Marriage

Many people (in fact most people I have ever met) get married and have kids because it is what they were programmed to do. People learn early in their life that this is what life is about: reach adulthood, get married and have kids to repeat the cycle. Others feel that pressure later in their life, once they have reached adulthood, that they should join this cycle.

Many children, teenagers and young adults have dreams to live their life the way they want to, free to truly make their own decisions and determine their own destiny. Unfortunately, the pressure of Shouldland catches up with them, and their big dreams disappear like so many before them.

People get married for the following reasons:

1. Low self-esteem – they feel they cannot get anyone else. They realise that they have a rapidly depreciating value in the singles ‘market place’.

2. Security – someone to look after them financially, emotionally and/or physically (i.e. housekeeping)

3. Fear – of growing old alone.

4. Pressure – from society, family and/or friends (this is the one that lives in Shouldland).

None of these are good reasons to get married. It seems obvious, but the only reason to get married is for love. People will say “Oh but I do love him, that’s why we married”. The hard truth is that they most likely married for a least one of these 4 other reasons. They have loved, and could love, many more other people. There is no ‘One’.

Yes they might be in love. But they also have one or more of these other reasons. Nobody gets married just for love. If you truly loved someone and they loved you, and none of these 4 reasons were present in either person’s life, there would be no need to marry. They would just live their lives together, secure in the knowledge that their partner loves them, and that if the relationship did break down for whatever reason, they would be fine. They would be able to move on with no fears of either being alone or finding a new partner, and wouldn’t care about any external pressures that your life only has meaning if you are married.

It may seem like I am anti-marriage, but I’m not really. I just understand that people don’t need to marry for one of these 4 reasons. Most do though. Search deep down within your psyche to which one, or more, of these reasons that you married or want to marry. If none apply, and you love and want to be with your partner in marriage, then great. Just understand that there is no ‘need’ for marriage.

The notion of ‘The One’ is ridiculous. Sorry to be so abrupt, but this is just how it is. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a happy life with your chosen partner. In fact you are much more likely to have a happy life with your chosen partner than someone who mistakenly believes in ‘The One’. Typically someone who marries the first person they have sex with after a substantial intimacy drought: “it feels amazing so it must be love”. Come on, please! Where it actually may be ‘love’, it is more likely to be ‘infatuation’ thinly disguised as love. Even if it is ‘love’, that doesn’t mean that it should be forever. The high divorce rate is attest to that.

People don’t marry THE love of their life, they marry A love of their life.

The fact is everybody has thousands of people that they could end up with. Thousands of ‘The Ones’ if you like. You have hundreds of people in your local area that you would find attractive and who would find you attractive (physically and mentally), and thus are potential life partners.

I find the whole idea of traditional marriage proposals archaic and belittling. It used to be the man asked his girlfriend’s father first, then planned a big romantic getaway, got down on one knee and surprised her with a pre-bought ring. That was 1950. It is the 21st century now, and we’ve moved on. Marriage plans are now discussed between two equal adults. There is no possession handover from a woman’s father to her new fiancé.

Some people still feel as though they need to go through the tradition: ask the father, romantic situation, one knee etc. Why? They believe that they need the story, because it is what you are ‘supposed to do’. Remember, tradition for traditions sake is pointless.

As I have written previously, the best motivation for escaping Shouldland is to achieve genuine happiness. People become unhappy (often permanently) when their lives don’t turn out exactly as they expect it should. They carry the weight of expectation of generations of their tribe.

Unfortunately I see many people unhappy with their lives because of their belief that you should be married. They have married someone that they don’t necessarily love or are compatible with. They either live in an unhappy marriage, or they divorce and feel unhappy because they are now in a situation that they believe people should not be in.

How often do you feel sorry, or even angry, for someone who has just divorced? Why? It could actually be a happy time for them that they are finally out of an unhappy relationship, that they can move on with their life, find self-respect and the love of another again.

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3 Responses to Marriage

  1. HappilyMarried says:

    Marriage is more important than love. Check out the article by Lori Gottlieb, who has some advice for us single women: Settle – If you’re a single 30-year-old and you say you’re not panicked about your marriage prospects, then you’re in denial or you’re lying: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/

    • Shouldland says:

      Thanks for your comment and the link. An interesting read. Gottlieb states “they, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection – it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.”
      Really?? You are preaching that marriage is more important than love?? Why? Is it because you were brought up to believe that marriage is vital to your life? Why not just stay with the man you love for as long as you love him?

  2. Many Penick says:

    it would be great to have a life full of happines.”

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