I’m getting married next year. Something I’m really excited about. We’ve had a long engagement, so we’re really getting ants in our pants about finally being legally husband and wife. We are really happy together and really looking forward to being married.
But according to some people, and I’ve seen this kind of sentiment rising lately, that makes us “brainwashed” “life-script zombies” and that our marriage is “just a piece of paper” and that “humans aren’t meant to be monogamous” and “there’s no such thing as a life partner. It’s pointless to get married.”
Okay, I understand that some people don’t want to get married. That’s fine. Some people prefer the single life, some people prefer cohabitation, open relationships, or what have you. That is fine too. What an individual does with their relationships, long or short term, and how they live their lives is personal choice. And the decision not to get married for whatever reason is perfectly valid.
…But so is the decision to get married.
I don’t know what’s going on, but it seems like everywhere I turn lately, marriage is being lambasted from every corner. Some People who don’t want to get married don’t just say they don’t want to get married, they outright reject and insult those who do. I’ve been accused, whether outright or implied, of being brainwashed by religion, conservative agenda, familial obligation, cultural obligation, or Disney. I’ve heard that women are all out there to capture men and enslave them with marriage and children and men should run away from any woman who says she’s looking for long term. At one point, I was even accused of making up my own engagement. I’ve heard marriage makes you fat, it makes you boring, it will ruin your sex life and destroy your personality. It may even make you smell like gym socks. Oh the horror! Oh the corn-chip smell!
Can we all just take a step back here and breathe for a second?
I realize that not everyone wants to get married. Fine. If you don’t want to get married, then don’t. No one should force you into something that life-changing if you really don’t want it. And I can totally understand if those people who have chosen a matrimony-free lifestyle would like to have that decision accepted without being insulted or scrutinized like there is something wrong with that. But as a person who has chosen to get married, I would appreciate the same courtesy.
Marriage is something that I want. It’s something I chose of my own volition with no “brainwashing” from any sort of entity, religious or otherwise. It’s something that works for me in my life in the same way that not getting married works for other people. Sure, there are some really outdated and sexist concepts involved with marriage. However, that doesn’t mean I have to strictly adhere to them. For example, my fiance and I have opted NOT to have the officiate say “Who gives this woman to marry this man?” We’re not having that in our ceremony because my dad isn’t giving me away as property and it’s not a necessary part of the ceremony anymore.
So really, if you don’t want marriage, that’s your choice entirely. And if you want to get married, that is also your choice. And if you want to get married, do it in whatever way suits you. If that means that you and the bride/groom standing on your heads and smashing watermelons after saying “Smesh blam!” in the middle of death valley.