IJMC Dave's Rant About Marriages

                 IJMC - Dave's Rant About Marriages

Tonight, I am going to take complete advantage of the fact that this is 
my list now. This past weekend I had an opportunity to put down some of my 
thoughts about marriage. Particularly my thoughts regarding people who 
say they aren't emotionally or financially ready for marriage. Do you 
have to read it? Nope. The delete key works as well on this one as on 
any. If you want to know what I think, then read on.                 -dave

P.S. Flip, Michael, consider this appropriate for Rants, if you so choose.

[Taken from an ongoing personal discussion about being ready for marriage]

   Ooh, does that mean I actually have to put together something that 
cohesively ties all my various personal rants and grudges in an 
intellectual discourse worthy of your time? Nope, means I can blather on.

   Ok, financial/emotional states regarding marriage. Only disclaimer 
I'll give...I've never been close to marriage, so maybe I don't know the 
whole picture, however, these are my thoughts and observations and that's 
all they claim to be.

   Financial first, I think it's easiest. I simply don't understand when 
people claim they want to wait on getting married because of money. Are 
you waiting for someone with a larger wallet to come along, and you'll 
make do with this partner if you don't see it soon? Do you think it is 
going to cost you more to live together instead of remaining seperate? 
Don't tell me you're waiting for your parents to put together a dowry for 

   Come on folks, getting married in this country saves you money across
the board. First off, there's the discounts on insurance or sharing
insurance across two people (such as medical). There's the savings in
lodgings and food...it's cheaper for two people to share one place than
each have their own and well, it's easier to cook for two than for one. 
Of course, everyone's favorite, taxes, comes up as well. If filing 
jointly costs you more, file seperately! Add in a few less niggling fees 
such as the savings from consolidating bank accounts, sharing one broom 
or mop, selling a third of your furniture and sharing one bed, and all 
the other little things where one item will work for two people. Think 
about all the batteries you'll save too on those lonely nights.

   Maybe there are a few places where getting married will cost you 
money...of course, there's the marriage itself. Yeah right, parents pay 
for that...and when they don't, that's what the justice of the peace is 
for. If you can't afford the blood tests, I'll agree, you shouldn't get 
married. You should get a job. Hmm, where else. Oh yeah, if you get 
married, you might start to have expensive thoughts like a house or 
something. Oops, forgot, houses save you money. You get all kinds of fun 
tax deductions on a house not to mention you're building equity instead 
of tossing money to a leasing agent or apartment complex. Besides, with 
two of you, you're more likely to be able to afford a down payment.

   Urp, got one...you can't afford the kids. Marriages often seem to 
bring kids, don't they. And children are expensive, yep. So, you're not 
financially ready to get married because the kids will cost too much. 
Sorry, I don't buy it. Pick up an economy size pack of Trojans. They're 
cheaper that way.

   So what's left? Where's the "financial reason" for not getting 
married? Hell, my auto insurance agent specifically told me, "Now don't 
go and get married just to lower your insurance rates!" I don't want to 
hear the "financial reason" is that you're afraid of being monetarily 
better off living with someone else instead of double billing everything 
on your own.

   Ladies and gentlemen, that was the quick and easy one...now the fun 
murky depths of the emotional reasons not to get married. Watch out, I'm 
just getting started.

   "We're not emotionally ready to get married." You know what, I'll 
agree with you. If you, on your own, come up with an excuse why you 
shouldn't get married, then yep, you're not ready. Not sure you'll ever 
be ready, but you definately aren't ready now. 

   You've got doubts, you're unsure, you question, "is this the right thing
to do?" or "is this person the right one for me?" Guess what. This isn't 
the right thing and you're not the right one for this. Don't foist this 
decision off on your partner, remember, you picked them. If they're not 
right for you to marry, what in the world are you doing thinking about 
marriage when you picked them! Or are carjackers starting to take you to 
drive-in movies?

   For some reason, probably because I re-read the last two paragraphs I 
wrote, I don't think I'm coming across as clearly as I wish to. So let's 
see if I can write it out a little straighter. If you are considering 
marriage, and you're not sure you're ready for it emotionally, then you 
are not ready. If you question whether the person you are with is the 
"one" for you, then they aren't who you should be questioning. You pick 
who you are with, and if you're not sure they're who you want to be with, 
I suggest you spend more time wondering why you're with them instead of 
wondering if they're the one.

   You mind, your heart, and your soul are the best bullshit detectors 
ever created. They can sniff out falsehood a mile away, yet we hardly 
ever listen to them. When you realize you have doubts, they've already 
figured it out a few months ago. Listen to your heart, feel what your 
soul tells you, and then pay attention to what your mind thinks. Bet you 
don't, I'll bet ya a buck your mind thinks one thing and you do another. 
Your mind, heart, and soul say "this ain't right" and you go, "well, I 
know I can work it out." Yeah right, in divorce court.

