Since getting a divorce my opinion on marriage has changed quite a bit and it continues to evolve through my dating experiences as a single woman. I attended a wedding last week and while listening to all the use of words like “forever and “eternity” I couldn’t help but think a little more about this specifically. Does knowing you have something forever or for eternity make it boring, any less desirable and slightly less exciting? I mean, if you know you have something that belongs to you and it will be yours forever doesn’t it kind of set you up for not needing to do anything to maintain it?
I try to be really observant of relationships now, I look to see signs of them failing, or if they are successful, what they are doing that makes them so. I love watching couples who have been dating for a short period of time. One of them is talking about an experience they had, or something they enjoy and the other looks at them adoringly while they talk about this subject. One can walk across the room and the other watches them with a little grin while they silently pat themselves on the back because they are so proud they are in a relationship with that person. There is a sense of pride and excitement about one another but typically after some time in a marriage that excitement starts to wane. Is it because you now have this person for forever and they aren’t going anywhere? Because they don’t maintain a sense of individuality and start becoming like another household object that you own?
I wonder if marriage wasn’t forever, if it was a 6 month contract with an option for renewal every 6 months, would married couples stop taking each other for granted because they knew they could be replaced in 6 months? I love the romantic part of marriage, saying to someone in front of family and friends that you want to build a family and a life with them, that you love them unconditionally and you want to devote yourself to them, this to me is beautiful. All of that being said however, I’m not sure I want to be guaranteed in anyone’s life forever. For better or worse, does that mean if you treat me like crap I still stay because I promised forever?
I’m not claiming to have an answer to this but for me personally, if I ever consider a commitment to one person I don’t think I can consciously promise “forever” again, and right now a 6 month contract with a renewal sounds a little more realistic to me.
If you enjoyed this topic you might also enjoy this talk, which I did very much and think Esther Perel has some great insight here https://www.ted.com/talks/esther_perel_the_secret_to_desire_in_a_long_term_relationship?referrer=playlist-talks_that_just_might_save_you#t-146633