Friday, 27 January 2012

When J & B Met...

"I dedicate this post to my darling sister Jacqui and her future husband Brandon. May your life together inspire love, hope and strength through all adversity."

There is a day that every woman dreams of, the milestone event that officially binds her eternal love and commitment to the perfect plus one. She'll spend a good part of the year planning every intricate detail to ensure the success of her wedding day, from the fitted white dress and tasteful invitations to the floral arrangements and idyllic venue. Even those first few steps towards the altar are rehearsed to perfection, all building up to that magical moment when he looks deep into her eyes and says "I do"...

The hype of the "big wedding day" has always struck me as an ingenious tactic used to keep us from seeing the institution of marriage for what it really is; a shareholders agreement with marzipan fruitcake. If you take away the complimentary drinks, the three course meals, the flowing decor and all the other gimmicks, the act of marriage can be reduced to nothing more than a corporate merger. At the end of the day a wedding involves a persuasive proposal, a contractual agreement with t's and c's, a group of witnesses and some kind of gesture to seal the deal. And while a kiss is less formal than a handshake, there is always the possibility that the deal could go pear-shaped at any point in time.

Marriage contracts, like most formal arrangements, are just as easy to terminate as they are to administer. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part sound and look great on paper, and while we may have the best intentions at heart, life is simply too unpredictable to guarantee the longevity of a nuptial undertaking. With such high expectations are we just setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment? It's in our nature to bail out of situations when the going gets tough, often opting for the easiest way out. "Irreconcilable differences", "this is just not working out" or "we've simply grown apart" have all become legitimate reasons for the dissolution of marital unions, and even though every circumstance is different, we are quick to abandon our responsibilities and commitments without giving it a real chance.

We can't ignore the statistics. Divorce rates are constantly on the rise and with only two countries in the world that have yet to legalize it, the odds seem to be against us. The only certainty is that marriage requires a higher degree of commitment, a commitment that only a dedicated partnership can survive. It takes work and effort and unless you are compatible on every level emotionally, psychologically, financially, the chances of success are virtually nil. When it comes to marriage, I couldn't help but wonder, is it really worth all that dress?

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