He Said/She Said: Is marriage worth it?

She Said:

We are held to the standard that one day we will get married and one day we will have children.  This is the established norm embraced by our government and society, but really, isn’t marriage overrated?

Marriage is an institutionalized practice that resembles the practices of religion and reinforces Christian ideologies.

Commentary by Carrie Wojcik, Business Editor

Marriage promotes the ideologies and moralities of religious practices that make no sense for our government to evaluate and incorporate into its infrastructure, since marriage has no political purpose aside from tax returns.  The ceremonial celebration is symbolic and unnecessary.

Today, half of marriages end in divorce which comes as no surprise when you examine marriage through an evolutionary perspective. It is unnatural.  Although we consider ourselves “higher beings,” let’s face it. Our evolutionary needs outweigh any reality we try to create for ourselves.

Marriage ruins independent individuals and limits their achievements by tying them down in a shared financial and home environment.  It complicates relationships with combined finances and social expectations; marriage simply takes the love out of relationships.

In many ways, marriage is a traditional practice that reflects old values.  For example, marriage encourages symbolism that establishes women as property.

Women must wear an engagement ring, then on their wedding day, their father hands them off to their soon-to-be-husband.  Marriage reinforces that the female role is to be the husband’s wife, meaning women are only meant to be beautiful, good mothers and caretakers for the home.  In fact, the ceremonies focus on the beauty of the women.

Marriage really has nothing to do with actual love.  A matrimonial ceremony is a time for the couple to put on a façade and try to create the most memorable and attractive ceremony the guests will attend that summer.

Why can’t it be OK for someone to just love someone and not need the over-the-top ceremony and celebration?

Do we really have to be together all the time in order to know we love each other?

Can’t we enjoy our independent and successful lifestyles while being in love and having children?

He Said:

I’m happily engaged to a woman I met more than 12 years ago. The journey we have both been on until now has made the ending that much sweeter.

Cliché aside, marriage wasn’t something I dreamed of or wildly assumed in every relationship.

Commentary by Jon Block, Copy Editor

My life since high school hasn’t had much “single time.” I’m a relationship guy through and through. In my eyes, marriage is worth it, because of all the days spent in my

childhood with family, friends and loved ones, none of them began with her smile or ended with her goodnight kiss.

I’m not married yet, so I’m speaking purely from my current “engaged” point of view. Never had I been more scared than the moment I told my family that I was ready, that I was going to ask her to marry me. Ring shopping with my mom made me realize that she wasn’t ready for her oldest son to have another woman in his life.

My old man was even more difficult. I found myself practicing what I’d say to him, and when the time came, I forgot it all.

I’d only seen my dad cry twice in my life; the first time was when I sat on a gurney at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee after my first asthma attack. The last was when I told him I was going to marry her.

I’ve made some good choices in my life, and I’ve made some bad choices in my life, and engagement is one of the good ones.

My dad says that he sees I’m happy, but I’ve never known him to be overly emotional. So if the time comes when my son or daughter is ready to get married, I’ll remember the look on my dad’s face when I told him I was ready.

With that being said, marriage is worth it in my mind. I’ve gotten to know this wonderful woman, and our relationship has blossomed into something I can’t live a day without. If that’s the place you see your relationship going, go for it.

Each situation is different, and in the current situation where people place such a high emphasis on social media and relationship “status,” meaningful and healthy relationships are a must. Meaningful and healthy relationships don’t always culminate in marriage, but in my case, it did.

Marriage is worth it, because I’ll always have someone to vent to, I’ll always have someone to rely on and I’ll always have someone to make me happy. In the words of Parachute, “She’s all I need.”