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My views on marriage, both as a sacred institution, and as an institution doomed to fail, have changed.  I no longer believe most of the following

Marriage is yucky

I hate marriage, and not just 'cause my parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles and everyone else I am related to or have ever met) had bad marriages.  Not just 'cause my grandfather was married 5 times and never had a relationship that lasted until he just lived with the woman (I'm sure that was a coincidence).  And not because people turn into evil beasts to each other when they get married.  There is just no point to marriage.   You might as well just put yourself in prison - you'd get more sex that way, at least.

Actually, I don't really know how I feel about marriage.  If I was with someone who I was in love with who insisted on getting married, I think I could do it for them.  I think part of my problem with marriage is, I really do see it as a sacred union between souls.  Which is weird, 'cause I don't even believe in souls...    Part of me still sees marriage as a sacred covenant and I can't get past that, even though most of me knows, in reality, it isn't. 

Stay together because you love each other.  Choose to stay together every day.  Don't stay together because leaving will cost you a big chunk of $$.  Don't make a commitment to each other for the tax break, or to get a cheaper rate on your insurance.    And definitely not for the gifts!  For god sake, most people live together before they get married (or at least live away from their parents), and thus have everything they need to start a life together, so wedding gifts are a useless tradition.  If you want to suck money away from your friends and family, ask them to donate to charity in your name. 

Gifts and a big party are not love, this is love:
"What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life -  to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be at one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?" --George Eliot

"Let our love be like an arch - two weaknesses learning together to form one strength." - unknown

"Henceforth there shall be such a oneness between you, that when one weeps, the other will taste salt." - unknown

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." - Aristotle

"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me" -Ruth (the Bible).

When was the last time you heard someone say something like that when asked why they were getting married?

Related links:
Unmarried by choice

Marriage Equality
  - marriage is yucky, but gay couples should still have the right to marry.  It won't convince young people that marriage isn't sacred - the 50% divorce rate did that.  And marriage has nothing to do with children.  Unless they pass a law saying a marriage isn't recognized as legal until it produces a child that a DNA test proves is the offspring of both members of the couple.  That would be fine, too.