The Dream of Marriage

HappyWivesClubThis post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

I’ll admit it: I got married because it’s the thing to do. Not so much if you’re a man. If you’re a woman, however, getting a guy to propose to you is one of the best things you can do to prove your worth to the world and to your own self. I accomplished it young, with a pretty ring and all the trimmings. It was a huge accomplishment, a societal milestone that most American women are taught they ought to reach.

This sounds depressing, like the post I wrote yesterday: I’m Still Married Because I Admit When It Sucks. If you stopped reading right now, you might think my marriage was a sham, one of convenience or ego, or that I felt stuck in something unhealthy. But that’s not true at all.

I didn’t jump into a hasty marriage, nor do I regret it today: I’m with a wonderful, handsome, charming man whom everybody loves (though no one more than I). We have a beautiful daughter and a son on the way. We’re happy, healthy, safe, secure. I fall more deeply in love with him every day, and I know that getting married has something to do with it.

Seven years ago, when I got engaged, this would have surprised me. After all, I consider myself a liberated woman who doesn’t need a man to survive. I can work, I have means, I have brains. Marriage in many ways is an outdated institution that is supposed to relieve fathers of their daughters, physically and financially, so what did it really have to do with me? I wanted the trappings of marriage — the ring, the wedding, the white dress — but didn’t think our relationship would change much. No one, after all, was “giving me away.” I was already mine.

Imagine my surprise to find out that marriage actually improved my relationship many times over. No more telling myself I could quit. No more pretending I had other options. And honestly, something about the institution itself made me want to respect my relationship more: marriage is bigger, better, badder, older than I’ll ever be. It isn’t wise to flout something with so much history, I felt.

I stand improved by my marriage, and faintly embarrassed for the naivite that made me think walking down the aisle wouldn’t change my life forever. It has. It’s also made me think about what we tell young girls today, because the message is now muddled and contradictory. We should marry for love, but not too young, which means denying possibilities at happiness based on age alone. We’re more worthwhile if we’re married, but don’t need anyone to define our worth. The old taboos are gone, but wait! Don’t have kids until you’re married.

It’s all very confusing, and could stand some time under the microscope. What about you? Did you get married for the “right” reasons or the “wrong” ones? How has it affected your happiness, changed your dreams?

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.