Monday, 5 July 2010

is your marriage doomed?

Apparently mine is.

Please don't think less of me but I happened to come across this article in the daily mail.  For those who know not of this "fine" publication it is written by less than open minded commentators for less that open minded readers.

According to Dr Pam Spurr those who "do not get him up the aisle after three years could well be doomed" (I paraphrase).  Let's put aside the problem I have with "get him up the aisle" for the moment.  

Three years? In fact 18 months would be better. Apparently. Bean and I are marrying on our 10th anniversary.  Whilst you may think me naive, I honestly think I will be with him until the end of my days.  There is nothing more exhilarating for me knowing I am part of his life, hopefully forever.  Of course I am not against those who do marry within in the "golden window of opportunity" but rushing into marriage seems rather more foolhardy to me.

I understand this article may have been written for the more mature audience but looking at friends of my age and educational background have had other things to do than get married.  Indeed whilst others may have felt ready I was definitely not ready to be a wife even 5 years ago and I know this to be the case for most of my friends.  This article fails to appreciate the difference in the generational divide.  Woman are going to university and are delaying other ambitions (may that be marriage or travelling the world) to build a career.  Weddings are important but only as a means to an end.  I will have lived with Bean for longer than 3 years when we wed and enjoyed this time as free to pursue my desires. (It shall be no different when we marry but it was far easier to travel across the world to the middle of nowhere!)

My aunt recently married her man friend of 25 years.  Why does their commitment over the past quarter of a century mean nothing?  Is marriage the be all and end all? Does co-habiting allow for dishonesty or infidelity?  Whilst I want to think marriage is best, I would not think those in a long committed relationship are any different from me and my boy.  Indeed, when divorce is relatively easy is there a difference?  

She then delved into specific points which I would like to address individually.

1. You are his Mrs Right Now, not his Mrs Right
I see not how this is any different from the way woman view relationships.  Yes you can attempt to plan the future but ultimately you know not what is around the corner.  As a young woman Bean was my Mr Right Now who became my Mr Right.  For me I fell in love with him as a friend (with benefits) and then became ridiculously giddy with real passionate love.  Love takes time.

2. The Insecurity Issue
The writer explains that men are fearful of commitment due to their emotional and physical baggage.  Well we all have such problems and of course marriage is not going to solve said issues but having someone to share in your troubles does help.

3. Satisfaction guaranteed?
I have no idea what she is babbling on about here? Yes we want things to be perfect (well actually some of us don't) but how can you ensure that marriage will be the right decision?  You can't.  It's impossible.  You can think it is the right decision but you will never know until you try. People want children in and out of matrimony.  Marriage changes nothing.  I do not see of what there is to be frightened.

4. They're past IT
Whatever it is? I was under the impression that men matured into deliciousness as they age?  I don't think you're ever too old to fall in love. In fact I agree love does not equal marriage but it can be about compromise.

5. Wanting to stay a big Kid
Well what can I say.  Boys will be boys but seriously.  Why does marriage stop you from being childlike? Yes you may accrue more responsibility but why loose you youthful exuberance (well I never had that but I imagine some of you might!).

I just don't think these issues affect just men.  I think we all go through a similar thought process when embarking upon a long term relationship.  I despise the rampant sexism and misandry which pervades our media forcing us to think that men are there to be cajoled and tamed. 

Bean and I have spent a long time thinking about our wedding and marriage.  I am enjoying being his girl and I am so excited about being his wife.  Yet I am not dragging him up the aisle.  It is a joint decision made because we fell in love and found that knew that our lives were to be forever intertwined.  I knew I wanted to marry and Bean knew this although I was acutely aware that he wanted to marry and have children.

However why do we always have to be heading somewhere?  Some of us are not destined for marriage and that is okay. Surely the journey of love is its own reward?

Oh crumbs, I am all over the place.  I am not sure I have made my point very well.  I just want to say to all of you out there who are not married or even thinking about marriage after 3 year you are not a weird subset of the community.  Marriage is about two people who want to get married.  Whether this never happens or takes 50 years, it matters not.  What matters is that you are happy.

What do you think? Should I be worried that we were not married after three years? Are you?

32 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but the Daily Mail are, in this case, assholes. Taking statistics and then compressing them to the least nuanced reading doesn't make you right, it just makes you insensitive. Would they rather we "DRAG THEM DOWN THE AISLE KICKING AND SCREAMING" and then divorce after two years?

