The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Relationships and marriages

The topic of marriage came up a couple of times last weekend with different groups of friends. Strange as it sounds, Rob and I are on a mission to convince as many people as we can not to get married. Hehe, we're even enjoying the weird looks we get from friends when we say "Don't get married!" because we ourselves are married. If u think about it, getting married is done for everyone else but yourselves. You're asking the government for permission to be legally recognised as a "unit". Being the anarchist that he is, Rob isn't very happy with the legality/government part of getting married. We even seriously considered doing the wedding without signing the legal documents because that wasn't essential for me - the important part for me was the public declaration to our peers of our commitment to each other. Although in hindsight, it was a good thing we went through the legal route because Rob can easily obtain the Spouse Visa for the duration that I am on the JET Program.

The wedding is also a very expensive party you throw for everyone else (hopefully you'll have as much fun as your guests do). I am all for parties and celebrations, but the wedding industry is out to milk all the money they can. We went non-traditional when planning our wedding, which saved us a lot of money - it ended up costing us around $5-6000, which is not that expensive compared to many others, but you'll agree that it is still a lot to spend for just one day.

Need more convincing? The roots of marriage is sexist - the woman is the property of the man: first her father, then "given away" to her husband. Rob likes telling people that marriage is like legalised prostitution (I think he likes saying that mainly for the reactions he gets) - exchanging sex for money and security.

So why did we get married? Pressure from my family and Christian social groups. It is important to me for my peers to accept my relationship with Rob, regardless of Rob's choice of religion (or lack of due to his agnostic values), and I felt that it could only be achieved if we got married. And if it wasn't for me, Rob would be very happy not getting married. So it comes down to pleasing others but yourselves.

My point is - we don't need marriage to validate our relationship. Isn't it far more romantic to be together because you want to, and not because you signed some 'contract'? BTW, we were both conscious not to do the whole "til death do us part" in our vows because we don't want to break any promises made to each other further down the track. That's not to say I endorse divorce, but I don't endorse the idea of two people being miserable together out of obligations. My younger sister said that once she makes the commitment to get married, she'll make an effort to work out any problems to avoid divorce. That's where I think the problem lies in this society - people have the mentality that you can fool around until you settle down and get married. For me, when you commit to a relationship, you should commit to giving your 100% to working out any problems, regardless of whether you're married or not.

Just a note, I thought that we had a very nice wedding. Even Rob had a good time, but I think that was mainly because it wasn't very traditional and 'wedding-y'. It's nice to have friends tell me that they really liked our wedding - how it was so laid-back, casual and very us. And I was so chuffed when a friend of mine who recently got engaged asked me for advice on wedding planning because she liked ours so much.

I'll close on this topic with this quote we had on our Order of Service at our wedding:

Our love is strengthened by knowing that each of us could survive on our own if we wanted to... but realising that more than anything We choose to be together.

1 comment:

  1. Tell me about it saving you money!! Coralee's cost $15,000, and hers was a cheap wedding. By the time it came around to actually getting married, she was wishing that she had eloped instead. It would have been so much easier and they wouldn't have been so exhausted by the end of the day. While on the topic of cash, to put it in the words that my dad replied when I asked him how much it cost him to get married... "I don't know Son, I'm still paying for it." (I think he was kidding though.)
    Either way, don't worry... I don't plan on getting married anytime soon :P
    [Kris out]