Is marriage only about looking HOT?

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A new internet controvery is brewing over this billboard that was put up in Chicago earlier this month. The billboard, put up by an all-female lawfirm, was torn down after only two days. The billboard seems to be saying “Why stay with what you’ve got? Look who you could be screwing!!!”

It’s very reminiscent of the shitstorm that hit the blogosphere when Morphing into Mom (MIM) made her very controversial “False Advertising” post. That post sparked a huge back-and-forth debate over the idea that if a woman’s physical appearance (i.e. hairstyle, weight) changes after getting married, she’s somehow letting her husband down and is guilty of “false advertisting.”

By the looks of this billboard, men can be guilty of “false advertising” too. If men get fat or bald or lose their 6-pack abs or develop nasty farting habits that weren’t revealed prior to the marriage, well then, they can be traded in on a new model just as easily.

Isn’t marriage supposed to be about love and partnership and intimacy expressed in a close and physical way. Not just about whether your partner is “HOT”? Is it your duty to maintain your hotness? Is your spouse entitled to hotness? If you deprive them of said hotness is it “unfair” and thus entitles them to go shopping for a newer model?

Before trading your spouse in on a new model, it might be wise to take a long, hard look in the mirror with the rose-colored glasses off. I think most men and women are a little deluded about exactly how much better of a model they’d be able to attract once they’ve gotten rid of the old one.

IS marriage just a purchase, entered into after having selected the exact item that you wanted? Or is it a relationship that involves people who inevitably change over time?

I barely resemble the person I was 20 years ago - physically, mentally or experience-wise. I think I’ve gotten better with time in all the ways that really matter. I am no longer the immature, self-centered, table-dancing drunk girl with a nearly empty bag of tricks that I was in my early 20’s. Hopefully, when another 20 years passes, I won’t resemble the person I am today. People change - that’s the way it works.

My husband has changed over the years we’ve been married too. His beliefs and opinions have matured at the same time his body has. His behavior, in many ways, is more thoughtful and considerate than when we first met. I appreciate those changes and try to overlook the changes I don’t necessarily like. Physical changes aren’t even on my radar of irritants.

If you could pick and choose from a menu, what items would you pick in a spouse? How high on the list would physical attributes really be? Not that high on my shopping list…

  • Romantic? check
  • Picks up after himself? check
  • Helps with house and children? check
  • Provides well for the family? check
  • Works out to maintain “cobra-like” back and shoulder muscles and 6-pack abs (note: this will require spouse to be somewhat self-absorbed and reduce time spent at home)? check

Why is it acceptable for a person’s beliefs, opinions and behavior to change, but their body is expected to always stay youthful and HOT? It doesn’t even make sense. Time changes people, staying the same is not even an option.

Isn’t “False Advertising” really a spouse who says they love you and then makes you feel like crap when you don’t remain exactly the way you were the day you married? Life is too short to spend with that kind of spouse.