Peter Kramer in his essay “Divorce and Our National Values” suggests that either
Americans celebrate the individual, autonomy, and self-fulfillment or we honor marriage as the
centerpiece of social stability. The question is whether these values can be competitive and
destructive or can they be complementary and empowering. Through teamwork and
communication, marriage can be complementary and empowering while being honored as the
centerpiece of social stability; however clashing points of view can cause the relationship to be
competitive and destructive.
First of all, I am the perfect person that can talk about marriage because I am married.
Individualism, autonomy, self-fulfillment and the concept of marriage being the centerpiece of
social stability all play their role positively if balanced correctly. Although we worked together
to pay bills and satisfy our needs, we also supported each other’s sense of worth and striving
towards our personal goals, such as education and travel. Positive support and feedback are
very important because there will always be disappointing moments, even overwhelming at
times. Being reminded and loved helps society and our marriage move forward. Marriage being the centerpiece of society strives for the greater good, which is the world.
I am in the Navy, an organization that gives me self-fulfillment. My wife is always at the house
and after a while, she becomes itching to find herself other than be a housewife. We take up
many identities: I am a sailor, a husband and a friend. With these titles, not only we can play
multiple roles in society but at the same time, it contributes to personal satisfaction and from
there, you can help others including the family succeed in any aspect. However, there is a dark
side to all of this.
Secondly, clashing viewpoints can cause relationships to be competitive and destructive....