Marriage gets a bad rap these days. People live together; people are "married in their hearts" and don't need a "patriarchal institution to formalize their commitment."
Well, to each his own, but as for me: I believe that standing up and saying that you will stick together and forsake all others until death does you part is an integral piece of the monogamy equation.
For one, I think it is pretty much A-OK to skip out on your boyfriend when you meet someone you like better. Dating-- or even those settled monogamous but not-married relationships-- is a live-for-the-day kind of deal, and if you stumble into someone you wanna make out with and go roadtrippin' (ahem, K), then you should do it without any guilt in your heart. (You should, however, inform the other person and make your apologies.)
Everything's fair until you meet the person you actually want to be with, no matter what, for the rest of your life. Then it's time to make some promises. I don't think you have to have witnesses, but i do think that speaking the words out loud cuddled under a blanket in front of a fire in the lust-kissed honeymoon phase ain't really good enough. We need pomp and legislation: a church, a city hall, a justice of the peace. I think there is some intangible value in formally promising.
And sure, marriage is a patriarchal institution. And education is an elitist one, and government is a corrupt one, and funerals are a futile one, but we still do them because despite their flaws, they are necessary.
I think we've tried to make marriage and its vows irrelevant. But there is a big difference between those who have stood up and made big promises and those who have not.
Delivering a wedding present.
3 months ago