There are many phases and milestones in relationships. There is the first date, the first kiss, the first time you become intimate, the 6 month mark, the first time you meet the parents, the conversation of how many kids you both want and where you want to raise a family (i.e. city, neighborhood, country), getting the keys to each other’s home, the conversation if you should move in together, and the checkpoint conversation of when to get married. I know several women who have been in great relationships and marriage is the only end to their beginning together. Sometimes the conversation comes quicker than others. I can only think of two women that I am great friends with, I take that back, 3 women, where marriage is not something that is in the cards for them or something they don’t bring up in their relationships, simply because they are happy enough to where it can wait or it isn’t necessary. To be completely honest, those 3 women are more satisfied in their relationships than those where marriage is a must. Pondering this made me think of a few things: 1) Could it be that the reason that those 3 women are happier are because they are not under pressure to get to get to that stage?, 2) Is marriage an institution we are conditioned to submit to by societal standards?, and 3) Why do we really want to get married? Really?
I remember when I was 16 I never wanted to get married and I asked my mom if I could get my tubes tied. I did not want a family. It wasn’t because I was extremely career focused or wanted to be the next Mother Theresa, I really didn’t want that type of life. I did not grow up seeing a good example of a happy marriage, so to me marriage was when a woman gave up who she was just say that she was married, to say she had a husband, and allowed a man to do the thinking for her and them as a married couple. And going to a Christian daycare where we regularly read the bible and was preached to about how to avoid going to hell and how a wife should submit to her husband. Meaning, she is to have no opinions, do what she is told, and have baby after baby. In addition to the examples that I’ve seen and being taught the meanings of marriage from a super religious standpoint, is it a mystery as to why I saw marriage the way I did? Therefore, marriage meant giving up who you were to allow someone else to run your life. That is what marriage looked like to me growing up and going through adulthood. However, I don’t see marriage in that structure anymore.
Before my mindset on marriage changed, I often wondered why women were in a rush to get to that point in their lives. Is it an egotistical thing where they just love to introduce their “husband” to everyone and to simply say they have one? Is it because they gave themselves a timeline for accomplishments? Is it because they settle to be married to someone to avoid saying they are “single”? I don’t know! But I wonder what would relationships and personal stress level look like if marriage wasn’t even something that was brought up? If we just focused on the times we were having with that person and stopped wondering if they fit our mold of a perfect spouse, how much happier would we be? So I ask you the question, is marriage necessary? If so, why?
This entry is completely written from an objective point of view. I do want to share my life with someone and take part in the union of us committing ourselves before God and our families. I believe in the covenant that a man and woman should make if they decide they are right for one another. Marriage is a beautiful thing if it is done honorably and if the two people who are entering that sanction understands what marriage is. Thoughts?