Coming off the bat I might not sound like the right person to be commenting on the subject seeing as I'm not married (yet, bring on February!) But where I lack on that side of things I make up for it with my job. You see I photograph weddings for a living. I watch couples make life long promises and share that with their closest loved ones. (lucky huh?) I also have been surrounded by perfect examples of good and bad marriages through out my life.
I was speaking to a couple lately who have been married for 50 years. A feat many of us only dream of, and an achievement not many reach. After congratulating them they were both quick to make the joke "that's two life sentences!" It sure is. Then after asking them their secret to a long and seemingly happy time together the wife replied "it's better the devil you know than the one you don't" This really struck me. Was the only reason she had stayed with her husband so long because she wasn't sure life and love existed apart from him? She had obviously thought the alternatives through.
In my opinion aside from having and raising children, marriage is one of the hardest things two people can do. And for this reason I think it is becoming a "dated" form of union for us gen Y'ers. (Apparently we shy from hard work?) Marriage has always been something I viewed as a permanent vow, or an agreement you can't get out of. Like agreeing to have your leg amputated. You can't go back. And its for this reason why I understand why people take a long time to find the person they are willing to cut their leg off for. It's an all or nothing kind of deal. If you are having second thoughts, dreaming of someone else, imagining your life differently marriage IS NOT FOR YOU. It may be later on, but those kind of issues should probably be talked about first.
Marriage is hard, hard, hard work. It needs constant attention and altering as time progresses but needs only simple things to live. Time, energy, commitment and communication. Oh and sex/affection. It might sound like a hard task, and it is but I also don't think it should feel that way. You should enjoy everyday and go to bed thinking that your day was made better for having that person in your life.
As I embark on this next chapter of my life with Arie I couldn't be more excited for the challenge. I don't feel like I am settling with my "devil" and I don't picture my life in any other way than with him by my side. We dream of completing a few life sentences heck even death row! Once i seal that union with a sweet little kiss my leg will be gone and Arie will be the only crutch I'll ever need. Awwww.
I will definitely re-visit this post later on and see if my views have changed. I'm betting they wont.
Photos thanks to Aaron Sami Photography