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Marriage: Thinking Beyond the Vows

Joined: 2/28/2011
Posts: 1
Marriage is an over-glorified, under-thought, and, for the most part, unsuccessful institution. It is also one of the most powerful building blocks of our society. Over time, its significance and purpose has changed and is changing even now. So where do we go from here? What does marriage mean to you, to me, and to this new generation?

I admit that my view of marriage is jaded. My father filed for divorce before I was even born and by the time I was six, I had seen the inside of more child custody courtrooms than most people see in their lifetime. Raised by a single mother, divorced parents is “the norm” for me. When I meet other teens, I automatically assume that their parents are divorced. And why shouldn’t I? Half of all children will witness the divorce of their parents.

Despite everything, I still believe in the power of marriage and family. Marriage is a sacred, holy union that should only be entered into after much serious thought. Both parties should discuss and understand the repercussions of their decision to marry. Many people rush into marriage with considering what it means, how their lives will change, and if they are really ready to accept that responsibility. A surprisingly small number of people understand that marriage truly is “for better or for worse”, “in health and in sickness”, “for richer or for poorer”, and “in joys and in sorrows”. There is no perfect marriage. Every marriage is going to have its bumps and tough times. You have to expect that. If you bail at the first signs of stormy weather, your marriage will never survive. However, you cannot spend years of your life hanging on to an abusive, unhealthy, or just plain impossible marriage. There is a point where it better to move on, but many people quit before ever reaching that point.

In my opinion, people should date for at least a year before marrying. It takes a long time to get to know someone and an even longer time to decide if he or she is the right person for you. I think that people should live together before they marry so that they develop a better understanding of married life. I also believe that whether or not to engage in premarital sex should be a personal decision of mature adults. The obvious risks of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can be reduced by practicing “safe sex”, which was not possible in previous eras, where premarital sex was shunned for its immorality and physical repercussions.

Personally, I hope to get married someday, but that day is a long way in the future. When it comes, I want it to be well thought out so that I can be confident in my decision. I want to know the man I am marrying, know what I am signing up to, and know that both of us are going to give it our best shot. That’s all anyone can really ask.
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