staying home until I have to go get milk which should be Monday…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

    Reply
    • Good answer, Pren. Stay inside and bundled up. I do grow things indoors. In another two weeks, I will be planting seeds for my spring crops. They will need to stay indoors for a little while to ensure they are protected against the last frost. Though honestly, I truly need to consult the almanac, for this winter has been so mild as to lull me into believing spring will arrive in February. Had the air conditioning on more than the heat already!
      {HUGZ}
      Red.

      Reply

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