    Eff off, journalism. This isn't about statistics, or what works for most people, or even about a science. MARRIAGE IS PERSONAL. LET IT BE PERSONAL. (If we let this happen, it solves so many other problems, too.)

    I bet on Anna and Bean, or the 25-year-old companionship, above "getting him down the aisle before three years" any day.

    xo, Anna. You're not doomed.

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  2. Ha, the writer is ignorant. Way for her to perpetuate a bunch of stereotypes. Don't give her and her column a second thought. A happy marriage is not built around getting a guy to the aisle in 3 years. Absolute silliness.

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  3. whew that article kind of drove me nuts to be honest. Fiance and I will be married on our 5 year anniversary. We knew about 2 years in that we wanted to get married, we talked about it openly and honestly. But we're young babies, 21 and 22, it would have been dumb for us to get married by 3 years. I know people do it, but I couldn't imagine being married while still in college and not having a job. Our relationship is great but we just needed to wait until we had reached some semblence of financial stability. We didn't want to start our marriage off totally stressed about money or lack of a job.

    That article totally doesn't consider where people are in their lives. also using the royals or celebs like harrison ford in comparison to the average couple is ridiculous. celebrities live in a different world and are under dramatically different conditions. and that bit about "dropping hints", seriously? just talk about your relationship people! if you've been together for 4 years, you should be able to talk about whether you want to be married ever. Trust me, the proposal will still be a surprise.

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  4. Okay I will admit I didn't read the entire article, because it was pissing me off.

    It seems that he is making the assumption that in all of these cases, the woman is desperate to get married rightthissecond. Which obviously isn't true. Generalisations are stupid.

    However, I am going to put my hand up and say, if I were with Paddy for more than three years and he hadn't proposed, it wouldn't have ended well. We were serious from the very beginning, we moved across the world together, we talked constantly about our future. So, if he wasn't certain by the three year mark, I would have assumed he'd never be sure.

    I may sound like a crazy woman, but I don't care :)

    Like I said though, you can't generalise with this stuff, every relationship is different. If we'd had a "normal" courtship, things would have been different I'm sure.

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  5. Wow. That article is just... full of shit. Really.

    I think there's elements of truth in it - yes, being honest about what you both want from the relationship is a good idea. Yes, if the two people want different things and aren't honest about it, it could end badly. But uh, putting a 3 year time limit on it? Not wanting to get married means you're just a big immature kid? That's just crap. If The Boy and I got married after 3 years, we'd both be 21, living with our parents and still in university O_o We've never had any issues discussing what we want from the relationship though, so maybe that's what such an article should be focusing on.

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  6. i must get to bed, but i have to tell you that you are darling.

    and this... "However why do we always have to be heading somewhere?"

    why do we always need to be doing something? buying a house, having a baby... why can't we just BE? enjoy the ride, that's what i say!

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  7. Haha! I wrote a post a while back titled, "My marriage is DOOMED, DOOMED, DOOMED!" (or something very similar) based on an article citing faulty statistics for marriages in the United States filled with all sorts of outmoded ideas and misuse of marriage statistics.

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  8. *sigh* So stupid. I think the timing of marriage is every bit as important as everything else. The two of you might be very much in love but if you are not ready financially or emotionally I think waiting might be a better solution than "let's get married now because in two months our 'golden window of opportunity' will be expired".

    Though, Miss C is right. Cory and I knew that we wanted to get married ... well, let me correct that, Cory knew he wanted to marry me right off the bat. There was just too many things going on. Everyone has their own concepts of 'knowing when'. Everyone prior to Cory I dated had a 3 month rule. That is, I knew in 3 months if it was going to work. A friend of mine has a 2 two year rule. Is either any better a judge. No, not really. So Dr. Whoever can keep her rules and I will keep mine.

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  9. To be fair - given the source of this article, marriage probably causes cancer, paedophilia and illegal immigration as well.

    Glad that everyone is taking it with a large grain of salt :) The harsh fact is that I don't care if xx % of marriages fail - that's their responsibility. I just care about my marriage and those of my loved ones.

