It has been a long, long, long time.
I thought about never posting again. I thought about closing this blog down.
Before I start on this post’s topic, I’d love to clarify a few things. It has come to my attention that I’m offending a lot of girls and women, and I don’t want that at all. I’m aware that the title of this blog, “Things Girls Do That Guys Hate” implies a kind of sexism. But ladies (and I think I can correctly address my audience as that now. I checked. 90% of my followers are female), you must understand that this blog is not about women at all. It’s about men. It’s just that a lot of women repost this shit.
The most common [disapproving] response I’ve gotten from women about this blog is that I really need to stop thinking I know about women. I’ve never really thought I’ve known about women. I don’t (or didn’t) think this blog portrayed me that way either. It was just supposed to be a humorous little address to the silly things that guys and gals do. I’ve tried to make sure that I haven’t made any blanket statements, such as “All girls love bread”, or “All women hate football”. Let’s be honest. I don’t need to call out those stereotypes because they already exist. I just try to write about what I see in my life, and in the lives of the women that surround me. Obviously, not a single instance can be reapplied to every woman that exists. That would be impossible. Even the most obvious of examples, like “All women have vaginas” doesn’t even apply because of the intersexed, birth defects, and modern gender reassignment surgeries.
My point in all of this is: I’m sorry if I offended any of you, dear readers.
Now. Onwards. Marriage.
Things have been pretty crazy in the last few years. Many of my dear friends have gotten married, and most recently, a good friend of mine and a mentor to my career was married just a few weeks ago. The ceremony was beautiful, but I didn’t cry this time, I promise. I have before, and it can be somewhat embarrassing.
The reason I’m writing this post, though, rather than something snarky about purses and deodorant is that it has come to my attention (sadly, only recently), that marriages are being replaced by excitement. I’m going to lay out the way I see marriage, and this may gain me a lot of disapproval, but I’m deeming it necessary to make my point.
I believe (Opinions. Feel free to disagree with me) that God created marriage to remedy mankind’s need for union with a partner. Whether or not you believe in God or not is irrelevant to my point, however. I believe marriage as an establishment is important, because it is one of humanity’s last establishments that requires perfect loyalty and dedication. In a sense, it’s the pinnacle of human interaction, and this goes hand in hand with another heavily debated topic: sex. I believe that sex and marriage are so inseparable that we invariably mess shit up when we try to approach one without the other. For example, having sex before marriage isn’t so much a problem in and of itself, but rather, it greatly hinders marriage’s ability to be held on a pedestal above any other relationship. If I were to have sex in all my relationships, and get married later, what could I offer my wife that I haven’t already given away? Problematic. For me, at least.
So that’s how I feel about that.
Here are the stats: In Tennessee in 2009, about 56,000 couples were married. And about 28,000 couples got divorced. In California, the stats are closer to 210,000 marriages and 130,000 divorces. That’s fucking outrageous.
In our current state, the odds are stacked against us. It’s estimated right now that in the United States, 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and that 65% of all second marriages end in divorce. It’s also cited frequently that the number one reason for divorce is money problems. Perhaps I’m not looking at this the right way, but I attribute this, or at least a lot of it to immaturity in marriages, and more frequently, relationships.
Unless you are in a serious relationship with someone who has a terminal illness (A Walk To Remember status), I see no reason to rush into a marriage. The excitement of love is going to fade, I promise. Maybe not a ton, and I wish all of you readers happy, successful marriages filled with smiles, surprises, and new joys, but at some point it stops being puppy love and we are challenged to face life as adults. Getting married too young usually means two things: not being mature enough to fully understand the weight and importance of marital fidelity for the next 60-70 odd years, and lack of a stable income.
I’m not saying that people who get married at 30 aren’t going to make poor fiscal decisions or cheat. I’m just saying that 20-year-olds are probably much more susceptible to that. I don’t have a problem with marriage at all, and I hope to one day enjoy one of my own. But if I’m living under the poverty line and attending a school right now, I’m probably not even going to consider marriage. What kind of a life could I provide for my bride if I’m struggling to make rent by myself. How would I be able to focus on being a good husband if I can barely be a good person? Can I take the meager wages I earn now and turn it into a career that would support another person, not to mention a family later? I have a long way to go, and so do a lot of you.
So if we’re not ready, why are we all sprinting towards marriage like it could be a disappearing fad? I’ll tell you all something- marriage isn’t going anywhere. In fact, its one of the oldest human traditions that exists. Older than facebook. Older that xanga blogs. Older than the internet. Older than statistics. Older than America. Older than the respective countries that brought us to where we are. It’s here to stay.
I think a big part of marriage that allures young couples isn’t even so much the years and years of living together. The permissible sex. The inevitable arguments. The children. I think the process has become the attractive part. Oh, you’re getting married? Good for you. I’m going to pay attention to you for x number of months, give you shit, and come to your expensive ceremony. I’m not being bitter here, I just think young couples eat that shit up. We want to show off our engagement rings. We want to arrive at a party as an ‘ascended’ couple. We want to tell our bro’s how badass our proposal was. Maybe even hint at how much we dropped on those fucking blood diamonds.
Yeah. Diamonds. Don’t get me started on diamonds.
I really do want to assure you all that I don’t hate marriages, newlyweds, or engaged couples. I can’t describe to you how much joy I’ve felt over the impending marriages of my closest friends. I just think we blow the whole process out of proportion. Couples hit that longer-than-a-short-relationship point, whether it be 6 months, a year, or 3. The next step is just.. marriage. Might as well, right?
Well, yes, but let’s be realistic. Are the reasons you’re getting married right now credible in the long run? I know you love your boyfriend/girlfriend. I loved mine. Doesn’t mean I should have gotten married at the time, and yes, I wanted to at times. I am not the person I want my wife to marry yet. And more than likely, my wife is not the woman that I want to marry yet, whether or not I’ve even met her.
Couples, look to marriage. Take comfort in it. Embrace it. But it’s not just the next step in your relationship. It’s not just tying your man down. It’s not just scoring that babe for real. It’s a whole lot more than that, and at times, it’ll feel like a whole lot less than that. I’ve been criticized before, told that there is no ‘perfect’ time to get married. There will always be one more thing to do to get ready. To prepare for it. And I agree with that.
But really kids, grow the fuck up. You wouldn’t buy a house before you could afford it. You wouldn’t invest all your money in some mutual fund if you didn’t have a back-up plan (or maybe you would.. dumb). Prepare yourself for adulthood. Prepare yourself for marriage and all its joys and hardships. They come together.
Last of all, don’t let yourself be talked into anything. Communicate with your partner, and share your disagreements. But also, communicate with someone outside of your couple-bubble. Because I’ve seen how couples can convince themselves of anything. First hand. I’m talking about myself here. Meet with a parent. A trusted (and ideally, wise) friend. A pastor. Marital counselors who aren’t associated with your family. Look for reasons not to. I know that sounds morbid, but you’ll hear every reason in the world to get hitched. But it’s those small things you didn’t think of that’ll wreck your relationship with your partner- and you don’t want that to be irreparable damage.
Done for now. I care about you all.