We read this piece called- Online relationship advice written by an Atheist - and wanted to share it's message with you and our reply.
I don’t believe in anything but I'm pretty devoted to the traditional view of marriage -- not in the sexist sense, but in the sense of two people completely committed to one another and their life together, sexually, romantically, financially, through good times and bad times, til death, etc. I guess it's just the rock in my life, the one thing I can always depend on. My marriage has its flaws, but it's always there, and my wife and daughter are like a star to navigate my ship by -- they're a reason for me to work hard, to be a better man, to keep things clean, basically to keep going through the struggles of every day life and not just waste away in a leisurely and self-neglecting oblivion. That's my online relationship advice.
No question here, really, just a philosophical thought of the moment. A lot of other atheists seem to consider marriage, like religion, to be another thing to question or discard as out of date. Maybe I just have a conservative temperament, but I don't see it that way and I don't want to.
We liked his Online Relationship Advice a lot. Here's why!
You make an interesting point comparing marriage to religion. Marriage, just like religion, is about relationship. While in religion, one has a relationship with G-d, in marriage the relationship is with his/her spouse. While there are obvious differences between the two relationships, it is not for naught that religious scriptures are replete with analogies comparing the two.
One of the hardest things about relationships is commitment, yet it is commitment which is the foundation to any successful marriage. In religion, people commit to their faith in an unwavering way. When people of faith enter marriage, they are more likely to view the severity of the commitment and be able to whether the storm when the going gets rough. That's why there may be a greater desire to preserve the relationship in those circles.
In contrast, those who who are generally non-committal in life, very well may have a hard time committing to their marriage.
I applaud your commitment to your marriage. I think it shows you have a strong sense of what a genuine relationship is. While such a relationship can require hard work, it is most fulfilling and can provide a sense of purpose and comfort in one's life as you describe.
I have seen couples who are committed move past some of the most difficult and devastating hurdles in a relationship and achieve tremendous healing and connection. That's one of the reasons the Chapter One of our marriage counseling book is Commitment. We can't live without it in a marriage!
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin