Monday, June 04, 2012

Dianne Lawrence: The Real Threat To Marriage

Dianne Lawrence: The Real Threat To Marriage:
"The religious conservatives have it wrong ... again. Gay marriage will not destroy the institute of marriage. How can people who want to get married end marriage? In fact, gay men and women who crave marriage are the distraction, the front, the "beard" if you will for the real secret, pervasive threat to the Institute of Marriage ... childless, single, joyous, happy and free women who just can't get worked up about getting married and who do not want children. And our numbers are growing. Nearly half of the population is single and 61 percent of them have never married.
 . . .
Yet this "right for each other" never came my way. And if it did, I apparently didn't notice. But contrary to what married folks want to believe, lack of children or husband has many rewards for an adventurous woman. Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose. I have had the enormous great fortune to have been able to pursue everything I've ever wanted to do and become the most full version of myself, something I hear gets lost for many women in the middle of endless husband and child demands. I do know that a family can have its rewards: Who can deny the benefits of protection, affection, support? But so many are a hotbed of tangled resentments, unspoken fears and complicated intrigues one can't deny that single isn't better or worse than being married: It's just different. Actually for some of us it seems to work exceedingly well. The secret is out."
I am happily married, but when my husband and I are asked about it, one of the first things we say is, "It isn't for everyone."  After all, the strange confluence of factors that makes us so compatible contains few lessons for us to pass along.  Except, perhaps, for one: the constant unhappy compromise, hard work, struggle, and yelling fights we see in so many other couples is far from mandatory.  I see those marriages, and I know I would last about five minutes in any of them. 

So why do so many people accept those terms?  I think it is for the same reason so many people have children.  We're supposed to.  It is seen as an inevitable step in maturity and the progression of life, and it takes a bold individual willing and able to question almost anything to realize it isn't really a must.

Childfree and single people are often compatriots in the fight for acceptance, perhaps mostly because so many single people don't have kids.  However, it is more than that.  We're compatriots in the struggle to allow all people to choose their own path, to decide for themselves what makes them happy, and not to be judged or punished just for failing to follow the script.  I can think of a lot of groups like this, and I hope to continue to support each and every one of them.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing..