Over the weekend, my girlfriends and I got into a discussion about marriage that became pretty interesting. What were you taught/led to believe about marriage? Was it something to be excited about? Now, what were the realities of what you experienced? Did you get it "right" on the first try? Are we more afraid of being alone than concerned with listening to our inner voices? Are women led down the proverbial garden path when it comes to what to think about marriage? Why are guys so much more reluctant to marry? Is/was marriage what you expected?
Our answers were all over the spectrum.
I don't remember ever dreaming about a future wedding or anything.
I met my husband when I was 18 and he was 21. It was a brief meeting at the end of my first year of college. We corresponded over the summer, started living together in the fall, and have been together ever since (43 years). At the beginning of our relationship, I was thinking in terms of a forever relationship - but the actual marriage wasn't important. I felt as committed to him as if we had been married, and I think he felt the same way. At the time, I don't remember having any preconceived ideas about how our relationship would evolve. We've had our ups and downs but never considered ending our marriage.
I think a lot of women are in love with the idea of being in love. In watching "The Bachelor," it seems like a lot more women than men come on feeling like they're already in love with the bachelor or bachelorette, whereas most men have more of a wait-and-see-if-there's-a-connection-there attitude.
It boggles my mind that some women find 4 or 5 (or more) guys who want to marry them and some of us can't even get one guy interested!
My comment/opinion is that SO much is derived from how your own nuclear family was when you were a child.
Sometimes our ideas, hopes and dreams are to be exactly as our parents and family situation was .... and some of us want our situation to turn out to be the opposite. :teeth
I hope that makes sense.
I remember being impressed by all the hoo-ha of a wedding when I was really young. Probably from watching tv and movies. The dress was what got me interested. Over time i really lost interest and had a very minimal type wedding When I was growing up, getting a husband was the main event for a woman, and it defined them.
I'm pretty sure boys were not getting this message, and have no idea how men view marriage or love.
I grew up hoping that I'd find someone to marry because that's what you were supposed to do. And that women who don't were "old maids" and sad, lonely, pathetic creatures who weren't wanted.
My parents had one of those picture postcard perfect marriages. I grew up in a Norman Rockwell picture family. To me, those earlier 1960's Sitcom families were reality, because I lived that way. Not that everything was always perfect, but like on TV, all problems were solved or passed by relatively quickly with very little fallout.
I assumed I'd have the same because I thought all marriages & families were like this. Those that weren't were Mob families, with gun molls & a high criminal element.
Boy was I in for a rude awakening! Once I was out on my own, I learned what was really out there. I still expected to have a marriage like my parents, and believed all the hype about working together & compromise & enduring love. That both parties have to be willing to give 50%. I thought it would be relatively simple if that's what I decided it would be.
I married a controlling, manipulative, demeaning, cruel, abusive man. My marriage was nothing like my parents'. I was told I was a worthless failure & felt like one. Many, many years later I got the guts to divorce him.
I've been single & happy about it ever since.
I decided to take some time alone to get to know myself & get comfortable with myself, & get my self esteem back. Once I did, I found I liked it that way.
I doubt I'll ever remarry and I'll certainly never live with a man without marriage. I enjoy living by myself & making all my own decisions. I'm content, happy, free, & at peace with myself & the world. I take care of myself & my life just fine. I still believe in marriage & happy marriages very strongly, because of the way I grew up. But I no longer feel I need to have a man in my life to be happy or fulfilled, or for my life to be worthwhile.
The "old maids" may have had it right all along.;) It just took me a long time to figure that out.
pikachu, I am so glad that you spoke up. I think the unmarried/never married woman has a definite place in this discussion. Men, do, too. Most Definitely!
I can tell you if something happens to my husband before me I will never remarry again. One trip to the altar was enough for me. I told him and others I am not washing another mans dirty underwear again and I am through with having to cook meals all the time. I potty trained one not doing another. I bet there are men out there that feel the same way as I do.
Is it a dumb question to ask if you think that men marry to be taken care of? Like by mommy? Do we marry for the same reasons?