Marriage Is Not An Accomplishment? Maybe In Your World

I read this article today, saying that marriage is not an accomplishment. It basically can be summed up in one of its passages, “You don’t have to have a brain, drive or special skill set to get married. You just have to have a willing partner. However, getting into X school, graduating with Y degree, and landing Z job does require actual hard work.”

While I get where the author is coming from- that it is important to view a woman as more complicated than what man she can score and whether she is popping out babies- I also call absolute bullshit on this article.

Relationships require hard work, and in the modern world, relationships generally start years before a marriage. People say that it is not the marriage that is worth celebrating, but only after the couple has endured 50+ years together. Only then do they “prove” that they have “worked” for their relationship. Only then is it an accomplishment. However, I would say that in this world, being vulnerable with someone and creating a life with them is an emotional accomplishment. Communication is a skill. Empathy is a skill. Emotional vulnerability is a skill. Compromise is a skill. It takes a lot of skills to have a relationship.

True, you can get married and have an unhealthy relationship. You can get married to someone you met yesterday. However, in general, people invest a lot of time and energy and yes, WORK in their relationships before they get married (if they decide to get married).

I am not really “for” marriage- at least not in the legal sense. However, I am all about celebrating commitment and emotional closeness. Of celebrating family over financial or academic success. Since when did landing a job become more of a sign of success than creating a loving, mutually supportive relationship with someone you respect and who makes you a better person?

So, yes, I will keep asking about my friends’ interpersonal relationships. About their private lives. Work is just work, and not the priority of a lot of people. Why force it to be?

Asexual or aromantic? That’s cool with me, but I still wish you fulfilling, deep friendships and partnerships. Poly? Again, awesome- I hope you explore many types of relationships with people you love deeply. Not interested in dating? I will celebrate your best friend with you, if you like. Don’t believe in the archaic institution of marriage? Neither do I, really. But do not say that my personal life is not an achievement. I worked hard to get to an emotional place where I could love and allow myself to be loved.

I get that the author is basically saying to treat men and women similarly for their successes, and to value a woman’s work contribution to society as much as her ability to keep a man and a home. But it is said in a way that irks me. There is a huge difference between allowing people to set their own priorities and values in life and basically steamrolling people to say that only your way is right- your way which prioritizes financial gain and academic success, which is just one very narrow path in life.


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