Being a child of divorce makes holidays particularly miserable. Especially when you have two very large sides of the family and one side consists of master guilt-trippers. I used to love the holidays, but after years of being dragged back and forth, people guilt tripping me, and basically sucking all of the joy out of the holidays, I have become a Scrooge, Grinch, Negative Nancy, whatever. I hate the holidays.
Now I am getting married and I have THREE families to please. Well, let me tell you, this year it feels so easy to say ‘no’ to both my families and say ‘yes’ to my awesome new family. All I have ever wanted was a stress-free holiday season! I guess even normal families find the holiday season to be stressful, so at the very least I want a less stressful one. With my awesome fiancé, my Scroogy-Grinchy-Negative-Nancy-ness is subsiding. I hate it a little less when stores start advertising for Christmas so damn early. I even decorated our apartment already for Christmas (minus the tree).
I guess I forgot the point of this post, besides, marriage is good, divorce is bad, mkay?
With most things in life, we take examples from our immediate family. We see what love is supposed to be like. We learn how to communicate… or we don’t. We see what relationships or marriages are supposed to be like. We may learn negative things as well. Some may gather that violence is a normal part of life. Some end up questioning life. Why get married if my parents were never happy? Do marriages ever work? I question a lot of things… and based on what I have grown up with in my immediate family, marriage looks… less than impressive. This is why I think we need to expand where we find our examples. We can’t just stay in our little bubble of family or friends. We need to take examples from elsewhere. No, I am not saying movies or fairy tales or reality TV. God no. Just pay attention. Do you ever see a little old couple at a grocery store holding hands? When I see things like this, I notice it, and I take time to appreciate it. People DO grow old together. Just being where I work gives me faith in people and relationships and marriages. I get to see older couples caring for each other and doing things together. I sit quietly and watch and think to myself about how amazing and wonderful it must be. I feel grateful just getting to see these things. I can’t help but realize how much I want that.
Marriage has been one of my biggest contemplations in life so far. I keep going back to it… asking new questions, forming new arguments, and always wondering its purpose. It began as a way to bring villages together, to increase population, and as a religious ceremony. Today, marriage has mostly turned into a tradition that people follow blindly. Today I will try and stick to one aspect of my questioning marriage. What bothers me about marriage today, is that some couples seem to get married because it is “supposed” to be the next step in their relationship. I feel that because of this, people are taking marriage less seriously. A couple may agree to get married and not worry so much because they can always get a divorce later… easy solution. What marriage is really about, deep down, is commitment. I think that people forget about this part. They may get married because they love each other, but the purpose of marriage is to commit. The vows aren’t there for the fun of it, they really mean something. “Til death do us part” should really hit couples hard, this isn’t a joke… this is literally the purpose of marriage… proving your commitment to one another. In the end, couples shouldn’t get married because they are bored and think this is the next obvious step to take. You cannot get married and have the thought in the back of your mind saying, “oh well, if it doesn’t work out we can always get a divorce.” This removes the seriousness and the purpose of marriage. Why marry someone if you aren’t sure you want to spend the rest of your life with them?