Continuing with my relationship series, I want to talk about something that makes some people uncomfortable. Marriage is not for everyone. Society teaches us from a young age that you grow up, fall in love, and get married, but that does not mean we should.
Society Tells Us We Have to Be Married to be Happy
The statement above is ludicrous, but it underlies our society in a big way. Through every advertisement, every subtle comment made by family and friends tells us that happiness is just a “walk down the aisle,” away. However, it’s not true for many of us. I have a lot of married friends who are completely miserable. They would be so much better off single, but they don’t even know where to begin. Plus, the awful fact of dealing with everyone’s opinion of their actions keeps them in relationships that make them unhappy.
Not Every Little Girl Dreams of Her Wedding
I hated being married. As a little girl, I never fantasized about planning a wedding, wearing a fancy dress, and getting married to the man of my dreams. I got married for all the wrong reasons, including pressure from society. Having to change my name, made me feel resentment (I liked my last name and hated his). I was uncomfortable having our money merged. I never felt like I could buy anything without his permission, and I made more money than he did! Marriage fit me like a too-tight garment; I felt trapped, constricted and discontent. The role of wife, never made me happy. I did give it a good try (more than 12 years) for my daughter’s sake, but at least nine of them, I was miserable. I hated everything about being married. It just wasn’t for me, and for many years, I felt guilty about that.
Marriage is Not for Everyone
Some people love to call their spouse “my husband” or “my wife” rather than use their name. I feel like it’s a badge of honor they want everyone to see. They are doing what they are supposed to do, what society wants them to be, so they take pride in it. I never did, I hated being called someone’s wife.
Because of all the social mores and expectations of us, when we don’t measure up or go a different path, we often feel bad about ourselves. I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, not being good enough, and feeling less than, my whole life. After I got divorced, I felt even worse. I believed there was something wrong with me. Why did I hate being married? Even miserable couples seem to be able to do it, but I just couldn’t.
Our Relationships Should Reflect Who We Are
Each of us is different and beautifully unique, so why should we all do the same things and follow the same pattern? I have come to an appreciation for my “differentness,” and I like it that I am not marriage material, because I want something better. I don’t think modern relationships, especially marriages, are designed to fit both parties equally. The model for relationships needs to change to allow each person to feel free, to grow and be exactly who they are, to feel nurtured and loved without suffocating. These are the things I am working on in my book and hope to share it with the world soon.
Marriage is not for everyone, and I think that should be okay. I think we can do much better in how we relate to one another and how we co-exist in relationships. One size does not fit all when it comes to relationships or marriage.