Tuesday, February 26

Why Can't We Stay Married?

I had decided a while ago that I wasn't having children or getting married. The level of commitment a person is supposed to devote to their child and their mate was too much for me. I couldn't see myself taking that kind of risk. There was no guarantee that whoever I said "Yes" to when asked for my hand, would view their vow as I did. Marriage was not a game to me, which is why I said "No" to 7 of the 8 requests. Since there was no proof that marriage would last, why would I have kids? I didn't want the burden of being a single mother or have to deal with co-parenting. Neither of those things made me feel like I would still be able to retain a reasonable amount of freedom either.

What did I do?

I had a kid almost 4 years ago and I got married to her father last year.

What changed? Me.

I figured this was the best way to get over my commitment issues; commit yourself to something that you HAVE to take serious. The thing about that is...there is STILL no guarantee that your children or mate will give a damn about that. As my father stated to me, "it's one of those things you have to wake up everyday, continuing to commit to, regardless of what you experience that makes you want to break your vow to them". Of course I don't think he was referring to extreme situations but I understood what he meant. My mother and father have been together 40 years, married for 38 and have 3 children as a result of their union. I can say without a doubt that it hasn't been an easy 40 years but BOTH of them decided to stay with each other and isn't THAT what makes marriage the ultimate success in the end?

So when I look at the increasing divorce rate, the ups and downs of dating that never lead to marriage for some, and how depressed people can become when they feel no one will want them, it makes me question everything...all over again.

What is going on today that we are picking mates that aren't willing to do what it takes to stay together? Was everything good during the dating process or did we ignore important signs? Even if all signs pointed to marriage being a good idea, what happens so that we're getting divorced within a year of getting married? WHY IS IT SO EASY TO GIVE UP ON PEOPLE THAT WE TOOK SUCH SERIOUS VOWS FOR?

Then it becomes clear that these vows don't mean as much as they should. 

One guy asked me why I went so hard for being married for life if I wasn't really big on it. For me, it makes a statement. It ISN'T dating. It is saying that out of all the people you've been acquainted with, THIS is the ONLY person you want to form an unbreakable bond with. It became clear that the union of marriage was overlooked when he revealed that he didn't pay attention to the vow declared when someone is sworn into a marriage. He is married and didn't know this. Which makes one raise an eyebrow and wonder what he was thinking when he said, "I do". Was he even paying attention?

In case some more of us weren't paying attention, here are standard vows:

"We are gathered here to unite these two hearts in the bonds of holy matrimony... Into this, these two now come to be joined...will you have this woman/man as your lawful wedded partner, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love him/her, honor him/her, comfort him/her, and keep him/her in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, be true to him/her as long as you both shall live?"

If you're married, you said "I do". So when does it become a good time to say, "to hell with that vow. I just don't like you anymore and I don't want to work at this. I just want to be rid of you and any effort it will take to make things right"? Yet, this is what happens SO often. The sanctity of marriage has been destroyed because we don't take it as seriously as we once did. It's almost as if we reserve our right to get divorced like it's a get out of jail free card.

The solution is fairly simple but definitely easier said than done. Stop being selfish.

Becoming one has to be difficult for people who are used to everything going their way. When you agree to marry someone, you are committing to a life of taking someone into consideration everyday for the rest of your life. If you can pinpoint every time you have an altercation with someone you were dating, it can more than likely be simplified by acknowledging that someone was being selfish. The thing about marriage is that it's a team effort. Two are supposed to become one but if one is hell bent on staying themselves, it isn't going to work. Change is SUPPOSED to happen when you get married and sometimes that's too much to deal with when we want to doggedly hold on to who we used to be prior to being married.

I've been acquainted with my husband for 6 years but we just got married and I'll be honest and say it isn't easy. It wasn't when we were just boyfriend/girlfriend and it isn't as husband and wife. We argue like cats and dogs, hurt each others feelings, and do things that are huge turn offs to one another. It hasn't lessened my love for him, nor my vow. There are two things that I tell myself when I start my day. 

1. I will have a good day.
2. I will have a good day with Joey.

I'll keep telling myself this despite how much he makes me want to pull my hair out, at times. I don't intend to give up though because I have a choice, like everyone else. My choice is to do what it takes to stay married.
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