5 Undeniably Classic Reasons Marriage is Not Outdated

BY: - 7 Feb '18 | Marriage

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There’s a movie roaming around Netflix called “November Rule.” It’s an interesting flick that reveals the character of a young man who breaks up with his significant other right before the holidays. His plan is to pursue the relationship again right after Valentine’s Day. His premise is that during the holidays and up until Valentine’s Day, relationships get sticky. There are parties, and gifts, and niceties that are required and he’s just not into it. So, rather than put in the work, he finds a convenient excuse to call it quits with his girl until after all the hoopla has passed. Conveniently, his reason for ending it in November no longer exists after mid-February…thus, “November Rule.”

Sounds like a load of nonsense, right?

Well, follow me on this. There are many people who approach, or back away, from marriage for basically the same reason. To them, marriage makes relationships sticky. There are commitments, and compromises, and responsibilities that are required and they’re just not into it. So, rather than put in the work, they find a convenient excuse to downplay the idea of marriage in hopes that all the hoopla will pass. One such excuse that is brilliantly played is the concept that marriage is outdated. In this day and age, who needs a piece of paper to validate their relationship? As long as you love each other, that’s all that matters.

Sounds like a load of nonsense, right?

Well, like I said, it’s an argument that’s brilliantly played. You see, I can’t think of a better way for those who opt-out to make those who opt-in appear sheepish than to call their age-old institution old-fashioned and irrelevant. To bolster their argument, they cite such things as high divorce rates, lack of intimacy (which can lead to infidelity), and loss of excitement once the paper has been signed. Basically, by signing the paper and jumping the broom, they are killing the relationship. To save their relationship, they shouldn’t do what their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, they should evolve and recognize that true love doesn’t need a piece of paper to prove it and make it last. That kind of thing is old-fashioned. You see what they’ve done there?

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To be honest, I can’t say that I’m a fan of this debate. It has too much of an “us”-vs-“them” feel that, quite frankly, is unnecessary. If you really break it down, those who choose to marry and those who choose to be in a relationship without getting married want the exact same things. What are those things?

A sacred, honest relationship

Whether or not you choose marriage, if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you consider it a sacred union in which honesty is a priority. You don’t want a partner who cheats on you or takes the relationship lightly. This is a must-have if the relationship is going to last.

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A trustworthy friend

You want to be able to freely laugh, cry, and act the fool with your life partner. This is the person you emotionally allow into places that no one else should have access to. You are the most vulnerable with them and they are your soft place to fall.

A spicy sex life

When it’s time to get busy in the bedroom, there’s only one person you want to get busy with. Maintaining a hot, spicy, and active sex life requires work and commitment whether you’re married or not.

A strong family unit

If you and your partner choose to have children, then you do so knowing you plan to build a strong family unit on a solid lifetime foundation. This applies to married and unmarried couples who have decided they want to be in a committed relationship for life.

As we can see, there really is no “us”-vs-“them” when it comes to what couples in married and unmarried relationships want. And, I’m talking about the relationships where, like maturing a fine wine, these couples are willing to properly harvest and put in the work to make the relationship grow and last. There is one major difference, however.

Security

There is an amazing sense of peace that I get from knowing that my husband and I are truly one. According to the laws of the land, nothing can separate us without our say so. Aside from the other four reasons stated above, that peace also comes from that piece of paper we signed when we tied the knot.

So, to those who say that having that piece of paper is outdated and old-fashioned, I say this: In this article, you can have four reasons marriage is not outdated. Or, you can have five.

BMWK, what are some other reasons marriage is not outdated?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 154 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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6 Behaviors to Avoid When Dealing With Conflict in Your Marriage

BY: - 8 Feb '18 | Marriage

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Have you wondered, in the heat of a battle, what you were really fighting about? It’s not usually what you say it is on the surface. The inner work begins the moment you are able to go beneath the surface and uncover what it is that really bothers you about what’s happening.

Have you ever just wanted to react to your partner without thinking about it first and with no regard to what the results might be, even if you knew better? You’re not alone. When someone pisses you off, it’s normal for your instincts to kick in and cause you to become defensive and argumentative. But having effective conflict management tools under your belt equips you for the inevitable.

Your wife might drive you crazy, or your husband can get on your very last nerve. It happens to all of us at some point, but how you handle those emotions is paramount to the health of your relationship. In my frequent conversations about relationships, I often hear a variety of excuses and arguments about what’s going wrong, but something I heard recently stuck with me. Someone admitted that they didn’t know how to fight in their marriage. They purposely hurt one another when they disagree, and it leaves them both wanting to walk away. This observation was so real, and although I rarely hear it, I found it to be a true statement for so many couples. While I keep bringing up creating marital peace, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

My husband suggests that the best time to make an emotional decision is when you’re not emotional. He says you have to decide, when things are good, how to handle arguments.

It is inevitable that in a relationship you will not always see eye-to-eye on every subject. Half of the battle in overcoming disputes is knowing how to have one in the first place. Again, with peace being the target, there are a few things to avoid when you are experiencing conflict:

  • Yelling to get your point across works for no one, ever.
  • Shutting down and keeping quiet will prevent you from achieving peace.
  • Intentionally saying words that are hurtful can cause more long-term pain than we think.
  • Not being fully present, open, or aware of your partner’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Not taking responsibility for your part in the conflict.
  • Having a closed mind.

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In order to make a marriage work, you have to start making decisions that lead to solutions, not create more problems. You have to decide that, when conflicts arise, you will be the water and not the gasoline, completely focused on defusing the situation and creating peace. You must also be clear on what happens as a result of being the gasoline; tempers flare, the conflict grows and can ultimately consume the relationship over time.

I promise that if you take the water route instead, you won’t regret it. You will be doing exactly what is needed to reduce drama and build a healthy partnership. No, it isn’t easy, but, in the end, it does pay off.

BMWK, are you ready to defuse conflict and make your marriage work?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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