Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why Did I Get Married?

Recently the topic of marriage has become a big one among my friends and I. One of the major reasons is because a lot of the people we went to college with are getting married and one of my childhood friends has just announced her engagement to a man she has been dating for six years. On a quick tangent, I was speaking with 2 of my male friends and they were saying they were worried about what type of fathers they are going to be due to the fact they never had fathers that were present in their life therefore they never had an example of what a father should be like. This got me to thinking about marriage and what I have personally seen in regards to marriage as I have grown up. And it dawned on me that I personally have never lived in a house and witnessed a functional marriage. I have never really seen first hand the give and take of marriage on a daily basis and the work that goes into keeping it healthy and fruitful. Granted I know many people who are married and who have great relationships but I believe the foundation of knowing what that is truly about is seeing it as you grow up between your parents. Now I have 2 of the best parents a woman can ask for. They are 2 people that care about each other a lot and happen to have a working relationship because of me. But the key is they were never married! Here are some of my personal worries about growing up out of wedlock.

1) Depending on a man- During my upbringing my mother had the support of my father financially and emotionally but she was still very independent. This has definitely made me a lot more independent. I have a hard time opening up to a man and trusting him to take care of me. Especially due to the fact that I know I can do it myself and I know that it can be done without that aid. However, part of the beauty in marriage is having that partnership and trust. My mother is married now and I am learning that even as a middle aged woman it is still difficult for her at times to trust her husband and let him make decisions as "the man."

2) Characteristics of my father- My father is one of my closest confidants. From a very early age he kept it 100% gutta with me about relationships, men, and their thought processes. We are very close and talk almost everyday. He gives the best advice even when I do not want to take it and I rely on him for a lot. As a result of this I noticed I am attracted to men who are like him. He is very independent, not really into commitment but enjoys occassional companionship, and too smart for his own good. He expressed to me not long ago that he wonders if the fact that I have never seen him in a long term relationship effect the way I deal with men. I often think about that as well.

3) Harsh Reality- Even though deep down I want to end up married with children I know there is a possibility that that may not happen. I can be a mother and support myself and sustain a particular lifestyle without a husband. Do I want it to be like that..... No! Do I think there is a greater chance that this may happen.......Ehh not sure.

In closing I ask why do we get married? Especially looking at the attitudes of a lot of buppies I know and their fast paced lifestyles and sporatic dating habits. Perhaps it's just a 20 something phase that we are currently going through. Or maybe not because I am observing more and more 30 something year old women who got a lot going for themselves and are single as well.


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