“…Consider this question: "Do you think that people ought to be held accountable for decisions they made when they did not know what they were doing?" Most Americans would say no. They do not believe you should be held accountable because it is assumed that you should only be held accountable when you acted freely, and that means you had to know what you were doing.
This is what I mean when I say, in a rather convoluted way, that most Americans tell themselves the story that you should have no story except the story you choose when you had no story. That we are, in other words, people of our own making, constituted by a free choice. And that free choice is the only thing we are responsible for.
But the problem with such an account of responsibility is that it makes marriage, among other things, completely unintelligible. How could you ever know what you were doing when you promised life-long monogamous fidelity? That is why the church insists that your vows be witnessed by the church, because the church believes it has the duty to hold you responsible to promises you made when you did not know what you were doing…”
Stanley Hauerwas, from here.
“…Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.
We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first 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 are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married…”
Stanley Hauerwas, quoted by Tim Keller in his You Never Marry the Right Person. “…A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner…"