Monday, February 22, 2010

To Be or Not To Be Married? That Is the Question...

My parents would LOVE it if I married Babybottoms father and went on to live happily ever after. Only problem with that is...I'm more terrified of marriage than I was of giving birth. My father made a very good point about marriage when I told him it scares the living beejeezus out of me.

"It is definitely going to be something you work at every day, especially if it doesn't feel natural to you. When you decide to do it, you have to take one day at a time. Even though you have vows that signify you will be with this person until death separates you, try not to look at it like that and it won't be so scary. When you go to sleep at night, you aren't sure if you're going to wake up but you still allow yourself to fall asleep every night...same with a relationship; tomorrow, you don't know if it's going to be as great as you'd hoped but you keep moving forward."

My dad is a man who operates 90% of the time off of logic so THAT...made perfectly good sense.

(SIDEBAR: I've had insomnia since I was 12 yrs old so that analogy he used...not the best one for someone in my situation...but I get what he was saying)

However, ANYONE reading this knows, LOVE...doesn't necessarily operate on logic 90% of the time. I'll be honest and say love doesn't operate off logic half the time...it is mainly how you FEEL about the other person, NOT what you THINK of them. THIS is what makes the idea of marriage frightening to me. What if I wake up one morning and FEEL like my life is so far removed from where I wanted to be that I want out? Yes, that might seem like a negative view to have but these are my thoughts, especially when I see so MANY unhappy people. Hell, what if HE wakes up and says "this isn't at all what I thought I could deal with...I want out"?

I've often wondered, if marriage is SUCH a good institution, how come SO MANY people can't manage to honor it? How come so many people are getting divorced? How come so many people actually incorporate a divorce into their plans before they are even married? While I understand that my relationship consists only of me and the other person, it's difficult to grasp how good something is when all I see are the trials and tribulations of others.

It's almost like a ton of people buying a certain make and model of a vehicle and MOST of those people are having THE SAME problem, causing a recall to be issued. Yes, I just compared marriage to a car but my point is...if everyone appears to be having the same problems with their marriage, why would I want to "jump into" one? I most certainly wouldn't make a vehicle that had been recalled an option if I was looking to purchase a new car...

On the flip side of things, I can pick out many couples that are in their late 50's to 70's and they love each  other unconditionally BUT will tell you QUICKLY that the MAJORITY of their marriage WAS NOT that way. So...in order to get the wedded bliss you think you are signing up for in the beginning, you have to wait until you've been with someone 40+ years? That doesn't seem like something I'd EVER want to sign up for and if I'm perfectly fine with my relationship the way it is now, why would I need to do anything more to solidify to others that he and I are together?

I think about these things EVERY time someone feels the need to ask me "so when are you getting married". It's too much pressure because even if I WANTED to get married today, Babybottoms father would have to WANT to get married too...him or anyone who was a potential "mate". I can't make ANYONE want to marry me and I don't want to feel obligated to take up vows because of a "situation". As much as I love Babybottoms father, I want THAT kind of love to resonate throughout our entire relationship, not just for the first few years of marriage and then I have hell for the next 10 years, and THEN we get back to happiness. My happiness is not to be bargained with and for me, 10 years of hell is not worth 15 years of happiness. 

I don't expect or demand perfection in ANY of my relationships. However, I've always lived by the statement that "once my happiness is affected, it is time for me to go". That doesn't mean that if he doesn't make me tuna fish on rye, I'm going to huff and puff and blow his house down. It means that if we have consistent hardships that are genuinely affecting who I am as a person, something will need to be adjusted or I will have to do what is necessary to insure I stay in a happy and healthy mental place. I told him the same applies to him; if at any time he isn't happy anymore, he needs to leave. I've seen people stay together for the sake of the kids...doesn't mean they were happy. I prefer to leave things as they are...it isn't broken so I don't need to "fix" us by getting married...why does it seem like WE are the only people who understand this?

Then I get the question, "well, if he loves you SO much, why won't he marry you"...as I stated before, I would have to WANT to get married for that to happen. You can't just walk in the justice of peace by yourself and tell them, "look, I want to marry so and so; make it happen". That isn't how life works and anyone reading this knows that. We have discussed marriage and I am fine with the outcome of our conversation. We have mutual feelings about where we are and the direction our relationship is headed. No pressure is our motto.

*sigh*

Maybe if no one ever asks me "when are you getting married" again, I won't have to think about this....ever again. Big chance of that EVER happening...

