I Don’t Believe In Marriage But I Got Married Anyway — Here’s Why

I’ve been married for three years but I don’t think I believe in marriage. The whole idea of marriage was constructed in a time when our average life expectancy was like 30 years. It was easy to spend your entire life with one person then. Now, let’s triple that and see if you can put up with each other that long. Frankly, it’s a little bit terrifying.

I’m a little insulted by the idea of it.

Modern-day marriage has been romanticized as the ultimate gesture of love, but it began as a way to give men the power. It was based on the patriarchy when women didn’t have rights and had to defer to her husband for all decisions. It’s a contractual agreement that most people (including myself) enter into when they’re crazy in love. Who can think straight then? Business and love just don’t mix. Why are we still doing this?

I’m too curious.

I can’t make myself ignore attractive people. I cannot help wanting to touch those people. Or wanting them to touch me back. Thanks to marriage I have to contain myself, and what fun is that? Maybe I should have found a partner interested in an open relationship but mine isn’t. Being wanted by someone new is a high. That’s why being in love is so wonderful at first. Sadly, it always wears off.

I might be a little vain.

Thanks to advances in social media, our daily lives are a montage of super attractive people. It’s hard to look at someone without those rose-colored glasses. We see a filtered version of everyone, so when spending the day with a “normal” person, they just don’t measure up. To top it off, you don’t either. What’s self-esteem again?

I’m pretty selfish.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I think about myself and my feelings way too often. I’m not sure if I believe in marriage because I’m not sure if I want to. Call me stubborn, but it’s hard to give up how I want to feel for how I should feel. I don’t like being forced into accepting ideas, and a legal document enforcing it really freaks me out.

And let’s be honest: I really like the attention.

I blame social media. We live in a world of instant satisfaction. I can post a picture and get 500 likes, which is way easier than working to please my husband. Verbal compliments don’t hold the weight that they used to when you can be reassured by strangers on the internet.

I can’t hide my flaws.

My husband has seen me at my absolute worst, which you might think is comforting. Wrong. The past haunts us. I could never reinvent myself and still feel like my marriage was authentic. I am always tied to my past by my husband. In a way, looking at him is like looking in a mirror and there are things I’d rather not see.

FOMO.

I just can’t escape the feeling that I’m somehow missing out. I want to experience everything and everyone before it’s too late – what a suffocating feeling it is to imagine running out of time. Maybe it’s a quarter-life crisis, but I am slowly realizing that I’m only young once and I’m banking on this marriage to keep me satisfied. I just don’t know if it’s going to cut it and that’s not fair to my partner.

Commitment is really scary.

Sure, it’s nice to visualize having one person by your side for the rest of your life, but you also have to be that person for them. When I imagine having to be there through the thick and thin with someone, it’s the most romantic and the most horrifying thing I can imagine. At the same time, I remember being single and it’s exhausting to imagine having to get to know new people.

I’m a dreamer.

Not only do I have obvious commitment issues, but I can’t stand the idea of being in one place for too long, physically or emotionally. This wasn’t something I understood about myself when I was younger. I have big ideas and big plans, and before marriage, I was used to making those kinds of decisions on my own. Now, it’s hard for me to imagine involving someone else in decisions that may directly affect my happiness.

At the end of the day, there are no guarantees.

Life doesn’t always work out as we planned. The uncertainty kills me, and I’ve centered my life around an institution that I don’t believe in. Maybe we were too young to get married. Maybe we rushed into things. Regardless, I made this decision, so I will own it and see what happens. Until then, Que será será.

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