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Marriage Advice!

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Much has been written and said about Harrison Butker’s commencement address to the female graduates of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Harrison Butker is the placekicker for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

In one of the sentences of Butker’s address, he says: “Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.” 

Picking up on these words, I found this Washington Post Letter to the Editor on May 25th to be most interesting —

Did this 28-year-old man, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, just suggest that marriage is exciting? I mean, I suppose it can be, on occasion, maybe during a particularly cutthroat game of Scrabble or Mario Brothers. 

When we experienced a tornado last summer in our Michigan town, and I argued with my husband about his desire to go outside, in the dark, and inspect whether or not live wires had fallen to the ground, I suppose that was exciting.

But generally? No. Marriage couldn’t be less exciting. I’ve attended faculty meetings more exciting than marriage. I’ve eaten pieces of chocolate more exciting than marriage and have visited rescue shelters more exciting than marriage. I have watched seasons of “Bridgerton” that make me wish my marriage was more exciting.

Yes, I love my husband. Yes, we have wonderful moments and days together. No, I would not trade them for anything. Yes, I hope we do this life forever, come hell or high water. 

And I know he’d agree with me about this: Sustained excitement in marriage is not attainable, and thus, not something to aspire to. And it is certainly not a fantasy to push on college graduates.

To the men and women graduating Benedictine College, and for graduates everywhere: Excitement comes from within, if it’s to be had all. Much of life can be mind-numbingly dull. 

Much of marriage is an exercise in negotiation and compromise: that is, pure tedium.

If you sign on to a marriage and children expecting it to be the most exciting thing you’ll ever do, I promise you: The disappointment you’ll feel when you find out otherwise will be unmatched. 

I say this as someone who married at 39 years old, and wed long after that initial falling in love stage was behind us. Expecting your spouse to be your sole source of excitement is an unfair expectation. If you internalize Mr. Butker’s words, you are setting your future spouse up to fail.

Do not trust anyone who seems to suggest that family life, however it is defined for you, is the most exciting thing you’ll ever do. And especially do not trust an athlete worth millions of dollars who can afford a lifestyle that many of us cannot.

Marriage is not exciting, and especially not once the honeymoon phase is over. But it can be consistently fulfilling, with considerable effort and care and if you choose correctly and at the right time. 

Methinks Mr. Butker has watched a few too many Disney movies. Now, if only he’d attend a Taylor Swift concert.

Thanks to J carter for the photo.

What do YOU think about what Harrison Butker is saying and the response of a married woman?


Others are talking about this commencement address. Please share this Message: Do listen to my Podcast. 

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