I've been meaning to post about marriage for some time now. Mostly because I am inundated with memes outlining (often quite different) individualized views on the subject. Which is awesome if everyone happened to subscribe to the very specific expectation each meme imparts. More often than not however, they do not appear to be declarations of how one chooses to live their own life, rather indictments on how other's choose to live theirs. I cannot imagine, given the numerous, highly personalized perspectives on the ideal marriage, and taking into account the culturally diverse mix of heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics who all run the entire spectrum of liberal, conservative, blue collar, white collar, narrative conflict (man versus man, man versus nature, man versus himself, man versus society), and wildly different reasons for choosing to (or choosing not to) marry for race, color, previous condition of servitude, cultural familial commitment, as a beard, for citizenship, loneliness, boredom, social standing, love, or to populate the world with spirit babies), that any one of those would magically fit a single, individualized expectation. Nor should it. Put that way, those silly memes do suddenly seem awfully unreasonable, don't they?
- The normalization of jealousy as an indicator of love
- The idea that a sufficiently intense love is enough to overcome any practical incompatibilities
- The idea that you should meet your partner’s every need, and if you don’t, you’re either inadequate or they’re too needy
- The idea that a sufficiently intense love should cause you to cease to be attracted to anyone else
- The idea that commitment is synonymous with exclusivity
- The idea that marriage and children are the only valid teleological justifications for being committed to a relationship
- The idea that your insecurities are always your partner’s responsibility to tip-toe around and never your responsibility to work on
- The idea that your value to a partner is directly proportional to the amount of time and energy they spend on you, and it is in zero-sum competition with everything else they value in life
- The idea that being of value to a partner should always make up a large chunk of how you value yourself
Being inclusive does not mean including those who exclude others; expect more from yourself.