Cynical Thoughts on Marriage

It’s almost always love, isn’t it— what we friends commiserate over? I have many friends who are successful in every other aspect of life, but with personal relationships, all common sense is lost. And it doesn’t matter if you’re prewarned, because on this subject, when someone points out an obvious problem, they are ignored. In relationships, we see only what we want to see, for as long as we can stand it. There are some mistakes in life that we need to make for ourselves, and this one is at the top of the list. I certainly have made my share of mistakes.

Misery loves company, and so we friends get together. A few of my friends are now in the process of ending marriages, some have recently ended them, some have been divorced for some time, moved on, and now provide fresh material on the same topic. Why do these relationships fail? You can guess: infidelity, addiction, physical or emotional abuse, general disillusionment, etc… 

Just as my friends and I are now experiencing similar life events, there was a point when I was in my early to mid twenties when it seemed that all of my friends were getting married. The running joke, which was delivered by the first married groom, was: “I knew if I kept my mouth shut long enough, someone else would do it.” Ha and ha. 

The money I invested at that time in my life, in brides made dresses, gifts, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners was ridiculous. I did enjoy a good party, but by the time I followed suit deciding to marry, I was completely disenchanted with the idea of a wedding. The level of stress, the expense and efforts expelled for one day didn’t seem worth it to me. 

I was married on a beach in St Thomas, USVI. The wedding was witnessed by a photographer and a videographer who caught an interesting expression on my face after I said I do— my eyes popped, my lips furled, and a look of extreme panic, momentarily flashed across my face. It was a moment caught on tape. If I could insert a thought bubble into that tableau, it would say “What the Hell did I just do?”. 

The money to fund this excursion was provided by my lifelong benefactor Lord Visa, which was another genius move on my part. So, now in debt, and married, life went on. The typical good times and bad times ensued. Every anniversary, the joke was : “They say the first year is the hardest.”, or “They say the first twenty three years are the hardest”, or what ever the anniversary was.

Shortly following that phase, all of my know it all friends started popping out babies. After all, we “aren’t getting any younger”. I thought long and hard and decided what the hell, the circle of life and all that, and I don’t want to run out of eggs. Five years and three babies later, I had certainly painted myself into a pretty corner. I love my children and I can’t imagine who I would be without them. They are everything to me, and in that, life happened as it should have, but I didn’t go into this expecting to be a single parent.
In retrospect, all these years later, I believe the panic stricken wedding video face, was my subconscious trying to tell me what I didn’t want to know— that my move into marriage was hasty. I saw what I wanted to see, and ignored everything else. Had I been honest with myself I could have avoided a decision that wasn’t in my best interest.

My parents generation didn’t get divorced. I don’t think it’s because they were happier with their choices. They’d stay together no matter how ill suited they were, because that’s what marriage meant. They’d see it through to the bitter end. Marriage was serious. It’s still serious, so serious, that I will not do it again. 
As cynical as I know this sounds, I’ll say it anyway. I am not an advocate of the institution of marriage for anyone, gay or straight. Ending a marriage is a long painful process, and financially draining. Is it something you really need to do?

The Daily Post, June 26, 2015, Daily Prompt: Take it from Me~ What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?<a href=””>Take It From Me</a><a href=””>Take It From Me</a>

3 thoughts on “Cynical Thoughts on Marriage

  1. I remember when everyone was getting married, when everyone was having babies. When everyone was getting divorced. Now, it seems, everyone is dealing with illness. I wonder how “love problems” could have ever seemed so important? I know I agonized over this stuff and it seems so silly now. Funny how time changes perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

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