**Cue the most cliche marriage song of the past year: Bruno Mars- “Marry You”
Many of us have read the article “Marriage Isn’t for you” floating around the social networking space the past couple days where the author, Seth, states “that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.” His father’s advice before he got married appears to be the spark that fueled his enlightenment, with advice such as, “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy” and “Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you.” The best thing about these types of articles is that they’re subjective, so you’re going to have an abundance of responses from people interpreting the author’s message. If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest you read the comments. Like, now.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have an article composed by a Cosmopolitan writer, entitled “Stop Lying, Marriage is for You.” In Michelle’s review of “Marriage Isn’t for You”, she begins the article with a bit of tongue- in- cheek humor and then instantly calls out Seth on his bullshit. No, really, she apologizes to Seth and his father and tells them “it’s total bullshit.” She does allude to the fact that she wants to make her husband’s life better by “loving him, supporting him, etc.”, but she does think about her wants, needs, hopes, and dreams. The comments on this article are just as entertaining as the previous article, so be sure to check them out when you have a moment (aka when you’re at work or when you want to act like you’re checking an important e-mail).
I slightly lean towards Michelle’s article of “Stop Lying, Marriage is for You”, for the mere fact that she touches both points on the spectrum, however, I don’t believe that Seth’s point is “total bullshit.” From the comments that I’ve read on both articles, it appears that there are a handful of people who missed the point. There’s always two sides (if not more) to any story and it’s imperative that society expresses their opinions. I just wish we (including myself) were just as passionate about other matters that affected us- #1stworldproblems.
From my understanding, marriage is about two people… or in some polygamous religions it can be between multiple people. Point being, marriage is never about one person whether it’s referring to you or your spouse. Can we agree on that? I think that’s a relatively objective statement. The reality of marriages in contemporary America is that divorce occurs in 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages, and 74% of third marriages. I’ve cross referenced these numbers across multiple sources and it’s safe to say that the delta is relatively minimal. Numbers don’t lie. As overwhelming and somewhat depressing these statistics are, I challenge you to not be part of this statistic (I know, easier said than done). Be part of the minority and be part of the statistic that shows hope for generations to come.
What I don’t believe people comprehend, albeit the fact that they say the do, is that any relationship involves work. Yea, I said it. You have to be respectful, passionate, understanding, patient, trusting, be one hell of a negotiator, and communicate. Marriage isn’t just about you and it’s not just about your spouse- it’s about both of you. I look around in my circle of friends and think, “I don’t understand how they do it. I couldn’t be in a relationship with a person that does this and that.” What I’ve learned is that I don’t need to understand. It’s not my relationship and what may not work for me does not mean that it won’t work for the next couple. That’s the beauty of any relationship.. it’s not perfect. If it was perfect I wouldn’t learn anything about you, you wouldn’t learn anything about me and we’d be utterly bored with one another. It would be Pleasantville where there’s no color and no excitement. Vanilla. I actually think Vanilla is better than rainbow sherbet but that’s a separate conversation that we can have. That statement is objective and not up for discussion.
A true relationship is about two people focusing on two people- Yourself and the other person. Let’s just assume there’s only two people involved in this example. There’s two extremes that can occur if you just focus on one person: if you just focus on the other person, you can and will more than likely lose sight of what you want and need. Don’t ever sacrifice your happiness for someone else. Know your worth. On the other side of the spectrum, being selfish causes more relationships to end rather than being selfless. If you’re going to look out for only yourself, I highly suggest that you remain single until you’re able to share both your time and love with someone else. Marriage is about two individuals who are able to make compromises and build a life together. Stop comparing your relationship to others and focus on creating your own love story. You’re going to have chapters where you’ll experience a multitude of emotions and you might be even stuck in a particular chapter for an elongated time, but life goes on and so will your story.
Take whatever positive message you got from either of these articles and pat yourself on the back. We should never commit to a relationship for selfish or selfless reasons as there is a fine balance while maintaining a successful relationship. Although Seth’s article may seem over- romanticized and Michelle’s may seem a tad bitter, I’m excited to see/read that marriage is not a lost cause.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”