Monday, November 21, 2011
Marriage: Not What It Used To Be
It used to be that once a couple decided they were in love and couldn't live without each other, they ran off and got married to show the world how committed they were. Eager to start a family and start their journey as one, when they committed to "for better or worse", they meant it. Those were the marriages that survived slavery, racism, segregation, and many senseless murders and separation of black families. Those marriages have history behind them. They have decades of definitions of what "for better or for worse, for richer or poorer", really stand for. It used to be that people couldn't even afford rings when they got married, but that didn't make them any less committed. It was more than a status, the rings or the ceremony didn't make them married. It was the dedication and faithfulness to each other and their family and their union before God. Now marriage has become a joke. Like most everything that used to have a foundation in this society, its become nothing more that another means of income, an obligation, a final resort. Its become more about how much money is spent on the ring, and what the dress looks like. Marriages are now more focused on the big day and less about what comes after the honey moon is over.
I remember when I moved to Georgia back in 2008. I worked at a doctors office and upon meeting one of the patients and talking to her, we discovered that we both had come from the same city in Ohio, knew mutual people and even went to the same elementary school. When she discovered that I was pregnant with my son, and was there with my daughter and their father looking to start over, she immediately took me in as family. Offering help with anything I needed, whether it was help with the kids, finding my way around, she even offered help as far as helping me with wedding plans. (me and my children's father had planned to get married after our son was born) I had confided in her that I was nervous about being away from my family, my support system, during such an emotional time. I had problems with my ex cheating in the past and my spider senses were telling me that those issues would surface again sooner or later. I wanted to be sure it was no longer going to be an issue before I committed to, for better or for worse. I do now as I did then, only want to get married one time and it will be until death do us part. This is when I began to not only lose respect for her but I began to distance myself from her. She said to me, "Honey a man is going to be a man, if he wants to cheat you cant stop him, but just know if he don't act right, you don't have to stress yourself over it. Just divorce him and move on to the next one." Now I was with her on the whole "a man will be a man part" I absolutely agree. I eventually came to see the truth in that when my ex did begin to cheat again. The reason I began to distance my self was because she treated marriage like it was disposable, like a dirty shirt. She had a "why wash it when you can buy another one" mentality. That told me that she would never be able to give me unbiased advise and she would eventually, if I let her, steer me right out of my relationship. Was I hurt yes I was hurt beyond belief. I had given this man many years and two beautiful children, loyalty, devotion and I stood by him when everyone else walked away, I encouraged and supported him to pursue his dreams, his hobbies, and I invested in him. I prayed for him and wiped his tears because that's how I love. However I'm no mans fool. Later I realized the blessing in us not getting married. As I said before I only want to get married once. Now from that experience I know what I want in my marriage. I also know what I don't want. I don't want a marriage out of obligation or guilt. That was the blessing in me not getting married. Everybody told him, "you have two kids by her marry her. She has been with you all these years marry her." If he wasn't going to marry me because he loved me more than anything and couldn't imagine his life with out me whether we had kids or not I didn't want it. His constant cheating told me that wasn't the case.
People don't think that way any more. Marriage means more than never having to sleep alone any more. There are plenty of women who work different shifts than their husbands and they never sleep together. There are people who married someone in the army and work keeps them separated for the majority of the year. Its more than not having to bare the financial load alone anymore, especially in this economy. Now days marriage is a convenience factor, its an excuse, and apparently its a pay day-ahem Kim Kardashian. I personally don't agree with the whole gay and lesbian lifestyle. I don't have anything against it, I'm just saying do what you want just don't impose it on me and we can all coexist peacefully. With that being said, I don't agree with people saying that gays and lesbians are ruining the sanctity of marriage by wanting the right to get married, when you have people-straight people- who get married for 72 days for reality t.v and a few million dollars. How can you go through for better or worse in 72 days? (unless you have a few terminally ill family members or your spouse is in a serious accident) How did she go through poorer in 72 days? I know she didn't cause she made like 18 million off the wedding! Things like this is whats ruining the sanctity of marriage. When did it stop being about love?