Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Why self-marriage is missing the point

I came across this article in Stylist magazine yesterday: "I got married to myself this weekend".

Basically, if you haven't seen it (and I encourage you to read it), 36 year old Sophie Tanner made the decision to marry herself, saying "I will not wish away my life waiting for the one, when I in fact, am the one."

She had a full on wedding; her dad gave her away, her friend 'officiated' dressed as a cardinal, there was a big party and to all intent and purpose, she did marry herself. She vowed to face her disappointments, embrace her dreams, realise her hopes and accept her failures through understanding openness and sensitivity to others. There was a whole wedding including 20 bridesmaids, minus the groom. She married herself.

However, I can't help but think she (and the whole self-marriage movement, as there appears to be one) is missing the point.

Sophie had a wedding.

She placed value upon herself.

She celebrated herself, her life and her achievements surrounded by friends and family who love and support her.

And she did it in style!

All of which I wholeheartedly agree with!

You do not need a man (or spouse) to complete you, you are worth more than rubies, you should celebrate yourself, all that you are, all that you have achieved and if you want to throw a huge, kick-ass party to do that? Then go right ahead! Don't wait a lifetime to have such a celebration in the hope that a wedding will fulfil that purpose.

But a wedding, a celebration, self-value and worth, a commitment to always be kind to yourself and to always be the best that you can be, does not a marriage make.

Because the central point of marriage, the foundation upon which it is built is, in fact, selflessness.

It's not about you!

When you marry someone you vow for the rest of your life to put someone else first. Aside from having kids, I believe it is the most self-less commitment that you can make (and in some senses more so, I mean this person isn't your flesh and blood, after all - it's a choice!). You're choosing to love, honour, cherish that one person through the good times and the bad, forsaking all others until you die. It is impossible to, in doing this, be selfish. Self doesn't (or shouldn't) come into it.

I married my husband when I was 22 and we had the most amazing, special day you can imagine. I promised all of these things way back then, when the rest of our lives really were the entirety of our adulthood.

I loved him with all of my heart, I still do and I always will - but I had to learn to respect him, honour him and cherish him. Everything about those things goes against your own selfish wants and desires. It was a journey, and it's a journey we embark on every day.

Marriage is about placing another person above your own wants, hopes, desires, dreams and even needs. When both parties actively do that then it works. If one or both parties fail in doing that, then the hope is you support each other and work together to overcome. We're eight years in and there's been some of that! (And I'm sure there will be much more of that as we grow old together, I'm not saying we've made it!).

But the point is, marriage isn't about self. It is exactly the opposite of self. It is a union between two people who are committed to each other, each one agreeing to put the other first. You can't achieve that union without the second party.

This notion that marriage needs to be open to all - a more inclusive option, as Sophie put its - is completely missing the point of what marriage is. Marriage is open to all IF you have a second party who wants to enter into a covenant with you. If you don't, then celebrate yourself and your life anyway! But don't marry yourself!

What do you think? Should self-marriage become a thing?


  1. Really interesting post, I've never heard of self-marriage, although do remember when Carrie in SATC sent out an invite to a friend about hers, as payback for stolen shoes! I agree with you on both counts - celebrating yourself is a wise and wonderful thing to do, however it's not a marriage, which is a union of both people. Really great post, thanks! Do come link to All About You on Mama and More

  2. I've never heard of self-marriage but I couldn't agree with you more. Marriage is for two people and is not about yourself.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.