Thoughts On Getting Married…

I think since I’ve started this, I may as well just put it out there.  Of course I feel awful knowing this is going to be painful, and hell I find it painful talking about it.  But I started and I think I should finish and say what I mean.
It’s hard to have my own opinion and not upset others as at the heart of it no matter what I guess I just don’t buy in and a few people have taken it personally.
Where does my anti-marriage view come from?
Well, actually from the following statements from various women (never men).
I’ve had a few married women (in particular) tell me when I say we aren’t getting married…
“But!  You’ll feel more whole, and there’s that fact that you just know you’re together forever.  There are a lot of people witnessing the commitment.  It’s such a serious vow to make in front of your friends and family.  I’ve never felt more secure in my relationship”
I can’t tell these people what I’m really thinking…
This is where my opinion stems from.  I believe it’s unusual that a couple would feel more secure by the ceremony.  I think it speaks for a lack of security and insecurity in the relationship that a wedding day is so important for some.
That would really anger a lot of people if I said it out loud (I’ve definitely thought it)… and it’s what I really believe.
Then there’s the whole staged production (acting sometimes), money, materialism (greed) all wrapped into one day which (often) doesn’t feel like love at all to me.
A few weddings I’ve photographed have been a lot of fun, and there was a lot of love.  And a few that I’ve attended, I was just observing a carefully orchestrated vision of what love looked like.  These weddings in particular did not captivate me for the right reasons…
Something like 4 out of 5 marriages these days do not last (found that in an article on line so it’s not a real figure).  Which regardless of it’s academic pull is an enormous statistic, and when I see that percentage I just wonder wether people have got it all wrong…
Government should have no bearing on who I choose to spend my life with.  The system of marriage originated in trading women between families (they were second class citizens when this started) which sparks frustration deep in my gut and I have a serious distain for religion.
Ok phew.  So, that’s what I believe.
Not every wedding feels forced, some are really beautiful…but this idea that it secures your relationship feels wrong, particularly given the amount of divorce.
If the numbers proved me otherwise I might not have such strong feelings about it…
It’s brutal, and judgemental.  I can’t deny that.

15 thoughts on “Thoughts On Getting Married…

  1. The great thing is that many people get to make their own choice about getting married or not. The not so great thing is that there are still those that have no choice in their relationships. That is the real tragedy (in my humble opinion).

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  2. I’ll get back to you on this, and others I’m still owing you, but you haven’t offended me in the least. Glad to hear you are still your feisty self.Take care and I hope all is well with you and the animals.

    Hugs and lots of love. P.S. I’m off out this evening to home church; it’s the beginning of a new year for us.

    Aunt Jane and Uncle John

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  3. This is pretty mean. Considering you were at my wedding, and others. You say you support it, but then you call people who are married insecure.

    I can understand and support your decision without undermining it.

    You’ve just insulted my relationship with my husband and made a mockery of it.
    Was our wedding superficial? Were we greedy? Was I insecure?

    I guess your last post says it all. That’s a shame.

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  4. The more I read this the more insensitive it becomes to me.

    You have family and friends reading this, you’ve attended their weddings. Then to post these comments about, acting, and greed, and all the other stuff.

    It bugs me because it’s not vague, you were specifically talking about people whose weddings you’ve witnessed.

    One of those was my wedding. You’ve automatically got me wondering if you’re talking specifically about me… I’m sure others are wondering the same thing.

    And although it wasn’t a perfect day, it had absolutely nothing to do with greed, or insecurity. We got married because we wanted to officially commit our lives to each other publicly. Could it have been better, yes ( I was VERY sick that whole weekend and wished I had gotten to enjoy it more).

    We didn’t have the thought of money on our minds we saved and paid for the whole thing ourselves, and expected nothing in return from our guests.

    We plan to do our vow renewals at our 5 year anniversary to make up for some of the small details we would like to change. We want it to be more private, and romantic, and just the two of us. But I DO NOT regret getting married. I shouldn’t even have to defend our choices, but you’ve insulted me, and now I have to speak my mind or I’ll be agitated for a long time.

    Our wedding wasn’t just about us getting married, it brought our family together for the first time in forever. It blended mine and Curtis’s lives together more solidly, especially in terms of my relationship with his child. I got to see my grandma one last time, and we put our side of the family into reconciliation.

    I am still offended, and annoyed.

    Again, you’ve put yourself “above” something that I’ve done in my own life, and judged me for it.

    I can only assume that you’ve written something this offensive to get under my skin.

    Mission accomplished.

    I hope in the future you will consider your audience when writing your “pieces” of enlightened literature.

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    • Hey Heather,

      This isn’t directed at you at all, it’s a broad opinion that covers an entire society… I support people getting married if they choose to, I just have my own (judgemental yes) opinion that I’m writing about here in a public space as I’ve never been able to say it out loud. It’s really not directed at anyone in particular.

      In fact it spawned from the pressure that others put on us to make the same choice. Which again, has nothing to do with us, and more with societal pressure.

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  5. I would be fine with this if it were broad opinion… I also want to note, that weddings are part of culture, and are a way of keeping the family history and cultural traditions alive.

    But to quote you…

    I think it speaks for a lack of security and insecurity in the relationship that a wedding day is so important for some.

    Then there’s the whole staged production (acting sometimes), money, materialism (greed) all wrapped into one day which (often) doesn’t feel like love at all to me.

    A few weddings I’ve photographed have been a lot of fun, and there was a lot of love. And a few that I’ve attended, I was just observing a carefully orchestrated vision of what love looked like. These weddings in particular did not captivate me for the right reasons…

    Not very broad if you are referring to your real life experience with relative and friends weddings.

