Minerva'sBrain's Page > Posts tagged with "marriage"


Subject: Re: Wedding Season

Forum: Wedding Season
A lot of things come into play for a wedding date. Traditional religious ceremonies are all set around that religion's year, for one thing. And in old times, people knew that humans were more fertile in the spring and fall, so that plays into it too (and you'd want a spring baby instead rather than a baby born right before it gets cold enough in the northern climes to freeze anyone to death)

But I got married as soon as I could after I graduated from college. (My mother wanted us to wait until the winter so it could be an "all white" wedding and have lots of satin. Uh ... no thanks.)

I chose the date because my grandmother's birthday was July 9, two days after my birthday, and I wanted to get married on her birthday (she thought that was cool too) - but the church was booked, so we moved it to the 16th, and for about the first 5 or 10 years after we got married, I always had to think the whole story through to find the right date. (Let's see ... gramma's birthday on the 9th, 9 and 7 is 16 ...)

I loved our July wedding. We had a lot of outdoor stuff planned, and it rained every day, July 1-15. My mom was about to have an aneurysm or something because 150 people were coming to her house and we needed to use the yard! But the day was beautiful in every way. We had a small wedding party (one attendant each), and lots of fresh flowers everywhere, and it was perfect from start to finish because we planned like lunatics for the year and a half we were engaged and I was finishing school on the opposite side of the country from where he was.

In the end, though, the two things you need to do are: get good pictures and marry someone you want to keep even if he gets really ratty from time to time. After the wedding, that's what you keep. The pictures and the man. From there, you build a life.

Subject: Re: Should gays be allowed to marry????

Forum: Should gays be allowed to marry????
The conversation so far shows how important it is to deconstruct the question --- I think we need to get to a different question if we're ever going to stop having the same merry-go-round of people's defending opinions and perspectives against competing ones. Here - I'll show you what I mean. (I'm not trying to be a smart**s -- I just think we've been asking the wrong question)

"Should" -- that word, all by itself, starts people off on discussions about personal values and morality. Are we asking about society's vested interest in stable homes? Okay, that one is pretty easy. Society benefits from domestic stability. Let's start there.

"Gays" -- yeesh! That's a pretty loaded way to say things. Instead, what if we said "adults" and presumed that people over a certain age can be allowed a lot of autonomy in their personal lives.

"be allowed" -- by whom? A church? Any particular religion? The state? The country?

"to marry" -- to have a legal binding contract in which they take on certain responsibilities in exchange for specific privileges? Or to call each other "spouse" - which, by the way, anyone anywhere can do. This cannot be a question of naming things or else the whole discussion devolves into a semantics debate.

Know what I would like to see? I would like to utterly separate, divorce, bisect, and otherwise remove the connection between "marriage" and religion. The state's vested interest in stable homes can be answered by a legal matter, registered at the city hall according to local ordinances and it can take into consideration a lot of protection for minors. Then we can call "marriage" by its more specific name, defined by whichever officiating community declares it.

Let's ask: "Should adults have the legal right to obligate themselves to each other as members of households?" (It doesn't fit as well on a questionnaire, though, does it? ;-)

Subject: Re: Falling in and out of Love <3

Forum: Falling in and out of Love <3
Nope. I don't agree - mostly because I don't agree that "love" is what we fall in or out of.

We have to choose love - the thing you can fall in and out of is attraction. Attraction can lead you into love because you can choose love pretty easily and freely from inside of attraction, but attraction does not have the power to generate or insure love.

Love has to be chosen - and if you want a married life that lasts until you grow old together, you have to choose it every day - every week - every year - until you have a lifetime of choices and "I love you" becomes as much a statement of reality as "I am a woman" or "I am not a rose bush." We become what we choose, even if we start with some things we did not choose. (I didn't choose to not be a rose bush, I mean -- but I do choose to be married and in love with my husband. Nearly 26 years now, so it's so far so good on choosing it.)

There are lots of kinds of love, and attraction is kind of like an unlabeled package of seeds. (You and your life are the soil for planting in this metaphor.) You can plant seeds and see what they grow into (ie, get to know someone before you do the walking into full blown "love" attachments), and then you know what you've got. If it's a kind of love (friendship, admiration, etc) that does not grow in your soil, then you know not to keep that in your garden.

