I write today in the name of marriage and to discuss what seems to be a golden opportunity for all of us. First off, I must take a moment to honor the struggle, pain, suffering, and resilience of the LGBTQI community. I'm deeply sorry for the path it took to get us here (and for the struggle that will still continue). I understand human nature's fear of the other and power structures use for dividing us but it will never justify the reality of sorrow that it creates. I can only hope that together we continue to march forward faster and with more purpose towards love, acceptance, and interconnection. In light of this historic moment, I write to ask that we all use this opportunity to examine what "marriage" really means in American society today. As a couple's counselor, I see the myth of marriage cause strife and struggle to many a relationship. "All you need is love" and "Happily ever after" are distortions that impact marriage. While we expand the notion of who can get married, let us also expand the notion of just what marriage is... and let us expand that notion to hold it as a lot of work, as unpleasant at times, and most definitely as something that is not a fairy tale.
Yes it is love that lifts us up to wanting to make a declaration of that love through the commitment of marriage (and I'm so glad all people now have the right to make that declaration) but that euphoria is only one stage of many in the road of marriage. And there are many stages. Beauty and attraction change. Who we are changes. Our wants and goals change. It's hard enough to sometimes do this alone but add doing it with another and it can get complicated. Add kids to the mix. Say it with me, marriage can be hard. So while we rejoice as a nation, let us also use this opportunity to talk openly and honestly about what marriage is, what are its pros and cons, what people really need to know before entering such a commitment, and how best to make it strong for each and every one of us. I personally look forward to learning a lot from the LGBTQI community on this topic.