Well, it's a bit bloomin' obvious where I stand with this topic seeing as I tied the knot two months ago. I'm pro marriage and I'm here to explain why I think it is so, so much more than just a sodding bit of paper.
This wasn't always the case. As a teen I rarely entertained the idea of getting hitched. I was sure marriage wasn't for me and that there was no flippin' point. I think this stemmed from the fact that both my sets of Grandparents went their separate ways and when I was 14/15 my parents called time on their marriage.
The divorce came as such a shock to my brother and I. We literally had no idea, not even the teeniest inkling that they were splitting up. In fact, from our POV, they were happily married. And I think that's ultimately what made me doubt marriage altogether as a concept. I mean sure, my folks had the odd row (who doesn't) but I wasn't expecting the split. It seemed too permanent. I believed in their marriage and looked up to it, as kids do. It was what I knew, my first-hand example of a relationship.
I don't and never did hold any anger towards my parents for getting divorced. Obviously I was upset but I knew they'd done what was right for them and the overall health of our family. In fact, I think they were bloody brave - too many parents stay together for the kids sake IMO.
Their split was amicable too which helped, they honestly put my brother and I first. Their maturity and integrity caused minimal disruption to our lives. I'll always respect them for that as I've heard too many tales of divorces getting really petty and spiteful, with the children involved trapped in the middle of some modern day war-zone.
So why did I change my mind about marriage?
To put it quite simply I grew up and my eyes opened. I came to realise that all relationships are different. Some work out and last forever and a day and some don't and that is okay, it's normal. Ultimately it's all down to the individuals; how compatible they are, what obstacles fall in their path and whether they are willing to work together to overcome them.
About 8745 other factors come into play too. Basically there's no magic crystal ball of marriage, nor is there a template for a blissful married life - unfortunately.
But there is one thing all newlyweds-to-be have in common. None of them are getting married thinking that it is all going to come crashing down to a horrible end.
Okay, so there are still people that get hitched because the woman in question is 'with baby' or because they're scared that they are getting old and have THE FEAR of dying alone but the majority of couples choosing to get married are doing so because they believe in the relationship.
At that very moment when they are looking into the depths of one another's eyes, reciting their vows, they are forever. They are making the well intentioned leap of faith because they love each other more than they knew they were capable of.
And that's what counts.
Now onto the real argument. It is an increasingly popular opinion that marriage is old-fashioned and is 'just a piece of paper'. That it's worthless and that cohabiting couples can show the same level of commitment without putting a ring on it.
My response to that is this. A marriage certificate is a bit of paper, sure. But what it symbolises is so much more than that.
A driving test certificate is also a piece of paper yet a lot of time and effort goes into achieving it and once you have earned it, you're met with a sense of pride. That A4 piece of paper proves that you've accomplished something. It's a victory against the relentless journey that is life.
Same with deeds for a house or your university degree. All these are things that generally don't come easily, but are milestones, things to cherish and to be damned proud of.
With this in mind, I see marriage as a whopping great achievement. It's the ultimate goal that two people work towards, together. It's is when the relationship reaches it's peak and is at it's strongest.
It shouldn't come easy or be rushed and should be valued, nurtured and looked after. Much like you lock up your house before you leave for your morning commute and drive off in your car safely. You look after the things you've worked your butt off to have, they are your investments.
My marriage to Ed is an investment into our future and I intend to treat it as such. I am unbelievably proud of our achievement and I will do everything in my power to ensure that it maintains its value. I am committed to our relationship and my husband and I
I friggin' adore being married. I love that warm, snuggly, security blanket feeling that it gives me.
And just a little side note to those that think marriage is 'no big deal' then why not just do it? If you are as committed to your partner as you claim to be then why wouldn't you sign a 'piece of paper' to declare that?
Something to ponder.
What are your views on marriage? Do you still think it's relevant these days or are you all for that modern cohabiting lifestyle?
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