Liquid Love and its paradox: marriage
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
I dedicate myself especially to the marital problems that come to the Chamber of the ecclesiastical court that I have. Each case is a regrettable story of lack of understanding, immature decisions, incapacities to assume the rights and obligations of marriage, infidelity, miscellaneous additions (Internet, games, drugs, etc.), mistakes that are committed or that are intentionally induced... There have always been marital crises, but the characteristic of the man and the woman of our time is the little disposition to face the problems and to seek them solution, if it has them. At the slightest break the bond that binds them, is missing the word given, are looking for drastic solutions without thinking about the pain they cause. It is the fruit of a culture, or a thought, that has been called liquid, because it seeps through the slits of the heart and mind, and escapes.
I bring here in work of Francesc Torralba Roselló that I consider of interest. We must read it slowly and reflect on the substance of the question. It's the key to the problem.
We continue to Apostille Zygmunt Bauman and his theory of liquid love. According to the cultural analyst, marriage, as contemplated in the Western tradition, is too dense an institution to survive in liquid modernity.
The mentality of the postmodern man is incompatible with the decision that the conjugal life entails, but also with any other that supposes the exercise of a fundamental option and a work of infinite resignation.
It is understood that, in these contexts, the vocation of consecrated life or the absolute surrender to a cause that goes beyond the man, generates genuine fear and tremor in the personnel.
You don't trust yourself or your ability to stay true to the freely articulated decisions. It is feared, as never before, the vertigo of possibilities, the abyss of true freedom. Paradoxically, freedom is defended, but it is a liquid freedom, a pure exercise of free will, the choice between two or more offers of immediate consumption, but the radical freedom, that which opens a ditch in the personal life, the solid freedom, is feared as to hunger.
The crisis of marriage in postmodern societies is not a coincidence, nor a parenthesis in history, but an unmistakable symptom of liquid modernity. Deep down, it's a crisis of freedom.
Marriage is too solid to hold on to the postmodern stage. Scary. It causes stupor. Soeren Kierkegaard characterized it as a kind of serious life, founded on commitment and duty, on the given word and on proven fidelity over time.
Nothing has to do with this stage of life with the frivolous and seductive life of Giovanni who desperately seeks the best nectar of each flower, but fears, with equal despair, any form of commitment. The root of marriage is not in sensuality, nor in sentiment, but in reason.
The marriage is scary, terrified of the hypothetical parties, because they do not feel able to jump into the void. They have to experiment, in advance, if they are compatible. They must live together, try, experiment, know each other in different situations, see if they can reconcile.
They investigate if they tune in and, at the most, after a couple of years of living together, they throw themselves into the pool of marriage. After the great celebration and the depressing farewells of singleness, the fearful liquid citizens get married. But nothing guarantees the validity of such a link, even in spite of the previous contacts.
The number of marital breaks that occur in our cultural environment is extraordinary and has grown qualitatively in the last two decades. This is due to many factors, both economic and psychological or political, but it cannot be ruled out that in the background lies a type of liquid citizen who feels the links that forging as something very unstable and fickle.
The idea of a lifelong commitment, beyond the avatars and metamorphoses experienced in it, is something that presents itself as a titanic for the postmodern subject. Surpasses the fragile will. No one feels able to guarantee their future feelings, their new professional horizons, their adventures and hobbies of tomorrow and, therefore, one prefers to safeguard individual freedom, life outside of long-term commitments.
Papers, judges and lawyers are feared; It is feared to carry out a fundamental option that determines a before and after in a person's biography. One prefers to dilate indefinitely, indecisiveness, the stage of the youthful sleep, where all the horizons are possible, and nothing is closed. The installation is feared, to the monotony, to live faithfully the own decisions.
The commitment is interpreted as a denial of personal freedom and the connection to a single person, is experienced as a condemnation, as an embarrassing pact that destroys the creativity of life. They flee from the past, fear the future and live with intensity the present, knowing that everything is very fickle and that nothing remains static in the sun.
In this context, part-time couples proliferate. They abhor the idea of sharing the house and prefer to keep separate homes, bank accounts and friends' circles, and share their time and space when they feel like it, but not otherwise.
The old style of marriage "until death do us part" has been displaced by the recognized temporary cohabitation of the type "we'll see how it works".
The symbols, rites and liturgies of yesteryear persist, but fundamentally for aesthetic reasons. Churches symbolically beautify the act of commitment, but such a commitment has only one liquid dimension. The secular rites created in the image and likeness of the maligned religion are multiplied, but they have an essentially iconic meaning.
The liquid citizen adores the details, the ceremonial, the clothing and the most classical conventions, experiences a neo-Gothic revival, but does not endow such celebrations with ethical meaning. The children of the hippies do not feel aversion to the temple, nor do they hate the bourgeois family as their parents experienced it. They like the whole world of words and candles, but they do not have the courage to fight the system as they did their parents, at least when they were young.
The postmodern liquid reason sees oppression in the long-lasting commitments. Durable bonds arouse suspicion of a crippling dependence. This reason denies his right to bondage and ties, whether spatial or temporal.
Ties and bonds make human relationships impure, as would happen with any act of consumption that provides instant gratification as well as the instantaneous expiration of the object consumed