It is all I ever talk about these days. With friends getting married or wanting to get married or just simply dreaming about getting married, I talk a lot about marriage. There is so much to say on the matter. There are so many questions with no clear cut answers. There is no concrete reason why anyone would ever participate, as there is no reason why anyone would not. There are so many reasons to participate and yet, so many reasons one should not. There is so much to gain and yet, so much to lose and despite the fact that so many marriages are falling apart people keep doing it. It is the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma to quote the great Winston Churchill.
I am absolutely clueless. However, despite my vast ignorance, I do know one thing. Of all the reasons to participate in marriage, love is the worst one.
I am not hating on love. Love is the awesome supreme power that makes the world go 'round. Claude says, "It is possible to love every human being on the planet in a unique way" and I believe it. This is exactly why love is not a reason to participate in marriage. Because one can love everyone and anyone and marriage is not a party.
A man much wiser than me once said, "If we were meant to mate for life we would just do it. Naturally. Like penguins." But we don't do it naturally. We do it institutionally. Marriage is an institution. An agreement. An arrangement. It is a bond that is designed to be stronger than nature itself and that strength cannot be found in love.
The English language is cruel in that it does not provide us with enough words to qualify love. So, we love shoes; dogs; The Hills; Kobe Bryant; and Grey's Anatomy and despite the fact that these loves are all different, the expression of the emotion is still the same. It's love. It's love. There is no other way to describe it because it just is love. And love is...
...Fleeting. One bad design; an unexpected bite; a horrible season finale; a rape charge; or a season of bad acting and the love is gone. The good thing in all these situations is that we can turn the channel or find a new show or love a new player. Marriage doesn't work that way. Or at least it shouldn't.
Marriage, essentially, is a threesome. One, one and something else. The something else in most cases is God. Or kids. But it could be Tradition. In the days of Chivalry, it was Lineage or Politics. The something else is a firm principle that does not change; it binds the two together and stands firm against nature and/or the comings and goings of love. Side note: My second favorite scene in Fiddler On The Roof is when Tevya and Golda after 25 years of marriage discover that they actually love each other.
Love is...well love. And it comes and goes and goes and comes and I think it has its place in every relationship. I have love for quite a few people. Some emotions can't even be expressed with words. But love is not the foundation of any of my life long relationships. I think of love as the space that fills a house. It is the air, the scent, the aura, the vibe, the feel. The stuff that make a house a home. The substance that produces the warm and fuzzy comfortable "I could be here forever" feeling.
But the house. It must be built with mortar, concrete, wood, brick. And those things are Honor, Duty, Loyalty, Faith, Purpose. Things that will stand the test of time and remain firm so that love is free to flow within. I could be wrong.
But I don't think so.