Saturday, July 21, 2012

They are also including a section on harassment in the new Faith and Practice. I am glad for this. The interest group relating to the Marriage and Committed Relationships chapter was today and while it resolved a lot of the issues and frustrations I had (mostly because I was able to voice them!), I also realized how old fashioned I am, which was kind of a shock since I am non-theist and thought I was pretty liberal.

For example: One of the questions the Clearness Committee is encouraged to ask the aspiring couple is whether they are able to discuss their sexual expectations in a way which will ensure satisfaction for both parties.

> Because the Faith and Practice also recommends that people treat sex with respect and not just screw around aimlessly, I am wondering how in the heck a young couple is supposed to know the answer to this question. If they've already been intimate, then I would hope that they've either worked it out or are able to talk about it! Yeah, I know...a lot of couples who've been together for years have never discussed this. That's sad.

>Talking about sexual expectations with an outside party??? Eeeeeek!!!!! No thank you!!

> I don't care how much discussion goes on, how good their love life is or how much the couple loves one another...satisfaction is never guaranteed 100% of the time and to suggest that it should be does the couple a disservice. It would be more realistic to discuss how they will deal with it when expectations are not entirely met. Women who've just had babies often aren't in the mood for months afterwards and IMHO a good man will allow her at least a month to heal after giving birth before even asking... Men often have various issues that will only get worse if their partner is critical or insensitive. Sex is about a lot more than orgasms and there is much more to intimacy than sex. could turn it around and say that sex is about a lot more than intercourse. Either would be better if a more realistic view were being promoted here. :-/

Some meetings dislike the use of the word "covenant"  in reference to marriage or solidifying a committed relationship. The objection seems to be that it sounds antiquated and has strongly religious overtones. There have been suggestions to replace the word "covenant" with commitment.

>"Commitment" instead of "covenant"? I can make a commitment to meet a friend for coffee! Commitments get broken all the time and vary considerably in strength of intent. If the idea is to aspire towards a lifelong togetherness, "covenant" conveys a degree of gravity that seems appropriate to the occasion. It might have religious overtones, but guess what: this is the Religious Society of Friends. In my mind, the word "covenant" is accompanied by visuals of stone set into the ground with moss growing on it. The idea is that a covenant is something that is supposed to stay. If the relationship isn't worthy of permanency then they should not get married.

What visuals accompany the word "commitment" in my mind? They vary from a handshake, to a paper chain, to a person putting their hand down firmly on a flat surface (maybe it's a desk?) to someone bravely taking a step forward, a step that has weight and significance.

There was not enough time in this interest group, considering the topic, but I was very grateful to have the opportunity to offer my thoughts on a number of issues (not all of which have been articulated here).

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