The Real Reasons Why You Should Never Get Married
I am a woman, and I like marriage. I don't know if I'll ever get married, or to who, but I like marriage. I've never been in love, I've never settled down with anyone for more than a few months. I have no experience in this area, nor have I
felt compelled to give up my precious independence for a relationship. But...I still like marriage. I'm still open to it as a possibility, and given I eventually meet the right person, I wouldn't miss a beat "tying the knot".
The following article is basically the most shallow view of marriage that I've ever come across, written by Justin Jackson published by AskMen.com. I literally felt my IQ drop a few points after the first reason one should not get married. Take a gander, then come back to me...
I have a lot of opinions. Not all of them are correct, and sometimes I tend to sit on the fence to avoid confrontation with opposing arguments. However, I have to say that anyone who thinks that this article holds any credence is going to die alone (and they should). Not only does it seem to have been written by a bachelor who likely has never felt anything stronger than a warm and fleeting sensation in his pants, but there is no rebuttal from the woman's side on this matter. Is this what men read about relationships? Is this where they're getting their material? If the point of reading is to be educated then why not read from an educated source. It's less tragic than the shallow & vapid with access to a computer (pen or paper) preaching to a choir of uneducated people.
Men: you want some real advice about being a man? Read this article by Tony Parsons in GQ Magazine, and buy yourself a copy of the June 2012 (Andrew Garfield Cover) Issue for yet another article with amazing advice from a real man.
In the mean time, I will continue to give my equally less qualified, but infinitely less shallow, view of marriage to even the scales with AskMen.com. Let's go through this point by point.
No.10 Marriage will make her let herself go
Really? Every woman has the same reaction towards marriage? Perhaps if she's in a relationship that's no longer challenging her. Perhaps in a marriage where her emotional (and physical needs) are not being met - probably because she married someone who read this article and agreed.
Justin Jackson makes a point about men being guilty of putting on weight too, but only to make the point that it somehow makes the woman think she can get a "get out of jail free card" for being "fat"...Are you kidding me? As if women are just biding their time till theimarried so they can FINALLY be their normal FAT selves. YAY!...Excuse me. No one WANTS to gain weight in all the wrong places and for all the wrong reasons, but it happens! Why? Oh I don't know, maybe because they're unhappy with a certain aspect of their lives. Happy & hopeful people don't let themselves go. Happy and hopeful people do all they can to make sure their bodies are in good running order, for their partners but FIRST AND FOREMOST for themselves.
People are allowed to gain weight. People's bodies change, and its a big mental push to get back into shape once you've lost it. If you're in a relationship, married, whether you are a man or a woman, your partner should be able to motivate you to get back into the swing of things - together. Furthermore, if you are in denial about getting older, and think you're just going to look the same for ever (and so is your partner) maybe you need to come to terms with reality before you invite anyone else into your warped vision of the world. If the only reason you married someone is because they were hot (which I'm assuming is Jackson's main concern since it kicks off the whole article) then I agree...YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No.9 Marriage is the end of options
Yep. Sexually it might be. The terms of your relationship might limit you to having sex with one person for the rest of your life. You might not get to hook up with the tons of other women you MIGHT have had a shot with if you were single. Call me sentimental, but I feel like if you met someone you truly connected with (you allowed yourself to connect with) and not only had a physical interest but an emotional relationship wherein you were not only lovers, but best friends - then I don't think the idea of options even comes into play. For example - you don't go out looking for new best friends when you already have one. When you feel 100% on board with someone in your life and you are totally content with the relationship, you don't feel like you even need any other options. Options are nice when you don't know what you want, but if you know what you want and need out of life, and out of your partner (and both your needs are being satisfied by the relationship) there's no need to look outside the relationship for anything that truly matters. Marriage is about compromising freedom while supporting each other in every aspect - growing as individuals together AND separately simultaneously. Real men and women know when they have found something that is not only amazing, but GOOD for them. If you are indecisive and insecure YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No.8 Marriage is expensive
Yeah, so is the rest of life. There are other ways to plan a wedding, and ways to manage yourself financially in a marriage. If you aren't good with money it's going to cause relationship problems. Maybe you shouldn't indulge in unnecessary purchases, or be unnecessarily risky with your money. Maybe you should have the balls to sometimes say no to a girlfriend (or boyfriend) with expensive tastes. Money will always be an excuse not to live your life. It will always be an excuse not to take things to the next level at the right time. If you want to make it work, you'll work your tail off to make sure that you have enough money for all the things you want out of life, all the expenses that come with life, and a little extra just to have - just in case. Money is creativity. You make it so that you can do amazing things and build a future. You can do much more with a modest amount of money if you are smart with it. In fact, there's some evidence that couples who don't have a lot of money have stronger family ties and marriages. In any case, if you put money matters over real human connection - especially when you use it as a lousy cop-out excuse not to get married - YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No. 7 Marriage is Just Paperwork
Totally. So is Baptism (or any other religious rite of passage), Education, and Work. What do these have in common? Belief.
- Belief that there is something outside ourselves that influences the universe.
- Belief that if we pursue a high education that we'll be better off and better prepared for the "real world"
- Belief that if we work really hard we'll be successful.
