Surprising Marriage Advice from a Happily Married Couple.

Via Elyane Youssef
on Apr 15, 2015
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My parents have been married for almost 27 years now.

I’m not saying this because they’re my parents, but frankly, they’re the most successful married couple I’ve ever seen. Despite the success they’re still achieving and the love they still intensely hold for each other, they keep telling me one thing: “never get married.”

My parents aren’t the only ones I encountered in my life who are happily married yet never recommend the institution of marriage. No matter how much love, respect and independence a married couple maintain, at the end of the day they will tell you “don’t do it.”

The ones who recommend it however, and are leading a successful marriage, have most probably been blinded by “habit” and are subconsciously stuck in their comfort zone.

Most people in different cultures nowadays, regard marriage as an important goal in life; especially the upcoming generation who only sees this institution as rainbows and unicorns. What they envision is the spooning in the morning and the cuddling at night. But once they get down to it, rainbows disappear and unicorns die.

I have never been married and I’m honestly not planning to. Not that I’m against partnership, love or romance. I’m just against the “institution of marriage.”

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about marriage and love. I asked her if she thinks about getting married one day. Having a partner in her life, she said something that kept running through my head for it made so much sense. She told me “If he asks me to marry him, I will. But if he doesn’t, it’s better. I want to deliberately stay with him because I love him, not stay with him because I have to.”

Marriage is a big psychological game. Just like my friend hinted, when you know you have the choice to leave, love will grow and you will most probably stay. But when you feel committed to that ring and paper you signed, you will start feeling trapped. Instead of letting love consciously grow, you will feel yourself obliged to love just because you made a promise to keep that ring forever in your finger.

Here are some reasons I am against marriage as an institution:

Social pressure.

Just like we are told to go to school, get a decent education, go to college, be successful and have goals, we are also told to marry. Social pressure concerning this matter defers from a culture to another but eventually they will all look at your age and wonder why you don’t have a husband next to you or a baby on your lap.

To have a partner and to have a baby is of course a part of life’s evolution, but marriage isn’t. And unfortunately, societies have made this a must and considered not getting married a failure in life.

A commitment that is hard to maintain.

Commitment requires hard work and sacrifice. And commitments are never wrong. We can commit to anything in life from classes to beliefs. But marriage commitments are the hardest since we aren’t directly committed to our partner.

We are committed to the duty we swore to keep in front of a God or an authority. We are committed to the children we will have and the family we will build. Hence, the notion of “commitment to a partner” gradually fades away.

The temptation to cheat.

Whether in a relationship or married, some partners at a certain point feel the urge to cheat. The reasons are many, but in a marriage it’s different.

When we’re in a relationship and feel like cheating or maybe actually cheated, we have the option of ending things (more easily). We end things either to become free again and therefore not be labeled a cheater, or to end the feeling of guilt in case we did cheat.

However, if we’re married and felt the urge to cheat, we consciously know it’s not “proper.” We might cheat at the end the day but marriage is a bigger commitment than just a relationship. Therefore, knowing we shouldn’t cheat in marriage and knowing we are trapped because we can’t just end things and become free again, the temptation of cheating grows bigger.

The divorce industry is a B****.

No one can guarantee a happy, ever-lasting marriage. 50 percent of people who get married, end up in a divorce.

Divorce never has a happy ending; someone eventually will get screwed, if not financially, emotionally.

Depending on the country even religion, divorces can be hard and expensive. Conclusion, in order to dissolve what you thought will last forever, is going to cost you big bucks.

The end of options.

Partnership is a box full of surprises. No matter how much we claim we know the other person, we don’t.

Some partners show their true colors after 10 and 15 years.

If we were in a relationship and were faced with one’s true colors, we have the option of leaving. Leaving in return means the possibility of finding someone better.

Nevertheless, marriage is the end of options. If your spouse turns out to be a scumbag, you’re literally stuck.

The end of dreams.

Achieving one’s goals alone is different than achieving one’s goal when you’re married. I’m not saying that one cannot dream or succeed if he’s married; I’m just saying it’s different.

