The value of marriage

I’ve been sitting on a certain post for a while and it seems as timely as ever after yesterday’s devastating and shocking news that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are ending their 72-day publicity stunt marriage.

(In all honestly, I was kind of repulsed by the news. That sounds dramatic, especially for someone who doesn’t know the details. But the first impression I get is not a good one — All I see is that they earned $14 million dollars from televising their wedding and then called it quits after the money was safe in the bank. But, this is besides the point…)

The Value of Marriage

I’m newlywed and admittedly still in the honeymoon phase. Yet, Dan and I took a lot of time for reflection before our wedding and I think that has helped the transition go so smoothly. Although we don’t have years of experience under our belts, I believe our intentions were right to begin with and that has put us on the right track.

So, this is my modest take on the importance of marriage…

It is hard to know where to start on the long list of benefits that are connected to marriage. To state a few, married people earn more, a physically healthier and experience significantly less domestic violence and infidelity than unwed individuals in relationships, according to a study by the Witherspoon Institute.

But, who really goes into marriage thinking, “Wow, this is great! I’m going to have more money and live longer!”

Instead, many of us hopeless romantics hope for a deep, loving marriage. I thought it was well put in a recent column from the Harvard Crimson

“Marriage is not merely a union of hearts and minds, nor is it only a romantic or sexual partnership. It is a comprehensive union that unites a husband and wife across all dimensions of the person.”

The question is: How does one get to that place?

To start, the two people in a marriage have to be right for each other… Not right for each others’ ideals, images or friends. Right for each other. There should be passion, humor, depth and joy. If it isn’t there in the beginning, chances are it won’t be there 10 years down the road. There should also be a good foundation of trust, support and all-around teamwork. This revelation came to be one day when I realized that my happiness is linked to Dan’s —I’m only happy if he is.

The relationship should also grow. Although the beginning of relationships are always fun, it’s only when those relationships have depth that they become meaningful. This is something that Dan and I try to build on every day, whether get caught up in a conversation about a new subject or tackle a new adventure together.

As for us, those adventures are just starting and we will undoubtedly have a lot to learn. But, with Dan by my side, I’m excited to take give it my all — or, in the words of Katherine Hepburn…

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get. Only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.”

That’s what marriage should be founded on, not a multimillion dollar TV contract.

Questions: What do you think? What do you think marriage should be built on?


3 responses to “The value of marriage

  • truepenny

    Totally agree! I also think that in this day in age (look at me, 23-year-old newlywed and I sound like an old fogie) people give up quite easily. Obviously I don’t know the circumstances of their relationship, but I think a lot of people don’t realise that it isn’t always a cakewalk to stay together. I know living together was a huge transition for me and my husband, and I think some people expect married life to come really easily.

    Honestly, I think that’s how getting married young can be a benefit. I think you wrote about this before, but you aren’t so set in your ways and so are able to adapt to accommodate another person in your life. When you’re both celebrities used to getting what you want…different story, maybe.

    Anyway, great post!

  • Barney McCoy (@BarneyMcCoy)

    The foundation for a strong, lasting marriage is built day-by-day, not dollar-by-dollar.

  • Kristin

    “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get. Only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.”

    Thanks for sharing your heart about marriage. It inspires me to love better and inspires me to find the guy that motivates me to give more then I can take. Love you, Em.

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