   So, am I saying, that because you have doubts, which everyone does, 
before you decide to get married, that you're not with the right person 
or you're not ready to get married? Nope, ain't saying that, although 
about now I'll bet you wish I was. What I'm saying is this: listen to 
yourself. If you don't think you're ready, you're not. I doubt you're 
asking yourself the right questions though. As humans in our society, we 
put blame and reasoning off on other people, and most of the time none of 
those people caused our problems to begin with. If we'd taken the 
responsibility for ourselves at the start, we'd be doing great and I 
doubt we'd be reading this right now.

   Ok dave, so you can rant and rave and admit you haven't been there but 
you're a great all-knowing guru about what I'm feeling when I think about 
getting married. Nope, I ain't that. And I got more than a rant and rave, 
so don't quit on me now.

   Where do you take this? What do you do? If the questions, the doubts, 
the feelings I'm going through right now aren't the right ones, then what 
in the world are? Guess what...I've got a few suggestions.

   First off, you feel you aren't ready emotionally for marriage? Great
response, I wish more people gave that idea some consideration before
tying the not. I personally consider a person's word the most important
thing about them. If I can't trust their word, then not a thing they say
or do has very much meaning to me. At the best, I have to filter their
life through the knowledge that their word is broken.

   What does a person's word have to do with marriage? In most religions I
know, a marriage is one of if not the single most sacred thing someone
engage in. Most marriages involve the "taking of vows" which usually
include "til death do you part" or some similar phrase. When you stand up
with your fiance, before being told you can kiss, you usually promise to
stay with them for the rest of your life. You will give your word, your
vow, in front of yourself and other witnesses, to do just that.

   Statistics say something like fifty percent of all marriages end in 
divorce. So, odds are against you that you're going to keep your word. 
Odds suggest that you're going to be unable to get along with one other 
human being, one you claim to love and cherish. If you can't get along 
with that one, what makes you think you can get along with anyone? If you 
can enter a vow, most likely presented as the most sacred words you will
ever speak, and not uphold that vow, then what faith should anyone else 
take in your word? Emotionally ready? Nope.

   Life. A personal eternity. Decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, 
minutes, seconds. Everything you will spend together with your beloved. 
And you have doubts before it begins? I'll bet you're not ready.

   Will you ever be ready? Probably. If you want to be. Think about why 
you want to get married. Be honest with yourself...and don't worry, I 
know you're probably not used to doing so. Right now, you're probably 
scowling at me for saying that, pissed that I could ever question your 
internal truth with yourself. Then I'll ask you what you were thinking 
the last time you ate fast food. Was that honest?

   Anyway, be truthful to yourself. Hey, no one else has to know. Do you 
want to get married because you're lonely? Have you sat down, all by 
yourself, in a quiet spot, and spent a few hours thinking about what 
eternity means? Do you want to grow old with this person, your potential 
fiance? Do you want to share your life, openly and wholly with them? Do 
you expect to stay the you who you are now after you marry them? Do you 
think you can remain your own person once you two join as one? Can you 
picture asking this person to hand over your dentures?

   Are you ready yet? Can you tell people that this is the right 
decision, and know in your heart that it is? Are you still trying to 
convince yourself one way or the other? If so, it means you're not ready. 

   Do you think you have a way out? Got the number of a good divorce 
attorney? Do you care about your word? What is important to you?

   When you get married, there is no way out. Yes, there are ways to end 
it, but there is no way out. You are changed for life and hey, with most 
people, there won't be any reprocussions. Maybe you need a good divorce 
or two under your belt before you'll know what you're looking for. 

   I believe most people enter into marriage far too lightly today. They 
seem happy for the moment without considering the future. They forget 
they've been happy before with others who didn't work out. They don't 
want to be alone again. They aren't willing to answer themselves. They 
think they can remain single while married to someone else. They delude 
themselves, just as they did before they got married. They get divorced.

   Those who question if they're ready, they're not. If you're wondering 
whether you're ready emotionally, you're at least likely to be on the 
right track. If you are questioning for other reasons, such as financial 
which I discussed above, well, you're looking for excuses because you 
don't want to just say no.

   Once again though, even asking yourself are you emotionally ready, are
you asking the right questions? Do you know what feels wrong to you? Is it
you? Are you ready for the commitment? Is this the person who you've chosen 
to be with? Did you pick them for life, or just for Friday night? I don't 
care what they've done to prove themselves to you, to show you that you 
are the right one for them, you have to know they are the right one for 
you. If you're not sure, I wonder if you ever will be about them, or if 
you'll just decide they're good enough.

   You asked me what I think about being emotionally and financially 
ready for marriage. You've proved that by reading this far, even if you 
didn't ask the original question. I think most people who enter into a 
marriage are not ready for what faces them. I think most people take 
their word and their vows far too lightly, as most people do with their 
lives nowadays. I think the reprocussions for divorce are weak. I think 
most people are selfish and expect too much out of marriage. I think most 
people delude themselves, even if only by not considering such matters. 