11 points of view:

phallatio said...

Getting married to someone is BIG! Don't let anyone tell you it's not. So, before you take such a major step, there must be a very good, strong and warm feeling between the two of you. There must be genuine affection.

If there are things about him that bug the hell out of you now, they will amplify and get even more painful so, if he has some unpleasant habits, be mindful!

A marriage WILL affect your happiness. It will frustrate the hell out of you! There will be days when you reach a low below low! But creating a family for your daughter would be good for her and, if you genuinely think you can stand to look, touch and smell this guy for the rest of the life, then get hitched!

Brilliance Is A Habit (c) Unknown said...

Marriage should be what you want it to be. Like Jay-Z said "it would seem like forever is a mighty long time," and forever is too long to feel stuck in a marriage. It irritates me when someone advocates for marriage because of perceived "situations," to me it is a decision that two people on the inside have to make.

With that said, I think that being afraid of marriage is something that a lot of people experience for one reason or another but you shouldn't let that stop you from being open to the possibility. Even people who are in "great" marriages weren't sure if it was going to work out when they said "I do."

I would encourage you to look beyond your fears and think about what you really want out of your relationship and be happy with that. Don't be turned off by marriage because of other people's experiences, or your fears. Always remember fears were meant to be conquered not lived in.

ChoColAte KiSs said...

Well I understand completely all the points you made, however, this is where we differ, I dont understand the logic, not saying you have this logic but I dont understand how people shun marriage or are afraid of marriage, but then have such permanent things as children with the same said person that they choose not to marry, I am not being judgemental at all, but I hope I'm allowed my opinion.

I just can't see MYSELF (what anyone else does is their business) having a child that now links me to a person for virtually forever anyway, and then say I don't want to marry that person.

You have a good way of reasoning, tell me if what I'm saying is utterly ridiculous.

a black girl who did date said...

I could speak on this topic for days and i am sick of people asking me the same question. but I don't take marriage lightly and I don't plan on being married multiple times. So if people would think that you are taking your time to make sure its right versus y'all been together so long you should just do it; they might have a better understanding.

did that sound like a rant? I did not mean it to be...LOL

Amanda said...

Here is my take on it: if you're not 100% totally ready and willing to make it work, and at LEAST 98% sure you want to do it, it's not going to work out. That's why there are so many divorces; it's not because marriage as an institution doesn't work, it's because the people who go into it at 70%, 80% OR with unrealistic expectations aren't equipped to MAKE it work.

Marriage is the most wonderful and most challenging thing I've ever done, but mostly wonderful. But no bones about it, it takes work. You have to WANT to make it work. You have to really have the other person's interest in mind. That was the hardest part for me.

Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not being married. Be proud that you're not just doing it out of obligation or because "it's time", cause that ain't gonna work.

Ms_Slim said...

I absolutely adored this blog post, Syn :)

My fav part: "It means that if we have consistent hardships that are genuinely affecting who I am as a person, something will need to be adjusted or I will have to do what is necessary to insure I stay in a happy and healthy mental place."

That's exactly how I feel in regards to marriage. Yes too many ppl get divorces over something like an "unmade tuna on rye" BUT for ME, I ONLY condone divorce if my mental and physical is GREATLY affected because of the relationship I am SOOO unhappy with. I'll be DAMNED if I dont leave because of that. I have seen and am still seeing such detrimental marriages that are just lingering and seemingly never ending even though we both know they should because one and/or both people in the marriage are GREATLY affected so much they have this permanent black cloud over their heads that make people around them resent their presence. Then when outsiders that have been on the inside of their relationship give REALLY GOOD advice (I dont condone outside advice too much in relationships but this is necessary) come and try to talk and coax the person into what is happening and what needs to happen for good mental health, the person doesnt WANT to understand. I dont understand this thought process one bit but of course it isnt really for me to understand I guess. I just feel like if someone is SO unhappy and have the power to change their destiny, change it, dammit! *sigh* But that's just me. It just pains me to see such a pain going on.


I have gotten COMPLETELY off point lol

The point is....relationships need to thrive within the individuals involved. Something like getting married, etc shouldnt be at the discretion of outside individuals; however, if a marriage is detrimental to a person's mental state, I'd rather not indulge.

CraigJC said...

Great post. Shame to say to some people equate marriage with happiness but they are two mutually exclusive things, although of course they oftentimes merge into the same thing. But ... not for everyone. Find happiness FIRST (just my 2 cents).

