Balanced Living | Nov. 6, 2014

Being Married vs. Getting Married

By Nate Whitten, Nov. 6, 2014.

We’re celebrating because it’s FINALLY happened: marriage equality has come to Arizona!

Since the first marriage license was issued on Oct. 17, Facebook has been lighting upmarriage with announcements of marriage proposals and photos of ceremonies.

For some, the recognition of same-sex marriages is a triumph for an existing relationship, and for others it means pressure from their romantic counterpart to take their relationship to the “next level.”

Regardless of where you stand in your relationship, marriage is something to be taken quite seriously and is much more than a fabulously choreographed party to celebrate your love. Tying the knot is a legally binding commitment that carries with it financial, social and relational ramifications.

If we’re going to take on the institution of marriage, let’s do it better than the 50 percent of the straight community who muck it up so badly. Meaning, take time to consider these three points before making your decision to head down the aisle:

1. WEDDINGS ARE NOT MARRIAGES

Weddings are public ceremonies that artistically demonstrate the commitment between two people. Marriages are mowing the lawn, paying bills, taking out the trash, family events, listening and letting the other sleep in while you walk the dog. It’s your everyday life, plus one.

And if your wedding is the most important day of your life, then you’ll be extremely disappointed the day your partner comes out of life-saving surgery, when their cancer goes into remission or when their T-cells have increased to a healthy and safe level. Those are the most important days in our lives — and there are no tuxedos, no beautiful dresses, no cake and no honeymoon.

So just before you get down on one knee and pop the question, ask yourself, “can I be with this person for the remainder of my life?” Can you still see this person the same way when their tight little ass has turned into a shriveled up raisin, and your squared out pecs are resting just above your belly button? I know that’s not very romantic, or is it? Romance isn’t the dating experience, romance is living the marriage.

2. IS THIS MY PRINCE/PRINCESS CHARMING?

If you gaze into the eyes of your soul mate and see them as your hero, your glamorous prince charming … RUN! Again, this is not a romantic message. But if you have bagged your Prince Charming, then you have, in fact, found your rescuer, your enabler and your worst nightmare.

All the romantic fairy tale messages require a damsel in distress, who needs to be rescued. Without their knight in shining armor, they would perish. If you cannot live without your other half, you are a victim and will have a relationship based on codependence and drama. One will always be in crisis that they cannot manage on their own and the other will continually be saving them (there are professionals that can help in these cases).

Before anyone commits to spending their life with another, they should be emotionally healthy enough to be able to manage and live their own life with confidence and success.

3. WHY ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?

There is no correct answer to this question, but you better have a good one. It is, in fact, possible to spend your entire life with someone that you are not legally bound to. You can protect your combined assets with a good attorney. You don’t necessarily get special tax benefits for being married. So what for?

Here’s where I get a little more romantic: Because you love each other and you’re a sappy little boy or girl who’s always dreamed of finding your person, your “why” doesn’t need to be approved or understood by anyone but the two of you. When you find your person, just love them and let yourself be loved in return.

Even though the fairy tales are just that, we all want one. It may not look like everyone else’s and that’s OK. Make your relationship what you want it to be, define it however you wish and just admit that deep down you’re a romantic too! e


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