Stop me, if you’ve heard this one, kittens. Marriage is an unnatural abomination! It makes mice out of men and shrews out of women. We were meant to be polyamorous sex tigers, roaming the wild plain in our convertible mini-vans, untethered by the myth of love and free to shag anything with legs. That’s science!
Oh, you have heard that? Yeah, me too, especially since Professor McGregor and I decided to hitch our life wagons together. Lots of people are stoked for us, but there are also a lot of people who think it their mission to warn us off marriage. They shake their heads, disgusted by our naïveté, insisting that marriage is really hard and most of them don’t even work out and wouldn’t we be happier with a nice puppy, instead? Puppies are pretty tempting, but so is marrying my dear bearded one.
It’s not like we haven’t heard the statistics. You can’t throw a stone at an American sitcom, without being reminded that “50% of all marriages end in divorce!” Which is true, but also not. Divorce rates are substantially higher for those who marry under the age of 25 and for those on their 3rd/4th/8th marriage, which skews the results. Also, sometimes shit happens. People grow apart, change life priorities, or turn into Yetis. There’s no rhyme or reason to the future. It’s unpredictable, by nature, unless someone learned something from Dr. Trelawney’s class that I missed. We’re not morons. We don’t believe it’s all going to be candy lanes and gumdrop clouds for eternity, but we’re also not going to chuck it all, because bad things might happen. I’m the world’s most paranoid person and even I think that’s no way to live!
It’s the oft-repeated assertion that marriage is unnatural that really makes my toe jam boil, however. The line of thinking goes like this: Humans aren’t meant to be monogamous, just look at science! You see, cavemen puttered around killing things and ravishing women, so that’s our natural state. Men want to spread their seed! Women want to raise the babies! Monogamy doesn’t work, because it strangles our biological impulses. Except…no, it doesn’t. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but humans have progressed a bit. We found fire, built some cities, and really settled into not being animals. If marriage is an unnatural state, then so are shoes. If you’re going to preach that we shouldn’t do anything cavemen didn’t, then you better put that hamburger down and give me your iPad. Cooked food is unnatural and the only technology you need is a spear, right?
Look, marriage isn’t for everyone. I totally agree! Some people are much happier having lots of anonymous sex, instead, or dedicating their lives to building robot sloths. Some people have had so much tragedy in their lives that they can’t depend on someone else and be happy. Some people just don’t want to get married. There is no universal right choice, because—say it with me now, longtime readers!— people are people and people are different. I’ve known gloriously happy long-married people, as well as joyfully single ones.
So, save your looks of sympathy for the naïve engaged couple. Maybe your first marriage didn’t work out, or your husband drives you batty, but that has no bearing on us. We are not marching to our fated doom.
Marriage is neither a ritual sacrifice into a pit of despair nor a crime against nature. It’s just this ceremony that means we’ve decided to be together always and want the legal rights that go along with that. Your advice comes from a good place, but it’s misplaced. We only get this one life, so we should all make our own choices. Mine is getting married, while yours may be riding in that mini-van of sex. Cheers to us both, darling!