Southwick Research

An Autobiographical Collection of Observations and Investigations

by J. Wanless Southwick, Ph.D.




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Love and Marriage

 Centuries ago, marriage was an economic necessity for mothers. Romantic love was a bonus. Marriage has always been more than just wedding the person you love.

 Remember Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye’s and Golde’s marriage was the product of a matchmaker arrangement? They first met each other on their wedding day. There was no prerequisite for romantic love. Twenty-five years later, after raising a family, they solemnly reflected on their marriage and decided that they had grown to love each other. “It’s nice to know,” they concluded.1

 Romantic love is a powerful compulsion toward unity of man and woman. When Fraulein Maria and Captain Von Trapp confirmed their repressed love for each other with that chaste kiss in The Sound of Music, it inspired the audience to believe that they were destined for marital bliss.2 However, the strength of their marriage was revealed not by romance, but by the way they worked together to protect their family while escaping the dangers of their time and place.

“Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage” is a memorable line sung by Frank Sinatra for the 1955 play Our Town. “Dad was told by mother, ‘You can’t have one, you can’t have none, you can’t have one without the other!’”3 It was a charming prohibition of premarital sex. It confirmed the age-old need for marriage to secure a woman’s legitimate sanctuary where conjugal expressions of love are socially and economically prepared for the prospect of pregnancy, birth, and child rearing.

The delightful musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers portrayed a “shotgun wedding.”4  Male relatives of the women enforced the obligation of marriage when they suspected intimate relationships and the prospect of pregnancies.  The “shotgun wedding” assured that economic and social responsibilities for pregnancy would be met.

Can you imagine any need to impose a “shotgun wedding” on an intimate “gay” couple? “Same-sex marriage” advocates seem desperate to claim equal social status for homosexual partnerships and to grasp the legal rights and benefits of marriage. However, the legal rights and benefits of marriage are granted in recognition of a bride and groom's capacity to conceive new human life and in consideration for the legal obligations incurred by husband and wife to support and rear the offspring of their sexual union. 

A respected friend once defended government licensing of “same-sex marriages” with his philosophy that “marriage is the greatest act and symbol of two people loving each other.” None-the-less, you can’t marry everyone you love. Although love and physical attraction are important parts of marriage, no license is needed to experience love or to feel physical attraction. It is the prospect of creating new human life that warrants a government-issued marriage license.

Golde,  Fraulein Maria,  Frank Sinatra's lyrical mother, and the seven brides, all needed the legitimate sanctuary of marriage. By it they protected themselves, their husbands, and the fruits of their respective wombs. Their newborn babies inherit the legitimate birthright of being reared by both their father and their mother. In process of time the women and their men earn the enduring crown of human family love in marriage. 

1    Fiddler on the Roof – song “Do You Love Me”

 2    Sound of Music scene where Captain Von Trapp says, “You can't marry someone when you're in love with someone else, can you?" He holds her tenderly by the chin and draws her lips nearer for a kiss.

 3    “Love and Marriage” sung by Frank Sinatra for the 1955 play, Our Town.

 4    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Shotgun wedding scene


J. Wanless Southwick

November 17, 2009

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