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What’s the Point of Marriage?

Author Heather Havrilesky recently wrote in an article titled “Is Marriage Obsolete?”:

Isn’t it reasonable to question the value of a legal contract, written in ink, on paper, that involves disastrously punitive forms of dissolution? … Particularly when it’s paired with an enormously expensive ceremony that often includes allusions to obedience and lifelong mutual suffering and death, of all things? … And (there are) a host of inconveniences to being married, along with untold drudgery, monotony, frustration, and regret. … Considering all that, what could possibly be the point of this outdated charade?

But she answers that question this way:

So why do I love this torturous state of affairs so much? The daily companionship, the shared household costs, and the tax breaks are not enough. ... (It is) because some of the peak moments of a marriage are when you share your anxieties, your fears, your longing, and even your horrors. … That’s why sickness and death are key to marriage vows. Because there is nothing more divine than being able to say, “Today, I am really, truly at my worst,” knowing that it won’t make your spouse run for the hills. My husband has seen my worst before. We both know that our worst is likely to get worse from here. Somehow that feels like grace.

Source: Heather Havrilesky, “Is Marriage Obsolete?” The Cut, New York Magazine (3-31-19)

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