Achieving dreams when you’re not married means a wide sea of possibilities. You don’t have anyone to worry about or a limit you fear to cross. When we get married however, our goals and dreams can be more limited because we have to consider the other person’s wants and needs.

I personally say one cannot achieve big dreams (as quickly or readily) and get married. Not because we can’t but because marriage is a lifestyle by itself that needs time, energy and should be carefully looked after in order not to crack.

Thus, giving attention to both your dreams and your family is something tiring and will eventually drain you of energy.

Your social life won’t be the same anymore.

When couples get married, friends—especially the ones who are still single—will see you differently. There will be parties you won’t be invited to anymore, gatherings you won’t hear about and friends you will most probably forget they exist.

It’s not the married couple—it’s their friends who got accustomed to see marriage as an isolated world, and sometimes us single folk will isolate ourselves. Single people imagine their married friends living in a house alone cuddling and speaking of getting old together.

Marriage is a personal decision. For some it’s alright, for others it’s a red line.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong. I am not an anti-marriage person or anti-partnership. This is just a list I have created that goes along with my current conviction.

For myself, now, I still haven’t found a practical reason of why I should marry. If I did one day, maybe I will.

Maybe.

 

Relephant reads: 

Why I’ll Never Get Married, Ever.

3 Things to Consider Before Beginning or Ending a Marriage.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Get Married.

 

Maybe marriage is for you, maybe it isn’t. But, here’s how to know if your love is the one for you:

Author: Elyane Youssef 

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: redwoodphotography at Flickr 

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About Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, and…pizza. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram or Facebook. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you’re wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Comments

34 Responses to “Surprising Marriage Advice from a Happily Married Couple.”

  1. Sarah says:

    "She told me 'If he asks me to marry him, I will. But if he doesn’t, it’s better. I want to deliberately stay with him because I love him, not stay with him because I have to.'” – THIS. YES. She took the words right out of my mouth. Great article, one I agree with wholeheartedly. Having just been through a divorce, I truly believe I will never get married again for this exact reason. I never want to be that person again or with a person who is there only because they signed that piece of paper. I want to be with someone who, every morning, we wake up knowing that we have each made the conscious decision to be with that person.

  2. Judy says:

    This is sad that marriage is viewed this way .
    My parents hAve been married for 55 years And I can honestly say that:
    1)they did not marry for social pressure; they married because they wanted to share their lives with each other.
    2)All commitments are hard to maintain; even the commitment of not ever being committed.
    3)They never thought of cheating because they wanted to share their lives together.
    4) They never thought of divorce because they didn't want to be divorced- they wanted to be together.
    5), 6) , and 7) as a couple, their options grew, their dreams came true and their social life grew.
    These are the fantastic things that marriage can do for people. I think your view of marriage does not consider the power of unity .

  3. Robin says:

    As a happily married woman (33 years and still going strong) this article is hardly constructive. There IS a way to create a happy marriage. Maybe one day I'll write about what my husband and I have done to keep ourselves on track, still enjoying one another's company, making one another laugh, cheering one another on. Until you've reached what long-term love offers, you have no idea what you're missing.

  4. John says:

    Sad just sad!

  5. iris says:

    I believe in love and I do believe on commitment whether it's a religious, lawful or spiritual ceremony. My parents were married until one passed away. I was married once and chose to leave because it was wrong for me (don't judge). I've not remarried but want to be in that comitted relationship again. Marriage isn't for everyone. I know lots of men and women who have chosen to not be married. To each their own but personally I think that when you connect with someone that has you wanting to be a better version of yourself, loves you, supports you mentally and emotionally that's a good person to support your growth as much as you support theirs. That's the commitment. Whether you want to put a ring and and piece of paper on it or not. Sometimes we don't get it right the first time or even the second or third time. I believe in connection, love and a commitment to someone I love who walks beside me through this life … ring, paper or not.

