Monday, September 17, 2012

Does Marriage Change Everything?

A while back I was doing the girl thing were you start bemoaning to your girlfriends about how you don't have a ring on your finger. The conversation always goes something like this:

Complaining Girl: "Ugh, so I was on facebook and ANOTHER sorority sister got engage, and she like FOUR years younger than me! What am I doing wrong?!?"
Supportive Friend: " Well you can't compare your relationship to anyone else's. It is special and unique, and so YOU, that no one else can compare"
CG: "I knooooow, but don't want to end up alone, with like 40 cats, 20 poodles, 10 betas and a partridge in a pear tree"
SF: "You won't end up alone! You are SUCH a catch! So much going for you ya-da-ya-da-ya-da"
CG: "You're right, I am being irrational, I just really want to avoid all those pets"

Am I right? (Or rather some variation of this conversation goes down)

Well my friend threw me for a loop when I was playing the role of CG.

After letting me go on about "I'm not getting any younger" and "I can't believe all these people are engaged and are twenty years younger than me" she simple looked at me and said:

"Marriage doesn't change anything"

BAM! I felt like a bus flew around the corner and plowed me over. Pardon? It doesn't change anything?!?

I snapped my tongue back in my mouth knowing I was treading on ground where I could say something really dumb.

So I marinated.

I still don't know what I think.  Does marriage change things?

The more I thought about it, the more I lean towards the answer of:  of course it does.

Sure it is just a piece of paper and a social construct. I see her point- I really do. It is all about what you commit to. The other part of me, that part of me that wanted to start arguing and possibly saying something rash, is that of course it changes things. I won't even bring in the religious aspect of this discussion, but I still believe that there is merit to those vows. To that piece of paper. To the promise it creates. I may be making this up in my head, but one of the aspects I find so romantic about marriage is that you are committing to a set of expectations in front of the people that will love and support your relationship. It takes away that 'get-out-of-jail' free card and makes sure you hold up your end of those vows.

What do you all think? Does anyone else have a better explanation of why I possibly so quickly jumped to the defense of marriage? Who sees it as not changing things?

Interested in why you're not married? Just one of my favorite satirical posts about the topic...please note SATIRE.


  1. IMO, being married definitely feels different. It doesn't mean that married ladies are better, or have a higher social status, but when two people make a commitment/sign a contract that definitely means something. I wouldn't say that couples who have reached that milestone earlier in life are necessarily "better off" though ;)

    Side-note: just wait till the babytrain comes to town...4 of my friends are preggs right now. My brain is all: "fear, fear, tick tick, fear, boom, 40, tick..etc."

  2. I could see what the other person could mean. Marriage SHouldn't change anything. You should love a person before marriage just as much as you love them after exchanging the vows. Marriage is just a ceremony, a procedure, we go through to celebrate how much we love someone. But that 'how much' shouldn't change. Maybe love grows and flows differently from day to day, but a couple should be willing to grow and flow in that direction before marriage, as well as after. I think by thinking of the 'commitment' of being married as higher than the commitment of being together only over complicates things. I don't know how many more ways you could explain it... I guess we could always go back to you marry your best friend because they will always be your best friend first.

    side-note: I love the bird reference. I wonder where you got that from. :)