(This could go on at length, I assure you, but I cut it down to just a few key points. Trust me, I have many more thoughts on this matter, but I’m sparing you.)
I don’t have anything against others’ marriages, I just don’t think the “institution” is right for me.
Love, undying love, lifelong commitment, sharing a bed, these are not things I resist, not in the least. I might even see myself living with someone, though I do prefer the idea of maintaining separate bedrooms, if not separate (but nearby) homes.
Carol Burnett once said something to the effect of her notion of the perfect marriage being one with a best friend who was a great lover, and who lived next door. I couldn’t agree more.
Too many people lose themselves in their marriages, and we’re supposed to think it’s beautiful and wonderful when people “complete” each other, but it’s not. It’s childish and stupid. Being a whole person is the greatest thing you can achieve in your life. To be absolutely certain of who and what you are will be something you can never, ever regret. Our goal should be to find someone who accepts and embraces that, all of that.
I imagine the married lives of friends – the chaos and demands of everyday life, how overwhelming it all is. And yes, climbing into bed with someone who makes it all go away for just a little while, that can be an incredible feeling. But sometimes, having the option of rolling out of bed and walking away to your little corner of the world, where all the noise and craziness can bleed away into silence and space… it can be the tether that keeps you bound to reality.
I don’t want to upset the masses by declaring marriage, as it stands today, an antiquated notion, but let’s face it. It is.
Chris Rock has a skit he does on marriage where he mocks the notion of marriage today being held “sacred.” He lambastes the resistance to legalizing gay marriage by saying that a country that makes “The Bachelor” and “Who Wants to Marry A Millionaire?” a national phenomenon doesn’t even begin to hold marriages as sacred. He is, essentially, calling it hypocrisy. Again, I couldn’t agree more.
I agree with all these things. I think the institution of marriage, with its “love, honour, and cherish” vows is, I hate to say it, absolutely bullshit in this day and age.
If only devoting your life to someone could be as pathetically simple as that.
What we need is a reality check. Nowhere in the marriage vows, for instance, is the subject of sex even mentioned. Nowhere does it say, “I promise to keep giving you head, so long as we both shall live.” Nowhere does it say, “I promise to always keep seeking new ways to make you feel like I value you.”
Nor does it discuss communication. Nor does it mention learning complete vulnerability with your spouse-to-be. Nor does it mention anything at all about working together to ensure financial stability in the relationship. In fact, it says the opposite – that you’re obligated to stay, in richness or poorness. Right. You put me in the poorhouse, baby, you’re out the fucking door – that’s the reality.
If the “love, honour, and cherish” bullshit was working, maybe we wouldn’t have a divorce rate that has climbed steadily for the last three decades.
I have no doubt – none whatsoever – that I will eventually have a relationship that consumes me with passion on every level: intellectual, sexual, emotional, and possibly even spiritual. I’ve been there before, I’ll be there again. But I will never, ever insult them or what we share by submitting to marriage as it now stands. If I do “marry,” it will be in a civil ceremony that’s likely not going to be legally binding, and the words will be of my choosing.
I’m a product of divorce. I’m the product of a marriage that disintegrated over its 22 years. Money, food, and a lack of sex drove them apart. That’s not an anomaly. Hell – that’s the modern way, baby.
Everyone’s all so up in arms about standing in front of a crowd of family and friends and declaring their love for one another. What about also declaring the pursuit of a healthy life together, and demonstrating that passion in take-it-to-the-bank raw physicality – and often? What about promising to stay on the same page financially, to maintain open and honest communication in every single way, from dollars to doubts? How about making trust and vulnerability not only ideals in the relationship, but also required?
Some people will say, “Hey, well, that’s implied.” And implying it is working so fucking well, isn’t it?
Yeah, I’m opposed to marriage. Frankly, I’m holding out for something better.
For those counting, that’s 30 consecutive days with rain here on the Wet Coast. The sun’s lingering for a minitease this morning, tho. Praise be.
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