My Issues With Marriage
In no particular order:
1. The baby question
Our wedding comes at interesting timing. We get married, Kevin graduates, we hopefully move. It's allot of changes happening in one year. People have told me
"your ready to settle down""move into an adult life" "house, kids, responsibilities"
this almost always leads to
"are you going to have a baby next year too?" "aren't you excited for your babies?"
First off, us having children is no one's business. WTF makes people think it's okay to ask when you are going to start/stop using birth control. Second, we aren't having children at all. It's no one's business why this is (though I'm sure I've written out the reasons somewhere) and it is extraordinarily RUDE to question this or tell me I'll change my mind.
And WTF responsibilities! I'm an adult, I work hard! I have a career, a steady job, and bills. Pretty sure I'm responsible already. If you really don't think I am, you are more than welcome to take over paying my bills for me! I'll happily do something else with my hard earned dollars.
Also, this is life. Changes happen. Getting married isn't really a big change for couples like Kevin and me. We've lived together for a long time. We are married in every sense except an expensive party and a piece of paper.
2. No decision making
People seem to think that once you get married, you don't have to make the decision anymore. It's suddenly Kevin's responsibility to make all the decision. Ummm no - back to Number 1 - I am a human perfectly able to make my own decisions. When I get married, I don't lose my brain or my ability to work. Sure one of us might one day make enough that the other may have the choice of working or not. But we have an equal relationship and nothing we do is the decision of one person.
3. After the wedding "men" change. They don't have to try anymore.
This is an excuse both for the man and the woman and really comes from not communicating properly. If a big change happens when you get married, I fully feel it's because neither side communicate to the other what they expected upon getting married. Communicating what each person wants in this next stage of life will solve the problem of someone suddenly changing. Now each person knows what's expected.
At this point, Kevin and I have been together for 9-ish years, there is no reason for a major change to happen in our relationship. If you are living with a person before getting married, talking about how each person sees the relationship once married is probably a conversation you should be having, if you haven't already.
If you don't live together and will be moving in together upon your wedding day, it's basically the same thing - make sure your on the same page. It's gonna be a little bit harder because there's all this pressure to have the perfect relationship within minutes of you saying your vows. But the fact is you have yet to experience private moments with the person you are marrying. You don't know yet how they are within seconds of waking up, sure someone can say they are a morning person, but each person has a different definition of the word. You have no idea if they are comfortable with you peeing when they are in the shower (do you even know if this is something you would be comfortable with??). How many people now-a-days share a bed growing up? The point is, it's going to take a year or two to get to know the private parts of this person and their habits and it is going to be challenging at some points. There are going to be irritating habits, that even though you are married, you still have to decide if they are worth it.
This also reminds me of a coworker once telling me not to expect the sex to stay good. Her opinion was that as a relationship grew and expanded that men would only want sex benefiting them or not at all. What I feel she didn't understand is that every relationship is going to go through highs and lows, this includes times of lots or of little sex. The biggest point is to make sure you talk about each high and low. This also isn't just in regards to sex, there's careers, children, and which family your first visit at Christmas time.
Communication is key for a relationship to work. Talking about it with your "girlfriends" is not communicating. Neither is whining about it when he or she can overhear it. Two things about whining - the point of your whining will get missed altogether or misinterpreted because they only heard part of a conversation or they are just going to be frustrated that your gossiping about it.
You always should remember if you don't want to do something (specifically towards sex) it is your right to say no and no one has the right to tell you otherwise. And your partner should respect that (and also have this option, it goes both ways).
4. Why do we celebrate the commitment of two people in such large fashion but do minimal for college or university education?
To me the bigger change isn't your relationship status it's your career. You've worked hard for that education and now your joining the big leagues. I get why 50 years ago celebrating a wedding was huge, at that time it was most people's biggest life change. Not so anymore. People live together. People change. People get divorced, grow apart, grow closer. Weddings are ridiculously overpriced.
That said a relationship is a lot more work than school. It's an ongoing long term commitment. Weddings are way overdone now. If anything we should be celebrating the marriage milestones - 10 years, 25 years, 50 years.
5. What is the first thing your going to change about him or her once your married.
Whenever I get this one I want to stare at the person with a look of contempt, until they are uncomfortable. If you are going into a relationship looking to change the person maybe you should reevaluate the situation. The thing is you can't change someone who doesn't want to change. Over time, some things will change.
When Kevin and I started dating, he hated wearing jeans. Refused to wear them unless he was working construction. To him, they were uncomfortable, horrible things to force his body into. Took me about five years to have him even try on a pair. The biggest thing was finding something that fitted his requirements. Now that we know what he likes, all he wears is jeans. But I don't consider this me changing him. It was just showing him that there was different styles, colors, and jean fabric.
A habit I'm working on is the kitchen cupboards. I'm short enough that leaving the upper cupboards in the apartment open doesn't affect me at all. It's definitely not the same thing for Kevin. If I leave a cupboard door open, its a guarantee that he's gonna smack his forehead on it.
We didn't walk into this relationship with the thought of "OMG he needs to wear jeans and not khakis". I liked Kevin for who he was/is and vice versa. We have done allot of growing together since the beginning. You spend that much time with a person, you are both bound to be changed.
That said, some decisions are difficult. The best example of this is when we made the decision for Kevin to go back to school. Kevin was working, I was working, we had extra money and things weren't tight! I thought we were on a good path. It turned out Kevin wasn't happy and while I knew this, it didn't really cross my mind that he would choose to go to school verses finding a different job. It took him a bit to figure out what he wanted and when he did, it took me by surprise. Kevin going to school was a hard decision for me. It meant locking us in a city for 4 years (I hate being committed to a place long term), it meant a huge amount of student debt and one income. But the logic of it made sense. Even with the debt load, we'd come out on top at the end. While the decision to go back to school was mainly Kevin's, it is a decision I fully support because it benefits me, it benefits us, and Kevin is happy. We have met some amazing people through this experience.
Sometime the change isn't about changing him or her, it's about acknowledging a need for change within yourself. It's being open to an idea that you're unsure of or scared of. And while I still complain about school, and I'm counting down the days till he graduates, I am so glad I can be supportive in his dream. It has been an incredible journey.
And lastly, I really struggle with understanding why people think or feel they have the right to question my decisions. Judge me all you want, it's not going to change anything. I'm always open to a proper debate, one of us might learn something (and it's fine if that someone is me), but make it a debate. Telling me how wrong I am or that I should follow society's guidelines is not helpful and I'll definitely just dismiss you. Society is wrong about 90% of the things in this world (arbitrary percentage) and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am blessed to live in a country where woman are mostly respected. So even if you don't agree with me, we can be adults about it and have a proper discussion. We can end with me respecting your opinion and you doing the same for me.
This post feels very much like a rant. These are all things that have come up in the past few months and I needed to write about it. I'd love to discuss any thoughts you have on marriage.
Also read my Post About Marriage