    The only positive thing about that godforsaken "newspaper" is the racing pages, and this...

    http://www.qwghlm.co.uk/toys/dailymail/

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  10. 'As a young woman Bean was my Mr Right Now who became my Mr Right'
    Beautifully written and I think you're so right about when we meet our man. Having met mine later on in life we did meet and marry in 3 years. But gosh had I met him in my twenties - no way - marriage would have been a long way off - or else I think I may have run away...

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  11. Darling,

    I didn't even read past the first paragraph. Once I realised you'd read something from that trashy paper, I switched off.

    IGNORE!

    Be wed and be wonderful. Your special day is going to be stella!!!! :)

    I married my fabulous Husband after we'd been together for 9 and a half years.

    Newspapers mostly talk absolute rubbish. They have to fill their pages with something!

    xXx

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  12. Dear all!

    Thank you. I never think anything in the Daily Wail is true.

    I was just so horrified by the piece and feared others may be swayed by this rubbish.

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  13. Well, considering have wrong the Daily Mail are about almost everything... I'm taking this as conclusive proof that you and the Bean will have a very long and happy life together! (I knew that already but this doubly confirmed it!)

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  14. those articles are the worst! don't read them! they're rubbish! you are not doomed!

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  15. seriously don't read that crap. anna + bean 4lyfe. that's why my article says. yeah, life with a y.

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  16. That is ridiculous. My FH & I are sort of young, 23 & 24. But we're going on 3 years, the wedding will be right before we hit 4. I would have waited 25 if necessary. Our struggles to follow through with our educations, establish ourselves financially, and hit the early milestones of homeownership & independance will all preceed our wedding day. Experiencing those things together, and waiting until we can afford to throw ourselves the wedding we deserve, gave us time to really prepare for our lives together and "think it through" without even realizing it.

    To make marriage a race just perpetuates the psycho, needy, ring-crazed girlfriend stereotype... and that is the last thing we need. ugh.

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  17. It's nice to know that, as a 22 year old, my future marriage will be doomed because:

    a) We've been dating too long. Over 3 years! I didn't get him up the aisle in time! IT'S DOOMED.

    b) I'm too young (another favourite wedding success statistic). I'm under 25! Nothing good happens under that age! I'm a different person from who I will be! IT'S DOOMED.

    From this I can gather that I should have simultaneously aged 5 years and have married Rich when I was 20.

    I'm not going to lie, sometimes it is pretty disheartening to read from every corner that your dreams are guaranteed to crumble through due to factors you cannot change. But you know what? F* them. (I had to say 'eff' out loud in my head cos I don't swear, cos I'm like, what, 8 years old.)

    But seriously, it's about the individuals. I am going to have a damn good marriage, regardless of the statistics. You are going to have a damn good marriage, regardless of the statistics.

    And then we shall all ritually burn copies of the Daily Mail.

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  18. seriously dont read that crap! anna + bean 4lyfe. yeah, life with a y.

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  19. Looks like im doomed then too!

    What rubbish! We would have never got married so quickly as for us it wasnt right. We just past 7 years together, just after our wedding!

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  20. To be honest I wouldn't expect anything less from the Daily Mail - I've learnt to ignore it - If I reacted to everything I read on there I would have gone crazy with rage by now.

    I've been with thomas for nearly 8 years now and we have no plans to get married. And if we did I wouldn't be worried about how long we'd been together at all, we'll get married when we're ready and when we know its right for us :) just like you are.

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  21. Jesus, what a load of crap.

    And you're much politer about the Daily Mail than I could have been were I writing about their drivel.

    I've no idea how long N and I had been together when we got married, which probably means I don't really love him and we're doomed too. It was somewhere between 2 and 4 years. I think.

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  22. interesting! it's all so relative. of course you are not doomed :) there's no formula or 'right time' to marry -- as long as the relationship feels right and things are somehow progressing, i think there's no need to be concerned. i think getting married after 25 years of dating is really romantic! just my two cents at least!

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  23. First off, you tell em! That is so much bull I can't even think straight. The boy and I will have been together for over 3 years when we get married, and I almost wish it were a little longer. We decided that now was the right time for us because of major life decisions, now just worked for us, but if we want to wait longer before we actually get married than we will (we still haven't set a date). My mom always told her daughters to wait a really long time before we got married, and she's completely right. She wanted us to spend a lot of time really getting to know the person we were with before we made major commitments to them. It's a lot easier to get out of a relationship if you're dating than married. Marriage is a huge commitment to make and there's nothing wrong with taking things one day at a time until you're ready, no matter how long that may be.

