Marriage is a big commitment. That I won’t deny. Choosing to make a statement, often in front of friends and family, that you will spend the rest of your life with one person, that’s huge. Following through on that statement and living life with someone for as long as you both shall live? One of the biggest choices you’ll ever make in life. But it is not the biggest commitment that we will make in our lifetimes. It is not the biggest thing that N and I will do together. And, though many may frown upon me saying this, a marriage can be un-done.
I have known more than a few people in my life who have been married and divorced and have then never spoken to their ex-spouse again. Never. I know some who know the vague whereabouts of their ex’s. I know some who have not a single clue where their ex lives or what they are doing. For a few, decades have passed since the last spoke to their ex-spouse. Each of those people stood in front of their family and friends and committed to spend their lives with a person who they now have not had contact with for decades. I’m not judging, I’m just stating that it happens (and you probably know someone who it’s happened to).
So what is that bigger commitment I speak of? Children. Which is interesting considering that around 40% of the kids in this country are born to unmarried parents. Again, no judgement, that’s a fact. It’s even a little funny when I think about the number of people in my life I know to be accidents.
It’s just that to me, intertwining your DNA with someone elses to bring a human being into the world, that’s huge. Once you bring a child into this world with someone, your lives will be intertwined too. Your finances will probably be intertwined (to some extent). Your ex will know where you are and you will know where they are. Your children will share things with you about that person. The person you brought into the world, the one you created from scratch, grew, and raised, that person calls someone who you might no longer love “mom” or “dad”. Your child might look like them, act like them, be like them. Children are un-doable.
This doesn’t end once they’re grown ups. Every major life event of theirs (like say, a wedding – now you know where this post came from), everything that brings families together, will bring those two people back together. Your grandkids will be their grandkids. Your family trees are one, forever.
So yes, marriage is a huge commitment. It’s one I feel confident we are completely ready to make. But it is far from the biggest commitment we’ll make in our lifetime.