  6. Devon says:

    "To have a partner and to have a baby is of course a part of life’s evolution"- assuming these things is the same as what you are suggesting others do when they assume marriage is a basic part of life; these are as much a choice as is marriage and as unnecessary as is marriage. I respect your opinions, you've clearly given this a lot of thought and putting these sorts of opinions out there for discussion and consideration shows your strength, I would not have the courage to do the same on this scale. That being said, I fail to see how the freedom to walk out on a relationship more easily because you are not married has more merit than having an incentive to work through things. Divorce is not easy, certainly, but always leaving oneself an easy out seems to speak to the social currents at present rather than being innovative thinking. I don't share your experience that married people who support the institution are somehow oblivious to their own reality and everyone else says don't do it. I see each couple as individuals… I do not know of anyone who has a marriage like mine and I do not relate to other people's marriages either, which tells me that there is no picture of the institution of marriage that is set in stone and should be avoided.

  7. Maria says:

    I didn’t finish reading the article. I lost my patience. I am sorry but you don’t know what you are talking about . And I wonder why your parents tell you not to marry. Is it a reflection on their marriage or a reflection on the relationships they have seen you have or even a reflection of what they think of you in regards to a long term relationship … Some people are not cut out for marriage. I agree with that and I would be the first to discourage one of my kids if I thought they belonged to this group. However I would never discouraged anyone who wanted to give marriage a go.

    I have been married 32 years, been together for 35. and I love my relationship and my husband. We can still make each other laugh, we trust each other and now that we are getting older its really nice to have someone one love and trusts by my side. We don’t stop each other from pursuing the the things the other one loves . True, I have to take my partner into account when making big decisions but since we support each other often this is not a big deal.

    I have two adult children. One will probably not get marry or have kids. That’s his choice and I support him all the way. The other one will probably get marry one of these days and have kids… I also will support him all the way and those kids are going to have one of the best fathers and uncle.

    Its not all a bed of roses but its worth to work for it if you have it in you .

    And one more thing: If a happy , long term couple tells you ” don’t do it” I have to question if they are really that happy. Don’t want to pass judgement but something is amiss…

    English is my second language I apologize for my grammar!

  8. Maria says:

    Spot on!

