Why Marriage as an Institution is Better Than We're Giving it Credit For | Enduring All Things

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why Marriage as an Institution is Better Than We're Giving it Credit For

A couple months ago, Amberly of A Prioritized Marriage and I got to talking on Google Chat about how marriage has become a joke in our society. We basically both ranted to each other about how much we hate that sort of attitude and we eventually decided to do a blog collaboration on the subject. A few months later, that collaboration is here. Below I have a guest post written by Amberly about this issue and I wrote one on her blog today so be sure to check it out!
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There's something that I've wondered about for years, even before I wrote this post in 2014. Why do people view marriage as something suitable for comedy routines, to joke about as if it's a burden and a prison sentence? It seems like those people who are in marriages are the ones who make light of it the most. I know that I've caught myself doing it sometimes.

If someone is single, we tell them to enjoy their freedom while they have it. At wedding showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, we encourage the engaged couple, especially the men, to enjoy their last bit of fun before they tie the know. I've heard married men joke about "the old ball and chain" when referring to someone else's or even their own wife. You can find shirts all over the internet with a bride and groom on the front, only instead of being an encouraging advertisement of married life, they do the opposite. They show a groom frowning with a bride who looks happy and the words "game over" accompanying the image or they depict a groom being drug across the ground by the bride.
Marriage is great and I would never consider going back to single life, I don't think I would ever be happy with that "freedom". Yes, you lose some of your independence in marriage, and there are a lot of plans and decisions that can't be made without the approval of your spouse but it's not bad like people make it out to be. I've been able to maintain my individuality in marriage and I do things for myself and on my own fairly often. Joe is my partner in crime and I love having that second opinion when I'm making big life decisions or an outside, honest view for when I'm struggling or having problems with people or situations. Marriage is a change, but I would never consider it a bad one. Instead of focusing on the not so perfect parts of marriage, we should be telling people about all of the perks.

You always have someone to talk to and confide in

I've always loved the conversations that Joe and I have with each other. From the beginning of our relationship, we've always done a lot of talking. We used to go on long, late night walks while we were dating and we continued that into our marriage. Now that we have a son who goes to bed early, we don't get those late night walks that were always the perfect opportunity to chat, but we still make the time. Whenever he gets home from work, I stop what I'm doing and we spend 10 or 15 minutes catching up. We love our time after the baby has gone to bed because we can focus on each other and really talk about our day, our successes, our frustrations, our challenges and more. It's so nice having someone there each night who knows my story and understands what I'm going through.

You have someone to support you in everything you do

Having a built in support system is one of the greatest things about marriage. Family and friends are always good and helpful, but there's nothing like the close support that your spouse gives you. I just recently graduated with my bachelor's degree and I know that I wouldn't have been able to do it without my husband by my side, especially throughout this last year after our son was born. He supports me in my every endeavor, inspires me to do my bests and encourages me to pursue the things that I'm hesitant about. There's a lot that I wouldn't have ever attempted or achieved in the last five years if it hadn't been for him.

You have someone to dream with and set goals with

A week or so ago, I shared a post on my blog about making your spouses dreams, goals and endeavors a priority in your own life. Not only should they be a priority to you, but they should be something that you have as a goal in your own life, meaning you'll do whatever it takes to help your spouse achieve that thing. I'm lucky to be in a marriage where there's never any question that we are dreaming and setting goals together. We have dreams and goals as a couple, but we support each other's personal endeavors completely. He did double parent duty and sacrificed a lot of time to make sure that I was able to complete all of my schooling. Now, I'm home taking care of the parenting duties on my own each night while he gets caught up on lawn care projects and runs his business. In marriage, setting and achieving goals is half the fun and there is no way that either of you would be able to accomplish your own personal things if you don't pursue them together.

You have the best permanent roommate

I had my own room from the time I was eight until I moved out to go to school at age nineteen. I only lived away from home for 14 months, but having roommates was both fun and not fun all at the same time. It was like a permanent sleepover, but some days I just wanted my own space. I worried that I'd feel the same way when I got married but instead, it has been the opposite. My husband is the best roommate ever, I picked well. Sure, there are things that he does that annoys me and we have different ideas for how a home should be kept up sometimes, but we have so much fun together and I love sharing a space with him! Creating a home together has become one of our favorite shared hobbies and I look forward to the rest of our lives as roommates in the home that we build.
Rather than mourning the things people are giving up by getting married, let's celebrate the things they are gaining  When we talk as married couples, instead of laughing over the cliche stereotypes of husbands or wives, let's discuss the amazing benefits or marriage and what our husbands/wives bring to the table. Marriage isn't something to be taken lightly, but society is constantly poking fun at it. I am always striving to make a conscious effort to joke less about the stereotypes that come with marriage. I want people be able to tell, just from the way I talk, how much I value the relationship that I have with my husband. I want to be the kind of person and have the kind of marriage that makes people want to get married, not avoid it.
Amberly
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