My first example of a happy marriage started off, well at the beginning. My parents, married right out of high school, first love, still married and in love 47+ years later. Great example right, so. . . what the heck happened to me?
Here I am at 46, still trying to figure this all out. I didn’t come from a horrible, broken family. My family was small but solid. So why at the age when hormones were raging did I basically proclaim to God, Universe, Angels, or whoever was up there listening, “I’m never getting married!”
I’ve been close a few times, but because of the whole self fulfilling prophecy thing, I’ve always managed to pick the guys who I seemed to want to marry but for some reason knew on some subconscious level, were safe to get close to, but no cigar. What the heck was I so afraid of? I did want to get married right? I did want to share my life with someone.
I had totally forgot about my teenage proclamation until just a few years ago. I remember feeling it, and I do mean feeling it. At that point in time I swore I was never going to get married and there was a lot of emotion and steam behind it.
So I have been trying to figure this out for the last few years and I have come up with a few things that I thought I’d share. I think that I was under the impression that all marriages are created equal, there is really just one kind: he gets his way all the time, she has to sacrifice, and so do the kids. (So is it any surprise that I became a single parent and not a wife? Just asking.)
Thinking about it now, it just seems crazy. It is amazing the impressions made on you as a young child, and how you just take them on without ever questioning them. I watched my mom all those years and even now, she doesn’t seem to mind giving my dad his way, catering to him, she even seems to enjoy it. So what I see as a sacrifice is not for her. Wait, so there is not just one kind of marriage? I think that the sacrifice version of marriage is what I’ve been carrying around with me all these years and it didn’t seem fun to me so I wasn’t going to do it. Wow, that’s quite a revelation.
So after much thought, reading, studying and just talking to my friends and clients, I finally got that all marriages are not the same. I don’t have to have my parent’s marriage. OMG, really? It seems so simple but most people go through life on auto- pilot not really knowing that there are choices and options about the way their life plays out. I think this is enlightening.
So now I know that I get to pick, what kind of marriage I want to have. The way I want to live. I am sure there will be compromises just like with anything but I don’t have to have my parents marriage. I can find someone who I will be happy with, just like my mom did. Now, isn’t that ironic. xo-K
My two cents: You can’t look at someone else’s life from your vantage point and get the true picture.
I was the first one to get divorced in my family. No wait, that’s not true. My uncle got divorced. Three times. But he was disreputable. He gambled and smoked and told dirty jokes. I wasn’t disreputable, just unhappy. When my marriage was splitting up, my soon-to-be-ex told me, “I would have stuck it out with you.” Gosh, I thought. That’s what every girl wants to hear. But then, I thought I’d already be married again by now. My ex was married within a year of our divorce. To a woman he went to grad school with while we were still together. I’m happy for them. I hope he sticks it out with her.
I had never been a little girl who dreamed of having a Barbie wedding and marrying Ken. I just assumed it would happen and things would work out, and we’d have a life. My parents have been married forever, and I can’t imagine them apart. My sister has left her husband, but she won’t divorce him. She doesn’t love him, but she won’t defile the sanctity of marriage even though he’s a devil dog and abusive and hurtful.
The thing is, I don’t want to settle for what anyone else thinks is the “right” path. I don’t believe that there’s only one perfect mate out there. I think there are perfect people who are perfect for us at certain points in our life. This means that you don’t just get one perfect One. You get several perfect ones. And since we don’t know how long we get on this spin around the planet, why not just enjoy the ride and stop worrying about who’s married for how long, and to whom? It will happen when it’s right. And if “forever” means five years or fifty, it’s perfect in its own way. A very smart friend told me recently, “what’s forever in the span of eternity?” I like that perspective, because as it turns out, I’m in it for the long haul. Love, C
My two cents: I’m adopting Abraham-Hicks’ philosophy on love: “I like you pretty good, let’s see how it goes.”