The Myth of the Marriage License

Posted on February 11th, 2013 By in Circle of Love Coaching™ Program with 2 comments.

I have always found it fascinating how we as a nation will, in my opinion, interchange words into places they clearly don’t belong.  It’s as if we come up with several words for the same definition.  The only problem is- these words often don’t really convey equal meaning.

For example, after a person has gone through an extensive amount of education, hands-on training, and passed a litany of exams, he or she would be given the title of pilot and be given a pilots’ license.

The implication is that they have demonstrated the skill and can be trusted with an aircraft.  And while most of us may not be pilots, I think we can all remember learning to drive a car, taking the exam, and the rush of freedom we felt when we first got our drivers license.  Whooo-hooooo!!

So, from those two examples, we can assume that when someone receives a license, they are qualified for the job at hand.  So far, so good- that makes sense.

Hmmmmmm……but what about the word permit.  A licensed general contractor- seeking to build an addition to a home- would in fact contact a specific office and apply for a permit to perform such work.  With permit in hand, he would then proceed with the project.

I take this to mean that:

If you’re licensed- you know how to do it.


If you’ve got a permit- a governing body is going to let you do it.

I don’t know about you, but the next time I get on an airplane, I want my pilot to have a license- not just a permit!

Which brings me to what I call……

The Myth of the Marriage License

The way I see it, a marriage license isn’t a license at all- it’s a permit.  Unfortunately, there are more than a few couples out there that don’t know anything about what it takes to have a great marriage.  This is easily seen from the sky-high divorce statistics.

Truth is, they’ve never taken class, attended a workshop, or worked one-on-one with a coach or counselor.  However, with some brief paperwork and a few bucks, they’ve got a marriage license.

I realize that I’m throwing around semantics here, but my goal is to really get people to stop and ask:  Am I truly qualified to go through with this project?

In a perfect world (wow, I’m really stretching now), when a couple applied for a marriage license, there would be some type of mandatory marriage class or workshop series that would need to be fulfilled before a license would be issued.  I know, I know- I’m dreaming again…..

Stretch, Grow, Become!

Marriage is a big deal.  I mean, we’re talking about spending the rest of our lives with this person.  And as one of my mentors shared with me a long time ago- the rest of your life could be a very long time (I can assure you, it’ll definitely feel longer in a funky marriage).

Action Item:  Forget about what the state thinks you need to get married (i.e. the marriage license) and get involved in anything that could fortify your relationship!

Sign up for some classes or workshops.

Read a book (or books!).

Watch some relationship DVD’s.

Or get enrolled in private coaching or group coaching.

The point is that we have to go above and beyond if we really want a marriage that not only survives- but thrives!!

What about you?  What words and definitions have you noticed in places they don’t belong?  Let’s hear about your observations!  The tribe awaits……

Change isn’t easy.  If it was, everyone would be living the dream.  Having a coach who takes people from where they are to where they want to be makes all the difference.  Call me today to learn more.

Copyright © 2013   Scott Milnes   All Rights Reserved

2 Responses to “The Myth of the Marriage License”

  1. Sandra Aquino

    Thanks for sharing this article. I never thought about marriage in terms of license vs. permit. Marriage is probably one of the biggest milestones in a person’s life and if we took pause to improve ourselves maybe we would have less divorce and be better parents.

    • Scott Milnes

      Thanks for your comment, Sandra. And yes, you hit the nail right on the head- we absolutely need to become more self-aware and do the work to become our best selves well before attempting a marriage. The truth is, no matter how much work we do on ourselves, we’ll never be perfect. It’s impossible.
      However, in doing this much needed soul-work, we realize that being perfect is a complete delusion and we therefore release that fantasy. The miracle really happens when that spiritual mindset carries over and we stop expecting our spouse to be perfect.


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