I recently came across the article A man’s top 5 reasons to grow up and get married when looking over my Facebook stream.
It takes little to offend me. This article did it in under five seconds. Bravo, Steven Crowder!
In October of 2012, I released The Allegory of Dusk, a short story fiction collection that focuses on what happens when the bottom drops out and life isn’t how we were told it would be. In the introduction, I speak very candidly about how our parents and society have done us a great disservice by touting the need to be married to find true happiness.
I have a theory that I shout quite loud and proud. And that theory is that the problem with marriage as an institution and why its failing is due to the bullshit ideals that Hollywood, as well as sitcoms and cheesy-assed romance novels project, and therefore give us a very skewed view on reality. You see, none of what we see on the big screen, our television screen and read in our books is reality. And yes, my mom and dad explained to me it’s just a made up story when I’d watch or read anything. I get that. But what those movies, shows and books do is give the world an idea that love is nothing but hearts and flowers. There’s no six months, six years, sixteen years down the road. They do not show the downs in relationships, only the ups. They don’t show what its like when a husband is faced with not only a screaming newborn, a pissed off eighteen-month-old, and a cranky kindergartner along with a Mom to those three kids in the thick of postpartum depression and anxiety. If they show the projectile vomiting and the explosive diapers of the newborn phase, it’s done humorously. Let me tell you, when you haven’t slept for three days due to your baby girl having colic and then she shits down the front of your body as you take her out of the bathtub? There are no hearts and flowers to be found.
I’m all for hearts and flowers. But I take issue with Mr. Crowder describing marriage as a 24/7 slumber party. And I’m a fan of slumber parties, so much so, I’m planning a week-long one with my podcast-partner-in-crime, Dionne Lister and several other Indie Authors this October. But that’s a week. And I’m not married to any of the people attending. I don’t live day-to-day with them, and while they are all there for me, supporting me when the bottom drops out of my life, they aren’t in the thick of the chaos of reality with me.
I’m going to guess that in a couple of years, Mr. Crowder will be handed a hefty reality check. Marriage is work. It’s hard work, and I truly believe that if people knew exactly what it was like, there would be less marriages taking place. And while I’m a fan of it, and am known for tearing up at family and friend’s weddings, and beam when I catch sight of a bride and groom and wish them all the best in love and joy, still, the true reality of marriage is that it’s filled with ups and downs. What is going to happen when Mr. Crowder and his wife hit the first rough patch of their marriage? When a parent is diagnosed with a terminal illness, if one of the Crowders gets ill, if there are fertility issues? What’s going to happen when Mr. Crowder’s new bride is in the thick of postpartum depression and no one has slept for several days?
Even more offensive is Mr. Crowder’s superficial focus on sex and money as real benefits of marriage. How’s that going to work out for him when the inevitable down cycle in sex takes place within his marriage or he or his wife gets laid off of their jobs and suffer a drop in income?
While marriage has it awesome side: Love, partnership, sex with someone you trust and has learned which buttons of yours to punch to make you need a cigarette after, still, it has it’s rough side. It’s the rough side, or the possibility of the rough side that few people look at. How often do people really sit down and think, “My partner is just gorgeous, has a rockin’ body! But yes, I’ll still love them when they’re fifty pounds heavier and they’ve accumulated lines on their face…” Not many.
And while the bulk of Mr. Crowder’s article was offensive to me due to his lack of looking at things realistically and giving a child’s view point on marriage, number five on his list of why you should get married really chapped my ass:
5. Don’t die sick, miserable and alone.
Really, Mr. Crowder? Care to explain to me what happens when your spouse is the one who passes on first? What about those people who were brave enough to say, “Hey, marriage isn’t for me.”? Not being married isn’t a guarantee you’ll be miserable, no more so than being married is a guarantee you’ll be happy. How happy are those people who got married for the sole reason of shutting up the peanut gallery or due to pressure from everyone else getting married?
There’s only one reason a person should get married, and it’s not because you don’t want to die alone (chicken shits!), it’s not for financial gain, and it’s most definitely not because you or your significant other got pregnant. It’s for the reason that you have found the one person who fits you, who you cannot imagine not seeing every day. It’s because you’ve met that person that just gets you. It’s because you’ve found that person that is the one person on the planet you’d rather have annoying the hell out of you (because no matter how awesome the person you fall in love with is, they’re gonna annoy the shit out of you from time to time). Because when everything else falls apart, when you’re facing the most god-awful and heart wrenching experiences of your life, you’d rather be going through it with that person, than not be going through it at all and not have them in your life.
Any other reason? Is bullshit. And I can only hope Mr. Crowder has a low-level of readers, because he’s done a lovely disservice to those who have already bought into the heart and flowers line of bullshit Hollywood crams down our throats.