Tonight,I met with a young couple who are daring to marry against the odds of successful marriages that currently exist in the U. S. today. I was so encouraged by their courage; I don’t mean to have a play on words here. I applaud their ’tilting at windmills’ as some of my friends now make for comments on marriage; as if there is no hope for long term marriage in this modern world. Many say that serial marriage is the norm; that people don’t want to stay with one person for a lifetime. I disagree!

The young couple I met with were well acquainted with the normal everyday problems of life. They were not wealthy, but they had a desire to build a relationship for themselves and their children. They did not have their most desired careers at this moment in time, but were willing to stay the course while looking for better opportunities. They were kind and gentle with each other. They laughed easily. They inspired me. As a Massachusetts Justice of the Peace, I see many couples preparing for the big day, but today I sat with a couple who were preparing for their life together; the big day was just a special day, but nothing next to their future life.

Couples today have many choices in moving forward together. They do not feel societal disapproval if they just live together. There is no longer a push to get married. Despite that total freedom to marry or not to marry, I am now feeling the change in each individual couple who sits with me; the change is that they choose, happily and willingly choose, to enter the state of marriage with all its joys and all its constraints. They are structuring themselves because I get that they think it is a better way to live and to raise children and to form an ongoing relationship. They get it. I’m impressed and I wish them a hearty congratulations. Their real and ordinary lives are better than all the fictional lives I may invent, because they are invested in their own lives that they have chosen.

K. B. Pellegrino

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