Contrary to everything I have written on my couple therapy site, or maybe aligned with it’s darker notes, I don’t recommend marriage.
Well not without first deep diving into how you are, and will become a difficult person to live with. Long term committed relationships will excavate your default, stress coping strategies – nano technology will not shield you. They will change you for better and for worse. Gremlins will pop out unheralded: you won’t want to be like your parents or their marriage, yet in part you will be; you will deny the obvious until it hurts bad and then you have to confront changing your way; you will behave badly at times even when trying to do your best; you will miscommunicate, misconstrue what you heard, and be misunderstood; no marriage preparation will save you from the mistakes you are going to make. AND you will have a lot of fun, just like a roller coaster ride.
I know life partnerships are among the toughest gigs on the planet. The others, to name a few: are raising kids; losing kids; surviving childhood trauma; suffering from chronic debilitating physical illness or mental disorder; recovering from major accident or injury; war or captivity trauma; traumatic grief, and bereavement of any kind. In my experience, I include life long partnerships in that list.
Few things seem to exist in isolation, and so it is with marriage. The combination of maintaining a viable relationship when any one or all of the above are present, is more than most can bear.
The deeper I have dug into human experience the more certain I am that this state of life is the norm. We are flawed creatures with an often unbreakable ability to survive just about anything. We do it with heroism and grace mostly, and mixed up with the inhumanity of accidental, unconscious cruelty to each other that sickens us and our planet.
And yet this madness called love, when added to a committed relationship is a constant source of wonder. When it works it is like a miracle. After 25 years in one of them I still wake and think how blessed am I to have found the one, and we to enjoy each other every day. Marriage can be the source of our greatest delights and also of our deepest despair. Meet your gremlins before you take the leap!