It's all paperwork, but it's nothing if you look at it as JUST paperwork. It means something when you believe and LOVE the idea of a guiding force in your life; if you believe and LOVE in what you are learning in school and your continuing education; if you believe in and LOVE the work that you do. These things are just paperwork SOMETIMES for SOME PEOPLE, and I guess the right circumstances have to be in place for some people to get it. When you get married you are making the statement that you believe in and LOVE the person you are with, and at that moment you will promise to try your best to overcome all the obstacles ahead of you. It's not rocket science... it's in all the vows and sermons you've ever heard. Marriage is a promise to yourself as much as it is to your partner that you are READY for the next chapter of your life. If you see marriage as JUST paperwork or the "next step" or "ownership", YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No. 6 Marriage is the End of Spontaneity & No. 5 Marriage is Constant Compromise
Not really. Spontaneity is a choice. When you get older, you have more responsibility in general. Even if you were single you would find it hard to be spontaneous. You have conflicting schedules, but no one ever said that marriage was supposed to be easy. Marriage should never be NOT fun by definition. Boring people don't know how to have fun and keep fun in a relationship. Some of the most interesting people I know are married couples who still keep it real. They have more fun than any of the single people I know. Not the SAME kinds of fun though - a more mature kind of fun. Single fun is REALLY fun...God it's so much fun...but relationship fun is more consistent. If you think marriage is the end of spontaneity then you are boring and lazy. You also don't believe in yourself and your own judge of character if you could ever fear marrying someone who'd bore you to death.
Compromise...being a PERSON is compromise in itself. Are you a human being? Then you compromise...CONSTANTLY. In a relationship...YAH there's compromise. Is it the worst? Maybe sometimes it feels like it, but if we always did everything that we wanted without thought of others we'd live in the most awful, selfish Hobbesian society I could ever imagine. Who knows, you might even get talked out of making the worst mistake of your life if you were open minded enough to take some loving advice from a differing point of view. Relationships are cool because you have a whole other person - a whole other life with tons of experience and knowledge - to help you in making the right decisions for you... and if they love you and let you know their point of view in a way that's not entirely dream crushing, isn't that the biggest lottery ticket of all? If you can't see the benefit in having someone to reign you in when you're being unreasonable, and support you when you're going for gold, then YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No. 4 Marriage is the end of Sex
Marriage isn't the end of sex. Perhaps if you were an asshole to your partner. Then yes. GOOD SEX at least, and who the heck wants bad sex anyways? If you want to keep your marriage strong, you have to work for it. All aspects effect each other. It's no mystery if you fuck up in one area the other areas are going to be effected as well. Maybe better conflict resolution, and better care of self & other would keep things running smoothly. If you think anything otherwise YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No. 3 Marriage often Fails & No. 2 Marriage is the End of Taking Risks
Marriages fail for all types of reasons. It is the biggest risk of all. It's not the end of the line - its a beginning of a new part of yourselves. It could end for any reason, or last for all the right reasons. You'll never know. People are always changing and there is no shame in divorce if it ever comes to that. Sure, it sucks, but terrible things happen every day. Heartbreak is awful but things could always be worse. That's life. We are vulnerable. Go figure. Everyone is - yet our species has managed to survive it so far. It's because we take risks on one another that we grow as individuals and within relationships. Marriage is a risk that closes some doors, but opens up a plethora of other options. We often see marriage as the end result but it's just the beginning of all sorts of possibilities. If you have a narrow view of marriage and view it as "the end" of being yourself, then you must not have a strong sense of person-hood and YOU SHOULD NEVER GET MARRIED.
No. 1 Marriage is Forever
Yep. When you get married, the promise and intention should be for life. Forever could be when you are old and gray. Or it could be...like... tomorrow? 100% it could be. You could die at any time. As young people we see forever as being infinite, without realizing that we could die at any moment. You aren't going to be young and hot forever. Neither is your partner. But wouldn't it be nice if you aged and someone still thought you were hot because of who you ARE, and gave a shit about you in old age? Wouldn't it be amazing to let someone get so close that you'd have someone to carry on your values & remember you and your legacy even when you're gone? The "options" you fleetingly think about now and then will forget about you in a second. How sad would it be to die preserving all your "options" in lieu of the truest respect you could ever get from another person - of building a life through hard work and mutual commitment to a shared future. That's so freaking cool. I wouldn't turn my nose up at forever if I found someone kick-ass enough to want to create a whole new generation of US from scratch. I don't want it now, but one day I might.
I feel sorry for anyone who agrees with Jackson's article, as I think it'll be hard for them to ever let anyone amazing into their lives for long enough to influence their negative and stereotypical view of marriage, or to let someone in at all. I think it's probably very lonely. Bottom line, marriages don't work because of laziness. Laziness is fear. The fear of something can cause us to stagnate because we can't even come to terms with our own vulnerability. It's worse than being a child - at least they are brave enough to try and fail.
The worst is that in an age where we have to work for very little, and everything is at the tip of our fingers, readily at our disposal, you'd think we could muster the courage, effort and Will to make the only thing that matters work. Connection, Communication, Fun, Self-Assuredness, Belief, Commitment, Compassion, Compromise, Sex...all of these combined are love, and marriage...The reasons you SHOULD get married (and things that should be a part of you before you even think of marriage).
I just can't stand when people disparage the institution of marriage, and insult the people who have already entered into it, without even the slightest clue of what it really means - nor have given it enough thought to even have a coherent opinion of it. Marriage and LIFE is what YOU make of it, not what some fucking guy on AskMen.com and a bunch of other fucking guys (and girls) say about it. I'll write a follow up post after I get married.
Just a thought. Feel free to agree or disagree via the comment section.