I would first like to go on record and just say I can't recall one single positive marriage story in my personal life. I come from a pretty large family and I'm not sure that I have seen an image where marriage is celebrated. There is one of my uncle and his wife. They have been married at least 25 years. So I guess there is that, but I'm choosing to write about this because while the announcement of a marriage gets so much attention, it's even more mind blowing when that marriage ends in divorce. Which brings me to several questions I ask myself ever so often: Why should I get married? How will marriage change me? Does being married change the public's perception of me? You know, all the usual questions.
I understand that people grow into different people and when one person is doing all of the growing and the other is not, it is easy to drift a part and want other things or people in life. Can someone be totally committed and faithful to one person for the rest of his or her life? Also another question that I am sometime perplexed by. For context, just look at the recent news of celebrity couple, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband musician Chris Martin. The two of them have been married more than a decade. They even have two children. However, their case is different because they have decided to handle separation and possibly divorce in a mature manner. I believe they are calling what they are going through "Consciously Uncoupling." On the other end is the bitter and nasty divorce of Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and his husband Victor Voronov. Their divorce is playing out in the public like an episode of Scandal and Olivia Pope doesn't want to get involved with any parts of that fight.
For all intensive purposes marriage is a big business and there are benefits to being married. For instance, what about the tax write offs? What about the showering of gifts from friends and family? What about being recognized as "we" instead of "single"? I will admit there are some exciting things about being married. Who would want to resist being together with the person you love unconditionally? I for sure would not, but there is more to this. Marriage isn't widely made available for everyone. Same-sex couples can only be married in certain states and even with that the "marriage industry" is already calculating the big bucks that will come from divorce. I'm sure some of my peers in the gay community will look down on me with shame for this next statement I'm going to write, but I'm not so sure marriage is for me. So much has gone into fighting for marriage equality and I'm all for everyone being able to marry the person they want. However, that doesn't mean that I'm going to do so myself. I'm not saying that I want to be single for the rest of my life but what I am saying is I don't have to be married to be faithful, committed, and true to the one person that I ultimately fall happily in love with.
There are too many people that I believe take marriage for granted and get married for all the wrong reasons. If I ever decide to "take the plunge" or "jump the broom" I want it to be for all of the right reasons. When it comes to me, divorce is not an option. Let's face it, marriage is a big business and for that matter so is divorce. You spend loads of money just to walk down the aisle and even more money when the marriage doesn't work out. In my very humble opinion, anyone thinking of getting married should be totally and completely sure that it's what you want to do. Just a couple of weeks ago I met a woman while hanging with friends in Brooklyn, New York over brunch. She sat there talking to me about her life and her now second husband. She talked about how she had learned so many lessons from her first marriage.
She said "I learned what to do in this second marriage from husband number one."
I think Elizabeth Taylor showed us all that in her world it's possible to have a second and third, maybe even fourth and fifth, when it comes to marriage. But who wants to go through that before finally deciding you have it right?
In my mind, it all comes down to validation and, frankly, I'm not the "I need to be validated" kind. Don't get me wrong, I see marriage as being a great thing but I can't stress it enough there are people who do it all wrong. I've never been married or engaged so I'm sure your question might be; how would you know? I don't feel like I need to go the experience to have some sense of an idea about it. More importantly if the time actually comes and I turn into the marrying kind, I'm praying that it's the real deal. Furthermore, that the partner I choose to marry will be just as blissfully happy but also aware that marriage is job and if it's going to work out then we both have to be committed to each other and only each other. I often times write down my thoughts and by the end of it I'm at a place of understanding, but with this I'm still left asking the question, why should I get married? Maybe I'm not suppose to understand it yet because 30-something and single seemingly fits me very well right now. I'm just coming into my own space so marriage will have to hold out for me because I'm on the fast track to something better, a life where I'm totally and honestly happy being a boyfriend and not a husband.