Yes, I’m guilty of watching my fair share of cliche romantic comedies. We all know how those Hallmark TV movies are going to end. But generally, I’m not super mushy-gushy.
Today I just wanted to mention that it’s my parents’s wedding anniversary. Twenty-five years, in fact. Which, to me, is an incredible accomplishment.
I’ve discussed my thoughts before on marriage. It’s something I definitely want in my lifetime, but a simple desire doesn’t even begin to encompass every moment, every blessing and challenge, that comes along with it. Especially when I see so many people on my Facebook feed getting engaged, there is a sense of pressure that I’m somehow behind on the marriage bandwagon.
There is always that fear, though, of the dreaded d-word. Something that I still feared for my own family even when reassured that it isn’t something to worry about. It’s so common for families to be broken apart, for life to get more complicated when relationships come and go, but legal binding adds complication.
It’s not necessarily that people are less happy in marriages so they inevitably fail. I see the increasing divorce rates as people, especially women, feeling empowered enough to take a stand in situations where they may feel threatened or disrespected. However, I’m not going to ignore that when devalue the sacrament of marriage, we turn it into an easy decision to undo when couples cannot or are unwilling to work things out.
I’m not judging either way. Who am I to judge, an unmarried woman barely out of my teenage years? But with all of the controversy over whether marriage is worth it or not anymore, I turn to examples like my parents for inspiration. Two people who got married within a year of first meeting each other and have been together ever since. Two people who have had their fair share of obstacles and tension.
I look to them, their steadfast commitment to each other, and say that yes, marriage is something I desire. Not just because I’d love to drop my last name, or at least shorten it with a hyphenated version. I want to reach those annual milestones with someone. I want to share my life with someone and create memories to look back on. I want someone who will evolve with me, who will grow and learn with me as the years go by.
I’m getting gushy, aren’t I? Whoops.
This admiration of my parents’ union doesn’t change the fact that there’s a part of me still scared of it, a challenge I want to take on that simultaneously worries me. The practical side of me overlooks the romantic side of marriage to all of the responsibility it entails. The commitment it requires. Picking one person forever and hoping that you picked right. No pressure, it’s just (hopefully) the rest of your life.
I believe no amount of advice and words of affirmation is going to completely guide people with their lives, whatever their decisions might entail. There is a certain degree that makes life a little different for everybody. That uniqueness goes up even more if you bind two people in holy matrimony. That just makes me admire couples even more, whether they chose to put a ring on it or not, that can endure for years and work through the kinks that life brings. It’s beautiful to me, and it makes me appreciate anniversaries even more.
So I already look at marriage as something very real, very serious. A clear indicator that yes, I want to spend my life with someone and work through life’s challenges together. I’m too optimistic to dwell on anybody who has gone through divorce or separation negotiations, even if the statistics are clear as day. I’m still going to say that despite the odds, I can be in the population that does make it. Knowing me, I’m someone who will feel the inkling for something more and not even hesitate to take a relationship to the next step. It’s in my nature to move very quickly than dawdle.
This is the second time on my blog I’ve discussed marriage explicitly. Again, that’s probably odd to some people. But if I’m so adamant about planning out my professional ventures and goals, why not talk about my personal ones, too? They’re just as, if not more, important to prioritize. As much as I love independence and solitude, life is something that should be shared with others. And a significant other. The people are the blessings that keep us grounded every step of the way.
Once again, congratulations to my parents today for the example they lead, for the love they share, for the past twenty-five years and every day encompassed within that time. It’s about time you took a vacation, huh? You deserve it.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie