What purpose does marriage really serve these days? One author explores the pros and cons.
Lately, I feel like people left and right are getting married or engaged. In fact, one of my boys (and old roommate) recently got engaged. (Congrats again, bro.)
But is marriage a natural thing?
Are we supposed to be with the same person for the rest of our lives?
The divorce rates are alarming. Fifty percent is the latest number. One out of two couples are going to wind up marrying their future ex-husband/wife. That’s insane, and divorce is certainly not something to be taken lightly, especially with kids.
My parents got separated when I was four years old and divorced soon after that. I remember being the only kid in my elementary school with divorced parents. But then, as I got older, it seemed like more and more parents were getting divorced and I was no longer in the minority.
So what is the point of marriage if one out of two happy couples are choosing to ruin their perfectly good relationship?
1. Social security. Meaning whenever you’re bored, you always have something to do. But what happens if you’re never bored?
2. Financial security. If you marry someone who will be rich, or is rich (or both), you will certainly be rich. A lot of people will do crazy things for money, unfortunately. But what if you have your own money?
3. Caring security. You have someone who will do anything in the world for you. Nice. But there are plenty of single people who have friends/family who will do anything in the world for them, too, and plenty of married people who don’t.
4. Sexual security. You always have someone to be intimate with who you hopefully truly care about. That’s cool. Not much I can say about that. However, there are plenty of single people who don’t have to worry about that. And there are plenty of married people who still do.
5. Children. I’m starting to believe that there is no reason for “marriage” unless you are going to have children together. What’s the difference between a non-married couple living together and a married couple living together?
Nothing! My sister and bro-in-law lived together before they got married. Nothing changed…except my sister’s last name.
So what does marrying someone actually do? Some might argue that it provides security. You always have someone, and they just can’t pick up and leave.
Here’s my counter:
The type of person who is living with their significant other and is willing to move out of their apartment and start all over again…is definitely the same type of person who’d divorce you. And why the heck would you want to be with someone if they don’t want to be with you, anyway?
I think marriage is just a contract. Like any contract, there are pros and cons. There are exciting parts of the deal and not-so-exciting parts of the deal.
And ultimately, I think marriage is something people just do. It just happens. Like becoming a cog in a wheel.
Except in a nice way.