Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy 49th

One of my husband's coworkers is a single male who, when the topic of marriage comes up, likes to say, "marriage is subjugation." While I'm not sure what he means by this exactly, it doesn't demonstrate a positive attitude toward the idea of being married. At the very least, it implies both parties are being enslaved. At worst, it's trotting out the old saw about how men are painfully shackled to their wives when they finally succumb to their women's wishes to marry.

The idea that men are unwilling and lacking in desire to marry is one which is commonly played out in television, movies, song, and, no doubt, in bars where single men congregate to lament the woe associated with being "tied down" with the "old woman". The irony of this attitude is that studies show that men usually benefit from marriage and women usually are harmed. Studies comparing single men and women to married men and women show men are healthier and live longer when they have wives and women are less healthy and live a shorter time when they have husbands. The old myth though, that men are held on a short leash by their wives when they marry, is nonetheless fairly pervasive.

I think men who grow up to think marriage is a trap that will limit their freedoms and make their lives miserable spent some time as little boys who witnessed their father's talking or acting like marriage was making them feel trapped and unhappy. My husband has never uttered a negative statement about marriage. In fact, from the moment I had contact with him, he has been nothing but positive about being married and had always viewed finding a (suitable) life partner as his most important goal.

I've often bored people with praise for how wonderful my husband is and how well he treats me. I think he couldn't be the person he is or find marriage such a positive thing if he hadn't grown up around two people who were clearly happy together and showed him that marriage is a wonderful thing that enriches their lives. I have my in-laws to thank in part for how happy my marriage is. I have no doubt that they role-modeled a very loving and fulfilling relationship for him.

Happy Anniversary, Mary and Tito! (thanks to my brother-in-law Luis for providing me with a very illustrative picture)

Today is their 49th wedding anniversary and I want to wish them all the very best. I also want to wish them many more years together as a happy couple.


Jon said...

Aww, that's sweet. :)
Maybe I can last that long someday. You never know.

Emsk said...

Yes, it drives me mad as well. Many, many men I know are very happily married while many women have been unhappily so. Personally speaking, I would be quite happy to be happily married, provided it's the right person.

Before I came to Japan, two good male friends were talking about another guy who was 'under the thumb'. They bemoaned the 'fact' that he couldn't do anything without his wife's say-so. "You're gonna do that to some guy one day," said my friend jokingly, but perhaps only half jokingly. Funny that. I have no desire to 'trap' a man and indeed would find it rather tiresome if he was always asking my permission.

There seems to be a certain man who wants to be in a relationship but feels he has to make excuses, hence bangs on about what we Brits call ''er indoors'.

My dad is very happily married, and indeed he does check everything he does with his wife. Simply because he wants her to join in the fun and he thinks he'll have much better fun if she's there. As well as that, he rather likes her.