The second part to my thoughts about marriage stems from a lot of my personal experience of family, and starts off by begging the question of whether your understanding of marriage is influenced by your parents, and if so to what degree. I suppose that ultimately the environment you grew up in and the values of family that your parents taught you, whether it be stable or otherwise, directly or indirectly, must influence the way you act in your own relationships later on in life.
I myself come from a family where my parents were divorced when I was at an early age, and believe me I went through all the motions and reactions to this I possibly could. Without going into any details, by the age of 18 or so when I was really starting to work out who I was, marriage was totally off the cards for me. I guess this must have had something to do with my understanding of family I had encountered so far from my parents and their divorce. That sounds like I’m blaming them for it, but as far as I’m concerned they did me a favour.
Those of you who know me well will know I can be a bit of a dreamer sometimes, and God knows in my teenage years like every other girl I was certainly naïve. I can imagine that if I did have that nuclear family, my head would have drifted off into fairy tale land and I would have searched the world over for a perfect husband far too early. It’s taken me a long time to get to my viewpoint now, but the good thing I can take from my unorthodox family set up is to know that relationships are unpredictable, and you can never really tell if the person you think you’re going to spend the rest of your life with is really the one. When being tied down to a single person in a marriage and you hit bad times, are your feelings all that clear? Doesn’t the fact that you physically and legally share everything cloud your perspective on whether you do really want to be with this person? For me, I would say that if you were in a relationship that was breaking down, without the bindings of marriage, it would force you to take a hard look at the fundamental reasons why you are sharing your life with your partner, and not have the complications marriage might bring to the table.
I’ve said the words ‘I love you’ to several more young men than I care to mention at my age, and I also have come to realise in my more recent experiences of love that some of these were ridiculous. It’s only in my current relationship, where I’ve found something right for me now, that I’ve truly come to realise that I’ve been looking for the wrong thing all along. If people can get divorced in their forties after twenty plus years of marriage and still come out of it struggling with knowing what they want in a relationship, how on earth am I supposed to know?!
This is a topic that I’ll never really find an answer for; I don’t think anyone really understands love, and certainly not a 22 year old. It’ll inevitable pop into this blog every now and again, as it’s far too influential to miss out. I’ll keep it on the back burner for a bit though, along with my wedding dress.