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Friday, April 04, 2008

A question for the wisdom of the crowds.

Ok, so I hear all this talk about the wisdom of the crowds, perhaps it's time to ask a question.

To all those that are married, were married, want to be married, wish they had married, and those that are glad they haven't/never did, I ask...

Marriage?

To those that are: When did you decide? Was it all at once, or did it just sort of make more sense as time went on?

To those that were: Same basic questions, but with the caveat that whatever ended it, do you regret the time that was? Is there something fundamental that could've been avoided in hindsight?

To those that wish: Was it a lack of finding that person, or is there a regret for holding back in the asking?

To those that are glad without: No pointed question, just curious of the reasoning.

Not probing for personal or painful details, just asking the question for my own studies...

5 comments:

rilla said...

I was married until very recently, so I'll give this a go.

We decided to get married because that what was done when you live together and plan on being together for a very very long time. Having a family did not factor into our decision. It was more of a decision to announce that we were a unit, or a family unto ourselves. At some level, it was also announcing our unavailability to other people.

As for the after-marriage aspect of your question. I don't regret the early years when things were going well. I do regret some of the latter years when things were going very poorly, but at the same time I learned a lot about myself during that time, so even the crappier times served a greater purpose. Overall, I have very few regrets about getting married.

But I'm not sure I'd get married again.

Desultory said...

I'll try to answer.

I really don't remember deciding or exactly why we did it. Not sure really if it ever made sense to me. But I don't regret it at all. He was and is my best friend even after the divorce. I just think that was where we were supposed to stop, at friends. The fundamental thing to avoid is expecting yourself or the other person to change in a specific way, or thinking that either of you will never change in any unexpected ways. :)

transiit said...

rilla & desultory:

Both of your comments sound like the root cause for any strife was insufficient knowledge what each of you expected it was going to be/not be/do be do be do (er. sorry. slipped out.)

Of course, I also don't believe hindsight is 20/20. Sure, you know how things went (with some degree of accuracy), but the memories of the good times are often masked by the memories of the bad times.

I'm just curious, as marriage may be a path I pursue at some point. Right now, I feel under-equipped to make such a decision, as most of my knowledge is based on my own rank speculation.

Of course, I don't think I want to try the "practice makes perfect" model for being better able to make such a choice =)

stiill said...

For me, well... we'd been together for roughly 18 million years, since the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth, so I guess it was a gradual thing.

The big sticking point (i.e. why not earlier) was just figuring out whether we agreed on the biggies, the biggest being kids. Lots of things you can work around, but that one, not so much.

We'd been living and planning a lot like we were married already, so not much changed afterwards. I know some people who remain unmarried, and do the super long/potentially lifetime relationship thing, but I prefer married.

Anonymous said...

Caveat: I wouldn't recommend my experience as a template for anyone. Engaged at 17, married at 19, now married 23 yrs- to exactly the right person- but I haven't seen that happen to ANYONE else I know. I got fantastically lucky, and I know it. All I can offer is that even at 17, we knew to talk.

Talk about EVERYTHING. Plan the future. Delve in to issues. Get to know that person better than yourself. Love them more than yourself (and that has to be a two way street). Build a deep trust that it's you and that person against the world. So when life changes, as it will do- you can trust that person to have your back, no matter what. I've found the most important thing to a long relationship is pretty basic- don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff. That sounds simplistic, but you'll find it holds true.
I hope you find (have found) the right person.