Marriage; a life sentence?

“I’m getting married in the morning! Ding dong! 
The bells are gonna chime. Pull out the stopper! 
Let’s have a whopper! But get me to the church on time!” ~ My Fair Lady

Or, as defined by my dictionary…

Marriage: (n) the state or relationship of being husband and wife, the ceremony formalising this union


A good friend of mine is getting married soon. A lot of you reading this followed the hen do tweets.

Oh the shame…

Anyway, she has always wanted to get married and I’m very happy for her that she’s found the right guy to marry. Given that she’s had her ideal wedding planned in her head for about the last 25 years, I’m also more than a little amazed she hasn’t turned into a complete Bridezilla over the whole thing.

However, I just don’t get it. I have never wanted to get married. (Ok, slight amendment, I wanted to marry someone for a couple of months last year but we all know that went just a little bit wrong.) But, honestly, I’ve never whiled away hours daydreaming of the white dress, the perfect song, the happy ever after with Mr Right. Maybe the last, I just never married him! I am shockingly headstrong & independent and the idea of being shackled to someone for the rest of my life abhors me. Now please don’t all jump on me for this. I love marriage. I love happily married people. I don’t, generally, see other people’s marriages as them being shackled to each other, that’s just how it feels for me.

And I said generally in last sentence for a reason. I know at least two people who will read this that got married and are still married to someone they didn’t really want to marry. An ex of mine described his failed marriage as “we got married when we should have split up”. How? I mean, really, how? How do you end up getting married when you don’t want to? Yes, I’m cynic but I am a proper romantic one too. Marriage, shackles aside, is a dreamy state too. This is stating you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, forsaking all others, for better or worse, richer or poorer, etc etc. How in the name of heaven do you declare all that when you don’t want to?

My parents will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary this year. As a mate said to me recently “that’s two life sentences!”. Maybe so, but they’ve been two happy ones.

So marriage; is it just a life sentence? Thoughts, as always, on a comment box-shaped postcard.



7 thoughts on “Marriage; a life sentence?

  1. I echo your thoughts. I was married once. For twelve years. But I came to realise that, for some people (not all) we change so much as we grow older that there comes a point when the person we are married to is not the same person as the one we married – he/she has changed!

  2. It seems that the people who abhor marriage have the most romantic ideas about it. But realistically we know life isn’t like that so we don’t do it??

  3. Some spend their whole life single. Some live together but never marry. Some marry and fail and others last a lifetime.

    This is my 13th year and it’s still the best decision I made.

    Am I lucky? Am I the exception?

    Too many people are in love with the idea of being in love and enter into the fairytale without any real serious thought. We live in a throw away society and some people treat their relationships the same. Actors and singers ( that some would call celebrities – I don’t) regularly get it wrong in a catastrophic way. They are no better than anyone else yet some are led by the nose of their example.

    Marriage is hard. It takes commitment. Nobody says it’s easy. It’s not for everyone but like most thing you get what you pay for. The more you pay the better it should be. Marriage is about putting somebody else before you. Not just occasionally but permanently. This may sound like purgatory to you? Within a week or so of being with my new girlfriend I knew she would be my wife. She knew I would be her husband. Everything in our lives built to that day. There was absolutely zero doubt for both of us. Widey said to me the other day, ” I worry about so many things, work, children and money but I never ever worry about us.”

    The longer we are married the stronger we become. We are two individuals but we are also one. We are happy in and with each other. I thank God for bringing us together.

    You may be fiercely independent. You may be strong willed and determined. You may spend the rest of your life single. Then again, one day when you’re least expecting it somebody may walk through the door who breaks down all your barriers yet allows you to be you, loves you all the same and you find that you do too.

  4. I grew up saying that I would never get married or have children. Well, I managed one out of the two! I can’t see myself ever getting married again, (well, I can’t ever see myself in a relationship again but that is another story…!). Even with one failed nuptial under my belt, I don’t hate the concept, however, I don’t think it is something that suits me.

  5. Iv’e been married 31 years (yes I was a child bride haha!). Some of it has been good, some of it not so good. I spent first ten years going away to sea with him & have some fantastic memories of those times, early days of my marriage were very different to most peoples, taken up with trips to sea. I saw some wonderful places & had an amazing time travelling the world (Papua New Guinea is a far off distant name to most people but I used to know it quite well!) We had two children quite far apart in age & personalities & that was a different path to our marriage again, with me being almost a single parent as he was away for months at a time. We also had a terrible tragedy when our first baby daughter died. Marriage is a bit like going to sea, a journey you take together & continue to take. Its most definitely not all romance & roses, it can be hard work, poorly kids at times, no money at times, difficult conversations sometimes too. The one thing you always have is each other though & on the whole that is a pretty good thing.

  6. I’ve been with The Husband for thirteen years, and we’ve been married for three of those.

    Marriage wasn’t something I planned, it was never something I dreamed of as a child. I’m an atheist, so there was never a religious ideal behind it for me. I have commitment issues, which means that… well… the commitment was an issue. I don’t want children, so again, there wasn’t the “Ideal, Standard Life Plan”, that a lot of my friends have always had. And for those of us with no god, at the end of the day, all it is is a piece of paper. And a piece of paper isn’t going to make you love someone more.

    How, you might ask, did such a cynical old bat end up walking down the aisle?

    At some point during “The Year of The Marriage”, that all people in their late twenties go through (the year you seem to be at a wedding every single weekend from May to September, with a few scattered around the rest of the year) my opinion changed.

    I’m glad it did. I’m also glad I had never even considered a Wedding Plan before then. It meant that The (soon to be) Husband and I made decisions together, without tiptoeing around each other, we did what we wanted to do, where we wanted to do it, and invited who we wanted to share it with. I was surprised at how powerful it felt standing up in a room in front of all the people we loved, and making a pledge to each other that we would love each other forever.

    Not much has changed since we got married. As well as our life together, we both very much have our own lives. He is still my best friend in the whole world, and he still makes me laugh at some point every day. I know he isn’t perfect, and he knows I’m not. However, every time I say “My Husband”, I get a little warm feeling. That’s not because I’m married, though. That’s because of who I’m married to.

  7. Loved this post! I’m 18 and I feel much the same way. I used to really want to be married. I was one of those little girls who knew exactly how she wanted her wedding at only five years old. I knew it wasn’t all flowers and butterflies, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve observed that in the majority of marriages, it’s almost never “flowers and butterflies”. Most women I’ve heard talk about their marriages have nothing positive to say. There’s always a long list of complaints, with very few exceptions in between. I see so many married couples on a daily basis who look absolutely miserable; no spark, no smiles, nothing. Just two people stuck together, unhappy forever. And because of that, I’ve decided that I will never EVER marry: better single than sorry. All of my friends and family say the same thing: “One day you’ll meet someone, and fall in love, and all of that will change.” But the idea of it all absolutely repulses me and I’ve sworn that if a man EVER shows interest in me, I’ll run for the hills. I’m a very sensitive person who cannot stand conflict. And to me, that’s what the bulk of marriage is about: problems, arguments, and conflict. People always say “Marriage is hard work.” And well, quite frankly, I don’t want a second job. I prefer to work at work, and relax at home. Marriage to me is simply an extra, unnecessary stress that I really don’t want or need in my life: not now, not ever. In my opinion, the headache that marriage causes is much stronger and harder to cope with than the fleeting longing that stems from being “alone”. So needless to say, staying single is fine with me!

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