Do not keep up with the Kardashians. Please. Do not keep up with the Kardashians. (Don’t make a grown relationship columnist beg, OK?) Specifically, do not follow in the high-heeled pointy-toed footsteps of Kim Kardashian.
In fact, let’s write our own vow right now: I promise that I will endeavour to create a union that lasts longer than the guest list, that I will value the guts of our relationship more than the bridal gown and that our wedding toast will be the kind served up in bed every Sunday morning. (While we’re at it, let’s pledge to disavow comparable cons, like those seen on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.)
While no expense was spared for the Kardashi-sham marriage ceremony, far too much was spared on the marriage itself. The flippancy with which the words “I do” are uttered (by celebrities and their reality-show imitators) makes a mockery of marriage. Anyone can say “I do,” but have we ever really considered what those two little words mean? “Do” is a verb; an action word. So essentially, what we are telling our mates when we pledge our fealty is that we accept the role of active participant in the union.
Words, particularly those of the idle variety, do not make the marriage. Actions do. My partner has a saying: “Commitment isn’t what you say, it’s what you do.” So, if you want to know what path a person is committed to walking, don’t listen to the words, watch the feet. (This is the thing that makes my hubby so damn cute — he has no idea how incredibly smart he is. How smart? Well, let’s just say that whole schools of psychotherapy, including Alfred Adler’s model of Individual Psychology, have been built on the premise that actions speak louder than words.)
But the only thing Kim Kardashian — and the Bachelor and the Bachelorette — seem to be acting on is appearances. They want the idea of marriage more than the marriage itself. The image of the married man/woman seems to be more alluring than the actual job of marriage. And believe me, it is a job; marriage (whether legal, common law or declared) is hard work. If a walk down the aisle was as easy as a walk in the park we wouldn’t need columns like this one.
Want a marriage that lasts more than 72 days? Roll up your sleeves. And whatever you do, don’t even think of keeping up with the Kardashians.
Join relationship columnist Liza Finlay each week as she dishes on ways to keep you and your partner close through the rocky terrain that is marriage with kids.
Do you have an issue you’d like Liza to explore in a future column? Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comment below.