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Equally destructive as the moral obligation approach to marriage (that you must do it for social status obligation) is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes that marriage and family are primarily ways of personal happiness. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough, we will find that just right person. This overlooks a crucial fact, and that fact is this: that we always marry the wrong person. We never know whom it is we marry, we just think we do. And even if we do marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being the enormous thing it is, means we will not be able to stay the same person after entering into it that we were before. The primary problem morally is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

Stanley Hauerwas
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