Some thoughts on marriage

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , ,

I’m not sure how I feel about marriage.

On the one hand, I absolutely plan on getting married and all that jazz.  However, I have a lot of problems with it.  First, most people (in the US anyway) take it to be a religious ceremony.  I am not comfortable with that idea, being a non-religious person.  I certainly would not want to get married in a church by a priest or minister, or whatever they’re supposed to be.  Second, because of this strong tie to religion, many people believe that marriage is only to be between people of the opposite sex.  I don’t feel that love and dedication to another human being can be restricted in such a way.  It makes me uneasy to be a part of something that same-sex couples do not have the privilege of enjoying as well.

I suppose it comes down to this whole idea being extremely outdated.  Back in the day people thought that only men and women should get married to each other.  Back in the day people thought something about God and marriages and a holy union.  And unfortunately because of that, much of our legal system has developed to favor marriage.  You get taxed less for being married.  You get rights to each other’s property and many benefits when the other died.  None of that is afforded couples who are just as committed, but have not gone through this ritual of getting married.  Nowadays, those “back in the days” are long gone and I feel we should really re-examine the institution of marriage.

With divorce rates so high and sham marriages abound, it’s no wonder I think marriage is a mess.  It’s more about the rings and the legal benefits than the love and commitment.  Why can’t we do away with marriage, so weary and shackled to tradition, and replace it with something simpler and modern?  I’d like to see unions of couples in a secular manner, joining together their lives and committing to a future together.  I do like the idea of a ceremony because it helps solidify the commitment and is a way to share the union with loved ones.  And I think a meal and party afterwards is a great way to celebrate.  So these are the traditions that I like.  But doing so in a church?  Not my cup of tea.

(And what is up with this whole engagement ring and wedding band thing?  I am really confused by the complexities of that particular tradition, but let’s leave that for another day.)

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