    PS: The boy was much more interested in commitment and getting married way before I was. My priorities have never been to get married, getting my doctorate and being independent was and still is. When you have other goals in life that are important to you besides being married then satisfaction in your relationship is surely guaranteed.

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  24. All these blanket statements about marriage are pretty silly, aren't they?

    My experiences color this issue, so what I would say is that (although I think the article is rubbish) it's important that both people be on the same page regarding marriage. If one person is ready to get married and the other is not, then waiting for three (in my case, five) years for them to "get ready" can doom the relationship due to the frustration or resentment that can build up. But if both people are content waiting or don't feel the time is right, then I don't think it makes any difference how long you wait.

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  25. Absolute rubbish!! Friends of ours have been together 11yrs and are marrying in Oct. I say if you've spent the last decade together and still want to get married - you're probably on the right road.

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  26. He he he, the Daily Fail does it again. I'm sure many a middle-aged divorced woman read that article, nodded sagely to herself and realised that's where she went wrong. It couldn't possibly be the fact that she based her values around an entirely pointless propagandist piece of print...

    Nevertheless, I relish the idea of my impending marriage being doomed, before it's even begun. Not because of age or childishness or having been together 6 years. But because I WAS THE ONE THAT DIDN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED. There's none of me dragging him up the aisle in this house, oh no.

    After a very strange upbringing and a particularly bizarre marriage/divorce/separation/movingbackintogetherashousemates relationship between my parents, I was always fairly ambivalent about the idea of getting married. T'was certainly not on my To-Do List!

    He, however, knew from the moment he saw me that he wanted to marry me and said so more or less right from the start. I always thought he was joking (erm...for four years...yes...long joke) but then it dawned on me that it wasn't so much that I didn't want to get married anymore, so much as I'd rather be his wife than not his wife.

    So, I know I'm babbling because I should be asleep and my head is made of mush but let the lesson be this: THERE ARE NO RULES. If there were, Henry VIII would have stayed married to Katherine of Aragon and we'd all still be catholic and Spanish by now I imagine. Divorce does exist for a reason, but everyone is different, everyone has individual circumstances and quite frankly all I have left to say is:
    SCREW YOU DAILY MAIL!

    P.S. Love you Annakins, great article. x

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  27. Thank you all. Especially in the face of blogger adversity!

    I don't believe the woman for a second. I just feel others might.

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  28. If you're screwed - then so are we. Have been together for just over six years. So five and a half years before a wedding. Wonder if the writer of the article is married?

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  29. Screw that publication and anyone else who thinks that everyone has to conform. Good for you for getting married when you want, how you want and to whom you want. My man and I just celebrated 2 years of marriage. We could have been a text book example of some one's "don'ts" but we are endlessly happy. So who cares what anyone else says.

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  30. I can't bring myself to click over to that misogynist bollox that calls itself "Femail" to I'm just responding to your post, Anna.

    Personally I get nervous about people getting married after less that 3 years! (And certainly inside 18 months.) Perhaps this is a reflection of my own experience but I think it takes longer than that to truly know someone, and I always wonder what the rush is when people announce their engagements quite quickly.

    Personally I was ready for marriage after 4 years with Nate. He proposed after 5 1/2 years and we got married after 6 years (3 months 3 days - geek alert!)

    Like you say in your post, those years pre-wedding are not negated by us having got married. We will celebrate eight years together next month and that means more to me than the two years of marriage we will celebrate in November. There's more to commitment than marriage.

    (Great post, love!)

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  31. Meh, my now husband and I were together for 4+ years when we got married and are very happy.

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  32. I haven't read the article itself but your post is certainly very interesting! As if you automatically have less chance of making a marriage work if you've been together more than 3 years! If anything, I'd say it would be the opposite. I've been with my boyfriend for seven years now, and not engaged yet and perfectly happy as I am! But if he does propose and I say yes, I would feel confident in my decision and my relationship and my desire to be with him forever - things which may not have been quite as clear had I only been with him for 18 months! Some people... *rolls eyes*

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So, I really love all the sweet and/or informative comments that you lovelies leave. Yet if you feel the need to be unnecessarily rude or offensive I will delete your comment and not feel bad about it. So just be constructive alright! Hugs to all you wondrous others.

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