Why Marriage Matters


A young bride argues for the relevance of marriage.

Five years ago, I lay on the thin mattress in my dorm room sobbing. I was graduating from college in a week and getting married in three months. My wedding invitation company had just gone out of business, leaving me $50 in the hole and stuck with a pile of misprinted response cards. When I called to straighten out the matter, I was transferred to an answering service. An Indian man, who told me his name was Juan, informed me there was nothing I could do. "You sound stressed out," he said. "You should eat some Won-ton soup and relax." Then, Juan hung up. An Indian man named Juan told me to eat Chinese food...That's when I started crying.

As I lay there mourning the loss of $50 and wondering if Won-ton soup might not be such a bad idea after all, I asked myself why was I getting married? With the exception of my cousin, all the women in my family had been married and/or engaged by 19. Most of them had already had children by the time they were 22. So, in the context of my family, holding out for marriage until I finished college seemed like a radical move. Still, none of my friends were getting married. They were all going to grad school, joining the Peace Corps or getting hired at exciting jobs. Here I was, fussing over how "poofy" my veil should be and crying over response cards. I felt silly.

Still, I loved my fiancé and I was committed to our relationship. So, I wiped my eyes, ate some Won-ton soup and three months later I said "I do" with a giant poofy veil on my head. We've been married for five years and in that short time the face of marriage in America has changed. Fewer Americans are choosing to say "I do" and headlines decry the "END OF MARRIAGE." Has marriage completely lost it's relevance? I know I may be biased, but I don't think so.

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