My marriage is important to me. I work hard on it everyday. I make sure my husband has dinner on the table and his laundry is done and folded. I make sure our bills are paid and the dog is walked. All he has to do is get up and go to work and come home. I also work, but not as hard as he does. We are both lawyers, and the seepage of the traditional role of "homemaking" is something I resisted for a long time. But I honestly enjoy it and I'm not going to apologize for it, despite the sneers and eye rolls from people who judge me for having so much education and liking housework. Apparently, if you have a brain you shouldn't be cleaning toilets. I disagree--I do my best thinking while I'm cleaning.
I respect my husband. We are a team. Getting divorced would be the hardest thing--forget the financial entanglements--the emotional ones would kill me. I now have an identity that is forever linked with him. And I am changing my name today. How would we ever extract ourselves from each others families? The families that we bike with and have gone to funerals with and celebrated anniversaries and birthdays with and supported through multiple hospital visits and births of babies and triumphs at work and school.
Last night, clients e-mailed me that they are getting divorced. I found out at dinner with a friend where we were discussing our marriages and how much we loved our husbands and couldn't stand to live without them in our lives. It was depressing to hear. And kept me up most of the night. I know either I will die, or my husband will die and the other will be alone. But I would never do anything to speed up that process.
I feel that it's a novel thing to actually find someone you can be compatible with throughout the various stages of your life, yet so many people get married every day. I don't think people really accept it as a lifetime commitment. Before, our lifetimes were so much shorter, people rarely living into their 40's let along their 100's, and "lifetime" wasn't as big of a commitment because you died of cholera or while you gave birth. I hope for decades of marriage. Growing up, many of my friends parents were divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried. Many of my clients have had at least one previous divorce. The unraveling of a life together is as sad as a death. I'm very very sad for my clients.
Appreciate the people you love right now. Don't rush into marriage if you don't want to commit to that person forever. And why has DOMA not been ruled unconstitutional? Everyone should have the chance to have an amazing marriage. Or get divorced.