Love First, then Marriage

What do we expect of marriage?

Marriage is about compromise. Marriage is about the way you make me feel. Marriage is abour a love so deep it can never fail…

There was a time when people were married, then learned to love one another. Today, we place love first, and only in the case of love —”true love”— would we even consider marriage.

Maybe you are the one I can spend my life with…

I hate to sound like the horrible anti-romantic, but maybe the problem with marriage isn’t the divorce rate. Maybe the problem with marriage isn’t gay marriage. Maybe the problem with marriage is that marriage has been turned into the ultimate expression of me.

Even as many Americans withdraw from marriage, researchers say, they expect more from it: emotional fulfillment as opposed merely to practical support. “Family life is no longer about playing the social role of father or husband or wife, it’s more about individual satisfaction and self-development,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University. -NY Times

Instead of marriage being about us, it’s about me.

Gay marriage is inevitable so long as we see marriage as a form of self fulfillment. In fact, so long as there is nothing more to marriage than self fulfillment, there is no end in sight to the ways marriage will be modified in our culture. Once we argue that marriage is about the way we feel, the fulfillment of desires, the fulfillment of dreams, a place of social standing, then there will be no end to the modifications made to the institution.

As heartless as it might sound, as much as it might sounds like Tevye in The Fiddler on the Roof, there is a point where marriage isn’t about romance, about feelings, about fulfillment. There is a point where marriage isn’t about me, but about the community, about the family, about the reality of love, not the chimera of chemistry.

If marriage is about me, why bother with marriage at all?

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