When someone begins on that arrangement called marriage, he is getting into something which is, to say the least, adventurous. When a couple get married, they are doing something they know nothing about. And, from all indications, when they have tried it more than once, they know no more about it the second time than they did the first.
Marriage is the foundation of the family unit. In this society and time, the family is the closest knit, self-perpetuating, self-protecting unit. It is necessary economically and otherwise to the society the way it is set up in present time. A culture will go by the boards if its basic building block, the family, is removed as a valid building block. So one can be fairly sure that he who destroys marriage destroys the civilization.
The marriage relationship, basically, is a postulated relationship. A postulate is a conclusion, decision or resolution about something. When people stop postulating a marriage, it ceases to exist. That is what happens to most marriages. It isn’t the other way around. It isn’t that all men are evil, so therefore, contracts such as marriage dissolve usually in infidelity and go all to pieces. That is not true. The reverse is true. When you have a purely postulated relationship, you have to continue to create it. And a family which doesn’t continue to create itself as a family will cease to exist as a family. That’s about all you need to know about it.
Where people are having trouble with marriage, it is because they are expecting it to run on automatic. They think it will hang together through no effort of their own; unfortunately, it won’t. It has to be created.
A marriage is something which exists primarily because each partner has postulated its existence and its continued existence. Only with this foundation in place are marriages successful.
Perhaps someone whose parents weren’t making too good a go of it, looked at this and decided, “Now, look at that! This institution which is inherent in nature, which nothing will ever change, doesn’t perpetuate itself and is not much good because it isn’t hanging together.”
He had a failure. He probably tried to postulate the family into a unit when he was very young. He was working at it, trying to get a Papa-loves-Mama thing going one way or the other, trying to show them that they had something to live for and so forth.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons a child gets himself injured is to make his parents realize they have responsibilities for the family. Childhood illness and all this sort of thing occur directly after familial upsets.
Nonetheless, whether an individual had in his own parents a good example of a stable marriage or not, it has nothing to do with whether or not he can make a successful marriage.
If you think that everything else is rigged to perpetuate a marriage while you’re not trying to keep it going, of course it will end up in destruction. But if you approach this with the realization that a marriage is something you have to postulate into existence and keep there, and when you stop working at it, it will cease, and if you know the technology contained in the remaining part of this section, you can make any marriage stick or you can recover any facet of any marriage, or plaster one back together again any way you want to. But it takes a little doing and it takes a little guts and that is an understatement.