There are so many theories when it comes to marriage. Many people think from a young age that they will meet their soul mate across a crowded subway on their way to a 6-figure income-earning job straight out of college, and know – from a completely new place deep in their metaphorical heart – that he or she is THE ONE. Other people believe that the theory of marriage is a spiritual or religious one. And perhaps more people are lured into marriage by expectations. After all, once you reach a certain age the idea and pressure of fulfilling the marital dream, buying a 3 bedroom house with a white picket fence where the golden retriever can run and then having the average 2.2 children is drilled into your head from every aspect of mainstream society.
Interestingly, many, many people either have decided NOT to read, or missed the intense 2011 study that seemed to prove without a doubt, that single people not only lived longer but also were happier and healthier overall.
However, you have to ask is marriage good in theory?
In a world where we have almost instantaneously access to millions of people – is choosing to shack up and make a life with one, really a plausible move towards happiness? In a world where more than half of all marriages end up in bitter divorces that strangle people financially and emotionally – is marriage truly the way to go? After all, without the quasi contract of a marriage license and a metal ring, one of you could just get up and leave without causing a massive stir of strife that will ensue and haunt you for the rest of your life.
And those 2.2 children? What sort of chances do they really have? Parents today are overworked and over stressed and finding that feeding those 2.2 children takes a taxing toll on not just the pocketbook but stress as well. The CNN study by Katherine Dorsett which seemed to indicate that childless couples were happier than their procreating counterparts are, really is no surprise. Raising children has always been hard work. In today’s world, it’s excruciating. Today, women with the highest educations and who make the most money are according to the study remaining childless ‘on purpose,’ and these chicks are happy. Sure, many of them are still married – but having the means and the time to jet set around the world riding a personal wave of self-success makes being married to someone a lot easier than being a cooped up housewife with a beer bellied blue-collar husband and four kids hanging on to your pajama pants.
When it comes to marriage, there are so many fairy tales that people buy in to. No one tells you before you get married that waking up to the same person 51 years in a row gets boring. People fail to mention that your sex life can become a routine that will make you crave the wildness of your 20’s. Answering to someone else all the time, seeing them at their worst, sharing a home, arguing over stupid things like whose turn it is to feed the dog, and getting stuck in the rut that exists behind the picket white fence is enough to drive any person crazy. And we choose this? Why? Because we think that we will be different. We think that we will be able to figure out this marriage thing despite the fact that no on else in our world ever has? Because we think that marriage is the only way to prove to someone else just how much you love him or her? Or is it because we are falling into a trap that is highlighted by the media and passed down from one generation to the next, which somehow says, your life is a waste unless you settle down, get married and have kids?
This isn’t to say that marriage is bad. But clearly, according to statistics, the theory of marriage that we hold in our heads and hearts before tying the knot, doesn’t seem to last that long after we actually take the walk of matrimony. Are we so convinced that we need table settings for our kitchen that we are actually determined to get married to get them?
Half of us are getting divorced. The other ¼ are stuck in marriages of conveniences. The last ¼ has somehow in some way either found a way to make it work, or has decided to simply make the best of the situation and ignore the fact that they might have fallen for the worlds cruelest trick. Despite a crappy economy, relationship experts are still the busiest in their field, and most married couples today (Around 52%) don’t even own the house or the picket white fence they live behind and can barely afford to keep the electricity on. And infidelity rates, well since most people would never be honest about how many times per day they think of cheating on their spouse (or have cheated) that forever remains a grey area of marriage that will likely never be revealed. But somehow, it almost seems like being with one person for the entirety of your life is like being forced to eat nothing but apples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the remainder of your life?
In theory, marriage is the way of life for most. The reality however, on nearly every level, paints a completely different picture. Seriously, are you willing to make a life eating nothing but apples?
What do you think? Is the theory of marriage better than the reality of it?