Thursday, January 10, 2008

Love versus Marriage?

Bonnie Eslinger wrote an interesting essay printed in the January 14, 2008 issue of Newsweek, called "Yes to Love, No to Marriage". Although he asked her, Bonnie said no to marrying Jeff, her beloved of 3 years. She loves him, is committed and together they have bought a house, and are planning their life together. Bonnie doesn't want the institution of marriage. Maybe it will get in the way of the committed love relationship she is creating with Jeff?

Bonnie wrote:
" Our married friends say you can make a wedding --and a marriage--what you want, but that is not true. It's a specific institution with defining principles and values. If it weren't, there wouldn't be so-called marriage-protection laws in the majority of this country's states."

I would be curious to talk to Jeff. He proposed to Bonnie last year. To propose, he must have felt at that time, marriage was what he wanted. Or what he thought was the natural next step to take a relationship farther, deepen it? Maybe he hadn't thought there was an option. If we don't get married, we'll break up? And having/not having children together also makes the decision to marry or not marry a different kind of one.

Many I interviewed for Why Get Married? said getting married was the only step we have as a society to say to our beloved and the outside world, "Hey, I really really love this person, and I am serious about our future together. " If this is what marriage is supposed to help us communicate to our loved one and the world these days (because that isn't why marriage was created eons ago) , what does that growing divorce rate (near 60% in some states) also say?

And marriage IS an institution, meaning it is part of an established, old old system, and what it protects and upholds is out of sync with the lives being lived these days.