What Does Marriage Mean To You?

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Working in the wedding industry means than when I meet new people, after the usual queries about “what makes a wedding alternative?” and “what’s the weirdest wedding you’ve seen?” are answered, our conversations often turn into a discussion about marriage.

I feel like I’ve had these conversations with a very broad spectrum of people, all with very differing thoughts on what makes a healthy marriage. I’ve met people who have sexually open relationships and others that didn’t go to bed together before they said I do. I’ve chatted with those who cohabited within days of meeting and others that are married but still chose to live separately.

Over the years, these conversations have quickly made me realise that while I might be all for the most unconventional of weddings, I really do have quite a traditional view of marriage. Sure, our roles might be slightly unusual as I’m the main breadwinner whereas Gareth takes on more of the household chores, but in terms of what it actually means to us to be husband and wife, we’re pretty damn vanilla.

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To me, marriage means partnership, in whatever form that might take. It means putting someone else’s needs next to your own (not above or below) and knowing that the other person will always do the same.

To me, marriage is realising that even though they’ve seen you at your very worst, they will never love you any less.

Marriage is not judgemental or mean. Marriage is not boring or unfashionable.

While marriage might be hard work sometimes, the laughter in between any testing moments is always much louder than the screams of frustration. Marriage is not without conflict, but its how you resolve your disagreements that is key.

I’d really love to hear from you on this one. What does marriage mean to you? Do you have traditional roles and views on it or are you all together more unconventional?

If you’d like to read more of my thoughts on marriage you can check out my Marriage Mantras series.

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5 comments

  1. A great question! I have talked about this and written about this quite a few times…To me and to us, it’s an idea of being a team. I joked once that “marriage is like communism”- a concept that totally failed in our society can actually work in real life. There is no ‘my money” thing and we talk about how our individual dreams can fit our common dream. I have met people with separate back accounts and even going on separate vacations- but I don’t think I will be able to do that.

    At the same time, I think people are different, so every couple needs to find what works for them. As long as you find a person who shares your view, you are good!

    Xx, Marketa

  2. Sharon Mason

    I suppose I’m a mixed bag. Fairly traditional on the one-hand but with some room and flexibility for some alternative arrangements should they suit us. I feel that we’re equal and a ‘good team’. It’s not Hollywood and it’s certainly not Disney! I wouldn’t say I was marrying my best friend or soul-mate, but my partner in every sense of the word. We don’t always live in harmony, we niggle, but that’s ok. We work it out. And we’re looking forward to getting married and being married, rather than ‘having a wedding’. What will be different? I hope we’ll be living together then, though the last 9 years living apart has worked… We have lots in common, but we can also celebrate our differences and we support each other whatever. It’s not all-consuming, but we love being together and are happy to be getting married.

  3. Moa

    This makes me so happy to read! Because this is more or less how I view marriage, and above all marriage today.

    I’ve actually given this a lot of thought – and maybe it is my pre-wedding nerves that makes me think about it (20.03 is the big date). My parents aren’t married, nor are my grandparents, which for them were their way of being alternative. My soon to be husband has been married once before – and well, there are many things that makes me ask myself “why are we getting married? Everything is good as it is. I actually don’t know any married people!”.

    But at the same time – I want to marry Robert. I want to be his wife – and when I have mentioned it for my friends they laughed it away as an old fashioned way of thinking. That marriage today doesn’t mean love – more showing of.

    But we are not even going to “show something of”. We are going to Paris, where we are house hunting and it feels very natural to get married there. No fuss, just the two of us, in the city we hope to soon call home. And even though how much I think about it, I always come to the same conclusion. We love each other, we are a team and we want to take the ultimate step to our “teambuilding” – which more or less have absolutely nothing to do with any one else’s view or opinions.

  4. Fiona Smith

    For me marriage is about support, bringing out the best in each other and offering support with the worst. I am the best person I can be with my other half, he brings out all my best qualities and supports me through my insecurities. I like to think I do the same for him. We are a great team and after 11 yrs together we are at our most relaxed with each other. Together we can take on whatever life throws our way.

  5. Ray TMT

    I’m with Fiona. Finding the one you can be your best self with. That comes in many shapes and flavours I think, but for us, that’s the one who will dream with you, support you, question you, push you, let you be silly, laugh with you, tell you when you’re being a dick, take it on board when you do the same back, play the fool with you, be the reason for trying when everything sees darkest, cuddle you even when they’re angry, talk anything and everything out with you… and share all the worst duties of dog ownership with you!

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