The sanctimony of marriage

“Everyone I know is either getting married or pregnant. I’m just getting more awesome”

 This is a subject that until recently I have not put much thought into. It has slowly crept its way into my mind due to more and more people I know deciding to tie the knot. I guess it is a normal thing for people in their mid to late twenties to be doing? It has led me to consider why.

I know if I asked people the reasons for getting married the answers would be as follows:

Love

Companionship

Stability

Not dying alone

Security for children

Shared expenses/financial dependability

Tradition

Family expectations

Religious beliefs

To get a visa

In contrast, I would just like to list some reasons why over 50% of marriages end in divorce:

Infidelity

Physical, emotional or verbal abuse

Financial problems

Life transitions/growing apart

Addictions

Emotional baggage

Different goals in life

Too much pressure to fulfil a role

Controlling behaviour

In my opinion, if marriage did not exist we would still be living in a society where some couples have children, live together and successfully live happily ever after. Surely it is a matter of morals and commitment. Not names and legalities.

Do we think that without marriage we’d all live like selfish uncontrollable animals, incapable of bringing up decent children?

Marriage – A romantic gesture gone too far

Of course it is a nice thing to say to someone, that you wish to be with them forever. But how do you know what forever entails?

“to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

When someone says these words to their partner are they actually considering the meaning or are they just doing as they are told?

Unconditional love

I do not believe in unconditional love except for in the case of a parent-child relationship. I think the way you feel about someone is highly dependant on the way they make you feel. If a couple in love go on to treat each other well for the rest of their lives they may well remain happy. Even if after twenty years if their initial love for each other dwindles they will be left with a familiarity and dependency which could I suppose still be defined as love; perhaps a passionless love akin to that you would have for a sibling.

To state the obvious…

IF I married a man I was strongly attracted to, a man who was physically attractive, ambitious, fun and promised me the world I would be bitterly disappointed if he then went on to become a fat alcoholic gambler without a penny to his name, or mine for that matter. So, “in sickness and in health” I am supposed to support this man as if his problems are somehow because of me?

No thank you.

Love and attraction defy titles. If a married man fell in love with a woman who was not his wife and he then got a divorce in order to be with her I can only hope that he would learn that another marriage would be pointless. Married or not, his life would pan out the same. This is unless he wishes to live with his eyes closed.

I think it is a shame to waste precious time in a monogamous yet passionless marriage. Without meaning to sound clichéd, we only live once. To devote your entire lifetime to pleasing another person sounds like hard work to me.

Of course there are people out there who fall in love and lust with a person and they stay together for their entire lives. That has nothing to do with marriage though and I am sure that even if they weren’t married they would have done the same.

It is better to be wanted than to be needed.

If your husband doesn’t want you anymore he is just as free to leave as if you had never got married in the first place. So what is the point?

Putting a ring on someone’s finger does not make them any more yours than they were before.

A wedding is for life and not just for Christmas.

I am not saying this is the case for everyone but I suspect that some people get carried away with the romance and fantasy of a wedding. The thing is, after the stag and hen do, after the wedding, after the honeymoon what is left? A lifetime married to a role? A responsibility for someone else as well as yourself?

This doesn’t really appeal to me right now.

The wife or the mistress.

If I had to be either one of these things I would chose the latter. I would rather be the desired one than the one cooking dinner.

…and thereto I plight thee my troth

Maybe I have never been in the right kind of love to understand. Maybe I will never understand. For now all I know is that I would like to end up with someone who I love and who loves me, who is with me because they want to be and who is free to leave if they wish. I could not imagine living a life with someone I was unhappy with for the sake of not admitting failure. I think children should be brought into the world by two people who want to be together, married or not, it doesn’t make a difference.

For now, making plans a few months in advance is probably the most commitment anyone will get out of me.

“Do you Stephanie agree to spend time with me in three months time?”

“I do”

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