What Does Marriage Mean To You?

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February 18, 2015

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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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25 comments

  1. So damn true Kat, so damn damn true.
    I’m glad you started writing this series, it really helps refocusing when I lose sight of what things really are and how they work. So thank you 🙂

  2. Kat,
    I lurk on here and have never commented before – but this really struck a chord and I feel driven to say how true it is – I think once you have settled down into a stable loving relationship it is only natural to get a bit jealous of that first flush of “falling in love” feeling when you see your friends get that rush. The love I have for the husband now is quite different to the kind I had when we first started going out, but it’s deeper and more genuine and I hope it lasts forever!
    Thank you!
    Roz

  3. You know, when me and Adam met we had the full rollercoaster. We’d met by chance when we were both rebounding and still in love with our exes, and quite frankly, it was horrible! I even fell out with two lifelong friends that disapproved of what I’d got myself into. All I could say was that my gut said I’d met my co-pilot. (I’ve been in the other type of unrequited love before, which was horrific and different).
    Now we’re so settled and secure it just feels like we’re completely solid. Sometimes I look back on those first few months and how exciting and thrilling it was and how plodding we are now, and when I see new similar couples, it makes me think of that time in our history, and I think ‘erm, no thanks!!’

  4. Such sound advice as always Kat. I consider my husband and I to be unit. We are secure and comfortable in our relationship. Yes you may get giddy and filled with excitement at the beginning of a relationship but there is so much nervousness there too. Will he like this/will he call etc that I am more than pleased we are past that!

  5. Fantastic series! I love how you touch on the jealousy/comparison aspect because it’s so easy to get trapped in that kind of thinking. You’re so right about making things happen, you can’t just wish a relationship to work!

  6. Jade

    I’m really loving this series! Each article has something that hits home for me and even though I’m not married yet, I’m finding useful advice for my relationship anyway, so thanks!
    By the way, are you still friends with ‘Hannah’?

  7. Very, very true! It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and forget the awesomeness that we actually already have. Being jealous of others will never lead to happiness, just resentment. Plus a lot of the time you end up being jealous of something that’s not even there in the first place. Pointless waste of energy 🙂 Really enjoying reading your marriage mantras series Kat.

  8. Amen! Comparison can ruin even the best relationships (or friendships, etc.). Nothing gets a rotten hold of your self esteem quite like it.

  9. Really, I don’t want to be polemic and I don’t want to judge, but I would like to show another point of view in this story. In the 70′, feminist said that what happened in your privacy, it’s public, and i grow up with this mantra. If something wrong happened with my relationship, it’s something important to share with my friends and my parents. If there were’n jealousy and competition between (female) friends but solidarity and understanding maybe this Hannah would not be shy to show also the negative sides of his relationship, and maybe, with the right advices, he had broken with James before. Sorry for my bad english, with love, Valeria

  10. Lyndee H.

    Oh I just found this post and it is my favourite one of the series so far- I think because making comparisons can be a very female trait unfortunately and we live in a society that encourages us to be competitive. I think it is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. I have to stop myself lapsing into this thought process occasionally- my partner is older than me and disabled and sometimes it is hard work living with someone who is much less able to do things than other people but I know I have something special with him that I would not find elsewhere and that makes me stronger.

  11. Bethany Robyn

    Amazing post and exactly what I needed to read – I’m finding it harder and harder not to compare myself and my life with the snapshots I see on facebook and other social media! I guess the grass isn’t always greener!

  12. Wise words Kat. The other thing I always try to remember is no one knows what happens in other people’s relationships behind closed doors. A relationship can look rosy on the outside, but who knows what’s really going on…

  13. Such good advice. I used to feel that way about mine and Stu’s relationship but started to realise that actually, how I perceived a friend’s relationship to be may not be how it actually was. After all, the only people who know what really goes on in a relationship is the two people in it!

  14. Comparison is the Thief of Joy,wow,this is so sure!i like this saying,never compare with others,just live ur life! thinks for sharing us such a great post,love this series so much. Live happy ever since.

  15. ohhhh, Kat. How are you always posting exactly what I need in relationship advice?!

    Also, PS: you are tall, stylish, funny, and confident (or seem like it!) so I have no idea what you’re talking about 😉

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