Love is in the air and yule tide blessings are taking form in many engagement rings! I’ve seen numerous posts recently of friends or friends of friends getting engaged this Christmas and it is truly awesome! I LOVE, love!! There is something so heartwarming about seeing two people, whether fresh in it or well-seasoned, so engulfed in each other. Marriage, to most, is a sacred bond between two souls that is supposed to last for eternity. The history of marriage has shown us that the necessity of it has transformed so much but the due-process for it has still remained relatively the same. It’s around this time, when “love is in the air” that those around us that have been previously intoxicated with loves tantalizing aroma will usually inquire to those of us that are single, in committed relationships, or otherwise unmarried folks with the age old question:
“ So, when are you going to settle down and get married?”
As a follow up to one of my previous blogs “Not For Lack Of Trying” and as I mentioned above, another question I get a lot is “When are you going to get married”? Now, I TOTALLY understand that the concept of someone having been in a longer term relationship without actually taking that walk down the aisle is difficult to comprehend for some people. They look at the 10+ year relationship and it’s confusing to them as to why I never got married. They make assumptions as to why and 9 times out of 10 they’re completely wrong… PLOT TWIST!! It wasn’t that my partner didn’t want to marry me…It was ME!
If he had his way, I would’ve not only accepted both of his proposals and both rings BUT would’ve been a wife 2 years into that 10+ year relationship.
The reason why I don’t want to get married (right now, or even soon) is because of ME and my own personal issues on the matter. I’ve never been silent about my own abandonment issues that I deal with so I have no shame in admitting that this is probably one of the reasons influencing my viewpoint on the matter. It’s not a “What if he leaves me?” or “What if I’m not good enough” … it’s more so “Am I ready to fully submit my entire life to someone else?” “Commitment isn’t the issue, but can I truly sacrifice my individuality to be transformed and relabeled as ONE?” “Am I truly ready to inherit someone else complete life force and co-manage it?” For me, right now, the answer is NO!
I know. It’s alarming to hear a woman say that marriage is not a priority for her. This is something that goes against the belief system of probably 90% of the women population (clearly not an accurate statistic lol) but I KNOW that. I’ve always known that. Women will almost ALWAYS assume that I’m just “settling for being a girlfriend” when I “deserve to be someone’s wife” or that I’m being undervalued because I’m not someone’s wife yet. Again, like I just said me never having been married has everything to do with ME and MY viewpoint on marriage…. Not the lack of proposals lol
For clarification, I’m not downplaying marriage or discrediting its importance in other peoples lives in anyway. That’s the difference between some of you out there and me. I don’t judge those of you for wanting to get married or throw my viewpoints on the irrelevance of marriage onto you. I don’t think that you’re crazy for wanting to legally be bound to someone that you don’t have to be until (or if, I mean) you decided to part ways in a messy family court battle. I’ve had so many wonderful examples of marriage growing up as well, which is why I truly believe it IS a beautiful thing. My parents have been married for almost 40 years and my aunt and uncle have been married for 50+ years. THAT’S real relationship goals if I’ve ever heard of one! Lol. So I’m fully aware of how grand it can be.
Marriage started out as a way to forge alliances between families. It was also a way to barter, bargain, or trade to ensure survival (example: marriage to produce heirs). A religious aspect came about and it was instilled in folks that “one MUST wed in order to bed”… and if the history of psychology has taught us anything, it’s that more often than not our animal instincts will supersede our better judgment if the promise of sexual gratification is on the table. Later, as another form of survival it also was incorporated to encompass one member of the union into a secure way of life such as acquiring rights to ownership of property, insurance, valuables, and children. Fast forward to today’s society and you will see that marriage is more or less treasured about as much as ownership of a car. Yes, there are some that still have that 1950’s classic Cadillac convertible kind of love but then there are many, many, people whom would rather “lease, then release”.
