There is a popular blog post written by Seth Adam Smith Marriage isn’t for You saturating my Facebook news feed. Mr Smith, a Mormon, whose religion has a Law of Chastity1 which forbids pre-marital intimacy beyond kissing standing up, and teaches that marriages blessed in a Mormon temple will last not only until ‘death us do part’ but for all eternity, states:
“You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
If you read the comments below that post, you will realise not everyone agrees. I’ve come up with my own reasons why Mr Smith’s kind of marriage is not for me.
1. I am an independent, self-sufficient woman and I don’t need anyone else to make me happy. Being in a loving relationship with my partner brings joy to my life, but I know I could be happy on my own.
2. I can’t control another person’s emotions. I’ve tried and it only ends in frustration, disappointment and resentment.
3. I don’t believe a person needs to be married to enjoy deep physical intimacy. It’s a right and a privilege available to all adult humans regardless of their marital status.
4. I don’t believe all relationships will last for a life-time let alone eternity. When people change and love evaporates there comes a time when walking away is the most unselfish thing to do.
5. I believe monogamy should be a choice, not a rule. There are some instances where seeking sexual experiences outside a relationship is healthy and necessary (this idea is a whole ‘nother post).
6. I’ve never procreated and now it’s too late. If marriage is designed to create a family then it isn’t relevant for me.
7. I don’t need recognition from God that I’m in a valid relationship.
8. Longevity doesn’t equal success. People who have been married for decades aren’t necessarily examples of what love should look like.
9. I don’t want to be with someone who is focused on my wants, my needs, my hopes, and my dreams. I want him to pursue his own stuff. I want him to love me when I’m cranky, selfish and annoying, but I also want him to challenge me too — to laugh at my overreactions and call me on my bullshit. Love is living in the messiness and chaos of life, not trying to smooth each other’s imperfections into bland niceness.
10. Emotional intimacy begins long before the wedding day, and provides a solid structure to build a relationship on. If one has to wait until marriage before connecting one’s hearts and minds then it may be difficult to forge a strong sense of belonging.
How do you feel about Seth Adam Smith’s take on marriage? Do you have a different idea about what marriage should look like?
- “Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body” From <http://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-39-the-law-of-chastity> ↩