No Such Thing As Forever…

wedding_illustration_by_zhuzhu
© Zhuzhi

When a friend of my daughter’s split up with her husband and I commented that I thought they’d be together forever, my daughter retorted “there’s no such thing as forever anymore Mum!”  How very sad, but is it true? And does that slip of paper [the marriage certificate] make it more likely that a couple will survive long-term, or has marriage become an out-dated concept?

When I got married 33 years ago I suspect many people thought we wouldn’t last. My husband was only 23 and I wasn’t much older, just two weeks shy of my 26th birthday.

Close friends tried to talk us out of it but we were adamant that we needed to be married and nothing could stop us.

Although we attend more funerals than weddings these days, we went to one a couple of weekends ago. The happy couple – who were in their fifties – had been together almost 20 years; so why did they decide to get married after all those years? The cynical side of me suspected that having both recently lost their parents, they did it for tax purposes. After all the taxman still penalises unmarried couples when one of them dies. But the romantic in me decided that they finally felt ready. They were both Lexicographers and much was made in the speeches of the definition of marriage and the fact that The Oxford English Dictionary has recently revised its definition to include same sex marriage.

In fact in his speech, the groom said that two of the most looked up words in the dictionary were “love” and “marriage”…

Does this suggest that despite the fact that the number of people getting hitched each year has been slowly declining since the 1970s, there is still an appetite for marriage?

Call me old fashioned but I still believe in marriage as an institution whether the wedding vows are taken in a church or as part of a civil ceremony. Sharing your life with a partner isn’t always plain sailing but by getting married a couple are making a commitment to spend their lives together through thick and thin; they are agreeing to love, respect and support each other, and to grow old side by side. What can be wrong with that as an ethos?

[Pip]

Is Valentine’s Day Harmful?

valentine_edited-1
© Pip Art

Today, like millions of people globally, my husband and I will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. This will be the 33rd time we have observed this tradition, my husband (a true romantic) having proposed on our very first Valentine’s Day together. Despite our many ups and downs in those 33 years, we still place value in celebrating the milestones that make up our history together.

Many people consider Valentine ’s Day to be sentimental hype perpetuated by shops, restaurants and florists to increase sales in the post-Christmas lull. But in today’s digital world where a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook has replaced the personal touch of choosing a card specifically for someone and then taking the time to post it, I think Valentine’s Day is one tradition that society should try and hang on to. After all, is it too much to ask that we are tender and loving for just one day?

But can Valentine’s Day actually be harmful? For many the day just reminds them of what they consider to be their failure in not finding a mate.

For today at least, the world appears to be full of loved up couples and many people’s own sense of isolation and loneliness takes on overblown proportions. Statistically suicide attempts spike around holidays such a Valentine’s Day as do calls to helplines like The Samaritans.  Society still encourages us to believe that being part of a couple is the route to happiness whether this path ends in a lifetime together or not.

And what about those who are in relationships but whose partner puts minimum effort into the day or forgets it completely? A joint decision to not make a fuss it is fine, but if one of you is expecting more the disappointment can be bitter.  So if you can’t live without romance but it is simply not on your partner’s radar, perhaps its time to move on?

Do you throw yourself into Valentine’s Day celebrations or will you be home alone on the 14th February? Rebel In A Tutu would love to hear your stories…

[Pip]