Marriage is the culmination of nearly every love story. In fact, many people think – isn’t that why we fall in love in the first place? To find a life partner in the form of a wife or a husband? Marriage begins as the end credits of any romantic movie roll; when the promise to spend your entire future with your soulmate is made, in front of friends and family. But my advice to you is different today. If you ask me, then don’t get married at all.
As a relationship progresses from dates to deeper commitments, marriage has always been portrayed as the end goal of it all. The peak one has to reach and only then one can feel like their life is complete. For many, marriage is the answer to the question – ‘Where is our relationship headed?’ But is it really that simple? Does marriage indicate an end to your love story or a beginning?
Why People Say Don’t Get Married
Jamie, 28, from Madison, WI has been living with her boyfriend of four years. “Initially it was odd and new for me. But we have been in a live in relationship for two years now and are quite settled. Our families are happy with our relationship and they come over all the time too. Honestly, I’m so comfortable that marriage seems more of an added headache. Pointless really till we have kids.”
Her boyfriend Adam, also 28, disagrees slightly. “I don’t feel marriage is only for when we decide to have children. All it will do is tie our finances and give our relationship social acceptability and a legitimate status perhaps. And we already know we want to spend our lives together. So why not get married?”
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Kylie married her college boyfriend two years after graduating in what was the culmination of a fairytale romance. But her fairytale began to disintegrate soon after honeymoon. “It started with occasional bouts of jealousy and angry behavior. But soon it was as if I had married a completely different person. From a loving boyfriend, he had become an abusive husband. I was in shock for the first few months, till my family came to my support and said enough is enough. The divorce proceedings have been tough but I have hope that it will be over soon. I can’t even think of marrying anybody now.”
She explains what has ticked her off matrimony: “The ‘taken for granted’ attitude that a wife has to deal with every day shows the real person behind the boyfriend who was always there. What is the point of announcing your love to the world when the marriage takes away all romance? If he had just been my boyfriend, I would’ve gotten out unscathed. Now I have the ‘divorcee’ tag to bear for all my life.”
She also offers a word of caution. “My advice to anyone on the precipice of marriage would be, do not hurry into it to fulfill social goals. Know what you are getting into because it is very difficult to get out. Take your time and know the person instead of focusing on a dream wedding. And know that marriage isn’t everything so do not get married because it seems like the promise of a perfect life. It is not. A relationship should be able to withstand not being tied together.”
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The Alternate Perspective To The Never Get Married Trope
The skepticism of the ‘Don’t get married’ team aside, it was time to consider those already on the other side of the coin. Abby Kyros and Michael Zubke from Kansas City tied the knot a year ago after they had been dating for two years. Michael says, “I knew she was the one from the day we started dating in college. And that’s all a guy needs to know really. My friends would often tell me – ‘Never get married’ but it made no sense to me. Marriage was just the cherry on the cake and only makes the cake even better. You find the girl of your dreams and make her yours for life.”
He goes on to explain, “And I am willing to spend the rest of my life proving to the world that we were meant to be. Sure, there will be issues that every ordinary marriage or couple faces. But I know if we have managed to get this far, we will manage those as well.”
At 33, Piedro from Boston considers himself an expert on dating, what with the slew of women who have entered and exited his life. “There was a time when I considered marriage archaic and boring. I was the biggest supporter of why you shouldn’t get married. But over the years I have realized its beauty and necessity. My last serious relationship was with a divorcee who did not see herself going down the same path again. The first thing she ever said to me was ‘Don’t get married and please never bring it up with me. You’ll ruin both our lives.”
“Though a tad harsh and straightforward, it was what attracted me to her initially. As the relationship progressed, however, I began to wish for different things. I looked at friends and their spouses, with their marriages providing their relationship with a legitimacy mine would never have. In the end, it was just about the promise made in front of the world. A promise to stand together. Paper or rings are just symbols. But, they tell everyone you are one team, willing to face all challenges together. I told her I wanted that in my life. She left me for being a rosy-eyed romantic.”
Is marriage for the romantic or the pragmatist? For the emancipated woman or the modern man? Perhaps these questions don’t need a panacea but an individual introspection. For the couple and the two people in it. Instead of being an assumed conclusion, it should be a joint decision. One that shows that both people are on the same page.
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Dating offers a lot more perks than marriage so you might feel as though people are right when they tell you, ‘Don’t ever get married.’ But marriage has its own unique aspects to it which make it worthwhile. So, it all comes down to understanding the pros and cons for both and arriving at a decision that suits the couple in question.
Marriage is a long-term commitment so people are often afraid that the love will wane or it will turn into a sexless marriage over time or that it will certainly end in divorce. Spending each day tied to one person only might seem challenging and scary but some people choose to take that plunge and work on the bond to make it last a lifetime.