Wifey’s & Gentlemen,
As many of you already know, for every naysayer who has something negative to say about the institution of marriage or the downsides to long term commitment, there are just as many people who sing its praises & will defend monogamy with honor.
Me? I think I fall somewhere in between. I (obviously) have a deep love and respect for marriage and long term commitment. I firmly believe that monogamous relationships are beautiful, wonderful things for those who want them, and I am committed to making my life’s work about supporting couples and helping them get on the right track to a long-lasting and successful union. However, I am also open-minded and realistic. Marriage and monogamy doesn’t work for everyone and that is 100% okay.
Society often sends us really confusing, incorrect messages about what to expect from a life partner and unfortunately these conflicting messages end up resulting in heartbreak, bitterness, and (for some) a feeling that true monogamy doesn’t really exist!
I figured, instead of taking a somber and serious approach to the pros/cons of marriage (or domestic partnership), I’d like to take a crack at listing my top 10 pros for marriage and monogamy.
*Not that I need one, but please know this post is intended to be cute/funny and does not at all represent my complete list of reasons why I love being married to my husband. This list is a compilation of my experiences, the opinions of other married couples I know, and some of the “lesser known” perks that I think would be nice to include on my list.
I also realize that some people might disagree with a few (or all) of the items on my list, which is totally fine! Feel free to comment below and let me know if there is anything you’d add or remove. Open dialogue is what makes the blog more fun/informative for everyone!
1) You get to share everything (well, almost)
When making the decision to commit to a long-term union, for me (and many others) this one of the best parts! My husband and I share so much with each other; food, money, responsibility, ideas, dreams, laughter, a bed (which is really great on cold nights), among lots of other things both major and minor.
I would never presume to tell anyone what to do, but if you are intimidated by the initial shock of sharing your life/personal items with someone else, you might be a great candidate for living together before deciding to tie the knot. If you aren’t ready for or interested in marriage and the “big move” is the step that worries you most, try to remember that this isn’t some crazy new college ‘roomie’ you don’t know. Living with and building a life with your S/O is much like living with family. You have a mutual respect for each other and have (hopefully) already set some important emotional boundaries together. Moving in together won’t be “easy” at first, but I can promise it’ll be fun and well worth the effort.
2) There is always someone who is there for you, even when you’re wrong
Marriage/Long-term commitment means that there is always someone around to have your back, even if/when you don’t deserve it. There is a great Key & Peele skit where Peele plays a woman with a bad attitude who antagonizes different people she wouldn’t be able to fight by herself. She gets her boyfriend (played by Key) to fight her battles for her…and he does so at his own, painful expense. It’s actually quite funny if you have a chance to watch it, and it’s really indicative of what it’s like to be in a healthy marriage (within reason, this skit is an exaggeration, of course).
No matter what, I know my husband is on my side and will do anything he can to make sure I feel safe and secure. Even if I started the fight, he is there to make sure I don’t fall to far. Being a family means being a team. You wouldn’t let someone bad mouth or assault your teammate, would you? For all of his/her/their flaws, your significant other is THE person who you trust and respect before anyone else; you know that their intentions are good and their heart is, usually, in the right place. 😉
3) Tax breaks/benefits & financial gain
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but deciding to share your life with someone can come with certain benefits like: lowered tax contributions, shared medical/dental insurance, and shared division of your financial responsibilities. Had your eye on a great new car or apartment that you couldn’t afford alone? Having a partner means being able to afford serious purchases like cars, homes, and long-term investments! Having a 2nd income take loads of pressure off of an individual who might not be able to manage payments by themselves. When you pool your assets, you increase your chances of reducing debt, improving credit, and strengthening your personal savings accounts.
4) You always have a “plus one”
You don’t need to be married to know how awesome it is to have a built in “plus one” for all weddings and major events. Although some might find it annoying, your friends and family will begin to think of you and your partner as one person. It’s rare that someone would want to exclude your partner from their wedding, BBQ, baby shower, or graduation, right? So think of it as a type of perk. 8 times out of 10, you won’t be scrambling for a date or feeling disappointed because you aren’t allowed to bring a “random” guest.
