Defending Marriage (But Not How You Think)


I am the first to admit, I married young, and don't have a lot of "grown-up" experience dating.  I am also very happily married.  Rarely a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars for my husband.  

But I don't believe that we're all that special.  We're not some bright, shining beacon of what a committed relationship should be.  I can name ten couples just like us without even thinking hard.

So what's with the articles and commentary like this?  Dating is sexy and exciting, marriage is "a sentence" or "purgatory"?  (And, just because the title of the article puts the idea in play, when I say "marriage" I mean "a committed, 'till death do us part, relationship".  The legalities are unimportant for the purposes of this rant.)

I don't know what bitter bug this guy swallowed, but when you're married to the right person it's more exciting than anything else I've ever experienced, motherhood included.  

It's knowing that someone always has your back, is always on your side.  It's having one person that you can talk to about anything.  It's the instantly relaxing, safe smell of someone's chest or hair each evening when you come home.  It's a thousand little bits of thoughtfulness--from "I'll stop on the way home to get him some cold beer for the fridge" to "I'll take the baby downstairs so she can sleep another hour."

And Mr. Bitter-Bug-Columnist, if the sex isn't still hot, you're doing it wrong.  (And that's coming from a woman with a four month old, by the way!)

Marriage is also work.  It's negotiation.  It's trust.  It's communication.  But that doesn't make it dull, in fact, that's what makes it incredible.  It's a bit like mountain climbing--if it was easy to get to the top, no one would appreciate the view.

I'm not saying that every relationship is destined to last forever. Or that there isn't reason out there to be cynical (Arnold...*cringe*).  But just because it doesn't always work out isn't a reason to scrap the whole idea...because, when it does work's a breathtaking view, I promise.  

The article (combined with a few conversations, of late) makes me feel the same way I do when I encounter the "bumbling, incompetent father" stereotype (a rant for another day).  Assuming that "married" is a synonym for a boring, sexless relationship is offensive, and I, for one, am done--done--with letting that unthinking drivel about what marriage is or should be pass by without comment.  

If you're happily "married", I think you should be too.