    I can understand if you were talking in broader terms. But you weren’t, you were pretty specific. And that’s why I’m upset.

    Having an opinion is fine. Being critical of those around you, isn’t the same thing as being opinionated.

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    • Hey Heather,
      These blogs were not a personal attack to you in any way shape or form. I didn’t intend to hurt you or anyone, though that is inevitable because it is such a personal topic.

      Your wedding was really nice, and we had a really good time there and enjoyed being around family.

      I did also say I’ve been to weddings which were beautiful and fun…and really gave me a sense that the couple loved one another, yours included.

      I’m against putting this expectation on people to marry, and I’ve given very specific reasons why I’ve taken this position.

      I respect anyone’s choice to marry, it just shouldn’t be as a result of pressure, or expectations or FOMO (fear of missing out).

      Previously I contemplated our relationship as being unofficial, as people around me were marrying, or pressuring me to consider why we weren’t engaged. It made me think that Mike did not love me enough because we weren’t engaged. Which was silly of me… Mike and I love each other very much, and it’s taken some time and thought to come to where I am now with this position.

      I’ve received emails from women who married that shared the same view as I do because they were being pushed to make decisions that didn’t suit them or their partner. They agreed that pressure from outsiders should not make you jump into something like marriage if it’s not something you really believe in.

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  6. Holly, I love this post. Thank you! You are probably wondering why I am saying that, when I am planning on getting married at the end of next year but I haven’t always been a fan of it. I regarded it as a religious/state based ceremony that didn’t change anything within a relationship.
    If you haven’t read ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert (of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ fame), I would recommend it as a good read on this whole subject. Aside from Judaism- no other church has supported marriage continually through history, it has been used to treat women as property, and women who marry tend to be worse off than those who remain single (men usually do better from the deal).
    However, I do have some positive reasons for getting married too. Being married gives couples more legal rights as a couple (which is why a lot of LGBT people campaigned for gay marriage rather than accepting civil unions). Introducing families is also a big one- my family and Derek’s family won’t meet until the time of the wedding, and I am really excited for them to get to know each other. I also really like the idea of having a party to celebrate a couple’s relationship- you don’t need to sign the legal document at the end… but any ceremony that celebrates love (in a positive way) seems like a good idea.
    It’s awful that you feel pressure to get married- no one should feel they have to get married for any reason. Thank you again for your post- it’s always good to read people’s opinions on such polarising topics! 🙂

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    • Thanks for reading Sarah. Your comments really resonate with me, particularly the added benefits of marriage. Where government comes in and where i get a bit unsure of why they even have to enter the picture. I believe everyone should be entitled to the same rights, regardless or sex, race, marriage status…but just being married gives many heterosexual couples financial/legal benefits over others. Religion was a base for many young countries including Canada and America (which were all governed by men), and it’s hard not to see it’s influence on people. Government influence pushes people to make a decision to partake in a ceremony (which yes is absolutely full of love and beauty) that is not truly making all equal. I’ll look up Committed as I did love reading Eat Pray Love (her brain works the same as mine!) and see what she says. I hope you’ll be back in NZ shortly! Look out, I’ll be emailing you privately, we need to catch up!

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  7. Hey Holly,

    I just read this along with some of the comments. I get where you are coming from having photographed several weddings myself. Yes, some are really beautiful and you can just feel the love oozing from the couple. Not all though. Take my brother for example, who got married because he absolutely LOVED his bride to be, To the point where our own relationship as brother and sister and the relationship he had with my mom and dad were affected by it. We didn’t agree with this wedding but we went to support it because we love him. Someone who said he would never get married because he didn’t believe in marriage or religion but somehow got “suckered” into it. Here’s the catch, this girl was cheating on him the whole time. Before the wedding and after. WHY GET MARRIED??? She wanted the party, the dress, the trip (destination wedding that we ALL dished out our hard earned dollars for) maybe the security in knowing he would provide for her which he already was. She wanted it for all the wrong reasons and he wanted it because he truly loved her and if that’s what it took to make her happy, he was ok with that. Two completely different reasons. So I get where you’re coming from thinking that marriage isn’t always the way to go. It’s definitely not what it used to be. Get married, stay married through thick and thin. I love the idea of marriage for several different reasons but I don’t think it’s the ONLY way to go. If you’re happy in your relationship and don’t want to get married, that’s awesome! I think in the end what matters most is being happy and having that love there. After all…Love is all you need! ❤

    Love you my friend, 😉 xo

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    • Hello Julie!

      Welcome, I hear you love is all you really need. That must have been really hard on the family loosing contact, I know you are all insanely close and I’m pretty sure you’re one of the most amazing families full of love I’ve ever witnessed.

      Lately, in our time heterosexual weddings are designed, masterminded, organised by the bride (I’m speaking generally here but that seems to be the trend). Because it’s what she wants…it’s her day.

      Mike and I were talking about this recently, and if it truly were about both people in the relationship surely the focus would be on both people….and they would plan it together. Even the engagement would be less focused on the man picking his girl forever and more about the pair choosing each other together.

      Women are told (indirectly) that we’re not valid or worthy or secure until we’re engaged. That a relationship can be un-cemented without that silly little ring.

      Which is so so so wrong.

      Sometimes when I’ve been photographing a wedding, they pair will want to break away and have their bridal party photos etc for many many hours. Which I think shows how narcissistic and self absorbed the whole thing has become. It’s really not about the dang photos. Your whole family and circle of friends are there to support your wedding, and you leave them all to take photos for hours. haha I’m probably never going to be asked to photograph a wedding again!

      Thanks for commenting Julie, it’s nice to hear your thoughts and experiences. I also hope your brother is ok!

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