  9. Cindy says:

    No one should marry who does not want to and is not ready, and all the challenges become a bit moot if you choose the right partner for you, and are in return “the right” partner for them. A lot of this article seems to come from the id and Ego levels. That said, I married just over a year ago at age 45, never married before, didn’t think about weddings until I met my now husband. So, PRESSURE: I had no issue with social or familial pressure. Pressure only has the power we give it. COMMITMENT: This has been one of the easiest “commitments” I have ever made, much easier than the one I signed for military service. Perspective wise, my “commitment” is my personal one, not influenced by having taken vows in front of an “authority.” When one is thinking of it in external terms, they are not ready, even for the “right” one, because they are not yet the “right one” themselves. CHEATING: I had a healthy sexual appetite for many years and never did having a partner in a committed relationship make me want someone outside of the relationship more, and it still does not…that is the individual’s issue, not the relationship’s issue. Again, placing the “blame” for even a potential behavior on an external issue is unhealthy. Consciously deciding that you want to be respectful of your word regarding how you do or do not share your physical body is on you, not the temptation and certainly not the relationship…must say, once I give my word in a relationship, because desire for someone outside the relationship never gets a toe hold in my mind since I would never choose to inflict that pain and breaking of trust on my partner so I don’t feel a sexual attraction to anyone outside of it…I just don’t feel it. Therefore it is not hard work to not cheat. DIVORCE: Wow, going into it with a plan for failure. My husband knew before he asked for my hand that if I got married it would be one time until death and that our “job” as a couple was to share happiness and work through difficulties side by side, or we were not going into it. END OF OPTIONS: This is a contradiction to your comments about divorce. The depth of knowing another person has nothing to do with options, perhaps the depth’s to which we know ourselves would be our limits. END OF DREAMS: Again, I think with the right partner this is not the case. I found that, even before marriage, my then boyfriend’s utter support of my dreams meant fear was lessened, in turn we both have expanded our dreams. I dream bigger, because of him, not in spite of him. I even dream bigger because of his family. My family did not encourage me to dream bigger…his actively suggest bigger things for me:) YOUR SOCIAL LIFE WON’T BE THE SAME ANYMORE: Is it the same as it was when you were 8 y/o, or 18 y/o. or 28 y/o etc.? This point, I think, is the most easily illustrative one to see that your own perspective of the change is the deciding factor as to whether it is better or worse. Personally I am an introvert and seriously enjoy solitude, my husband is the only person I have ever spent 24/7 with working and living together that I did not daily need to take time to myself from. My circle of friends and supportive people has grown exponentially with such a social guy who is also close with his family…and now I am closer with his family than my own. Sometimes I still just want alone time with him (he travels a lot now, so that is my time without him, and there is plenty of time without him) but he wants to host cook outs and go visit family where there are only twin beds:) But, my perspective is that I gained not just him but a whole new fun and loving additional family and entire circle of friends, all of whom have welcomed me and my friends, warmly. There are definite challenges to marrying especially for the first time late in life, having lived with roommates, in barracks, in sorority houses, and many many years taking care of myself and maybe a pet by, myself, no matter how sick, or tired, or whatever and doing just what I wanted without asking anyone’s “permission.” But, maybe because I never feel like I AM asking “permission” and still feel very much my own person, it was right for me. I would encourage anyone in a long term relationship that they want to be committed in to get “pre-marital” counseling, especially if you are going into it “in love” without having first decided that you liked, respected, and trusted each other before being in the relationship phase. Before we married we discussed my taking a break from work after our civil ceremony to work on projects we both wanted done. He had suggested it before even asking me to marry him and I had become jealous of his liberal schedule and travel when he is home as I still had home renovations, our joint bills and paperwork to track in addition to full time work). Because I openly told him how I felt we both came up with solutions better than either of us alone would have. After leaving my job, even with plenty to keep me busy and our bills covered, I still had occasional “panic attacks” at not bringing in my own money and can get offended at being called a “house wife.” Here’s the thing though, that is not because I got married, it is because I began working outside the home at age 9 and have always taken care of myself, even as a “dependent” I paid my dad back every summer for money loaned during college semesters and finished college without any debt…I don’t blame the relationship for my own internal issues about my independent streak, I can recognize it for what it is, a change that I enjoy and helped construct, but am still learning how to appreciate.

  10. Cindy says:

    BTW, I am Buddhist, and your profile says you are a Buddhist student. Perhaps as your progress in your studies to the teachings of seeking answers internally and of service to something much bigger than yourself the "me" within your writing and thinking considering relationships will also progress.

  11. Meg says:

    "get a descent education"…. 🙁

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Fixed 😉 Thank you!

  13. Becky says:

    Saying those that are married are “blind” is where I stopped reading. It is clear there is some sort of ax grinding being done here although I am not sure why.

    I mean who are you to judge if two people do want to marry? This is just as bad as older folks pressuring younger ones to marry. (And this is from someone who has been divorced!)

  14. Carissa says:

    Have to say I agree with you. Although the writer has some good points they are also extremely selfish points. You can't be selfish in a relationship & that's why 50% don't work because majority of people ARE selfish. I agree marriage isn't for everyone but to put such tainted points on it, it should be recognized as an individuals perspective & projection for sure. I think you can choose the kind of marriage you want…you want to think of a paper making you "stuck", you will be. You think you wont get invited places after marriage, you wont be. You ultimately choose how you want it to go…to give so much power to a paper & signatures to change the entire foundation of your "love" just seems silly. It IS mental for sure.
    Personally…I don't think a paper is necessary but when you truly love someone, its something you want to make known to all your loved ones…isn't that why people have weddings? To share with EVERYONE your love & make it known? It is quite simple I think and everyone just complicates it.

  15. annie says:

    How old are you? It is just as devastating and murderous to walk away from a committed relationship and partner as from a marriage. The feelings of love and heartbreak has nothing to do with the ritual or institution of marriage but a lot with a person's maturity.

