Before we can discover what marriage is, we need to air our dirty laundry and come clean. Hence, this series of myths exploring some old beliefs about marriage. Maybe you’ve never had a relationship last for more than nine months. Maybe your parents divorced and you didn’t have any role models. Maybe you’ve just read some garbage about what it’s supposed to be like and unbeknownst to you, you’ve set yourself up to fall on your face. But don’t fret. We’ll do it together. Let’s purge the pantry and clean house. Oh, and this is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add your own at the end. It’s fun. It’s liberating. It’s part of what will set you free to marry on your own damn terms.
Myth #2: Marriage means I will have security.
Yeesh. What are we living in, the Great Depression? You’re more likely to win the lottery than feel secure just because you’re married. But I think the elephant in the room is that feeling secure is the thing that most of us spend our whole lives trying to attain. We look for it in our career, our apartment, our partners, our self. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel secure. Problems arise when we manufacture our life for security. Is security code for satisfaction? Marriage means I will have satisfaction. Oh honey. Life ain’t all that satisfying. It’s full of disappointments and pain of all kinds and nothing changes that. It’s part of the reality of being human.
And yet, marriage can be immensely satisfying. Still, to be satisfied doesn’t seems a little thin to me. When you’re satisfied, say with a meal that usually means you’re satiated. You’ve had enough. You don’t want more or less. But in relationship, you don’t want to arrive at place where you’ve had enough. Relationship can challenge you to become aware of what you want, who you are, and what you think you need. Satisfaction, strangely enough, is a dead-end road. It’s a flimsy aspiration. Even though it will come and go, satisfaction, as a state, doesn’t exist—not in marriage, in life, in anything. It’s important to be dissatisfied. Why? Because it’s a good sign we’re approaching an edge of some kind. If you didn’t like how that conversation went, if you didn’t want to spend the weekend with family, if you didn’t have the patience to try another way, if you were dissatisfied, then congratulations… you’ve come to your edge. What you will you do now? Will you turn toward that edge or away from it?