Issue #226 / March 2023
I’ve always believed in, and yearned for, a soul-mate kind of love: passionate, joyful, uplifting and inspiring. And I have found it, although quite late in life. However, he has said he will never marry me because he doesn’t believe in, or even hates the idea of “marriage” (as a social or cultural construct, a legal thing, or whatever). I, on the other hand, simply can’t stop desiring to be a wife instead of girlfriend, to have a husband instead of a boyfriend (which even sounds ridiculous given our age – I’ve just turned 52 and he’ll be 59 this summer). In the argument, he suggested it might also be due to cultural differences (I’m Slovak, he’s Dutch). [ ]
Is there any advice you and Susie can give me? Or a message I could show him? He is a very special, cutely crazy and beautiful person, an artist and a unique carpenter, with a lot of great humour and playfulness. We laugh all the time.
ZUZANA, BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
I may get a little grief from some of the more progressive quarters for saying this, but I’ll say it anyway. I think your boyfriend should marry you. Not for any legal, cultural or religious reason, but because it would make you happy. Sometimes doing dangerous, doomed or deranged things for our partners, like robbing a bank, or getting a dog, or watching an entire series of Love Island, or, indeed, getting married, is worth a renegotiation with some of our more habituated or cherished ideals, just to see the happiness in their eyes. So, give that cute-crazy, arty Dutch carpenter a great big kiss from me and tell him I said to stop fucking around and marry you.
But having said that, Zuzana, you and your partner seem to have a great relationship and maybe it’s not such a bad thing to just step back and be happy in what is that most rare and privileged cosmic event – two souls aligning inside a playful, loving and enduring relationship. Perhaps that is marriage enough.