Y’all have all heard it before, the “marriage is just a piece of paper” argument. Recently some friends of mine engaged in a FB debate about the value of marriage and its standing… is it “just a piece of paper” or not!?
Well clearly it is not… but like usual that discussion led me down a slightly different path! The idea that marriage is the ultimate relationship status disturbs me a bit. Marriage can be great, but it can also be a cave of contempt, a cautionary tale in making choices because they are socially acceptable and not personally fulfilling. Marriage is not the only valid relationship status, just as “husband” or “wife” are not the only valid relationship titles. In fact, I think titles are dumb…
Whether a marriage or a lifelong partnership… both people entering with intention and purpose is what gives either entity it’s strength. If you desire a God centric union, of course marriage is your desired mechanism. But if we remove spirituality simply for the sake of understanding both parties commitment alone, we see that intentionally putting our relationship first, learning how to build a better and more successful relationship over time, and being purposeful in our conscious plan for our relationship is necessary regardless of the status you desire.
In the words of Tupac…”are you still down?”
Roughly 50% of all marriages end in divorce. There ultimate reason for that unfortunate data, in my mind, is because people have this false notion that marriage solves relationship issues and it is going to somehow super glue you and your mate at the hip.
Marriage is a legal and emotional partnership between two people to act and be treated as a unit under the law. That legal and emotional commitment are the two things that make ending a marital partnership more difficult. Some people enter into pre-nuptial agreements to remove the legal bind, leaving just the emotional connection to contend with. However, someone not very emotionally connected to you in the first place, or a relationship built upon lies, deceit, infidelity, etc will easily break. Furthermore, emotions are fleeting, they come and go, dip and bob… and they are not a wholly reliable source of commitment. So marriage is not some magic fix or super cement to fix whatever ails your pre-marital relationship.
People often argue that the legal confines of marriage make it a more desirable status than a partnership. However the same legal mechanisms available in marriage are available to any two people who want to form a unit. Where marriage makes some legal designations automatically, none of them can’t be done through other legal means. Two people who seek to partner with intent, will ensure the strength of that partnership both personally and publicly.
I have been married before, and despite what you have read, I want and plan to be married again. Most people assume I’m anti-marriage. I’m not. I’m anti-bullshit.
I desire a spiritual union that is supported by the love of God. I also plan to build a life with my mate that is abundantly fiscally successful and a union where the legal mechanisms are already in place just makes sense for us. But I don’t see our growing partnership as somehow lessened or missing something because we aren’t yet married. We are committed to ensuring that each of us reaches the realization of self-completion. We intentionally plan and set goals to move us towards that purpose. Our unit is doomed if we cannot first self-commit enough to assist the other party in their individual growth before we take that next step. Your wedding day is just the day you profess your love publicly, the days before that determine how well you have prepared to support that unit and the days after determine how strong that unit will continue to be.
I am not interested in being married for image or because someone else, anyone else, has deemed it the proper way to be in relationship with another person.
Historically, women have been brainwashed to believe we should aspire to be wives over everything else, and some of us who are married place ourselves in higher regard or esteem than those people who choose a different relationship platform. “Being a wife” is your own choice. Someone else’s status, whether by choice or by circumstance, it is still ultimately up to that woman. But whatever the case, she isn’t somehow in a lesser position than you.
Just this morning I saw a post about KeKe Wyatt, the singer who has like 10 kids and was recently left by her husband while she was pregnant, stabbed her mate prior, and is now married again. One women on the post commented, “what am I doing wrong” in response to her seemingly quick remarriage.
NOTHING… at least not in this context!!!!
Now KeKe can sing… but she is surely not an example of a woman one should aspire to be like simply because she is married. In fact, your husband left you while you were pregnant… I’m gonna take a wild guess and say therapy and not marriage might have been a better option. But the notion that married women are somehow doing things “right” simply by virtue of being married… that’s that bull!
Before I go any further, I want to just share my ultimate disgust with the title “shacking up”.
We should be:
Binge Watching Wentworth
And MINDING OUR OWN BUSINESS
In whatever order you desire, but worrying about what other adults do, that is between the two of them… and includes no violence, harm to children, or odd shit with pets … behind the locked doors where they pay the mortgage… should never be on that list.
We don’t care when folks get a roommate to go half on the rent, but for some reason we take offense when two folks go half on a bed and decide to share their space in a love partnership. My take: it’s to somehow give credence to the decision you made to marry … or your ultimate decision to marry. And if you are choosing to use the Bible as your source,
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4.
unless you were pure before you got married… FULL STOP!
Marriage is more than a piece of paper… the paper is just the document that solidifies the legal bond between the two people who choose to become a unit. However, unless you are living as a bible purist… and I don’t personally know any… then someone else’s decision to make a different relationship decision doesn’t give you some advantage in the relationship hierarchy. We shouldn’t have to shit on someone else’s choices to validate our own. Your husband to his hubby, your wife to her partner… are all just the same side of a different coin. The choice to love someone and be committed to loving them and supporting them in becoming their best possible self… is a selfless choice, a choice that mimics God’s love. Who are any of us to negate the value of that commitment…
If everyday you are making the choice to be loving, committed, intentional, and purposeful in your marriage or your partnership… you are saying to you mate and the world…
I WANNA BE DOWN!