Thursday, February 23, 2012

The No Escape Clause

 I was still in a lovey Valentine's stupor when I listened to the weirdest story on a podcast. It was about a couple who basically had a Rumspringa and ended up deciding they weren't for each other. The man of the partnership was interviewed and concluded that:
"If I do get married in the future, what I think I would want to do is have an agreement that at the end of seven years we have to get remarried in order for the marriage to continue. But at the end of 7 years [the marriage] ends and we can agree to get remarried or not get remarried."

"Why?"

"Because I think you get to choose and I think it would make the relationship stronger."

"I don't know what I think of that. 'Cause I think actually that one of the things that's a comfort in marriage is that there isn't a door at 7 years and so if something is messed up in the short term there's a comfort of knowing like, Well, we made this commitment and so we're just going to work this out. Even if tonight we're not getting along or there's something between us that doesn't feel right, you have the comfort of knowing like, We've  got  time. We're going to figure this out. And it makes it so much easier. . . The no escape clause--weirdly--is a bigger comfort in being married than I ever would have thought before getting married. "
I think the interviewer's concluding remarks will now act as the framework to my standard response to the question: Why did you get married so young? (or got married at all).

I've always believed that love is a choice. And I agree with the guy: it does make the relationship stronger. But it's not a choice we make once when we say "I do." It's an everyday, thoughts, words and deeds choice. It's a choice to put ourselves second and the one we chose first. I love Michael, and he loves me, and we actively choose each other. Every day. So we can do anything. Because choosing each other is empowering. It's also a choice that reassures: You've got time to figure everything out.

Marriage, for me, was an easy choice to make. Sure, Mike and I sometimes tell people half-jokingly that, "You would have gotten married this young too if you were a Mormon," but that's only a partially true. Truth is, it was easy because I knew that we would be active participants in each others' lives for our whole lives. I knew that we would dedicate each day to our family. I knew that by doing that, we would grow to love in a way that is more sincere and complex as each month wears on.

I'm so glad my marriage doesn't end by default every 7 years. How arbitrary. And how distrusting of the choices you make each day for love.

We're in this for the long haul. It's only just getting fun.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Totally agree! Steve and I talk all the time about how so many people don't realize that marriage (and love) is a choice, and you get to decide what happens. That's why it's so important that both of you are on the same page! Glad we've got eternity, not just 7 years. :)

thepalmierifamily said...

Here, here! Marriage isn't that life is easy. It's about loving and giving, especially in the hard times. It's about sacrifice and loving. Because that's what makes us human, and therefore more like God.

Linae said...

i couldn't agree more. also: why exactly 7 years? so arbitrary...

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