  16. Mark says:

    My wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage on a cruise last October. It was beyond amazing. I can't imagine myself or my life without her. She makes my life complete. Did we both have to give up a few things? Yea, I guess. What we got in return is way, way, better than anything we may have given up (those things being conceptual). If you want to die alone and never having known deep love, friendship and commitment, have at it. It seems like a bizarre notion that people who love you would suggest something that has this kind of a totally lifelong impact. Perhaps it's better to say, love your self and see how it goes. There may be someone for you out there and there may not be. But, going in pre-disastered makes no sense to me. Addiction to future conceptual reality is never a good idea under any circumstances, unless you like suffering.

  17. Jen says:

    Couldn't agree more. You said all the things I was thinking Maria!

  18. Traci says:

    I have been happily married 30 years. Being married to my husband is the easiest thing I do all day every day. It really works. Whatever we've given up separately is so small in comparison to what we have together.

  19. stephanie says:

    mid-way through i stopped reading the article – not sure why other than there was no point to it. i was in a long term relationship in my early 20's and never thought of the importance of marriage. i was raised by a single dad and visited my mom during the summer. so when i fell in love i thought that was enough – everything can work out as long as love exists. 7 years later love was still there but growing pains took precedent and we ended our relationship (we still wish each other happy bday w/a personal text 14 years later). i have had other relationships but never quite like that one – we loved each other for who we were and what we had to offer one another. had we been married – – – we would have fought harder through the growing pains and realized our love was enough to get us through any crisis. but then again there is the saying "i love you enough to let you go" – – – and that is what we chose to do. i just turned 40 and i look forward to finding that person who cannot wait to spend the rest of their life with me and i with him, and i will know when that day is when he asks me to marry him and i accept!

  20. Jim says:

    My wife and I have been married 32 years, raised four children, and we’re both happy. Relationships take work, but it’s been worth it to have a life partner who supports me when I’m down and who celebrates when things are great (and vice-versa.) Even now, this very day, we have our battle of wills because we have different points of view. This will pass because we make it work and find our way out of the dark. Then we love each other once more like we did when we were young. We spoon every morning and cuddle on the couch every night. I like it and she likes it. Life is good.

  21. sistercrow says:

    To me, marriage was never about gods, the state, friends, etc. It was about making a commitment with my partner to love, protect, and be there for each other.

  22. Barbara says:

    I agree with Judy's comments near the top. My husband and I have 33 years. We are fully committed. We lived together for two years but we wanted it to be permanent. We don't stay together because of a piece of paper. We stay together because we love each other. You can be married but not be committed to each other and be in separate bedrooms and live separate lives. You can live together and also not be committed to each other and split the rent and live as room mates with benefits. We lived together for two years as if we were married. When we went to get married, neighbors thought we were already married. The paper doesn't matter. It's the LOVE. It's the RELATIONSHIP. And it's WORK. The piece of paper is no guarantee that you will stay together.

  23. Cindy says:

    Barbara, I had the same experience. My husband and I began living together (he moved in stealthily:), in a home I had purchased and lived in for six years prior. Even our close neighbors that come over frequently just assumed we were married already. It isn't the paper or some "authority."

  24. Open minded says:

    You have guts to write this article. I read the whole thing and I think you maintained a respectful acknowledgment that marriage may work for some people. I admire that you’re willing to share your perspective that meaningful relationships can be achieved with or without the approval of others (religion, government). Any relationship is about what you put into it (on both sides), with or without paper and rings. Your commentary on societal pressure to marry, is evidenced by some of the posts here. If society does not put pressure on people to get married, or some how that a marriage takes on a higher value than a non-married relationship, why is it that so many posts here question the author’s maturity for bringing up this topic? Because there is pressure to some how hold marriage as the only legitimate way to conduct a meaningful relationship or engage in “respectful” sexual relations. Marriage does work for some people, but it also doesn’t work for many oters. Having a 50% divorce rate doesn’t indicate an institution that is thriving and meeting the evolutionary changes of intimate relationships. And, it’s not from a lack of trying, most divorced people will tell you it was the hardest decision they ever made. Why not question if there are ways for some of us to do it different and perhaps even better? A very brave article, keep the critical thinking going!