5) You get to celebrate (and put into words) how important and serious your relationship is
Initially, the BEST thing about marriage is the wedding (come on, it’s a pretty big deal!). For all of its stress, wedding planning is really fun and can help bring a couple closer together. It is one of the first major projects you and your partner will work on together, and it is the way for you to celebrate your commitment and love for each other with the people you care about most. There are so many different ways to have a wedding or commitment celebration. Even those who choose to elope or get married at the courthouse are still taking the brave step of putting their love and dedication on the books! This is an important step in your life and it deserves to be celebrated and acknowledged in any way you see fit. It’s a shared memory that you and your partner will be discussing for many years to come!
6) Sex (regularly)
In this day and age, when you can literally order sex at the click of a button, this might not be as important to some as it is to others, but I think regular sex is a HUGE benefit in marriage/long-term commitment. This is, of course, assuming that you and your partner are comfortable with each other, open about your fantasies/needs/desires, and willing to try new things together/ push each other to grow, sexually. This is also assuming that you enjoy having sex with your partner and aren’t afraid to tell him/her/them what you want and what you like; that he/she isn’t greedy or abusive in bed and works to make you feel like the sexy, beautiful, and enticing person that you are! This is also assuming you are able/willing to do this for your partner in return.
7) You no longer have to “date”
This goes a step father than point #6, and I know there are some wifeys/gents who will completely disagree, but I personally am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about dating ever again. Don’t get me wrong, my single friends who are dating have a lot of fun, meet great people, and always have a great story to share about their dating/sexual misadventures. I am sometimes jealous of their unique experiences and the excitement that only a “first date” can bring. But, when you are settled into your marriage and/or committed relationship, you (typically) do not miss all of the games and stress that comes with being single and on the market. You no longer have to wade through creeps or bimbos in search of a meaningful connection and can focus on building new friendships instead!
8) Your partner can make you feel complete and secure
I know some people will disagree with this point and I am NOT trying to suggest that anyone NEEDS a significant other to complete them. Nor am I suggesting that the decision to get married or build a life with someone should be made lightly or used as a way to ease someone’s deeper insecurities.
Unless you’re married or confident that you have found your life partner, this concept can be difficult to explain:
For me, getting married was like one giant exhale. It felt like everything I’d be working toward for the 4 years that my husband and I were together was represented in that moment, during or wedding ceremony. We said our vows, we shared happiness with our loved ones, and we made the decision to be together through anything that life has to offer. There is an awesome level of comfort in that. To know that someone is willing to go through everything with you, just because they love the person that you are. It is an awesome sensation to trust someone else in that way and know that you’ll be trusted in return.
Confused? Disagree? That’s fine! But if you should ever decide to “take the plunge”, I promise you’ll know what I mean. It’s a feeling that is best left without description.
9) If you decide to have/adopt children, those children will benefit from having 2 parents
Before anyone jumps down my throat about single parenthood, please know that I have nothing but respect for single mothers and fathers alike! However, whether a person chooses to be a single parent or ends up that way based on circumstance, I am confident that they would all agree that raising a child alone is HARD WORK!
I, for one, want to have a partner who can share the burden of parenthood with me! I want someone who can take over when I need a nap or shower or personal sanity. I want someone who can change diapers and handle feedings; who can stay up all night with me when our baby is sick or upset. More than that, I want someone who can offer my child(ren) the wisdom, love, and support I KNOW my husband will bring to fatherhood. That’s important too. My children will get to benefit from my good traits as well a my husband’s; this will (in my opinion) make them even better, more well-rounded humans than who they could be if raised by one of us, alone.
*this is NOT to suggest that a child who is raised by 1 parent is lacking anything or missing out on something important. It is simply the idea that my kids will get to benefit from two people who balance each other out and can work together to raise a great kid!
10) Unconditional Love & Support
If you know me, you know that, in general, I believe that marriage is about more than love. Marriage is about two people who trust each other enough to create a life together and achieve common goals. However, if you’re lucky enough to marry someone that you trust, fully respect, get along with, AND deeply love, watch out world!
Having someone love and support you unconditionally is, without a doubt, the very best thing about being married. I know that I am always safe with my husband. No matter what I do or how I grow and change, he is there to keep me strong and focused. He isn’t afraid to tell me when I’m being rude or unreasonable. He isn’t afraid to hurt my feelings if I need to hear the hard truth. & he always has my best interests at heart.
If you haven’t done so already, read my piece about the “couple bubble”! It captures our philosophy on unconditional love/support and how we strive to show it to each other in our day to day lives.
So, what do you guys think? Is this a good list? Is there anything you’d add or take away from my list? Let me know in the comment section below!
Until Next Time,
Carry on Wifeys!