I don’t know that much about marriage, really. But I will take solace in the knowledge that no one is reading this. (Which I know be true, thanks to site stats that indicate that the only visits here seem to have been directed by internet robots. Or whatever. I guess internet robots aren’t really a thing. Some crap site. Point being, no one is reading this, stop being self conscious.) But marriage is on a newlywed’s mind. And I’m coming off wedding planning, which, despite what one may think, included a fair bit of marriage planning, and then someone gave me a book about marriage (full disclosure, it’s Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, and I am a little embarrased to be reading it in the first place. It is annoying and self-aggrandizing and kind of off-putting, but I also appreciate that she went ahead and put some of the conversations that intelligent progressive women have about modern western marriages (and left out a lot too) in a book that is at least a quick read for someone like me, who loves reading but has become increasingly distracted by the internet and reads less and less). So I have some thoughts.
A thought: People seem to think of my relationship as more worthwhile now that it is a marriage. I might admit that so do I. I have mixed feelings about this. I think your relationship is important even if you aren’t married. But I also might think that my relationship is more committed than yours, and not because of the state recognized shit, or because we had a wedding, but because we made personal vows before our loved ones and asked them to be our community as we walk though this life together. Am I being superior?
Another thought: Your relationship is central to your emotional biography. It is a story you tell the world about yourself, and a story you and your partner tell yourselves about yourselves. This story is told in a squijillion iterations throughout your lifetime, and perhaps beyond. I’m not counting on that, but still.
Third thought: Your relationship will never look like mine. And I don’t mean that in a snarky, I am more evolved and better than you sort of way, I just mean that we are in our own relationships. We can learn from other people, and thank goodness for that, but marriage is no one size fits all kind of deal, and barring some abusive, deal breaker behaviors, I’ m in no position to judge your marriage (even though I might want to. I’m human.)