Today, about 685 of my Facebook friends shared this blog post: Marriage Isn't For You. The author explains that in his long-term relationship and early into his ensuing marriage, he was selfish. In the coming of age tale, his father aids in his rite of passage by sharing the revelation that, "Marriage isn't for you." It's for the person you love, it's for your future children, it's for your families.
While a touching read that warms your heart almost as much as the pumpkin spice latte you're undoubtedly sipping as you read it, I have to disagree.
Marriage is absolutely for me.
And I don't mean the bride-centric wedding planning (Although, that's for me, too). I believe that before you can know who you love and how to best love them, you have to take a selfish journey and learn what makes you happy and seek out someone who supports it. Forget the ethereal world of kids you may or may not have, families you may or may not engage in loving relationships with. When shit hits the fan, when all the fluffy, idealistic variables are removed, if your white picket fence happens to burn to the goddamn ground, who do you want standing next to you? Do they know you that you need laughs instead of hugs? Are they onboard with what's important to you not just 10 years from now but 10 minutes from now?
Without knowing what makes you happy, you'll never find someone you're totally compatible with, and you'll never fill that compatibility void with pure, unadulterated love. That's how people wind up in crappy relationships that their religion tells them they're stuck in. It's why dumb women marry equally dumb men and tolerate mistreatment because he'll probably be a good father some day, or marry into a family for security and stability rather than truly focusing on the individual, only to learn the individual wasn't right for them once the veil of family was stripped away. The "Walmart Marriage" the author refers to blames the easy return policy, when really the issue is the inferior product purchased based on impulsive ideals of happiness.
For example, if I wasn't aware that I was prone to psychotic, rage-filled, low-blood sugar episodes, I wouldn't know that I needed a fiancé like Matt who can deal with me, because deal with me he must. If Matt didn't know that he needed a fiancée like me who could roll with his unbridled, outrageous humor, his future marriage would be far less fulfilling, and his closet far less full of fanny packs. And if both of us hadn't learned, quite selfishly, from past relationships what makes each of us happy, we would never have found each other.
You will never be fully happy as a couple if you cannot be happy individually. So my future marriage is for me. Matt's future marriage is for him. And because of that, not in spite of it, our marriage will be for us.