We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Marriage is about happiness, otherwise I could pick anyone to be a sex partner and father to my children. My marriage is for companionship, friendship, similar life goals...all of which are related to happiness. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!
The implication of this assertion is not that marriage should be devoid of happiness. The point is that if you expect and require happiness from your marriage at all times, you will be disappointed. Even if the primary purpose of marriage is happiness, there will be many times when your happiness and the happiness of your spouse will be in conflict.
Marriage is like wearing clothes. It's for your own security, but it's for the benefit of others even more-so.
On fathers - our kids go to a primary school with unusually high number of single-parent kids, but the kids with 2 parents just naturally gravitate to each other. And it's not race or class either. Some are poor, some not. Mixed-race, Albanian, Bosnian, whatever, but all the kids that hang out together have dads.
Back in the day, I remember telling a newly-engaged friend: "You will promised to love, honour, and cherish him. There will come the day when you will think he is totally unlovable, completely dishonourable, and - as for cherishing - forget it. That's when you go back to remember your wedding day and the vows you made, and think on the man to whom you made those vows and why you made them. And then you pick up your feelings and carry on." Didn't take for that friend, whose first marriage didn't last long. Us, we are rising 49 years - though my spouse has commented recently that cannot figure out this "soulmates" bit as it would never describe our relationship. Do agree, and rather suspect we've survived this long because being "soulmates" was never part of the bargain, let alone the original vows.
Same here, Frances, only coming up on 67 years. Our marriage really has been mostly a partnership, each of us contributing strengths that mitigate, if not erase the other's weaknesses, and that has far outweighed the soulmate stuff. In all honesty I didn't think of it this way when we were courting, she just seemed "right" at the time, and I guess I seemed "right" to her.