Why to Consider Marriage in Your Relationship Goals

Real Talk | Claudia Rojas | March 6, 2016

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The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was a killjoy for marriage among homosexual couples.

The LGBT community has long been onto something in their fight for marriage. I consider marriage worthy of any couple’s goals and have never

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“Wedding Ring” Rachel Wilder(CC BY 2.0)

bought into today’s hook-up culture. Then again, I have a poet’s heart. No, this doesn’t mean I’m a hopeless romantic: I’m not crazy about chick-flicks and the last romance novel I read for leisure reading was back in high school.

Marriage is not my life-long goal. I’m not living for the day I meet “the one.” Still, if marriage is in the future, I’ll take it, and for the record, my wedding vows will melt him.

Marriage is the ideal way I want to close a dating relationship.

I think that if a girl or a boy invests time in someone else, that person better be investing in their future.

I like hearing about legendary marriages: those rare 80 year marriages. It’s very moving to know someone actually meant their wedding vows: I will love you forever, till death do us part. Old age love is the kind of story that deserves more attention. Our “high divorce rate” stat is outdated. Over the past twenty years, the divorce rate has in fact lowered. (Oddly enough, the marriage rate has dropped, too.)

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“Leaving Seattle City Hall” By Dennis Bratland, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Marriage is holy and I don’t need church bells to convince myself. Marriage just hasn’t been treated heavenly. It’s been an exchange of money, a woman’s prison, and a sham. It’s been confined to heterosexual love. It’s also been called a contract, something I don’t find a problem with because that definition respects the promises people make when they get into a marriage.

These promises include but are not limited to the following traditional vows:

  • I promise to have and hold you
  • I promise to love you in sickness and health
  • I promise to be faithful
  • I promise to be patient and forgiving

In sum, these vows mean that marriage will shelter a couple’s love.

“Love is waking up each day and recommitting to your partner. Love is deciding you’d rather die than violate your partner’s trust with someone else. Love is a daily decision …” – Kimanzi Constable

These vows should never be uttered without confidence, and I can see why so many people have commitment issues. It’s not even surprising that there are articles with tell-tale signs that someone’s ready to get hitched:

  • “He works hard at his job, but you’re his priority” from Cosmopolitan’s “20 signsmarriage-3
  • “You can comfortably discuss who’s paying the electric bill” from Bustle‘s “13 signs
  • “You survived a long-distance relationship” from Cosmopolitan‘s “20 signs
  • “You don’t worry something is missing” from Bustle‘s “13 signs

(The choice to get married is not easy, and that’s why it’s not something a couple should crave from the start. Marriage, though, is something that people can make work by not giving up on each other. A writer on The Rival this week shared her virginity choice and comments that we are treating boyfriends and girlfriends from a materialist standpoint. People are not products to dump after we get bored. Relationships are friendships: they have to be worked out and mended.

In my Latino culture, it’s typical for a man to leave a woman pregnant or to play a minor role raising children in the household.

Those men have taught me that there’s a key distinction between a man and a boy: the levels of responsibility. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. is seeing a similar pattern and it’s projected that “half of all children will live with a single mom at some point before the age of 18.” I’ve only recently gained my own personal insight to as why so many mothers. I see motherhood (for those who like me rather get a puppy than a child) as another ideology imposed by society, and to an extent, our own mothers: you are only a true women once you’ve satisfied your biology and given birth.  

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Photo under (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

There are also moments when life happens, when the baby isn’t planned. The hard truth: neither contraception nor sex ed will beat abstinence’s success rate in preventing pregnancies.

Nonetheless, for future mothers, I wish a return to the world in which motherhood was lived through marriage with the alteration that fatherhood become a bigger deal.

I’m not eager to be part of America’s “Single By Choice” phenomenon even though the trend represents women’s economic independence and sexual liberation. I come from a single-parent household.  My mother’s never been married. I can tell you long-term singleness is no joke. I’m at the point that I’ve picked up the benefits of marriage through her decades of singleness.

Married couples, especially those with children, often receive more exemptions and deductions during tax season. Married couples make for happier families. Marriage also leads to a longer lifespan and lowered rate of depression. I imagine married couples also get to spoon on a long-term basis?

Not all people get past the OMG-one-sex partner phase, which is a fear that may be rooted in the myth that marriage kills desire.

Dr. Laura Berman, NYU Ph.D graduate and sex educator, begs to differ, pointing to research that marriage_1has “found that married people have more sex than single people, and they also have more varied sex.” A successful married couple is forced to get creative and learn to communicate their needs more effectively with time.

Marriage is a game-changer and couples often cite a loss of their social (single friends) circle as one of marriage’s downsides, but losing friends as we grow is inevitable. Kimanzi Constable, writer for MindBodyGreen.com, who got married really young, says that love in marriage turns into a decision– “Love is waking up each day and recommitting to your partner. Love is deciding you’d rather die than violate your partner’s trust with someone else. Love is a daily decision …”

There you have it: falling in love is for amateurs, staying in love is for pros.

Getting married is not the end of the road, my young people. Reconsider adding Marriage to your long-term Relationship Goals.

 

Featured Image: Public Domain