On marriage…

I think the phrase “marriage of convenience” means, to most people, a marriage that is based on something other than the relationship itself.  While I dearly love my husband (haaah!  still sounds funny.), the things that made it apparent in our early relationship that we could go the distance were all practical: we have similar attitudes on spending and saving, family, work-life balance, etc.

See, to me, marriage is all about pragmatics.  I’m not religious, so that’s out as a foundation.  I have had several intense and passionate relationships in my life, and all of those burned fast and left a whole lot of crap in their wake, so the fact that Husband and I didn’t have a whirlwind courtship is actually quite heartening to me.  The beginning of our relationship was marked by a lot of really frank conversations about important stuff: money, faith, family (kids or not? how many? when? approaches to child rearing, division of labor, etc.), communication styles (for instance, I have a tendency to bottle up my anxiety and let it all out in the middle of the night in a really irrational way.  I felt Husband should know that in advance.), career goals.  We talked about how we wanted our lives to work, and then spent a lot of time deciding if the other fit into that picture.  What we found was that if we held a lot of common views, and wanted our lives to look pretty similar.  Like, if you drew a venn diagram of things that were important to us, it would almost just be a circle.  No really:

important things!

Now, I don’t want to make it sound as if I don’t love him, I DO.  Very much.  It’s not all about practicality 100% of the time.  It’s just that I think no amount of chemistry or common hobbies can make up for certain practical inadequacies.

Marriage is, to me, mostly a financial and practical institution.  In the U.S., things are easier if you are married – it is easier to have children, if you so choose, as the burdens (financial and otherwise) of child rearing are borne by two instead of one.  It is easier to get by if you lose your job (as, at least in my life, my spouse will be able to support us both for at least a while).  You get to split up household duties – not just sweeping and dusting – financial planning, too, which I think is much more important than vacuuming.  But maybe that’s because I detest vacuuming. Good thing Husband’s parents bought us a Dyson (omg!) and Husband once said if we had a Dyson (omg!) he would do all of the vacuuming forever and ever!  Suck it sucker.

Anyways, this didn’t go where I planned – I wanted to write about my Financial Attitude, because it has been coming up a lot lately, but I guess a post about marriage is timely.  And my audience’s patience for such rambling will likely run out before too long :)

Quick, here’s a picture to distract your from my failure to properly end a post:

It rained, which made me even more glad I chose not to wear shoes!  Shoes suck!  I like green!
It rained, which made me even more glad I chose not to wear shoes! Shoes suck! I like green!
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3 Responses to On marriage…

  1. Jess says:

    I could have written this post. I love Torsten and I am in love with him on a deeper level than I have ever been in love with anyone. But our marriage works because of a lot of practical alignments, too. We too started out with a lot of very frank discussions about big topics and found that we were in agreement on pretty much every single one. So incredibly important.

    What an adorable photo! I can’t wait to see more!

  2. Jo says:

    I could have written that post! Almost ten years on, we’re really, really happy, and really, really compatible still.

    Also you guys are v. cute. :)

    • Susie says:

      That’s what I love to hear! I spent half my formative years convinced that marriage was outdated and a direct contradiction of biological imperatives (ah, middle class education!), and though I’ve come around in my own right, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to hear that practical compatibility does indeed work as a marital foundation :)

      I think I’ve been working on my dissertation too long; that sounded sort of pretentious and, well, honed, as far as sentences go…

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