All relationships are tested by family and friends at different times. GYO relationships are particularly venerable because older groups with strong long lasting ties are being united with younger groups. It can become problematic when factions of those groups attempt pull preference based on age, seniority or youth when the age gap is too much for them to accept. Sometimes people even relegate the younger to being a ‘child’ hanging out with adults. It’s common… We hear a lot about when families and friends are cool, but what about when they aren’t and you’re married?
You can form a long term relationship, be monogamous, have a house together, share bank accounts, living wills, even a domestic partnership, and still not accomplish what a marriage does.
Legally, It’s forbidden for an outside party to attempt to compel a spouse to testify against the other spouse. This is referred to as spousal immunity or marital privilege. So in the eyes of the law, married couples are different and special. In terms of the state, money and tax burdens are shared, assets combined, and couples get control over medical choices should one become compromised. Socially, families are joined and sometimes names are swapped, but the social contract doesn’t end there.
Marriage is not just a legal document that allows all this to happen. In modern American society it is customary to have both families at the wedding ceremony. It is said, that at that time, both families are joined. Anyone who’s gone through this process knows the families, in fact, are not joined in any way. So what is happening. Like all things, it’s complicated…
“Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace”
Originates from the Christian wedding ceremony. It’s declaration means that this moment is your last chance to voice any objections.
Before and after the wedding ceremony both families are clearly distinct, and they will continue to make that clear in many spoken or unspoken ways. Nothing has happened to the people attending the wedding that would cause their status to change. The two spouses on the other hand have distinctly changed for all to see and that is were the mystery begins to unfold. Yes, marriage changes your relationship. Both attending parties witnessing the merger understand it can not be broken or divided by external forces. That’s were the phrase, “Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace”, comes from. It means you can speak up that these two people shouldn’t be joined before the words, “By The Power Vested In Me By The State Of New York, I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband”. After that statement, any words of objection are meaningless because what was once two people is now one and they can’t be divided.
Marriage is an agreement with everyone in your community, that these two people are not to ever be treated as separate or divisible. Friend or family who come between a married couple or attempt to alienate one spouse from another risks being exiled from the friendship and cast away by all others who approved the marriage and continue to support it. Only a marriage has that social agreement as part of its construct.
Marriage is a legal and social contract that virtually unites two people as one. That’s what makes marriage different. That’s what all that stuff in the bible is about, why Domestic Partnership is a distant second, and why gay marriage was so controversial in the 2015 supreme court case.
This may be obvious to some of you… When you get married people will ask you if it changes your relationship. It does, for everyone else.