When Nadine Schweigart from North Dakota married herself in March of 2012, I thought this was possibly a result of being out in the cold too long. Or maybe it was something in the Fargo water--but in any case I considered it a weird fad that might soon pass. I was wrong.
The self-marriage movement is blossoming among the egomaniacal masses in our western world.
Why just last month, Erika Anderson put on a vintage-style white wedding dress, stood before a circle of her closest friends on the rooftop of her Brooklyn apartment building, and committed herself — to herself.
"I choose you today," she said (probably to her gilded Narcissus mirror). Later, she tossed the bouquet to friends and downed two shots of whiskey, one for herself and one for herself. She had planned the event for weeks, sending invitations, finding the perfect dress, writing her vows, buying rosé and fresh baguettes and fruit tarts from a French bakery. For the decor: an array of shot glasses emblazoned with the words "You and Me."
"It wasn't an easy decision," she noted on the wedding invitations. "I had cold feet for 35 years (not sure if that's two or four feet, but no matter...). "But then I decided it was time to settle down. To celebrate birthday #36 by wearing an engagement ring and saying: YES TO ME. I even made a registry, because this is America." We wish the happy couple the best. Or do we?
Self-marriage is a small but growing movement, with consultants and self-wedding planners popping up across the world. In Canada, a service called Marry Yourself Vancouver launched this past summer, offering consulting services and wedding photography. In Japan, a travel agency called Cerca Travel offers a two-day self-wedding package in Kyoto: You can choose a wedding gown, bouquet, and hairstyle, and pose for formal wedding portraits. On the website I Married Me, you can buy a DIY marriage kit: For $50, you get a sterling silver ring, ceremony instructions, vows, and 24 "affirmation cards" to remind you of your vows over time. Or you can treat yourselves--for $230, you can get the kit with a 14-karat gold ring.
It's not a legal process — you won't get any tax breaks for marrying yourself. It's more a "rebuke" of tradition, says Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation. "For generations, if women wanted to have economic stability and a socially sanctioned sex life or children, there was enormous social and economic pressure to do that within marriage," she says. "Personally, as someone who lived for many years single and then did get married, I know that the kind of affirmation I got for getting married was unlike anything I'd ever had in any other part of my life." That, she adds, is "incredibly unjust."
So these ladies, upon discovering that life isn't fair, embark upon the ultimate self-absorption, and marry themselves. Egads. Phooey. Tommyrot! One wonders how long it will be until the men demand their turn at the autocratic altar and explore the singular beauty of narcissistic nuptials. After all, it was the women who dove first into lake lesbian in Romans 1:26, with the men following suit (if the textual order is taken literally).
Nevertheless, as a spirited proponent of traditional marriage, I predict that all might not be well in Narcissistic Neverland. Potential pitfalls:
- What if a person begins to hate themself? Some do, you know. It usually starts with poor communication. Eventually you stop sharing intimate secrets with yourself, and it all breaks down.
- I know individuals who have told me that they didn't always trust themselves. If this sentiment arises in self-marriage, could that introduce fear of marital faithfulness? It could, and you might have to hire a private investigator to tail yourself. That could get expensive.
- If things go far enough, you could suspect yourself of having a drug & alcohol problem. At first, you might deny having a problem, but finally concede that things had gotten out of hand.
- Counseling could be a problem because you might not be able to speak to the counselor alone about yourself. But with proper counseling, you could learn to love yourself again. That is, unless physical abuse begins.
- If, over a heated discussion about who gets to sleep on the right side of your bed, you slap yourself, that causes more problems. It could lead to filing a restraining order against yourself which would prevent you from coming within 100-yards of yourself. See the problem?
It's happening, friends. Just like Paul predicted it.
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves . . . ." (2 Timothy 3:1-2).
Self-marriage is simply the inevitable result of the self-esteem movement gone wobbly. It also borrows a page from homosexuality, because after all, if I fall in love with myself--what sex am I? Yep.
We might smile a dash about the self-marriage sycophants holding their own hands, but lethal selfishness isn't all that funny. What's not fun is the fact that many of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought these days through the distorted mirror of postmodern culture. This has led to people marrying their children, their jobs, their money, and one day soon--their French poodles.
Instead of allowing Jesus Christ to change us through a relationship with Him (Eph. 4:20-24), we allow the world (1 John 2:16), the flesh (John 6:63) and the devil (1 John 3:8) to influence the way we perceive ourselves. We read about ourselves in magazines and self-help books like The Purpose Driven Life, we indulge every appetite we have to excess, and we are continually bombarded with the idea that if we just think positively and confess what we want we will get it. To truly love yourself (the phrase "love yourself" is not in the Bible), you need to know Jesus Christ (1 John 3:16). You will then discover that it is not all about YOU, but about HIM.
"Husbands, love your wives. . . .Wives respect your husbands . . ." This and this alone illustrates the beauty and sanctity of the Godhead. Have joy!
"And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).