Feelings, Love, Relationships

Marriage, Why?

I’m a woman in America over 25 which means that everyone keeps telling me how much I want to get married. How important it is to land the man, pick the dress, calligraphy my bridesmaids gifts. I do have horrible handwriting and love fancy calligraphy but;

How would I know if I wanted to get married? What does it mean?

Does it mean a wedding? A dress? Health insurance? To be square with your deity of choice? An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is the bees knees? Financial stability? A guarantee that your partner will always love you? Sexual exclusivity until you die? Chosen family? Children? Someone to take care of you when your life is hard? Help in times of sickness? A commitment to supporting your choices, dreams, desires as you discover them? Waking up and having breakfast together? Doing the thing all your friends are doing? Fidelity?

Which of these are guaranteed because you’ve signed a contract with each other and the state? Which are important to you?

Weddings hold little fascination for me. I’ve never been much for throwing parties and I hate decorating. I like attending them but coming up with a color scheme for an event is my literal nightmare. Plus, isn’t it a bummer to decide that you can only have one favorite-ever dress? And that it has to be white and that you have to wear it only once? How about instead of deciding that there’s one MY DAY where I look better than I ever have or will, that I’m my most beautiful every day. That every dress I spend my hard earned money on should be a dress that I want to be seen and loved in. Instead of creating a false scarcity on my beauty there can be an infinite supply. Cause my beauty is infinite and celestial, lets be real.

Health insurance, yeah that’s a thing to consider. Thanks America.

An opportunity to tell your whole world that this person is important to you. This is the one that gets me. I want this. For various reasons bragging my love hasn’t felt very safe in my life. So I have a story in my head that this would be very healing. But wedding days are crazy and from what I understand the dominant feelings people actually experience are hunger and foot pain. I’d like to work on feeling safe shouting my crushy feelings from rooftops before I go around making expensive legal decisions.

Religious considerations. Probably a concern for some but not particularly me. “Hell” concerns me less than my rent. Though if I were to have some sort of ceremonial/party experience of showing off my partner I wouldn’t mind if a rabbi came by to say something that no one would understand and kiss me on the forehead.

Financial stability. Is this actually linked to marriage? Does getting married guarantee that you’ll never be destitute? If there’s a person committed to supporting you, then wouldn’t they want to help you financially if you needed it? But they aren’t required to, is that a big risk? If you’re in financial trouble and married will that partner automatically be the best person to help you? Will they be guaranteed not to resent you because of your rings? Not everyone can marry someone who earns more than they do, marriage is two different people, not a mobius strip.

Relatedly who do I tell if I kill someone and need help burying the body? It would be nice to have someone who is allowed to not testify against me. Am I the only one who finds that sort of romantic?

A guarantee that your partner will always love you. I’m not gonna link to divorce statistics. That feels rude.

Sexual exclusivity until you die. Do you really even want that? Do I? I’ve never wanted to be sexually exclusive to anyone honestly. My mother always told me “I had a long and fun single life before I met your father.” I think I’m pretty good at having my cake and eating it too. And lots of people are exclusive without marriage and lots of marriages don’t include sexual exclusivity. So we can unlink those two pretty easily.

Making a family, whether that means the two of you, or the two of you plus a few. The chosen family that you make as an adult and don’t marry are important still, right? The roommates you split life duties with, the friends you have standing dates with. The people you trust enough to travel with. Are they less your chosen family for not being contracted as such?

And babies, we all know you don’t need a marriage license to make one of those.

Help and support in times of struggle, sickness, and plain old soul searching. What is commitment and how do you feel like you have it? When I have any clue at all I’ll be sure to share it. Anyone can choose to give you those things. Hopefully a person who loves you can choose to keep wanting to give those things over a lifetime. But how do you receive that? How do you feel secure in this person to support you? In this essay lifetime I will show…

Mornings. I love breakfast. I love morning sex. I love cuddling to the sunrise. This one is hard for me. I think of the morning as my most productive time of day. From about 9am-noon I feel like my brain is full of potential and creativity. If I’m freaking out about something, it’ll be here, now, wanting to be addressed. If I’m feeling frisky, wanting to be sweet on someone then that’ll show up too. But lots of people who are married don’t live together. And obviously you can live together, or have sleepovers with people you’re not married to. Show of hands?

Fitting in. It has pros and cons. To each their own.

Fidelity – noun; faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support. What is the venn diagram between fidelity and marriage? Obviously this can exist within a marriage but regardless of what any magazine says, no white dress can guarantee it. And if you want fidelity in any partnership then how do you communicate that, model it, ask for it? By saying this?

I love you so much. So much that you can’t scare me. So much that I want all the ugly parts of you. So much that I want to know the completeness of you. So much that I want to see all the boring, sad, angry, and shameful parts of you. I want to hold them all carefully and look at them with you. I want to see you and watch how you change. I want to share in your times of joy and I want to support you when you are working through the issues in your life.

Doesn’t sound like a totally raw deal to me…

1 thought on “Marriage, Why?”

  1. I loved reading this and seeing that side of what makes marriage scary for people. I had some of those feelings before. I’m married now and I’ve learned/am learning that marriage is WHATEVER you want it to be. You and your partner make the rules, not society- at least in our marriage. You do what works and don’t do what doesn’t. You communicate, you learn to share yourself with another person and most importantly you LOVE.

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