Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Weddings

Tomorrow I am going to a family wedding. I’m looking forward to it, but it’s made me think about how weddings fit into todays society. When I got married in 1999, I went into it believing it would be for life. I had never left home. I wanted everything to be traditional, but unlike in years gone by, I didn’t expect my parents to foot the bill. We were on a budget as are many people who get married, so we only invited family to the ceremony and reception, with friends then joining for the evening. It was a great day for what we could afford and I never expected I would do it again.

I’ve been to 4 weddings since.

Yep that’s right, in 12 years I have been to 4 weddings. Why is that? Well, it would have been slightly higher had I been able to make all the weddings I was invited to. On the plus, out of those 4, all 4 are still married so whilst my marriage didn’t last I don’t quite think I am jinxed!!

The reason I think the number is quite low though is because I don’t think marriage is as important these days. I am in a generation of people who have normalised divorce. I don’t know anyone in my age bracket who hasn’t been through or seen more than 1 friend go through a divorce. It seems to me though that now, people get on with life and make sure that they can live as a married couple before making the commitment. Now that is not a criticism. I think it’s quite wise. I would definitely want to live with someone before I married them now. It’s not because it is easier to walk away either. Many couples now have children before they marry, and just co-habiting means that any split could involve solicitors if you don’t split things fairly. There’s also the fact that couples cannot be discriminated against for co-habiting, fathers still have parental responsibility even if they are not married and it doesn’t effect taxes any more.

So, I got thinking all about what weddings are about these days. Does it make them more successful because couples wait these days? Or does it make the meaning less? Is it just an excuse for a party? And how many people now enter a marriage with doubt it will last forever? I even noticed that some vows don’t state “as long as we both shall live”, stating instead “as long as we are married”, which I take to mean that the couple are promising not to be unfaithful but not to be together for life.

I actually think that divorce is more likely now because we live longer too. Ok, not everyone died young and some marriages lasted a long time, but it was only 100 years ago that life expectancy was 50-54. Marrying at 20, that was a good old commitment for 30 ish years. Now though, a couple marrying at 20 are making a commitment of about 50 years based on current life expectancy. As much as I like to hope no one gets married knowing they will divorce, that’s one hell of a commitment. Having gone through a divorce I’m not sure I could promise my life because no matter what I feel I cannot guarantee time won’t change me, or the person I marry.

Or is it that my experience has shattered my dreams so much I can’t believe in having one true love any more? Are my fairy tales really broken beyond repair? At one time I said I would never re marry, now I say I wouldn’t write it off as an option. I have to admit some couple get through, my parents have been married 34 years now and they are as strong as ever. I’m torn between every little girls dream of everlasting love and the reality of my own experience! So what do you think, is there are place for marriage in todays society or is it just a part of our culture that in many ways is just expected of couples?

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November 10, 2011 - Posted by | Me, myself and I |

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