  25. A. says:

    I want to get married, because I have tried the “relationship” thing and it doesn’t work for me. Whenever someone tells me not to get married, they are basically telling me to live alone the rest of my life, and it makes me angry. You are free to decide what you will, but not everyone is just like you. For some of us, marriage is one of the “big dreams” we would like to see come true.

  26. Sam says:

    I think the only thing I agree with you about is how hard marriage can be in order to make it work. However, you failed to also mention how worth it is ( with the right person) I think that comes from your lack of first hand knowledge about the dynamics of marriage other than what you have seen from other people. Having the right partner allows you to grow and flourish within your relationship as well as your individual self. If you choose not to get married one day then that is your choice but please don’t write cynical second hand account articles on something you have no clue about other than your own cynicism and doubts. Isn’t writing best done from your own experiences and things you know? This article falls flat in that regard and has no purpose other than being a journal entry.

  27. Hosanna Irene says:

    I like the stay on the middle ground with most things, but I inwardly cringed at a few points to this article…

    If you are marrying because of pressure or expectations, you are marrying (possibly, don’t want to assume) for the wrong reasons. That’s a different situation that saying that all or most marriages are the result of a need to conform. I’d venture to say that most happily married couples married because they share a love and love one another, not because of any pressure that they felt.

    End of dreams… Oh, I could write on this one for a long time. I’m 24, and have spent the last three years travelling and seeing the world. I recently got married, and I married a wonderful man who will travel the world WITH me. Canada in a few months, the Thailand, then the Silk Road, etc. Being married doesn’t stop who you are IF you married for love and with someone who are compatible with! I was only ever going to marry someone who brought out my best and who I respected, trusted and loved, and vice versa. Being married does not end dreams. It can, if you marry the wrong person for you, and it can, if you let it. I feel that most of this article came from a viewpoint that you are a result of your surroundings and our control is very little. We get married because we feel we ought to, and then we are stuck in a deadbeat grind with dead ponies hanging around . does that happen? Of course it can! However, to assume that most marriages are like this is a huge generalization and an assumption. However, I believe that you create and nurture your reality just as much as you are effected by it. You create your marriage. You make it what it is. And my marriage is going to be an awesomel travel-fille, adventure-soaked crazy ride, because that is what we both want, and it is the best thing I ever did.

    I’m not trying to attack you. You wrote from your heart and I respect that! That took guts. But, I hope you know that a free spirited soul can get married, without any sort of pressure or silly thing like that, but because, you know, of loving one another and wanting to share our life together in this way.

  28. thehappylouise says:

    This is a very depressing article, not something I was expecting to find on Elephant. I see this point of view very closed-minded, very narrow and full of stereotypes (end of dreams, end of options etc.)
    I come to this website because I find constructive, positive, uplifting information, even about things that seem sad or destructive. I think the author writes only about unhappy marriages, that really are the end of options, dreams and so on. But that is not the only way a marriage can be.

  29. Anna Versaci says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments. This is a sad article, although I support anyone's decision not to want to get married. So be it. But this paints a very negative picture. Marriage is absolutely very hard and a difficult commitment to maintain, but by announcing you are not getting married you aren't protecting yourself from anything at all. In fact, the sacrifice, hardship, challenges, doubts, frustrations, and huge obstacles in a long relationship or marriage is one of THE single greatest teachers in life. It shows you exactly where you are in your own relationship with yourself, tests your ability to let go, and challenges you to continue to fuel your own fire, pursue your own passions and dreams. This seems like it's written from someone who has yet to experience that. The truth is that we can't control or change our spouse and what you begin to realize is that you are absolutely not one, you are two. And although the relationship must be recognized and nurtured, you yourself must be as well. If you aren't following your dreams in a relationship that has nothing to do with the relationship. In fact, it really teaches you how to be independent. You are responsible for your own happiness. You alone. Yes, even in a relationship. How sad if we relied on others to give us this. But then supporting someone in their dreams, that is something I think everyone should experience in life. There are many, many gifts in a long, committed relationship.