You see how marriage and the “sanctity” of it has morphed over time? No longer are we (in America) forced to marry to unite two kingdoms. No longer are we bartering the hands of our sons and daughters as a way to ensure survival. No longer are we forced to marry to even have children without public ridicule. No longer are we limited to “Man” and “Wife” matrimony. So if we can evolve over the course of time what marriage is SUPPOSED to be… how is it so difficult for some to believe that to some folks, marriage doesn’t hold the same weight as it does to others?
What may also surprise you is that although my viewpoint on the NECESSITY of marriage differs from some of those around me, my viewpoint on what married life should be like is very traditional. Feminists may hate me for this but I DO believe that the husband figure should be the head of the household. The wife should be the support system of the household as well. I believe that when you ARE married, life is bigger than yours alone – it’s about the collective. The husband, the wife, the children, the pets… it’s unified and as a whole, outweighs the individual needs of any ONE person in the collective.
(Disclaimer: I’m using the terms “Husband” and “Wife” loosely. I’m not limiting the roles to the conventional Man and Woman sense. Also, there’s a BIG difference between “support system” and “1940’s doormat wife”.)
People will place their own personal expectations and standards on you and judge you by what THEY think you SHOULD do or be. They, in turn, will also use those same expectations to determine whether or not you are successful by their own standards. The thing is… what may be important to you, may not be important or even relevant to me. To place your expectations of what I should be or do onto me will only leave you looking foolish since I do not conform to anyone else standards just to please them. Yes, marriage suits you. Yes, I probably will get married in my own time. Yes, I can totally respect the value you place on a simple piece of paper. Yes, I think marriage is wonderful and should be entered into with unconditional love, reverence, and determination to see it through. But at the same time – no, I don’t view the necessity of marriage the same way you do. No, this isn’t some “I don’t need a man” blog post because I absolutely value men. No, I’m not settling for less than I deserve because this is what I chose.
This is just how I feel RIGHT NOW. The way my life is set up, I’m such a busy person that I don’t have time to be a wife to someone. I don’t have time to be a mother. Yes, I would change my life if either one of those were to happen to me… but for this particular moment in my existence… I just don’t have the time for it. Perhaps if I had a child with someone I would feel differently about it. Perhaps, if the option to claim someone as a “domestic partner” on insurances to give each other coverage wasn’t an option, I would feel differently about it. Perhaps if we didn’t live in a world where a notarized power of attorney document didn’t hold the same legal authority as a marriage certificate does or if a “last will in testament” and beneficiary designee were legally acceptable without wedlock, I would feel more pressure to get married.
In truth, the difference in expectations that I would place on MYSELF (not the ones anyone else dare place on me) would require more of me than I have to offer right now. I PERSONALLY would hold MYSELF to higher expectations if I were to become someone’s wife versus “just” their girlfriend. Right now, I’m a great girlfriend/long term partner so as you can see, commitment is not the issue either. Right now, I make an excellent partner. I know I have it in me to be an AMAZING wife. I know my potential in that, so please don’t EVER think insecurities are what’s prohibiting me from doing so. I know that any man that I marry will be incredibly lucky to have me as a wife. I know this! But I’m also not the type to assign a role to myself unless I’m absolutely sure that I can live up to the expectations. MY EXPECTATIONS. And as superficial as it may sound, when I DO get married I want it to be an extraordinary occasion. Those that know me know that when I do something, I go ALL out. It’s not something I want to do in a courthouse or in a Vegas casino. I only want ONE wedding in my lifetime, and I want it done right.
To sum all this up – just know that I have no problem explaining my viewpoint on marriage to anyone that asks… But NEVER for one second think that your viewpoint will ever, EVER, change my own. I don’t live my life to gain approval or adornment from others, I live for me. Since I was a 16 year old attending college and working 40 hours a week while most of my peers were knee deep in high school, my actions have made it very clear that I don’t do things just because someone said that it’s the way it SHOULD be. I set my own rules and am confident enough in my own skin that your “likes” and “opinions”, although appreciated, certainly don’t define me. I am not you. I am not better than anyone and you could never be better than me.