Is Marriage an Outdated Tradition?
Is marriage antiquated?
The idea of marriage is something that we have planted in our brains since we were kids. Somewhere, somehow we were taught about the white picket fence, finding the one, and finding the person you were going to spend the rest of your life with. Whether your parents were able to accomplish that or not, they wanted that story for you.
They wanted the story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, or girl falls in love with boy.
In a perfect, world you’re going to meet somebody and have a family, and live happily ever after.
Our childhood was full of stories about that. So when we head into adulthood, we’ve got this story based on what we’ve learned through Disney movies.
And our families
The books that we’ve read.
Romantic comedies, etc.
We’re under the illusion that marriage is something that means we’re going to spend the rest of our lives with somebody.
But that is just an illusion.
All of you reading this right now are reading articles posted in the divorce section of Huffington Post.
Which means that the white picket fence and the illusion of marriage probably didn’t work out for any of you.
The story that you created about marriage, which was really created for your parents, didn’t seem to play out in your adult life, and you find yourself reading articles about divorce and how to negotiate the splitting of children and all these other wonderful things that divorce brings.
Let’s go deeper into this and let’s go to the origins of marriage. Back in the 1400’s when people were getting married, it was “until death do you part.” Because people would get married as teenagers and somebody would die in their 20’s or early 30’s. The lifespan was not 80 years.
As we grew as a society and medical care got better and better and we figured out how to get rid of things like the bubonic plague and gangrene, people are living a lot longer.
And when they live a lot longer, they make many changes in their lives.
People grow, people evolve, people become different things than they were when they were in their 20’s or 30’s or 40’s. A lot of the times when some people are married, one partner grows and the other one stays stagnant.
I know according to the church and the Bible and everything else, we’re supposed to make that marriage work. But a lot of the times the marriage doesn’t work because the people no longer work well together.
So the real question is: why are we expected to stay together and make each other miserable? That wasn’t part of the story we were sold as kids. We were sold the story of the illusion of marriage. How beautiful it is to love somebody. You work on a marriage and you continue to grow and love each other.
In a perfect world, I understand that. But so many people pick the person that they marry without fully knowing or understanding their selves.
So many people marry somebody at the wrong time of their life. They were tired of being single, they met somebody when they were super young.
They got pregnant, they married that person.
They didn’t know themselves yet. They got married at 22 and now they find themselves 40 years old wanting an entirely different life. Yet, are they expected to stay with that person? To be with a person that no longer works or serves them in what we call love?
So, marriage has become antiquated in the sense that we need to stay until death do us part.
It’s not that I think marriage is an institution that doesn’t work.
I feel that marriage is something that needs to really be re-defined in today’s modern society.
People are still scorned upon when they say they’re divorced. But if you think about it, when you go to check the box at the doctor’s office or anywhere else and they ask you if you’re single, married, or divorced, you almost hesitate to check the divorce box because you almost feel like you’re going to be evaluated or judged in some way, shape, or form because your marriage and the perfect ideal of the marriage, or the illusion of the marriage, did not work out.
But the true reality is that marriage might just be antiquated the way it is.
What’s wrong with having five or six loving adult relationships through your life? Relationships that take you point A to point B.
And the next relationship takes you from point C to point D.
And the next one grows you from D to G.
And the next one grows you from H to M.
Maybe that’s the new norm. Maybe that’s exactly what our society is all about now. As we move faster through the world, things are changing. Relationships are changing, people are changing, we’re evolving, we’re growing.
I know the story is great, but if you think about every story we’ve had since childhood, most of them never panned out the way they’re supposed to pan out. The programming that we had as children tends to really destroy some of the things we need to do as an adult.
What happens is that we actually work most of our adult life trying to get rid of the programming that we had as a child.
So I think it’s time we redefined what married truly is. We need to redefine marriage. We need to redefine exactly what marriage is. You need to redefine exactly what type of marriage you want or what works for you.
You need to stand up for who you are. You shouldn’t stay married to somebody you no longer love or no longer feel like you can grow with. If the marriage has hit the end, that’s okay. There’s probably another marriage or relationship out there to take you down the next road.
Life is a series of choices, and I think modern society has changed so much that we need to redefine and get rid of ‘til death torture us apart.
I threw that in because most of us who are in bad marriages will realize it’s pure torture. And if you think about it, we’ve been given a chance to live a life, a life that, well, we need to live, instead of just compromising.
We all know there’s no perfect relationship out there, but if a marriage doesn’t serve you anymore, what’s the point of being in it? Because you took some vows that were created years and years ago when people were dying at young ages?
It’s perfectly acceptable and okay to be in a relationship and leave it and go to the next one and grow and evolve.
We need to redefine what marriage is. I think it’s important. We don’t need to listen to church or religion anymore. We need to listen to the way the world is and grow. The same way you’re desiring to grow.
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Originally Published on davidwygant.com
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