  30. Nikki says:

    This post is the perfect example of WHY 50% of all marriages fail. Because of the mindset of people such as yourself. People don't realize what marriage really is supposed to be. Sure marriage isn't for everybody and that's ok. But for those it is, this post does nothing but discourage and give negative perspective. If it's not for you then don't do it. But I think you should do some more research, REAL research, before you start making comments about what you call "the institution" of marriage. Cause from from what I read here, you haven't a clue!

  31. Nova says:

    After 28 years of a wonderful marriage, i got divorced. Was it hard? Yes but i wouldnt change one thing except maybe
    getting divorced at year 26. We were extremely committed to each others growth, we born and brought up a beautiful daughter together, we helped a community develop together and we support and nurtured each other in our careers and personal/spiritual expansion. Then, we grew apart and wanted other things. It was hard for sure but we made it through and we are still friends and support each other and unite as family when our daughter comes to town. The author is missing out on a beautiful experience of trying to create a union…isnt this what its is all about?
    Isnt this what our yoga and all religious practice is about? Is marriage the hardest thing you will ever do? Yes. Being self centered and looking for an easy way out is not stepping into the fullness of being alive. I hope you consider your opinion further. Perhaps your parents feel trapped and that is why they say this to you. It doesnt have to be that way if you maintain a relationship that is not co-dependent but united in a common goal.

  32. Michelle says:

    I know that this is somewhat beside the point, but i think it affects people's mindset about their odds of success. That old statistic that seemingly everyone trots out about 50% of marriages ending in divorce is outdated and inaccurate. The figure is closer to 25-30%, in North America anyway, and it has been for decades. Your chance of making marriage work are much better than 50/50!

  33. Ember says:

    Unlike a lot of commenters, I did read the whole article. I always try to remain neutral, and I think this poses an interesting viewpoint.

    There definitely is a LOT of sacrifice with being married. You may both want to travel, but your list of places to visit won’t always be the same or same priority. You may both want children, but a different number or not until a different age. The same would be true of a partnership. It would be wrong to say you can still have what you want, and I think most people that do are the ones whose partners are having to do all the bending. Expecting someone to do that for you or you’ll leave is frankly horrible.

    The most important thing I keep remembering about marriage was summarised in another article I read about a year ago – marriage is not for you, it’s for -them-. Marriage is about loving someone enough that you want to support them, see them realise their dreams, help their days go by a little easier. Even at your own expense, sometimes. And if you both want to do that for the other, it should work well.

    Marriage is not selfish. As such, I can see why parents would tell their children not to bother. They want their children to live their own lives, and have whatever experiences they want – not compromise it for someone else.

    Sometimes a little selfishness is due, and you CAN compromise yourself completely if the balance isn’t there from the other person – but a lot of selfishness is not I don’t think a great way to live. To not get married because of some of the reasons above, like because you can’t just go for someone else on a whim (which, you can, and many do!) or because if you grow apart you can’t just leave (which, again, you still can and many do) are selfish reasons. No, more than that, I find them LAZY. It’s like saying ‘love isn’t worth this much effort’, or ‘love isn’t worth fighting for’. If that’s the viewpoint, then what quality of love can you even expect from any form of relationship – if it’s only to please one, and adios if not?

    It’s a very sad thought indeed.

  34. Leanne Chapman says:

    What an absolute load of nonsense. This article is chock full of assumptions, sweeping generalisations and stereotypes. Since when is having a partner and children part of evolving, any more than marriage is? Marry or don't marry, who cares, but for some of us marriage is about exchanging sacred vows in front of loved ones because you've already made a commitment to the other person. It's not something you do after you marry, what sort of logic is that? Everyone has different reasons for marrying or not marrying, it's not because they're blind or forced to or not committed. Grow up.

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