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Married Life

Is ‘Happily Married’ Unfashionable?

The Old Ball and Chain

I just stumbled across this wonderful article by Aaron Traister: It’s hot! It’s sexy! It’s… marriage!

Traister writes:

My wife and I have been married anywhere from seven to 150 years (I’m not good with dates). During those years we have moved six times, and each move was like an exotic gift that happened to be covered in shit. We have each had multiple jobs, and multiple uniforms with name tags. We’ve been broke, we’ve been well off, we’ve been broke again. We’ve bought our first house together, and it has a giant hole in the kitchen ceiling and sparks come out of the third-floor outlets if you hold anything metal too close to them. We have fought, raged, nearly cheated, and been totally out of sync with each other during chunks of our time together. We’ve also produced two enormous redheaded babies who are as terrifying to us as Mothra and Godzilla were to Japan in the ’60s. We have been depressed, we have wanted more, we have wanted different, we have wanted out. The years since we got married have been the most challenging and at times most frustrating years of my life.

They have also been the most productive, happiest and most hilarious.

I’m not arguing that people shouldn’t get divorced. I’m all for it. What I’m sick and tired of is divorced people speaking as though they are oracles from the future who know how the rest of our unions will turn out. All the marriage bashing going on out there feels like a way of shedding a certain amount of personal responsibility. By telling the world the institution is flawed, or that we’ve somehow outgrown it, nobody has to own up and admit that it was their interpretation of it that was screwed up.

Finally.

Finally someone has come out and said it – and in a way that is incredibly touching and honest and more poetic and courageous than I imagined it every could have been said! And I love the sentiment – Marriage is HOT.

It begs the question: Do we feel wrong about rejoicing in our marriages? Why does marriage get such a bad rap? I’m guilty myself of playing it down to friends. You know… “The old ball and chain”… “We can’t come out tonight… we’re an old married couple now”… truth is, we’re usually ensconced in a blanket watching a movie or out on date night laughing together and… dare I say it, I would much rather be there than out dancing in a club fending off sleazeballs.

Are we ashamed of being happily married? In a world where the divorce rate is fast approaching 50%, where propositions are put forward to instigate 7-year marriage contracts instead of lifelong ones? A world where so many people around us are having relationship problems, are divorced, separated, single… are we ashamed to exult in our own happy marriages?

Or is it just plain unfashionable to be happily married? If I sit here spouting declarations of love for my husband, will you assume I’m part of a cult? Brainwashed? An idiot? I kind of think you would…

It’s perfectly okay for gushing brides to cry on their wedding day, but once the honeymoon is over its straight back to the boring business of marriage for you, Missy! It feels… weird?… to be the kind of person who talks about how much they love their husband. Does anyone else feel that way?

Now, I’m not saying that it’s all happy-kitty-bunny-pony in married land! I’m not delusional. Hell, I’ve only been here four months! Even so, I’m not expecting happily ever after…

But, whatever this marriage throws at me, I’m looking forward to it. As long as we’re both in it for the long haul, whatever doesn’t divorce us just makes us stronger, right? And in the meantime, are we allowed to enjoy the ride?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.

Discussion

4 comments for “Is ‘Happily Married’ Unfashionable?”

  1. Posted by Jen | August 10, 2009, 9:10 pm

    Amen.

  2. Posted by james | October 10, 2009, 3:56 pm

    Emma, This and your other article-In Defence of Marriage is Spot on!I Agree with what you have to say!

  3. Posted by Nycole | March 29, 2011, 3:46 am

    Sorry in advance for such a long comment: I know that this article was posted quite some time ago, but I really enjoyed it. It’s so true. My husband & I have been married for 2.5 years, been together a total of 5 years, and we’re still in our early 20′s. We’ve gone through good times & bad times in the past years – some events that REALLY tested our limits & we’re each others’ best friend to this day.

    I have friends, family members, co-workers, etc who all bitch & moan about their marriage & relationship problems. I tend to be silent because I don’t want to make them feel bad about me having a great relationship & I don’t want to pretend that my marriage is bad just so I can join the conversation.

    A lot of times it seems that people don’t really think about what they’re getting themselves into when they embark on the marriage train. They hear stories of reality but still assume it’s all roses & romance, always being at your best, etc. The couples that seem to be the happiest are the ones that work well together, communicate realistically, are on similar paths in life and realize how hard it will be but also how rewarding it will be.

    More and more lately I’ve been saying screw it when it comes to hiding my happiness in my marriage. There’s no reason I should downplay one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If other people can’t handle it, then that’s their problem – I wish the best for them.

  4. Posted by Sonja Pierson | December 6, 2019, 3:38 pm

    How’s it going, %ig_un%?

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    You put your soft slippers on and head to the kitchen for some tea. After putting on the kettle, you pull out your phone again.

    Presto! Another 20 likes.

    And another message just popped up. It is from one of your followers asking about your workout regime, and giving you daps on your sixth official month of going to the gym.

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    See you soon.

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