Marriage and Settling Down
When Sarah and I announced our engagement a few people were surprised we were getting married while we were still young. In Ireland it seems common to put off marriage until your 30s at least. When I was doing some research to prepare for my speech at our wedding reception every example of a groom’s speech that I saw on an Irish site contained a line like this: “[X] and I have been living together for [Y] years now”, and many had reference to their children being part of the celebration. (I eventually winged that speech. Nailed it too!) People say they’re not yet ready to settle down. That was one of the reservations some friends had regarding marriage – they didn’t want to settle down, they wanted to go have fun first.
What I want to know is, where are they getting this “settle down” stuff from? Why do people equate getting married with the end of fun, with growing old and ending your adventures. Sure, if your adventures consist of sleeping around then I guess a faithful marriage would mean settling down from your sleeping around, but those who are already in a committed monogamous relationship who want to hold off on marriage because they’re not ready to “settle down” – I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why people associate marriage with the end of their fun times. When I married Sarah I teamed up with my favourite human being to go on an adventure together. I committed to sticking by her, regardless of mood or circumstance, wherever life takes us. I have no intention of settling down and marriage has in fact “shaken up” my life.
Since Sarah and I were married in August we have travelled to Malta, India, Switzerland, France and Sweden, we have also travelled to beautiful places around Ireland and plan to do some more travelling around beautiful West Cork this summer. That’s just the travelling side of things and it’s only an easy illustration of the great difference being married to Sarah has made to my life. As a married man I have been encouraged by my wife to learn to swim, learn to drive, gain a TEFL qualification and am altogether a more active and happier person. Marriage itself is an adventure. I have discovered that I will never stop discovering things to love about Sarah. She encourages me, challenges me and pulls me up on my shitty behaviour and attitudes, which frankly needs doing from time to time.
I’m not saying that these things above cannot be achieved outside of marriage, what I’m saying is that those who have reservations about getting married while in adult committed monogamous relationships are going to have to come up with a better excuse than not wanting to “settle down” yet. Change the script, I’m not buying it.
Sarah and I were kayaking in Cork harbour yesterday, on our adventure enjoying life together. Life is certainly more of an adventure for both of us since we got married.