Not Just a Piece of Paper

July 16, 2008 at 11:43 pm (Married Life) (, , )

I was feeling unwell today. This of course meant a day on the couch with gingerale, chicken noodle soup and bad daytime tv. And of course the random show I saw had on the one topic guaranteed to set me off: That marriage is just a piece of paper.

Maybe it’s a matter of timing. My first wedding anniversary is a little over a month away. So when people try to tell say that those who have lived together for 10 years (but are not married) are in a more committed relationship that I am because my marriage is still short I get mad.

Now, I’m not saying that many people who live together aren’t committed to each other. And if they’re people of my aquiantance and they consider themselves “as good as married” and want to be treated that way, then that’s how I’m going to treat them. After all, whenever reasonable I think we should treat people how they want to be treated.

But, just because I haven’t been married a year yet doesn’t mean that my marriage is somehow less of a commitment. OK, we haven’t survived the test of time yet, but unlike my hypothetical non-married couple, we have stood up and said that we intend to. Don’t we deserve to be respected for that?

And don’t call my marriage a piece of paper. Marriage is many things: Partnership and love being chief among them. In fact, when I think of our wedding ceremony, signing the piece of paper was probably the least significant part for me. I think of walking down the aisle and seeing all my friends and family. I think of standing with my husband after we signed the papers and just smiling at each other. And mostly, I think about those vows. We held each others hands, and we promised forever.

My marriage is not just a piece of paper. It’s not just a ring. It’s what that ring represents: An unending circle. A permanent commitment. We’re in this for life. And we’ve said that not just to each other, but to everyone else we know. My apologies if this post seems quite vehement, but I get angered when people, even on tv, imply that the commitment I made is meaningless.

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