Matrimony. Marriage. Psychology Today says marriage is the process by which two people make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut short by divorce. To that I say marriage is one of our oldest customs with many influences, in this country primarily religous influences and legal ramifications.
What makes it so different from simple cohabitation? Make no mistake - matrimony does change things in a relationship. The so-called get out of jail free card disappears - dissolving a marriage isn;t as simple as simply packing up your stuff and easing on down the road. Yet in this country nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.
My generation - the Baby Boomers - have spearheaded the so-called attack on the institution and later generations have picked up the ball and are running with it. The "me" centric folks have decided that regardless the vows and commitments made at marriage it is perfectly acceptable to bail on the marriage when things don't go your own way.
Then there is the gay marriage discussion. Some say once that door is open then people will be marrying animals or something else. I have never heard an argument as patently ludicrous. The same people that rail against government intrusion in their life wish to prevent loving same-sex couples from sharing in the legal benefits of marriage based upon the so-called rules of life dictated from some old bearded gentleman in flowing robes that lives in the sky or his Jewish rabbi son.
I was married for 42 years - from 01/01/1972 until 02/10/2014. The "til death do us part" clause kicked in then when Lynn died. We were together as a couple from 12/31/1998 until that day in February. Over the years we had issues like any couple - but we worked through them. Some issues were not easy but we did not bail. As a result it is a major point of pride for our kids that they had the same parents - no steps - throughout their lives. We simply believed in ourselves as a couple enough to stick to it. And trust me - the last 10 years offered more than enough reasons for me to bail. During that time I was regularly cursed, physically attacked and more. But that was the disease speaking and acting - not Lynn. There were also moments when she would walk up to me, hug me and say she loved me. Or a few nights when there were quiet, reflective, happy conversations - always short but exceedingly happy moments. Those were Lynn fighting through the disease that eventually claimed her. Marriage and the commitments we made were the glue that kept us together. I like to think I would have done the same had we simply lived together all of those years but that's something we'll never know.
Unfortunately too many people these days do not have the same attitude. Again - the me-centric folks do not place the same emphasis on staying married. Why bother - they say. I can't answer that one for them - but marriage worked for us. It's one of our cultural norms that resonated. It still does.
So to sum up - I'll go on record as being a supporter of matrimony. I also am a supporter of gay marriage. People in a loving relationship all deserve the same legal benefits. Religious objectors are entitled to their opinions as well - I choose to disagree wholeheartedly with them and I resent the hell out of their attempts to modify our constitution to their benefit. Nor do I take issue with folks who divorce . It's their business - not mine. I just hope they made every effort to fix things first. I'd say this simple song from the sixties - written by my good friend Ron Ryan - sums up my notion pf marriage
That's a shack take on matrimony. Check out what Maxi, Ramana and the others have to say.