I have no in-depth knowledge on marriage since I have never been married, however, there are enough people around me for me to have seen the consequences of marriage. Don’t get me wrong I intend on getting married but I feel for now, more than ever, the importance of understanding why I want to get married.
I’ve grown up being a witness to long-term marriages that have truly lasted “until death do us part”. I grew up hearing the stories of how my parents, grandparents and extended family members met and got married. Naturally, I began defining my ultimate love story around the stories I’d heard but I forgot to ask myself; why do I want marriage? And what does it really mean? These questions amongst others, run through my mind now more than ever since more young women under 30 I know, are looking to get married. Yet on the other side I’m seeing other women under 40 who are getting divorced. Also, I wanted to know whether marriage is truly for me or was it something I felt was just the next best step.
Any big decision requires great thought, but I feel as women we begin to define our successes according to societies’ standard of what a successful woman is. Shit, I defined myself by the same standard except I never took the time to think why and what it meant for my life. I’m fortunate to have examples of family who’ve conquered their struggles and still chose each other over everything. Such examples can often lead to complacency and a false utopian ideology of how all marriages are, thus causing one to accept any example of a “good man” to be husband material. Most of my relationships after 25 began being defined by who ticks the boxes of being a “good man”. The “good man” test according to most is a man who has a degree, job, same age (at the least) or older, tall and has their own place. Enough of the surface shit to get you started, except it forgot to warn me that a “good man” could also be verbally abusive, a cheater who gives you a STD, small minded and many other things that clearly indicate that he isn’t the one for me. I thought with a “good man” I could excuse the bullshit and focus on getting the ring then in the marriage we could sort out our shit. I received the biggest wake-up call when I learnt that’s a fallacy that can only end in divorce especially when I saw a cousin, under 40, go through it.
I finally said fuck a “good man” and focused on figuring out myself – loving me first before anyone. The things I discovered about myself taught me how much I betrayed myself in pursuit of a ring and forgot what marriage is truly built on. I forgot the other part of the stories my parents, grandparents and extended family members told me about, the work and sacrifices that go into marriage. When I finally did remember I began asking myself the hard questions, why marriage? What does it mean to me to be married? And is it what I want?
Free to decide
I’ve concluded that I love what marriage represents but it doesn’t necessarily mean one can’t find happiness, love, respect and trust outside the confines of marriage. It’s more important to understand why you want marriage and what it means to you to be a married woman. Greater than that it’s important to remember that your successes and failures are not defined by marriage; nothing can define you unless you allow it.
Queens you are free to decide who and what you want to be, don’t define yourself by arbitrary standards of the world.
Love and happiness,