The curation of one’s marriage must be any spouse’s highest temporal priority.
I expect many to respond by stating that care of oneself must be one’s highest temporal priority, believing this to refute this author’s thesis. To the contrary, care of oneself, which is to say one’s needs, is curatorial to one’s marriage. Those same that say to place care of oneself above care of one’s marriage will almost invariably support this position by the importance of self care to one’s marriage. This argument is true, but the conclusion of primacy of self does not follow. If curation of the marriage imbues self care with value (which I do not dispute) it is because of the marriage’s value. Care of one’s spouse is, obviously, curatorial to the marriage as well. Care of oneself, and care of one’s spouse have intrinsic value, but their intrinsic value is not their entire value. Their full value is only realized in their curation of the marriage.
Simple arithmetic is enough to prove that curation of one’s marriage is a greater good than care of oneself, or of one’s spouse. Curation of the marriage cares for at least two people, while care of oneself, and care of one’s spouse, each care for only one person. It is rightly argued that care of oneself enables one to provide better care of others, including one’s spouse. Care of oneself does not of its nature provide better care to others; it only makes one capable of providing better care. Care of one’s spouse can result in better curation of the marriage, and better care of the self, but care of one’s spouse does not necessarily result in these outcomes. Good curation of one’s marriage necessarily includes care of oneself, care of one’s spouse. Each of these three endeavours is moral, virtuous, and valuable. All three must be priorities. The flow of good amongst them is omnidirectional. It flows most, however, from curation of one’s marriage. Therefore, a greater quantity of good for both spouses, including oneself, is accomplished by making curation of the marriage the highest priority. The pragmatist must therefore accept that curation of one’s marriage is to be a spouse’s highest temporal priority.
Morally as well, curation of one’s marriage must be made prime. As heretofore shown, the most good is done this way, and that is proof enough. While enough, it is not all. Marriage, at its singular reduction, is a solemn vow, made unto death. Assigning primacy to the curation of one’s marriage honours and upholds this vow. This is intrinsically moral. Being unto death, upholding this vow is difficult. The difficulty of doing so imbues the upholding of this vow with greater morality than if it were easy. The moralist, therefore, must agree with the pragmatist, that the curation of one’s marriage is to be a spouse’s highest priority.
Every spouse must place above all other temporal things the curation of his or her marriage.
(c) 2016 the blog’s author