A long ramble about marriage and fairytales

Ah marriage! The penultimate step a person has to take in the journey to completeness- completeness of course being the begating of spawn- preferably before the shrivelled up age of thirty.

Take two

Ah marriage! The happily ever after that begins when you lose your slipper at a late night party you snuck out to and the person you were grinding on travels across the land to find the owner of the slipper and ends up marrying your best friend because you two are the same shoe size.

Take twenty three

Ah marriage! The union of two people who have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together as a family, and maybe raise little ones, till divorce do them part.

Whichever way you look at it, marriage is a massive decision everyone has to make-even deciding not to get married is still a marriage decision- especially these days when more and more people are opting out of the honourable institution {at the same time others are fighting for the right to enter it}.

Back in 1838, Charles Darwin also had this problem. To marry or not to marry. Darwin’s worry mostly revolved around the loss of freedom to do as he pleased, and the financial burden of taking after a family. Of course he approached this dilemma in the most sensible way: by making a list of the pros and cons. The lists can be found here, and I found them quite interesting. He went on to marry 6 months later so evidently the pros outweighed the cons.

As I progress further in age, I realise I will soon have to make this decision {or perhaps life will make it for me eeek}.

I am trying to list out the pros and cons of marriage but my mind keeps drifting away into nothingness. Children are usually one of the pros people list, but that opens up another debate: To reproduce or not to reproduce. I have recently come to the conclusion that I would in fact like to further my lineage and have a baby, or two, or three. Maybe.

What did Darwin have to say about children?

Children are one’s greatest happiness, but often & often a still greater misery. A man of science ought to have none, — perhaps not a wife; for then there would be nothing in this wide world worth caring for & a man might (whether he would is another question) work away like a Trojan.

He went on to have ten, so the happiness outweighed the misery.

The loss of freedom to do as one pleases is often the first thing people mention in their why I am not married list. I wonder why this has to be the case.

I remember watching this film-I forget the title now, Harry meets Sally perhaps?-where this couple would tell their married friends that they enjoyed their freedom too much to get married. According to them, they liked to be able to jet off on a whim and have sex on the kitchen floor, things their married childful friends could not do. At the end of the film, the unmarried couple realised that they in fact never jetted anywhere on a whim, and never had sex on the kitchen floor-too cold.

Is your life really that much fun now, and if so in what way would getting married to someone of your choice stifle this fun? Why should it? Or are you just under the illusion that your life is fun and free? If your fear of marriage lies in the fact that you want to travel and won’t be able to do so, and yet you have not travelled anywhere as a single person then please go book a ticket somewhere and live this life you want to live {This is really a message to myself}. {I also have a sneaking suspicion that people just say they want to travel but they really are not too fussed about it}.

In my experience, thirty is the age by which a woman’s permit to answer her father’s surname expires. I have grown up seeing women have age thirty as a deadline. It is not uncommon to hear women planning their lives and trying to fit in as much as they can before they get married aka before thirty. Anything that they cannot do before getting married is thrown into the woulda shoulda coulda pile. At first I thought “screw it”, I am going to live my life as I want and if it means not being married at thirty then so be it. Then I thought, why does getting married mean I cannot live my life? If I develop a new interest after getting married, should I not pursue it because of my new marital status? Yeah yeah I understand things will be different and I’ll have more than myself to consider and the need to compromise and all that jazz. However I am not talking about leaving my family to go live in a cave in Honduras for 6 months {although if you are into things like that, marriage shouldn’t stop you. Just marry a fellow cave dweller and prosper}

I don’t fully know what to expect from marriage. On one hand, I think marriage should not be hard. One the other hand I roll my eyes at those who say they want a fairytale. Fairytales don’t exist, I think, of course marriage will have its hardships.

Maybe it’s the romance novels, the romantic films, or the instagram pictures that makes people believe that love is a smooth ripplefree ride. You fall in love with The One, who of course completes you, and you two spend the rest of your days raising gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes and sighing intermittenly as a couple of cherubic angels hover above your heads holding the hashtag #goals. Your days are filled with laughter, joy and orgasms, and you never ever ever disagree.

Then you get into a real life marriage and “whoa whoa what is all this? I didn’t sign up for this reality”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a fantasy type of love, but it is important to temper it with reality. Requiring a fairytale puts too much pressure on the other person to be perfect, when most likely you yourself are not. Even fairytales are not as perfect as the expectations  we place on our relationships. People only think of the happily ever after, forgetting the evil stepmothers, witches, beasts, curses, tall castles with only a window. They want a Notebook kind of love, forgetting the trials the couple endured.

I don’t think a marriage should be soul draining, home should be a refuge not a source of hypertension and high blood pressure. Hell, you can have a fairytale of sorts, provided you do not expect the marriage to be perfect all day everyday.

I agree that before agreeing to marry a person you should know them fairly well- their core values and principles, do they want children? What do they think of Trump? Who do they blame when a woman in a mini skirt gets raped? Where do they want to live? Are they into whips and chainsaws? Favourite colour, food,book,film e.t.c.

At the same time  I believe that it is faulty to assume that the conditions that persist today will always be; the person you love today will remain the same in every way.

For example, let’s look at sexual compatibility.  The biggest argument against celibacy is “but what if you get married and find that you aren’t sexually compatible?” At the same time marriage is touted as the great destroyer of libidos. I understand children ruining mummy and daddy’s sex life, but why should marriage on its own ruin it?  Anyway I digress (in the middle of a digression).

Compatibility, sexual and otherwise, is relevant as far as determining a person’s core. If you are into whips and chainsaws your partner should probably be aware of this. However while it is good to find someone with which we are compatible with, current compatibility is no guarantee for future compatibility.

We tend to view marriage as a destination, rather than as a pitstop on the journey of life. In getting married it is important to realise that marriage does not-or rather should not-halt a person’s evolution. That you two are screwing like rabbits today, does not mean that you won’t be screwing like snails tomorrow. Then what?

We want to find the person who ticks all our boxes (nothing wrong with that) but we forget to incorporate the fact that the one who ticks our boxes now may not do so in five years; either because they would have changed or our boxes would be different.

That is why a person who decides to be celibate is asked “but how will you know if you are sexually compatible” because we believe that sexual compatibility and other things have to be set in stone before signing the dotted lines. Meanwhile the truth is these things are prone to change as time goes on. What we need to do is to try to adapt to each other as time goes on.

This is why marriage is such a huge unfathomable deal to me, you are literally making a bet on your future based on current non static feelings and conditions. If you are lucky, the changes will not be too drastic and you might even change together with our spouse. More likely, the changes will be more pronounced or you might change in opposite directions. Rapunzel’s bae has probably left her for a woman with a cropped cut. Prince Charming has probably had enough of Snow White’s pasty ass and is now dating an orange lady. OR Rapunzel is tired of tripping over her hair and has chopped it off to the chagrin of Prince Charming. Snow White has discovered tanning and is loving her glow and her boo wants his pale princess back.

Some of the things you like about this person today will not be there tomorrow. The things the person likes about you may not be there. The things you like today may still be there tomorrow but you may not like them anymore because you have changed. Sometimes I think I am not willing to make a bet and will just forgo the whole things. Why complicate my life eh?

 

Soooooo, what are my pros and cons of marriage? I have drawn up a skeletal list, not as good as Darwin’s but still a list goddamit.

PROS

Having a companion

Sharing responsibilities with another

Children

Intimacy

CONS

Having a constant companion {who keeps breathing my air}

Intimacy

What if we stop liking each other?

 

 

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