   If it means anything, I think I'm bitter, cynical, egotistical, and 
inconsiderate of others most of the time. Does it make my observations, 
my thoughts, any less valid? You have to decide that for yourself.

   Overall, I'm glad you asked, I'm glad you cared enough to read through
this far. There's hope for you yet. If I've been unclear, ask. If you're
unsure, ask your heart, question your soul, ponder your thoughts. 
Marriage is not something you will enter lightly, and it is not something 
you can ever leave. Remember that. 

   Something else. If you don't think you agree with the eternal idea of 
marriage, if you wish to be together with someone, but not "til death do 
we part" then consider other options. Live together, love together, learn 
together, be together, but don't get married. Or change your vows. Be 
honest from the start, pay attention to your desires, and you'll go far. 
If you don't agree with everything in a marriage contract, then change it 
with your partner. You can't break your word if you don't give it. But if 
you give it, live it. You may find some things aren't as difficult to 
live with as you make them out to be, and if they are, then you will be 
that much stronger for living through them.

   Understand, a marriage is not about you. Marriage is your decision to 
enter into as well as it is the decision of your mate to enter into it. 
Once you are married, that marriage is no longer about you. The marriage 
is then about your union, about a whole.

   People nowadays seem to want their independence so much, so they can
choose to eat the same McDonald's hamburger that everyone else is eating. 
In a marriage, as in anything where you have to get along with even only 
one other person, you have to put parts of yourself aside. And if you 
can't do that, go find yourself a nice cabin somewhere away from everyone 
else, and become a hermit. You live in a society, you exist in that 
society, you take part of that society. You live in a marriage, you exist 
in that marriage, you take part in that marriage. You can be unique and 
coexist at the same time, one does not have to go without the other.

   Is the stronger person the one who stands up for themselves regardless
of why, who declares against others what they want, or the person who
stands aside for that person? Are you emotionally unprepared for marriage,
are you going to stand up against your mate or stand aside when it helps? 
Are you going to demand chocolate when all your partner can offer is 
vanilla? Or will you decide that vanilla tastes good too, and enjoy it?

   To thwart a few arguements here, remember, before you start throwing 
examples at me of where standing aside is wrong, of where marriages need 
to end even though entered into in good faith, think about whether these 
examples you want to use are normal cases. I admit extreme cases exist, 
that some things can't be fixed. I just think we use those extreme cases 
to justify decisions which are wrong.

   We use extremes to prove that lesser events are ok, or at least
acceptable. They're not, just because a person needs out of a marriage
because their spouse has become abusive where nothing prior to the union
suggested an abusive nature. Fifty percent of all marriages in the United
States of America are not justifiable cases. 

   In case you still don't get my point on non-justifiable cases, here's 
two examples. A gay or lesbian feels they need a divorce because they're 
not being true to themselves any more; they can't live a lie anymore. 
They were pressured into the marriage by family, friends, or society. Ok, 
so they entered into a lie to begin with and they should have known it. 
Is there a solution other than divorce? Probably not. This is an example 
of a marriage that never should have been entered into, one where the 
people involved should have been true to their feelings from the start.

   Second example, your typical physically abusive marriage. Wrong? You
bet. Wrong as a marraige? Yep. Something that was probably known from the
beginning? Uh huh. Most people don't change that much. That little fight 
where they raised their fists as well as their tone? It's only going to 
get worse.

   I've said a lot, I've spoken a good bit of my peace. Marriage isn't 
what I'm against. Failed marriages are what I'm against. I don't want to 
live to see the number of marriages ending in divorce reach seventy-five 
percent. I'd like to see that number drop. I'm not saying you shouldn't 
get married, I'm just suggesting you be true to yourself, learn what that 
means, understand what you are. Know who you're with, and why you're with 
them. Be honest with one another, trust in them and keep faith in 
yourself. If you're ready, you're ready. If you have doubts, you're not, 
but that doesn't mean you won't be. Spend that time, think about it, 
reach into your feelings, tap your soul. You'll find more advice, better 
advice, then I can ever give you.

   Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. Can you afford not to? How many 
choices do you make in your life that will stay with you for the rest of 
your life as well as affect almost every aspect of your life? How many of 
those choices can you later go back and change? Marriage, as most people 
speak their vows, is not a choice you can later change. Prepare yourself.

   That said, can you, in the depths of your soul, say that yes, I want to
spend the rest of my life with this one person, I want to become part of
them as they become part of me. Ten years from now, I want to look at my
spouse and no longer be able to tell where I leave off and they begin. I
want to do everything I can, put myself aside where necessary as they will
do for me, and become as one in marriage til death do we part. 

   Yes? You're ready. Let me know your wedding date so I can enter it in 
my calendar seven years hence. I'll call and see if you're still together.

| eatheror@netcom.com	                            ( O   O )   
| David P. Thompson "Could you come up with something better?"  | TANSTAAFL
| Volunteer NASA relief shuttle pilot, available on 1 hr notice | Coke is it

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