...which makes me think there's something about this institution that despite how much we want it, we are also moving away from it. It doesn't satisfy us. Romance says hey, here's this person. And you're getting married, and this person should meet all of your emotional needs."
-Middlebury College Professor and author of upcoming book, "Love, Inc.", Laurie Essig
Gosh, when put this way, marriage doesn't sound like such a good idea-at least not for ever, despite the 100s of social, emotional, physical benefits it conveys. No wonder the divorce rate is close to 50%. People are dynamic, fluid, and ever changing-just like nature. Our need to love and be loved, however, waxes and wanes, and our desires and needs change as we grow.
I recall the time that I was around 15 years old and was asked if I wanted to ever get married, to which I quickly replied "no!" My reasoning was based on how some of the marriages of the elders around me seemed unhappy-like one person, typically the wife, was just going along to get along, and had been robbed of their vim, vigor and zeal. And I definitely didn't want to be physically violated and emotionally scarred for life because of a ring on my left ring finger...I didn't want that for myself, no way. Yet, like each of us, I wanted to be loved, have someone special that cared for me and wouldn't be threatened by my creativity or run away because of my intellect, quirks, and other oddities (tee-hee)
And I met that person, at age 19... but we were too young (he was 21 , a brilliant chemist, and the most gentle but strong person I had (ever) met, with a future as bright.) I was a bit of prude, too, except with him. And in hindsight, if we would have stayed together (we met as we took an organic chemistry class together) we would have surely wound up pregnant and probably hating each other as we would have had to forfeit our respective lights (he-a chemist, and I-a pharmacist) to raise our child.
So we broke up our relationship, but not our love. That love never went anywhere, despite he marrying twice, and I never marrying, but having a couple of long term relationship.
We didn't speak nor see each other for 40 years.
Then one day, towards the end of the most difficult three year period of my life (enlightenment follows suffering) there he was. Yes! In a marriage that was more of convenience than love, he was still untouchable, but certainly still quite lovable, loved. And I, recently freed from a 13 year relationship that I finally had accepted wasn't right from the beginning, thought initially, "I want to marry you now (or whenever your current marriage is dissolved). "I am your true love, and I never married, and now I want to get married before I move to the next realm," I remembered thinking...
But in listening to him over time describe his marriages, and the pain (though there was some good-as there is in everything)and the fact that he almost had lost himself in doing for everyone else throughout the years, I knew the idea of another marriage, even if it was with me, would make him squirm, uncomfortable.
It would have to wait, I decided. But I still wanted a ceremony, a ring, and the cake and congratulations, like all girls do...
That is until I happened upon Laurie Essig's NY Times video commentary.
And I blinked my eyes and when I opened them again, I saw marriage for what it is-an intersection of romance and capitalism .
Love, and its romance though, don't live in capitalism.
The health advantages of marriage, indeed that of a committed relationship, like Oprah and Stedman, for example, aren't packed in the government's regulatory knapsack.
I guess I don't want to be married, after all.
(I agree that marriages in the future will have new definitions and meanings. DivorceCare
But I do want the love and health advantages of a committed relationship.
Gosh, I hope he understands that. :-)
CUP OF JOE: The Blog
Conjecture, facts, and opinion on health and wellness, holistic practice, and the quest for sustainability & optimal health.