Marriage - is it really better than a joint bank account?

In a world where things are more about self-gratification and false imagery of the ‘perfect’ life, where people obsess over independence and inner strength, is there really a place for marriage? Or are we happy to live as two fully rounded individuals co existing within a shared life? Is that really enough……

I’ve been there, done that. I ran head long into marriage with blinkers on and hope in my heart. I wanted the happy ever after. My parents had it. My sisters (both) have it. Hell, even Cinderella managed to lock it down. Isn’t that what we all aspire to; falling in love, getting married, having babies and then what else is there to do but grow hopelessly happy and old together. Why on this wide earth wouldn’t I get it? Well, it seems I slipped my hand into that cookie jar and got a spanking. But would I do it again – hell yes!

Is it so hard to believe? Leah seems to think so. She see’s her future panning out in front of her and there’s no big white dress, no luxury honeymoon and certainly no gleaming rings, not unless they’re size adjustable and vibrate. Her future’s full of two names on the mortgage, joint bank accounts and a shared landline. Every tenth year is celebrated as an achievement and the kids have double barreled surnames. To her, marriage is nothing more than a false promise filled with hot air. It’s a lie we all tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about the fact we had that little fling when we first met, or that we got knocked up accidently and tried to palm it off as planned. It’s what we old school folk do because it’s expected of us and we are not only weak enough to surcome to it but worse still, we’re actually weak enough to feel we need it. She’ll be spitting her wine back into the glass at this portrayl but Leah darling, it’s in all the things you never say. And maybe she’s right about feeling we need it but why not? What could be more flattering, or honestly, darn right devoted than saying someone’s good enough for life.

‘Hey doll, guess what, I kinna want to be stuck with you? How’s that sound? That rocking your boat?’

‘Yeah, actually, it kinna does.’

That ring does two things.

Are you really going to be so quick to up stakes with the tv and your half of the kitchen crockery when that strip of gold on your finger says you made a promise? That you swore you’d fight for this thing you’re in, however manky and cracked it is now. When it catches the light as you’re packing your bags, it may just make you stop and think for a minute. There’s more at stake here than the quick sell of a house and moving from Ulster Bank to Danske Bank, there was something that made you stand up and look at each other and promise to fight through the hard times. That must count for something, surely.

Then there’s the ownership. Yup, that moment when a dog lifts his leg and pisses against the tree – this is mine dude and damn you if you come near it. That’s what I love about it. Uh-huh, it’s a bit like getting peed on, in the theoretical sense of the word. Ownership. I own him and he owns me. Be it matching tattoos, viles of blood or rings of gold, you’re stamping that person as sold and you’re names on the tag.

That is what the ring stands for.

Do I think there’s a place for marriage in a world spiraling into the unknown? I’m pretty pleased to say – I do!

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