Cynical About Marriage – Still, I did it again!
I got married on Halloween. It was a small ceremony, I didn’t buy any fancy clothes, there was no reception. But people expected me to have those things because that is what a wedding is supposed to be like. Everyone assumes that a wedding is all about the dress, the cake, the party, the romance. I think way too many people have been brainwashed by fancy Hollywood movies, societal expectations and media. A wedding is a ceremony which was for a long time about God and religion. It wasn’t about love, it was about following the laws of religion so you’d be able to have sex with each other without the fear of ending up in hell. And it was more often than not about practicality: families being bond to each other through marriage, keeping lineages alive, money, cattle, land.
Why do people really get married?
It is only in our modern times that we connect weddings with romance and love. But is it really? I think it is about status, about meeting the needs of parents and family. The prettiest dress, the best party, the most expensive rings. All that stuff that businesses want to make sure you know are supposed to be important about a wedding. Capitalism and self-centered behaviour at its best. And all that is already poured into little girls’ minds form an early age.
In most Western countries, marriage isn’t as important anymore. Living together for a certain amount of time, gives you the same kind or responsibilities and rights like being married does. Religion doesn’t play that big of a role anymore. Still, people expect you to value tradition, to show your commitment, to buy the fancy things. The wedding and bridal industry is enormously huge and really a sad representation of today’s capitalistic world.
Can you see my cynicism yet? Ha! I was just a tad disappointed that my friends all asked those typical questions: which dress are you going to wear? Are you going to have a dj? What kind of wedding cake are you getting? I wish someone had asked me why I am getting married when in today’s society marriage doesn’t hold much value anymore, with divorce rates being very high. One of my otherwise very feminist friends could have pointed out that by getting married, I am buying into traditional heteronormative structures of commitment and monogamy.
I am not a romantic person. There is no need emotional poems, flowers or grand gestures, to feel loved. Heck, I don’t even need a “I love you”. All I need is care and attention, physical closeness and feeling prioritized. I am not one for gifts, and emotional outbursts. So I am definitely not the kind of person who would buy into the whole wedding industry sales trickery. As a matter of fact, when I was a teenager, I promised myself to never get married.
Well, as this is my second marriage, I failed my past self. My first wedding was even more unspectacular than my recent one. There were no guests, just him and I, signing papers at the city hall. In and out in 15 minutes. We couldn’t even afford rings. The only reason why I got married was to be able to change my last name. I wanted to get rid off my father’s last name. And getting married was cheaper than applying for a name change. See how romantic I am? My ex and I had dated for 10 years at that point. We were committed. We had the same rights as married couples in Sweden. But well, name changes are expensive.
Marrying my Master
Marrying my Master was different. Yes, there were rational reasons to get married. And without those reasons we both would have been perfectly fine to just live together. But those rational reasons made a lot of sense, and we are in a committed relationship. So why not? There was no proposal, there was no grand gesture. It was more like: we should get married, it would make things easier. We are both divorced, we are both not overly romantic. We don’t need gifts and showy stuff to know what we mean to each other. There is no doubt that we are good together because of the comfort and safety we feel when we are together. Because our sex is amazing. We help each other grow. Because we laugh with each other every day. We are a fit.
But still, this time was different, for me. It was not a “whatever”-decision, it was a decision that we both put some thought into. And I realized that I wanted the commitment part of it. I mean, I know it is just a piece of paper. And we are polyamorous (even if not actively right now), so commitment looks different for us anyway. But my Master never says those “I love yous”. And having that piece of paper, and seeing him wear the ring, reminds me of that he loves me, even if he doesn’t express it like other people do.
It shows that he is committed to continuing to be there for me, to take care of me, to make sure I am alright. And it is also a reminder for me that there is a future for me, that parts of me, and the person I love, believe that a future is possible.
That might not seem much to others. But for me, someone who struggles with a bunch of mental and physical illnesses every day, there are often moments of utter hopelessness. Having that reminder of that I have something to fight for, that I have promised to try my best to make him happy, bears a lot of significance. I married him because I want to be with him, and because it makes logical sense that we had to get married.
Our wedding ceremony was lovely, by the way. We had the best marriage commissioner you could imagine. She was funny, enthusiastic and really loved what she was doing. It was really great to have two friends there, the witnesses. The vows fit us well and it felt genuine when we said them out loud. The rings we had picked are not showy but just simple white gold. There was a lot of laughter, and the vibe was just very positive. And we had no party. Instead, my Master and I went to have dinner at Chipotle, and then spent our evening at a theme park that was all about Halloween: with haunted houses, dressed up actors and a whole lot of fun.
I have never been “normal”, and my relationships have never been conventional. And this relationship is no different there. I am happy that we got married. I am still getting used to wearing a ring of commitment every minute of the day. But the one thing that I am most pleased with is that getting married didn’t change our relationship. I don’t feel more pressure, I don’t feel more responsibilities. But I feel a stronger willingness to work harder on a beautiful future for the two of us.