The Marriage Tax
To this date, I’ve been married for 6.5 years, and I can tell you one thing above all us. Marriage is not easy. My wife and I have had some really good times, and we’ve had some times that haven’t been so good. When I say that, I’m not at all saying that marriage isn’t a good thing. I’m not even saying that I wish I never did it. It’s just me saying that it isn’t for everybody. I really, truly, and honestly believe that statement. It can’t be for everybody, because this world is changing so much everyday that marriage to some is almost irrelevant. For some, the $40 dollar piece of paper that legally bonds one person to another, is merely about benefits. And with domestic partnership benefits, who really needs to get married? I would tell people that being married definitely means something. And $40 is a bargain to get married in all honesty.
The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (Message Bible)
32-35 I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.
I used this particular scripture because, I won’t lie: there are times when I do in fact miss the single life (which I truly believe every married person has felt). I’m not saying I completely like being alone, but I do miss certain things about it. Coming and going as you please. Going out and staying out (yes, even me). Especially, the part about meeting people and hanging out with whomever you want to. I don’t want you to take that last part out of context. It’s that hanging out with the opposite sex is fun, and a strong marriage is not always conducive to meeting NEW people of the opposite sex. In other works, the process of getting to know people is actually kind of fun. I guess I tend to think about things like that from a psychological point of view. The Bible also speaks about marriage as not a sin, but something that is perfectly okay in the eyes of God, and single-hood, being just as okay by Him.
In this scripture Paul is basically saying that marriage comes with demands. It demands that you stop being all about you, and recognize that there is someone else present as well. It demands that you pay attention to the finer details. Not just the broader things that don’t always matter. Marriage demands that you be present…ALL THE TIME. And not just on weekends like you were when you were dating. That’s what makes it so hard. It’s giving yourself up for someone else, and not always getting a return. That’s it right there. The marriage tax. I mean since getting married, I can’t even get credit for my student loan interest paid anymore. Renter’s applications want 25 more dollars just to apply for a place to live. If the bill collector’s can’t find Mrs. Austin, then they wanna talk to Mr. Austin. It’s crazy. They want so much from me. It’s the tax of life I guess, and not everyone will be able to handle that. Not everyone can deal with sharing literally everything they have with someone else. People who aren’t married often say that living together is the same thing. But I would ask someone this: If you leave your relationship now, does it cost anything except for the amount of breaking your lease? Nope. Sure doesn’t. Divorce is very expensive. Oh, and that’s a tax all it’s own.
There are so many women and men out there that feel like they have to find someone in order to be complete. I would say to them, if that’s your reason for looking, then stop looking. There’s so much more to being married than you think, and not all of it is glamorous. In fact, marriage is probably anything but…When you get married, that’s the time when the make-up actually comes off. That’s the time when the gloves come off as well. You stop worrying about what the other person feels and start just telling them about what you like/dislike about them. Yeah, it’s kinda the ugly truth. Nevertheless, it is the truth, though. You also have to worry about what someone wants for dinner. What they are wearing to bed, wash both your clothes and hers/his, plus clean up after one another. Any decision you make directly affects the other person, because you now belong to each other. I’m not trying to talk you out of this marriage thing. I’m just trying to give you some real life perspective.
More to come…