Stepfanie said...

Why do we keep going back and forth to each other's post and saying "I was JUST thinking about this!" Well .... I was JUST thinking about this same topic! Truly's father and I have been "engaged" for a couple of months and he's wanting to get married before our second baby is due, in May. There are days where I'm like, "lets go do it" and days where I'm like "im not sure yet". So if I'm questioning things, I know it's not what I want right now. Marriage is completely scary. For me it's thinking, "Oh my gosh I am not only emotionally and relationally (if that's a word) attached to this person, but now legally as well. That's scares the crap out of me.

Assertive Wit said...

phallatio: I let people say whatever they please; doesn't mean I "take it in" as a truth. I think getting married is DEFINITELY a "big deal" because it is a commitment that involves 2 people who can EASILY change how they feel about one another. As for Babybottoms dad, we get along great so it should be a nobrainer for both of us...however, we are slightly emotionally retarded so...here we are LOL

Thanks for keeping it honest though!

Brillance Is A Habit: I think if marriage is measured on a time scale then yes, forever will seem like a long time but I hear people say they don't want to live without someone so wouldn't forever be appropriate then? LOL

I think, before both people even get to the altar, they SHOULD feel as though it will work between them, otherwise, they're gambling with their lives. That would be tantamount to playing russian roulette. I don't think anything is wrong with KNOWING this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and FEELING/THINKING it'll work.

You and my cousin are about to get on my damn nerves talking about stay open to the possibility hahahhaha I won't say NEVER but for right now...I'm uncertain. I'm happy with the way things are right now so I'm good, you know? I'll let you know should I change my mind though :)

Chocolate Kiss: Well, I am the person you are talking about. I have a kid but I'm not married. LOL I'm not offended by your POV but in my mind, it's perfectly logical. When you have a kid you'll see the difference. While both situations do require commitment, they are two different kinds. Your child will need you for a large portion of their life unless you live to make their life a living hell or they're douche bags and just want to be your hell on earth. A marriage? You decide that this person is good enough to be married to and most people stick with that until it gets "tough". A child doesn't ask to come into this world; it is a decision based mainly on the woman who will be carrying the baby. A marriage is mutually entered by two people. See the differences?

Not to say a mother/child relationship cannot go all bad but typically, it is the parent who has to do most of the work in that relationship, in the beginning. In a marriage BOTH people are expected to pull their weight and make it work.

As for being linked to someone "virtually forever", what you and that person have in common will only be the child...not each others emotional welfare. It isn't that I don't want to marry BABYBOTTOMS FATHER...I don't want to marry ANYONE right now LOL

Should I get the urge to get married, it'll be him :)

a black girl who did date: yeah, for me it isn't about "well, we been "together" almost 4 years so why not". I don't WANT a back up plan to marriage; if I do it, it's for life! LOL

Amanda: your first sentence sums up my ENTIRE feelings on it! I don't have unrealistic expectations at all not unless never wanting to get divorced is unrealistic LOL

Thank you for sharing those pearls of wisdom too :)

Assertive Wit said...

Ms_Slim: Thanks Mal. It kills me how much input goes into a relationship that isn't even from the two people involved. Sometimes I wanna shout "this is between him and I; not you, you, or you!". The crazy thing about it is the same people giving their unsolicited 2 cents don't want anyone in their shat. I just need to make myself a t-shirt that says "F*CK OFF" and point to it anytime they start rambling about what "we" need to be doing with our relationship. LOL

CraigJC: I'm already happy. I just want to make sure I stay that way, you know? :)

Stepfanie: I don't know; maybe we're at the same point in our lives where nothing makes sense LOL You can take solace in the fact that your children have the same father...one less thing to have to worry about! I'm sure you'll make the right decision though...you don't strike me as an idiot who throws caution to the wind :)

Traci said...

I have to say that I am impressed by the amount of thought that you have put into this subject. I think FAR too often couples just jump in without thinking through what they are doing. The magnitude of what they're doing.

I would never tell you what you should do. I can only tell you my experience. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 15 years (together 22 years) and we are VERY much in love. We work at it just as you work at any commitment but it is worth it. He is my best friend, lover, and father to my children. Their are days that it is work but most days it is joy.

You seem to be so savvy that I am sure you know your heart better than anyone else and if you listen it will tell you what is right for you and your family.

I came over from LBS and I will be back!
:-)
Traci
38andgrowing.blogspot.com

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