Marriage is defined as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.
Merriam Webster’s dictionary doesn’t make it sound as romantic as people would like to believe. Including myself. When I think about “marriage” I think about the “till death do us part” and the “in sickness and health”. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic at heart though, of that there is no denying.
By definition, it doesn’t sound like anything more than a business deal. I think there are several people out there who would agree. And I know that whenever people enter into a “contract” there is always the chance of both failure and success. Humans add the variable to contracts. Our stubborn qualities, egos, unwillingness to change or perhaps changing too much is one of the reasons we need contracts in the first place. And like everything, people change their minds all the time. Everyday. People change their majors at University. They change their mind on the next country they want to visit. People’s opinions change about what a work contract may mean and an agreement or understanding that seemed fool proof in the beginning can begin to tear and fall apart when the slightest amount of strain is added. So I guess it isn’t that crazy to imagine all the people that change their minds after marriage. After what is supposed to be a life long commitment.
According to statistics, 4 in 10 first marriages in Canada end in divorce. To a newly wed that can be scary! You see broken marriages everywhere. With a co-worker, with family, on tv. Everyone is in court somewhere fighting over everything except staying together.
People keep asking us, does being married really feel any different? Does anything change? For us, living together before hand, the answer would be mostly no. Our day to day is the same as before and the way we treat each other is the same in every way. The only difference we have noticed is that being married is scarier than just being a couple. The fear of losing the person you love more than anything in the entire world is daunting. When you stop to think about it, the only way it can be described would be terrifying. And when you get married, the stakes are raised. Everything is just that much scarier and the idea of losing your loved one is just that much more painful to imagine.
I don’t think I can properly put into words what I mean, but I will continue to try. I’ve been married for 13 days and today, just like every other day before in the last 2.5 years, I can’t imagine my life being spent with anyone else.
And I can’t ever imagine where things get so bad, that we can’t talk our way back to a better place and all we are left with is lawyer fees and anger. Today, divorce is so prevalent and all I can think about is that these people must’ve been happy at some point. Things must’ve been great back when they stood up in front of their family and friends and said “I do”. I’m sure, every single couple thought they would be the ones to make it. The ones to spend their whole lives together. So where does it all go wrong? What happens? Why can’t people fix it?
I think it is fair to say that not everyone makes the best decisions all the time. I’m as guilty as the next person I guess. I’ve made decisions in the past that I’m sure if I’d slowed down, stopped and really thought about, I would’ve decided differently and there would’ve been situations I could’ve avoided all together.
Not everyone is in a relationship and thinks “this is the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with”. For some people it’s easier to stay in relationships because it is comfortable, it’s safe and they don’t really want to “start over”. (I know because I was one of those people years ago.) Everyday people get married because it is the next step in a long relationship, it makes “sense”, they’ve been together a really long time…so why not?
Really, why not?
If only everyone who got married couldn’t imagine their life with anyone else. If only everyone who made that commitment couldn’t bear the thought of being in this world without their other half.
In a perfect world I would wish that everyone could live happily ever after. I would wish everyone could have that happy marriage with the white picket fence…or whatever sort of fence they fancied.
But because this isn’t a perfect world and I don’t have a genie in a bottle, I will instead just give this marriage everything I have and never forget why I said “yes”.