Gender roles are changing, times are tough and no one knows what it means. Nothing is changing more than the institution of marriage. But is it changing or is it just plain dead? How does this affect you and your matrimonial urges? Five minutes from now, we’ll have given you all the answers you need.
What She Said:
Well, as someone who just got married last week, I certainly hope not! I’d also hazard a guess that all the people (rightfully) fighting to legalize gay marriage are also hoping it’s alive and well. Either way, it still seems to be a commitment that’s very important to a lot of people. But how do you make a modern go of an antiquated notion? The idea that two people would enter into a lifelong contract only for the good of procreation seems incredibly absurd. And frankly, I believe it is.
A bond created between two lovers transcends moral constraints; and these days you definitely don’t need a marriage license for the kiddos. The buzzwords for wedded bliss are “unconditional love and friendship.” Getting married is a matter of choice versus necessity these days, so there’s a lot of leeway in making it how you want it. Though I personally have thrown religion out of the mix, there are a lot of questions you shouldcask yourself before making it a legal matter. Are you compatible in the areas of spirituality andcbelief in commitment? Do you want to share finances? Do you want to travel and, if so, do you travel well together? Does this person have your back, no matter what? How is the in-law situation?
Do you have compatible life goals? Are you going to choose to bring children into the mix? Do you agree on child rearing? Really, I can’t stress the basics enough – being each other’s best friend and sharing similar views on how you want to live your lives are absolutely essential to a happy union. I don’t believe marriage is dead; the concept has been around for thousands of years and will be around for a thousand more. What is dead is the old-fashioned notion that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman – and only so those people can have children. It shouldn’t matter what combination of couple stands before the altar – if you’re lucky enough to find true love in this lifetime, I say more power to you.
What He Said:
To quote Austin Powers, marriage “isn’t dead, it’s just very badly burned.” Our entire society has undergone a huge fundamental shift. Things will literally never, ever be the same. Men have lost, women have won, and as such they will be taking things over and running the show very, very soon. No one is sure what any of this mean, but though it’s not all bad, it damn sure ain’t all good, at least for men. Nowhere is this more true than when discussing marriage.
That being said, saying marriage is dead because of the shifts in our society is just as stupid as saying the music industry is dead because of the Internet and iTunes. It’s different, there are now a different set of winners and losers to the game, and the way it’s played is different, but you still can get your “I do” on if you so desire.
I will say that the concept of “unconditional love” between adults is absolute bullshit. It doesn’t exist. Sure, it exists between parent and child, but man and wife (or wife and wife or man and man) no. No way. Disagree with me? Go off and have sex with a bunch of people on your anniversary or blow off Valentine’s Day and see how your spouse likes it. See? There are conditions. You can negotiate them to be whatever you want, but there are terms and conditions. Marriage, at the end of the day is a contract. Pure and simple. You dictate the terms of the agreement and you either sign or you don’t. You can’t always get exactly what you want in it, but you should be happy with the deal you signed or you need to cut your losses and walk away.
This is a merger like any other, and it requires you to do just as much due diligence as humanly possible, even if you know the deal is a great one for both of you. You have to be on the same page as much as humanly possible and talk about everything up front. If you don’t it will become a potentially fatal mistake at some point down the road. A pound of prevention is worth a pound of cure in general, but especially in marriage.
Personally, I also recommend a good pre-nup. You plan on staying married to the partner of your dreams forever I know. I’m not saying you wont. To me, it’s like this:
You have a car right?
You have insurance on that car, right?
You don’t plan on getting in an accident, do you?
Then why do you have car insurance?
Because you know as well as I do, that sometimes they happen. And they can be messy, especially if you’re unprepared. You know what pre-nup does in a happy marriage? Collect dust. It’s like the fire extinguisher in the kitchen that you never use because there’s no fire, but there might be. That’s why you have it. You understand, don’t you?