I haven't even been married for two years. So far, it's been quite an adventure. I guess we're still newlyweds, but it really doesn't feel like it anymore. Jaclyn and I have been loving each other for over seven years. If I can the word into its general terms, we've been "married" for at least five years. By that I mean we've been devoted to each other much longer than what our marriage certificate indicates.
A lot of my friends and family are getting married this year. I wonder how many of them will last. Who will get divorced? Who will get pregnant within the first year? Who will have an affair? Oh, these horrible questions! I don't want to ask them, but 2009 America leaves me no choice. The concept of "marriage" is so screwed up in this country. I resent how the government uses the term. "Civil Unions" should be across the board. If two married people want to be recognized by the state, they should attain a "civil union."
Marriage is not defined by a date. My marriage didn't start on July 29th, 2007, but at some point before that. We celebrate our marriage on that day, because that was the day that we had the biggest party of our life. We invited all of our friends and family to come together for the biggest celebration of love we could imagine. We didn't dedicate ourselves to each other on this day, we celebrated our dedication... in style.
There are gay couples who have been married for years. They love each other and are dedicated to each other. They don't need a piece of paper to be "married."
And yet, some of my friends and family members have set the date. They will get "married" on a specific day. Even if they aren't wholly devoted to each other yet, they will be "married" (at least according to the government). They see marriage as an accomplishment, a benchmark in the road to maturity. The sooner they get there, the sooner they mature.
They will mature, but not in the way they expected.
Why do people get married? I don't mean why do people devote themselves to one another, I mean why do they seek out the government's seal of approval?
Most of the time, people don't really know why they love the person that they love. It's a great mystery, but it's something they can't deny.
Legal marriage, on the other hand, is something they need to have spent a lot of time and energy contemplating.
Once marriage is "official," it symbolizes two mature people who have come together for one greater purpose. Friends and family come to celebrate to officiation of marriage because they support and encourage the couple. A marriage ceremony between two people is never done outside of a community. On the contrary, a community MUST be a part of a marriage.
When marriage occurs, it is a community event. Whoever said that marriage is between two people is deadly wrong. Marriage is about two families, becoming one. This unity is strong, and makes for a strong celebration. The couple being wed should already be intensely in love and devoted to each other before the ceremony; but if that is the case, celebration is in order. Who better to celebrate a beautiful relationship than the friends and family of the two people who are married?
There are good and bad reasons to get married. A good reason is family. A bad reason is individuality. When family is strengthened, marriage should occur. But if family is weakened, marriage should not be rushed. If one finds individuality through another person, then he or she should not marry this person. However, if one is already an individual, and is in relationship with another individual who is not controlling or manipulative, then marriage should occur. Love will abound.
We always hear that nobody can tell two people what to do when it comes to their wedding. This is true, but if the two people getting married are doing the right thing, nobody will even WANT to tell them what to do. They will see the beauty plainly in the wonderful relationship, and will have no desire to question the marriage.
A community is important for this reason. If friends and family see problematic symptoms within a relationship, they will (and should) speak up. Nobody wants to see a community weakened, and a bad marriage will do just that.
There you have it my friends, my blog post for May 8, 2009. There are reasons to get married, but there are not reasons to love. Love ruthlessly, but wed carefully.