There was a comment on an internet forum the other day that suggested that people who got married had “lost the plot”. I responded with a polite “I haven’t lost the plot thank you very much!” and was met with an essay that basically said I was a misogynist old git who just wanted a bit of paper.
I could not let that slide! I started a huge fourteen page rant, complete with references, but as is often the case, repartee is normally after departee…. “this thread is now closed for further comments.” Damn!
So I will defend the indefensible. Marriage is often seen as an old-fashioned institution. Who the heck wants to live in an institution anyway? Marriage means different things to different people and it is very easy to deride those whose point of view is that a trip up the aisle results in a wonderful life.
I am married. I know that the roses around the door need to be trimmed. I also know that the argument normally starts about who should actually get around to trimming the roses, why were they not done properly and who wanted the blasted things in the first place. that’s part of any relationship, sorting out who is wrong most of the time. ( Wife has just corrected me, the last bit should read “Who is wrong all of the time”).
There are loads of statistics on the internet, so they must all be true, that point out that children of married couples have a better start in life than those whose parents co-habit. As with all statistics, I reckon about 45% are made up. I do however, think that kids thrive in a loving relationship , and it matters not If parents are married or co-habiting.
The actual physical side of getting married is fairly simple. You go to the pub, chat up a bird and then decide that you want to share your life with them. So far so good. You waltz up the aisle, a bloke in a dress says “I now pronounce you man and wife” and people chuck bits of paper at you. Off you go to married blitz…
The actual difficult bit comes after the honeymoon. That is the bit where the month has lasted longer than your money, the car has made a horrible noise and the toilet seat has been left up just once too often…
Being in a long-term relationship means that these problems have to be overcome as a couple. For once it is not a question of “what should I do?” and becomes a question of “What should we do?”. Life becomes more involved and loses the point at which you go to your mum and ask for help. Of course these things happen to a couple who live together, but the main difference between wed and unwed is of course those lovely, kind and generous people we know as solicitors. I cannot afford to leave Wife and she is unwilling to pay the fees that are required to end my life of Riley, so she grimaces gently and smiles all the time searching on the internet for a cheap hitman. It focuses the attention on the relationship thinking that I would have to dig deep into her purse for the cash to become young, free and single again. Of course, since I am dragging 50 rather than pushing it, young would involve a hair transplant, free would involve court fees and single would mean waking up to a whole bed rather than the 20% I am used to now.
Since just walking out of the door is not an option, I am forced to think about how to solve a problem in our relationship. I solve it by spending her money on beer and she solves it by cutting my beer money. The end result is that we have a wonderful happy marriage, during which neither of us has lost the plot or even got grumpy about the toilet seat.
Because getting married and getting divorced cost a few bob, there are many reasons not to wander up the aisle. My argument has always been that since getting wed takes a bit of commitment, why would you marry the first person to take your fancy? “Marry in haste, repent at your leisure” means just that, take your time, make sure there is a sound relationship sorted before you decide to move in together and find out that the way that your partner breathes wants to make you smash a flower vase over their heads and that the “tap-tap-tappity-tappity-tap ” that they do on the coffee cup in the morning really wants to make you remove their spleen via a totally inappropriate orifice.
Will getting married solve all of society`s problems and solve global warming? Well no, really it won`t. But just pausing before setting up a home with someone by having to organise a dress, a church and more importantly a bar there is a point that you look at your intended and think, “Naaah, they aren’t worth it!”