Sunday, 25 February 2007

Marriage on the rocks?

It was reported this week that the number of people marrying in England and Wales is the lowest since records began in 1896. There are many theories being put forward for this, including women’s growing sense of independence.

Many couples say “we don’t want to go through all the fuss and expense that marriage involves”.

There would appear to be two images of marriage:

  • An act of making a life long commitment to each other.
  • A romantic image of “The Big Day”; the most important day in a girls life, large flowing dress, horse and carriage taking her to a picturesque village church, grand reception with the latest fad a chocolate fountain.

Marriage is the former not the latter. There is no need for a grand ceremony costing thousands of pounds. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £15,000 (US$29,500). With the spiralling cost of housing, making it difficult for first time buyers to get onto the housing ladder, it would make more sense to put the £15,000 towards the deposit for a house.

Fortunately there is no tradition in my family of large weddings - in deed the contrary. My parents had a minimalist wedding - my father met my mother (for the record I wasn’t to appear on the seen for another three years), at the Registry Office and in the presence of two witnesses got married. Afterwards he went home, and she went back to her home - two months later they told their families that they were married and finally moved in together.

It was similar when I got married; it was done in front of two witnesses - followed by no reception or honeymoon. When my daughter got married she wore a white two piece suite that she could wear on other occasions. There were about twenty people present, the reception was held in her in-laws house, and my wife did the catering - a nice simple affair. After lunch we all went out for a walk.

Why bother to go through a marriage ceremony? People say “in five years time, I don’t want to be tied to someone I no longer love, just because we’re married”. I found marriage to be a support not a constraint. In the first year of every marriage, there are strains imposed on the relationship. You are starting to learn to live together, starting to think about what is good for the both of you, not just what is good for you. It’s easy to think “this isn’t working” and walk away. Marriage makes you think twice. You might say, “If you need the prop of marriage you couldn’t have been in love”. All I can say is I’m more in love now than the day I got married.


Inmatez Wife said...

I like the colors on the blog. The print is good too, easy to read. You write well, it flows smoothly.

Anonymous said...

Goog blog ! Keep writing and share your good experiences.This way you make this world a better place to live.

Laverne said...

I understand that the trend is more towards serial monogamy. People are no longer feeling the need to spend the rest of their lives with only one person... just one person at a time.