We do not always choose our attractions; we always choose our loves. (Not that I have an opinion on the matter! e-hem!)

Subject: Re: Marriage- it takes 2.

Forum: Marriage- it takes 2.
Ooooh .... THIS is the forum where I can say such things! (lol!) But wait. You just did!

Marriage is not just 50/50 ... sometimes it's 100/0 ... and sometimes its 40/60. During all the ebbs and flows, shocks, moments of bliss, and utterly stunning confusion ("how could this happen to US, of all people?") ... and even during the times when every plot of grass in the universe looks better than the one you're grazing on ... if you don't start as you mean to go on, and if that intention isn't at its core some version of "you before me, and us before everything," your marriage is going to be more nightmare than fairy tale.

Like I said over there where this all started, the wedding planning doesn't cause problems - it just makes them evident instead of lurking in the background. Is this the person you want covering your back? The person you know won't fail you? Are you the person who can remain firm enough on your own two feet that when the other person comes unglued the marriage will be okay? When you make a couple, you make something that is neither her nor him. It's them. It's us. We. Ours. Getting married is just getting that started.

Or - in fewer words - yeah. What you said.

Subject: Re: Marriage

Forum: Marriage
You bring up a good point, Katz. It does not have to be expensive to get married in a church. There are a lot of dresses available at unexpected places these days, and the bride does not have to turn into a bridezilla about "her" day, in any case. Flowers don't have to be expensive either.

I get twitchy when people talk about its being the bride's day, though. Will it also be her marriage? Her home? Her family? Her say so on everything else? That doesn't bode well, if you ask me.

I know I'm an oldie ... but I've been married since July of 1983, and I can tell you that I've never been sorry about the time WE took planning the day. We did it together - it wasn't a fight. Wedding planning time is a very good microcosm of the days to come. Lots of deeper issues surface. Things like autonomy and attachment and a person's a ability to flex and compromise ... expectations about the role of religion or extended family ... all kinds of things bubble to the surface. I think it's important to pay attention to those things, and not just to solve the immediate issue of a venue for a day. It's a marriage you're getting, after all - not just a wedding day.

Subject: Re: Marriage

Forum: Marriage
You sure post great questions!

Since two of the top three points of contention for a married couple are money and religion ... and since this problem has both elements in it ... well, they need to do some more talking. They need to talk about the underlying assumptions each is making about weddings, marriage, money, and religion, or it will all come back to bite them later. It would be even better if they talked about this stuff with a pre-marriage counselor who could get to the bottom of it - it's faster and more honest that way, usually.

In my opinion, church weddings should be religious ceremonies and not done for a "feeling" in any case. The religion in that church should match the religion of both people. There are lots of rental chapels that give a feeling, and they don't charge that much money. (But then, I suspect this isn't really about money. Or church.)

Subject: Re: HOW CAN YOU TELL?

You can't tell. About 27 years ago, when I was engaged, I used to ask my man, "But how do you KNOW?" I was sure that it was possible. I thought a person could know when "the right one" came along. Truth is, there are lots of right ones. But we've been married for nearly 25 years now. Faithfully, through good times and bad, raising three kids, the whole deal.

What we did is very odd, I'll admit -- but I'll tell you what I tell my own offspring (who've sprung and gone into their own lives - so now I don't tell 'em anything they aren't asking about because it's none of my business - I had my chance)

1. First get a life. THEN find someone who wants to build that life with you.

2. In the meantime, don't play with other people's hearts.

3. When you're ready, find someone you get along with really well. Someone you can talk to about the things that matter most to you.

4. You'll never know about #1 or #3 if you skip the hard work of getting to know someone (and his/her family and friends and background - the whole deal). Hopping into recreational sex is skipping the hard work.

5. Don't let other people play with your heart either.

And then, after you decide to give it a go, make it work. It takes two people to make it work, and stuff happens, but if you chose well in the first place, you can make it work.

Oh. And if all else fails, imagine yourself raising a little version of the other person. Wouldn't want to? That's not the one for you.