Monday, May 5, 2008

More on Marriage

Hey folks,

I'm chillin' in the Atlanta airport, waiting to get on my flight to Dallas. I figured I'd use this time to catch up on some blog entries that have been sitting in my drafts.

I already told you how I feel about getting married because you're pregnant. (I think it's bananas). So I thought I'd share my general feelings on marriage for anyone who's interested in reading them.

I think marriage is an awesome, sacred life event ordained by God (or whomever you call your higher power). I think two truly become one and after you're married, when God looks at you, he sees your spouse as well.

I think marriage is serious business. Marrying for citizenship, kids, money and even love seems like a bad idea to me. I think marriage is less about being "in love" and more about making a commitment to spend the entire rest of your life with another person. Marriage is less about loving how someone makes you feel and more about being with someone who's values line up with your own.

You've never really made a commitment like the one you make to your spouse to anyone - not even the rest of your family. Maybe you FEEL like you'll be with your parents and/or your kids until the end of time, but you didn't stand before God and everyone you love and pledge that commitment.

I also don't believe in divorce. I don't judge other people for getting divorced, to each it's own, but like Simmore said in Queens of comedy, "you ##%K with me, you stuck with me." The ONLY thing someone could do to make me divorce them would be to physically abuse me or to abuse alcohol or drugs. Truth be told, I believe there's deliverance from these problems as well and if the other party is willing, I'd even stay married after these horrible tragedies have happened.

On that same note I also think the traits that cause someone to be abusive and addictive behaviors are present WAY before these actual actions start, so I'm not saying it's your fault it happened. I'm just saying it's silly to expect someone to change because they got married.

I read articles and hear people talking saying stupid stuff like I got a divorce because: "My wife wasn't the person I feel in love with... my husband didn't treat me the way he used too... I realized that that wasn't the person God wanted me to be with... etc... etc." What's is wrong with people's ability to keep a promise, a vow actually? It's baffling to me.

The [most common] vows say for BETTER or WORSE. I would say that abuse, addiction, money problems, obesity or just plain "not being in love anymore" all fall under the category of WORSE. I think people are very caught up with the idea of marriage and many people have never experienced a successful marriage without divorce, so their idea of marriage is a fairy tale (complete with a platinum wedding).

Also, my last opinion about marriage is that money is WAY more important than love. Look up the statistics. People divorce more about money than ANY other thing. So I'm not saying it's important to marry someone who's rich or wealthy. I'm certainly not saying you should be on some Anna Nicole type stuff either. I'm saying it's important that your money values be similar, if not identical to the person you're marrying.

You're getting ready to become one in the sight of God, the IRS, Transunion, Experian AND Equifax. You need to be with someone who's going to uplift you and not bring you down.
If you want to be wealthy (leaving enough money to sustain two more generations of your family) and you understand the work that goes into it, you may have a problem marrying someone who just wants to be rich (ballin' out of control while they're alive). And the reverse is true as well.

I just want people to be realistic, stop worrying about being lonely outside of a marriage and imagine what it would be like to be lonely in a marriage, before pledging their lives and livelihood to someone who just happens to make them feel good.


black_sun said...

"The ONLY thing someone could do to make me divorce them would be to physically abuse me or to abuse alcohol or drugs." - So let me get this straight, I can cheat all I want and you're down to stick it out w/ me? Where do I sign up!

BTW, a couple can be married and have completely separate credit scores/reports, they can file taxes as separate individuals, maintain separate bank accounts, and essentially live financially as two single people.

antithesis said...

can you read minds? as far as your potential grounds for divorce, is infidelity not included?

i feel like people get married without really KNOWING the people they are entering that union with. that sacrament is entered into way too lightly.

in response to black_sun, i would not want to be in a marriage in which i acted as if i were single. maintaining financial individuality is a problem for me. if im with this person spiritually and emotionally and legally, i need to take everything that comes with them even if it is bad credit and whatnot as long as they are working on it.

ThummyB said...

Ok - so you know I've got a book of thoughts.

#1. I feel you on the commitment piece of marriage. You know my mantra is 'commit to the commitment'. However, there are two pieces to marriage. There is your initial motivation to get married, and then there is your commitment to stay married. You said not to marry for citizenship, kids, money, or even love. W/o any of those things, then why get married? I think the statement is don't marry for any of those things ALONE. Also have the commitment piece in the game.

2. I'm also w/you on the divorce issue. See my comments on committing to the commitment. However, I do have some deal breakers...excessive cheating, substance abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and the overall destruction of the family. See, here is my thinking. You may be able to take me down, but you can't take down our kids. I can stand by you until you decide that you want to make a change in your life (b/c truly there isn't much you can do for someone who is an abuser of anything...they must decide to help themselves), but if your vices are negatively affecting our kids, then I've got to go.

3. Here is the key element that I think so many people miss, though. Marriage preparation and counseling. Marriage is probably one of the hardest things in life to succeed at. It is almost baffling to try to maintain the same feelings and commitment to a person over 40, 50, 60+ years. Truly, you probably are both somewhat different people than you were when you met at 20 or 30 yrs old. So in order to take on this challenge you really need to be able to communicate effectively, problem solve, take time for yourself, understand your partner, manage your own emotions, etc. I think most ppl just don't know how to do that. If they have a problem, then get upset and blow up. After a couple of years of that...of course you're on your way to divorce town. Trust me, I'm no expert, but I think that a lot more marriages would last if ppl really had the tools to make them last.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I would love to hear your thoughts on infidelity. Do you think a marriage could withstand that? I often ask myself if I'd leave my husband if he had an affair. I don't know because luckily I haven't had to deal with that. I know several women who have stayed in their marriages after their husbands cheated.

Marriage is a serious and sacred thing that I think has been taken lightly due to celebrities, etc.

Good post!

T said...

I'm loving all the comments. I'll post my thoughts on infidelity soon, so I'm going to ignore all of those questions in this comment.

@ blk sun - I agree with antithesis. What's the point of getting married, if you're just going to act as if you're single. I truly believe that marriage is a blending of everything right now to someone's wack credit score (if that's the someone with whom I choose to spend the rest of my life).

Their bad credit becomes our bad credit and it's something that we'll have to work together on as a [married] couple.

@ antithesis, I have been known to read a mind or two. LOL! j/k

@ thummyb - point 1. agree. I meant don't marry for those things alone.

Point 2. I totally understand your point. My deal breakers are addiction and physical abuse. I, personally feel that I can get through any other thing that marriage throws my way. I think that our American societal problem is that too many people have too many dealbreakers. Folks don't want to be married for life, they want to be married until a dealbreaker comes up.

Point 3. I agree here too. I actually think this ties perfectly into the commitment piece (Your point 1). If people realized the major commitment they were getting into with marriage and were "committed to the commitment" they would DEFINITELY be more prepared for marriage.

People often plan for a wedding and very few actually plan for a marriage. They think that being married is inate and that things will fall into place. They can, but for 60% of Americans, things haven't, and without proper preparation things won't.

@ BGG - Infidelity thoughts coming. So many opinions, so little time.