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Old 03-27-2013, 04:08 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Totally agree. I don't believe I told you to do or not do anything. If I came across like that it was unintentional.
Glad to hear it. There are a few people on this forum who have taken the stance that no one should ever get married because it's patriarchal and unethical. I tend to lump those attitudes together, and I apologize for reading more into your post than you intended.

Maybe marriage is done differently in your part of the world. In the UK where I live, it's usual (there may be exceptions sometimes) for the father of the bride to 'give the bride away.' Sometimes another male relative performs the role if the father isn't available. I have been at at least one wedding where the bride walked up the aisle herself and 'gave herself away.' This is what I refer to.
Well my dad walked me down the aisle, but he didn't have any other role in the ceremony. I didn't think of it as him giving me away, I'd been an independent adult for 9 years by then. Again, I think it's all about perspective.

My vows also included having me his taxes done every year by April 15th, and him not feeling too imasculated when I got my PhD and started making more money than him. That part will probably never happen. Turns out I'm more academic and it's pretty hard to get that good of a job in Academia... he, meanwhile, is extremely successful in his career. But I digress.

Both parties usually (although I know there are exceptions) also pretend to make a commitment to each other that will last until one of them dies. It, of course, is pretense too. What they mean is that they will stay together unless one or both of them change their minds.
To me, commitment means that as long as we still love each other, we will do everything we can to work out any problems that arise. You can even help falling out of love, but like any aspect, it takes work.

But I can honestly stay I've never stopped loving anyone. There have been relationships that weren't worth saving so I let them go, but the feelings didn't just dissolve. There have also been times where I mistook infatuation for love, and that doesn't count. I'm reasonably certain that we're well past the infatuation stage...

The difficulty I have is that the pretense tends not to be stated explicitly. It kind of becomes like lying. People know it isn't true and that they don't mean it but they say it anyway because it's tradition/it's what everybody else does/it's part of the game (there are probably a ton of other reasons too).
Our province actually governs the exact wording of the vows, and you're not allowed to change them. You can add extra parts where you make your little speech, but if you want to get married in the province, you have to say the prescribed words.

I guess there's two kinds of pretense. There's pretense to the world, and pretense to each other. We discussed our relationship boundaries very extensively, and we knew exactly which parts of the pre-written government ceremony we agreed with and which parts we were just saying for convenience.

In my head, I snickered as I said that whole "you and only you" bit. We know what the boundaries were of our relationship, and we didn't feel the need to make a big hooplah about it.

To me, the commitment and promises are about what we say to one another every day and reinforce with our actions. The wedding is not the marriage. Standing up in front of our friends and family and repeating some words does not a marriage make, it just puts it down on paper. I have two good friends with what I would describe as the "perfect marriage," in that they communicate, cooperate, all that... they've both been previously married, so they know full well that marriage isn't permanent and doesn't really mean a thing if you don't put your money where your mouth is.

I'm not comfortable with making large promises that I don't mean and I'm not at all comfortable that other people are either - I don't feel that making promises while lying is generally a good way to treat each other. I suspect that generally it does more harm than good (although there are I'd guess a ton of exceptions).
I can understand what you're saying, but I think there's a difference between making a promise and saying some words. If both of you know you're just going through a speech for official purposes, then there's no pretense or lying. Lying means you actually intend the other person to believe your falsehoods. We consciously chose to view it as nothing but protocol. Our commitments to each other had been made long before, and the ceremony was just making them official.

The wedding was all about us. That some people heard me say some stuff that I didn't mean doesn't concern me. I didn't marry them. I married my husband, and he knows what I truly meant. I think that's what counts.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-27-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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