For men, such a commitment means giving up their independence. Even a relationship-oriented male may feel as if he is exchanging his carefree days for a life of drudgery.
Unfortunately, female expectations and male fears are largely behind the damages inflicted within modern marriages.
Talk about starting off on the wrong foot.
I am probably going to bust a lot of female bubbles with this one, but I feel the wedding industry is capitalizing on the female need to live a fairytale. Now, while I will acknowledge that a woman can do what she wants to do for her "special day", if shows like BRIDEZILLA'S are any indication, women have just gone plumb crazy in regards to celebrating their nuptials.
I once performed in a wedding band, and at one gig, the bride freaked out over ever little inconvenience (the napkins weren't just so, the wine was red and not white)...she cried so much, she made a day of joy into absolute misery.
The bride was missing the whole point!
It wasn't about ice sculptures, violins, or releasing doves right at the "I-Do's".. that day was a day for family and friends to gather to celebrate the fact that a man and woman had found the ultimate human acquisition love.
And herein is the problem women enter the situation with a fairytale idea of what love and marriage is about. If life and love isn't perfect 24-7, something is wrong. This ideology places a strain on relationships, particularly since human beings are far from perfect, and there is no way things are going to be 100 percent perfect 100 percent of the time.
Things will go wrong with an elaborate production like a wedding and in life as well. Get over it. Get over yourself. Keep an open mind, and remember that it is "his day" and your "families' day" too. With this perspective, maybe we can put the love in joy back into weddings.
On the other hand, men may act out, fearing a loss of freedom they can emotionally withdraw. I know I did.
AFTER THE CELEBRATION
My husband and I married at the Magistrates Office. Unlike a lot of women, I never saw a big fairytale wedding. What I saw was falling in love. To me, I could never justify the huge expense. Better to use the money to start our lives out right, than blow a chunk all on one day. The hubby agreed and our actual marriage was quick, fast and legally binding.
The following day, I freaked out. This surprised me. Talk about a role reversal.
My husband, who was unwavering in his decisions to marry, was the traditional one of us both. I was (and still am) a rock and roll chick. He had envisioned marriage. I never had. I saw myself doing my music thang, having causal dalliances and roaming free like the prairie dog for the rest of my days.
The reality of being a Missus hit and I actually got a little down. I had always thought of marriage as mutual domestic slavery, where the man took on the burden of financial responsibility and a woman was shackled to bathroom cleansers, vacuums and screaming kids.
But then I recalled the fact that I married the man because he wasn't like most. He accepted me for me and wasn't trying to change me. We were a true unconventional couple. I work from home sure, but I still pursue music and do my own thing. I am a Missus, a Mom, and I am still me.
I am also a financial help to my husband, as our dual incomes help the household run efficiently.
We are true partners, not mutual slaves.
I suppose for men, and some women, the loss of identity is what scares them the most.
The remedy? Don't marry anyone who attempts to change you to fit his or her ideal. Never do that! If you do you wake up one morning hating your life, hating your kids and hating your spouse.
Better to never marry than to do that.
I now understand why we have a fifty percent divorce rate. We come into marriage uneven. The paradigm of marriage is not conducive to mutual psychological health and happiness. Men have to be wage earners, women have to become wife and mom but give up herself completely or she is considered selfish. How is this a good thing?
In a modern era this paradigm should be shifting. Women and men can share in financial responsibilities, in this way, if one dies of leaves the other, they have at least some source of income.
Men and women should both seek not to place one another in "roles" so much as acknowledged the importance of a role, like husband or father, but remember that they are men and women with needs outside of those roles.
I am happy in marriage, I never thought I would be, but I am happier than when I was free. Do we fight? Sure but I still love him. I am reminded of an old saying, "Love means loving an imperfect person perfectly." Your true love won't be without faults, but at the end of the day, you accept them, warts and all (within reasons, never stay with someone who is physically or mentally abusive).
So why marry at all?
For legal reasons as well as spiritual ones. Since common law marriages have been eradicated, it is harder for someone involved in a long-term relationship to seek restitution let's say, if they are left suddenly with ten years worth of bills. Also, the mental aspect of marriage is more binding. People may feel as if they have a get out of jail for free card and can walk away at any time, whether they have been with you for twelve months or twelve years.
When kids are in the picture, this may not be ideal.
This said, marriage isn't for everyone and this is okay. People shouldn't feel societal pressure to wed if they are not inclined to do so. A person who is honest enough to recognize this fact and to let anyone they get involved with know (so long as they seek like minded mates), is being fair. Far too many marriages are entered into out of a knee jerk "I am supposed to do this" reaction, as opposed to simply deciding for you what works best for you.
How many unwanted children or loveless marriages would we eradicated if people were responsible enough to evaluate what they truly want out of life, and be honest with themselves and others.
Marriage isn't for everyone, but for those of us who go into it with a spiritual mindset, and our true-life mates, the possibilities are surely endless, and the rewards, great.