Marriage – the Competitive Advantage

U.S. Captain for the victorious 2008 Ryder Cup team, Paul Azinger in an interview on the make-up of his team indicated that he used Mayer Briggs personality tests in assessing the fit for the members on the paired section.  Marriages need different strategies in that they require a serious commitment over a long period of time. People change, their income generating status may change, and concessions must be made on both sides. Marriage is not always a “we like each other”, and “we can always get a divorce” option. The fact is that it is one of the most sensible and rewarding avenues to engage in companionship, develop oneself, raise a family, invest and increase assets, and pay off debt.

When things are good, with few commitments, even two fools in love can have a great time. The rewards of a sustainable marriage however come with a lot of work, and the sacrifice of personal freedom and time. The mindset of a married couple differs from the mindset of someone engaged in the singles scene.  The concept of “being together” requires a much less complicated framework than the concept of “staying together”.

It would seem however that there are certain criteria that should be inculcated early in the value system of the young adult. These include,

a)    Avoid teenage pregnancy,[1]

Teenage Pregnancy Trends and Totals

b)    Get a good education,[2]

Increase of Salary with Education Level

c)    Stay out of Jail[3]

Incarcerated Persons by Race

This simple list is neither extensive nor exclusive, but sometimes children need to hear and see the benefits of following these simple “rules” as they develop their own value system. Ignoring any of the above simply makes for a harder road in life.

In collecting African Tribal Art, and researching the culture of African Tribes (nomadic or otherwise) the singular most common factor is the importance of the institution of marriage. Whether tribes follow matrilineal or patrimonial systems, marriage is extremely important to the sustainable development of the family and the community.

From a resource perspective marriages bring people together, but they also bring families together. It doesn’t always happen like that, but one can’t blame the system because people fail to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in the system. The Tax code, insurance rules, and even religious organizations offer married couples advantages over single and other civil designations. There are tangible carrots out there, but there are also intangible benefits as well.


[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/teenpreg1990-2002/teenpreg1990-2002_tables.pdf#2

[2] http://adulted.about.com/od/goingbacktoschool/qt/highersalary.htm

[3] http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbse&sid=38

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One Response to Marriage – the Competitive Advantage

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