In my opinion, there are many solemn jokes in the universe. Youth being wasted on the young is one.
Marriage is another (putting marriages in the hands of newlyweds!). First, take two immature or less mature people of different familial and often regional cultures. Not to mention that male and female created He them (out on a limb here!) different. Throw them together into an intimate, forever-committed relationship. Bind them together by law. Throw sex and children and education and vocation and pregnancy and in-laws and mortgages and car payments and sickness into the mix.
Oh, and press these two hapless souls together, like two different genera of leaves set one on top of the other—clamp them between the pages of the heavy book of the most self-centered “me” culture in the history of the planet, and watch what happens as their lives press tightly together. Open the book from time to time to let in a little light and fresh air, but mostly keep them in the dark. That any marriage whatsoever survives is a great wonder. Half don’t. But half do!
And why do we keep trying it? Because we are wired that way. Instinctively, we know that marriage is the greatest potential source of joy in the universe. Sadly, it is also the greatest potential source of hostility. For marital joy prosperity, we must re-create the joy and defuse the hostility every day. No coasting or it coasts into the Great Slag Heap of boredom and piled-up offenses. Constant course correction called-for.
But collisions are inevitable. Marriage water-line puncturing icebergs are legion. To name three from the research: Criticism makes the antennae of our affection wilt. Defensiveness renders us incapable of improvement. Stonewalling (refusing to talk or to lovingly tell the awful truth to one’s companion) insulates us from everything but disrespect. It is a form of shunning. Antidote for all these? Tenderness. Patience. Attentiveness.
So maybe all this risk and potential pain explain why traditional marriage as an institution is under attack. Even in Utah. No matter. The best things have always attracted the harshest attacks. Not to fret. I have read to the end of the book, and marriage wins.