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"Every marriage I have ever witnessed has gone down in flames. Why do people continue to perpetuate the idea that marriage is essential to happiness when both people usually end up hating each other in the end? Why bother getting married?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

I mean, life is what you make it. Which is a statement that I believe applies to every tiny piece of life. School is what you make it. Your career is what you make it. Marriage is what you make it.

It’s funny because I know multiple people who were divorced at least once before the age of 25 and I also know a countless number of people who have been married for 15+ years. I chose to focus on the successful marriages because I think marriage is cool and it’s something I eventually want. HOWEVER, I have no interest in trying to convince others to get married because I think it’s a totally personal thing and something that is COMPLETELY okay to NOT want. If that makes sense.

There are certain (very ridiculous) things that go along with marriage socially/politically that are important to me, personally. I don’t want my partner to be in the hospital and I can’t get to her because we don’t have one piece of paper that says we’re together. I don’t want to have a child that isn’t recognized as my child in some states/countries. I don’t want to be in a position where a decision has to be made about my life and my partner doesn’t even get to weigh in. Those things terrify me. PLUS I really want a fun party with cute rings where people give speeches about my deep passionate love and tell stories about dumb things I did when I was 22.

Whatever you wanna do is right, and keep in mind that you are not the people around you, you are a product of your own decisions. Make the right ones for the right reasons and you’re good to go. The decision to get married does not make anyone better or worse, it’s optional for a reason, you know?

TO EACH HIS OWN – Hillary Duff

Kristin Says:

You are really asking a lot of things in this question… so I am going to try to break them down to their simplest pieces (though this is anything but simple):

First: Since all the marriages you witnessed have not lasted, does this mean that, should you choose to marry, you will also fail? No. It certainly does not. What determines the trajectory of your marriage is you and the human you marry, your communication, your patience, your faith (just as Dannielle said up there in her very wise words). My parents have been married for over thirty years, and some of those years were fucking horrible. They chose to continue working – which for them was the right decision. Marriages are like snowflakes. No two are alike. Not even close.

Second: Does marriage equate to happiness? Fuck no. Again, Dannielle speaks total truth. Marriage is important for some of us for a whole bunch of varying reasons, but that doesn’t determine happiness. Your choices, your actions, your knowledge of yourself and the world around you – those things determine happiness.

Third: Why, then, do people think that marriage = happiness? Well… have you noticed any themes in, say, Disney movies, magazine articles, news stories, popular music, romantic comedies, and on and on and on? Most places we look tell us that happiness means two rings, two kids and a minivan. Bravo on you for seeing through the crap and looking for the truth. (PS: That doesn’t mean your truth won’t include the rings, kids, and minivan.)

Fourth: Why bother? You don’t have to bother if you don’t want to bother! Get married if that makes sense to you. Get married if you want to have a monogamous relationship with someone that also carries with it a legal or spiritual component which you can find through marriage. Marriage doesn’t equate with happiness, and it doesn’t equate with hatred. Marriage is just one particular form of commitment. There are many others.

For me, marriage was spiritual and symbolic. It wasn’t full of glittery-love and fairytales… it meant that I was ready to be a witness to my own life and the life of someone I loved. It meant I was ready to work, every day, to try to become a better person for myself, and for someone else. It meant I saw my future, and this person was there with me in that future. That’s me, though.

You have to find you.

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