|Posted on October 24, 2011 at 3:45 PM|
Marriage is an odd thing. After being married for close to five years, my ex-wife and I were having cocktails with some friends when someone asked when we were going to get hitched. "We got married in '98," was our response. "I thought you were just living together," came the reply. We both had a strange moment of clarity when, simultaneously, we realized that legally binding ourselves together was completely unnecessary. All the trouble we went through to make our relationship official and these people, who we knew fairly well, never stopped to consider that we were doing anything other than fornicating this whole time. Then what was the goddamn point of the rings, the dress, the ceremony, the honeymoon…. actually, scratch the honeymoon one. Marriage does make it more of a pain in the ass to break up with someone, but if you and that special person share a mortgage, checking account, children or if only one of you knows where the freakin' stapler is then splitting up is going to be a bitch regardless of whether you file your taxes "joint" or "separate."
By some estimates (which I totally did not make up), 41% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Aside from putting the whole "practice makes perfect" theory to bed, this means that the more spouses you burn through, the less likely it is that you'll ever get that fairy tale ending. Three of my friends got married within a year of my wife and me. Two of them are on their second marriage and the other one is currently looking for the third Mrs. Him. The idea of getting married even once seems ridiculous to me now, but the fact that these fellas are willing to do it over and over means that they're either suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or experienced some type of massive brain trauma. I have nothing against the gals they tricked into marrying them, it's just that I would rather be water boarded than have to learn to navigate a new person's bizarre habits and personality ticks.
Marriage means betting half your stuff that you'll love someone forever
I liked being married. It's nice to have a beautiful someone to talk to, complain about relatives and unite against common enemies with. I don't regret getting married to her but I wouldn't have loved her any less if we had just been living together for the last 13 years. We were a pretty good match for each other, at least as good of a match as two people with drastically different upbringings can be. My ex-wife feels the same way about matrimony. In fact, one of her favorite games involves harassing bachelorette parties when we're at the bar. She'd go on a tirade about how stupid it is to get married until, inevitably, the bride-to-be noticed that she and I are both wearing wedding rings. "But you're married," the bachelorette will argue. "Yeah, but not to him," my wife would respond, pointing to me. As far as I was concerned, the only way I was ever going to be single again was if I was widowered after my wife has a tragic logging accident (which would be suspicious since she worked in an office) or if she finally got that call from Ryan Reynolds asking her to run away with him.
I'm on to you, Reynolds
The overall silliness of having a priest/preacher/minister/rabbi/whatever officiate over a pagan ritual that joins two people together in a legal union really makes me wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to letting gays do it. The biggest threat to the health of any marriage comes from the people in it, not the husband and husband next door. I'm no mathematician, but doesn't gay + gay = fabulousness squared? All you religious enthusiasts should keep in mind the words of philosopher Daniel Tosh – Just because it's legal doesn't mean God's gonna let 'em into Heaven. Modern marriage is a joke anyway, if it wasn't there wouldn't be game shows based on it. Getting married used to be a way to force two warring factions into cooperating with one another, it's more like "Going Steady: Extreme Edition" these days.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to see if I can locate the next future ex-Mrs. me.