“Most of us are imprisoned by something. We’re living in darkness until something flips on the switch.” Wynonna Judd
I love the idea of having someone to walk beside in this life.
I love that we get to be a witness to one another’s lives.
And I love that we get to share the joys and sorrows of life with another human being.
But the institution of marriage is sort of a peculiar thing to me…
Marriage was originally created as an alliance between two families, where the property rights, money, and bloodlines could be secured within the family. It also was a way to expand the family’s labor force and combine assets for more power.
The notion of marriage becoming a religious sacrament can be traced back to St. Paul as a means of keeping people from being sinful and procreating outside of the family.
Not to be left out, states began playing a bigger role in the definition of marriage, requiring marriage licenses in 1639.
Even today, the vow “…Until death do us part,” is a way to keep people from divorcing. You will not leave no matter how much we hurt one another. Sounds more like prison than love.
You’ll notice a consistent theme here: control.
Marriage was not about companionship or mutual attraction or even love. The history of marriage is about control and power (and a healthy dose of fear).
Mind you, this is coming from a woman that is married….happily married, as a matter of fact. But I still consciously choose my husband each and every day.
Now, we expect our spouses to be everything to us: our lover, our soul mate, our best friend, our confidant, our biggest fan and greatest supporter. We want them to be simultaneously dependable and loyal, but also passionate and exciting. It’s a tall order that we place on our marriages.
I don’t know if I have answers here.
Marriage, as an institution, isn’t going away anytime soon.
But I do believe that anything rooted in fear and obligation will struggle to thrive without some real evolution and consciousness brought to the relationship so that the two people in it can simultaneously choose themselves and one another again and again and again.