The notion of marriage is beautiful. The idea that there is a person out there who balances you and understands you and loves you enough to spend the rest of their life with you. But is the idea of spending the rest of your life with one person all that realistic?
Many want to believe that marriage is the ultimate confirmation of the love two people have for each other, but unfortunately, sometimes marriage only solidifies things in the eyes of the law. In a world where you receive a certificate and benefits and legal “ownership” of a partner for getting married, it’s hard to look at marriage as anything other than a business transaction.
As a society we are brought up to believe that marriage is just something you do. Not many question the reasons why marriage was practiced in the first place or why we as a society feel it is so important to get married. We’re brought up believing you date, you eventually fall in love, and you make that love official by marrying that person—that’s just the way life goes. And because of that system, if you reach a certain age and you’re not married, people look at you as if there is something wrong with you. How can you be thirty-five and not married?
But how sensible is it to believe that you can live with one person and love one person for the rest of your life? Living with someone, with anyone is hard. I love my sister but that doesn’t mean I’d want to live with her messy self for the rest of my life. And idealistically it shouldn’t be hard to love someone for the rest of your life, but it can be; especially when things like potential financial issues or infertility or infidelity may come into play. I’m not saying it is completely unrealistic or impossible to stay married, I hope to find that kind of love one day and kudos to those who have stayed married for so many years, but I think marriage may be asking a little too much out of people.
You marry someone, committing yourself to them, promising to love them and care for them for the rest of your life. But promises are only a comfort to a fool. You can’t predict the future and somehow it doesn’t seem right to make all these vows to someone when you are not capable of knowing if you will still love them in five years or in ten years.
Getting married doesn’t mean anything, being married doesn’t mean anything. It’s what you do after you get married, what you do during that marriage that means something.
Picture courtesy of http://www.startmarriageright.com