I’m at that stage in my life where my family and friends are on my back about getting married. Needless to say, judging by the image I’ve used for this post, I’m not that keen on the idea just yet. And no, it’s not because I still want to lead a rock and roll lifestyle of parties, orgies, and all round colourful debauchery…as appealing as that sounds. I just have a problem with the institution of marriage as it has become today.
You see, I have no problem with folks getting hitched. What I do have a problem with is this notion that your relationship is not serious until you’re married. Marriage has somehow become a measure of the seriousness of a relationship and I see this as such a fallacy; one that leads to many divorces too.
A relationship is a very complex machine; one that involves compromise between two people having to work at everything together. Easy as it is to say, it’s not at all easy to do. You can’t possibly tell me the only metric we can use to measure the seriousness of such a complex monster is two rings, a tuxedo, wedding dress, and some honeymoon sex. In my opinion, there are numerous metrics to measure how serious a relationship is:
Do you have any idea how hard living with someone is? It is hard as hell. You finally get to see your partner at their most relaxed, most vulnerable, most irritating, and frankly, most hideous…”Morning sunshine!” If this doesn’t designate a relationship as serious, I don’t know what can.
2) Having a child:
Do I even need to mention how serious parenting is? A couple that has a child, to me, is saying we are serious about this relationship and have basically taken out a mortgage (children are mortgages really) for life. Could things be anymore serious than that?
3) Sharing finances:
WTF? Can you imagine someone having access to your bank accounts? Having your cards in their wallets, swiping for whatever, whenever? I get the shivers just thinking about it. That’s stuff only real relationships do – real serious relationships
The list is quite long to be honest. I’ve picked 3 items just to illustrate my point. As I was saying, a couple embarks on all 3 of the above but we still don’t consider their relationship as “serious” until they get married. What’s that all about? What is it that marriage does that makes a relationship serious?
You and your partner do all 3 of the above (and many couples do) and you go through all the traumas that married couples go through and yet people still refuse to take your relationship seriously simply because there’s no piece of paper titled “Marriage Certificate” with your names on it? “How about this kid’s birth certificate?” “Or this joint bank account?” “This freaking mortgage contract?” They all have our names on them. How about those?
The crazy thing is, I think marriage actually places this arduous pressure on a couple, which leads to them developing cracks where there were none. It’s like, when you’re not married you kind of just get on with it together and just enjoy your relationship. Things get hard and you just ride it. It’s almost like you don’t take the troubles too seriously because there isn’t this marriage pressure heaped on you. Life is hard but easy, if that makes any sense.
But then you get married and you start buying into this “we are now serious” malarkey. Suddenly the same problems you had are now life and death problems. The same jokes you shared are now “hey, you can’t say that, I’m your wife” or “don’t talk to me that way, I’m your husband”. But you were fine for years, sharing your home, finances, raising your kids, doing whatever, whenever. You get married and suddenly it’s like it’s SO hard, “we’re married now, it’s different”.
This is what we’ve turned marriage into and this is what’s leading to so many failed marriages. More people are divorcing, less people are getting married. I bet if we woke up tomorrow and there was no social stigma towards people who were not married, most of us wouldn’t do it. I truly believe one of the only real reasons left for marriage (the biggest one anyway) is what society (churches included) thinks, says about, and how it treats couples who are not married.
That said, the most important thing is to do what you feel is good for you both as a couple. As for me, I’m *just scribbling my thoughts!*
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.