Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why "Why You're Not Married" is Wrong about Everything

{from our engagement pics by Leonel Medrano and Iris Bai}

This article pisses me off.

I know it was written a while ago, but I'm behind the times and just came across it today.  "Why You're Not Married."   A provocative title, no?  I would read it.  I mean, I did read it.  And it pisses me off.

Tracy Miller, supposedly an expert at "getting married" because she's been married three times, claims that you are not married because:

1) You're a bitch.

2) You're shallow.

3) You're a slut.

4) You're a liar.

5) You're selfish.

6) You're not good enough (or at least you think you aren't).

Obnoxious, yes.  But the substance just kills me.  Here's what Ms. Miller actually has to say about love and marriage:

"[U]ltimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love."  (Emphasis added to demonstrate idiocy.)

This infuriates me.  It's like when people say that they love another person "for all of their flaws."  Infuriating.  Why would you love someone because of the things that are wrong with him?  Why would you marry and stay married to someone who doesn't do "what you want him to"?

It's offensive to me, and to many other modern-minded women I suppose, to suggest that in order to get married we have to give our lives and love to a "messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man" who does nothing in return for our love except try to keep it in his pants.  (Ew.)  If the title "Mrs." came with a life sentence of giving without getting back, why would anyone take the vows and sign on the dotted line?

Yes, marriage is about giving.  But that's only half the equation.  It's really about giving to get.  It's about finding someone you want on your team, building a team together, and both of you giving your talents to that team so that in return, you can both get more out of life than you each could on your own.  

Think about it this way: if you were just one person, giving all you could to make your life the best it could be, you could expect to get a certain amount of life goodness in return, right?  The difference with marriage is that married people share.  So when you're both giving all you can to life and getting goodness in return, you get more than just the goodness you would usually get - you get some of your partner's as well.  And then there's the extra goodness that comes from having an awesome person to share with (and knowing that an awesome person wants to share with you).  So yes, you give.  You give more of yourself away than you would on your own.  But you get more, too.  That's the point.

So why would you marry a person who doesn't give to you, who doesn't make your life better, who doesn't give his all to your team?  Why would you give your love to someone who "doesn't deserve it"?  Isn't that the definition of an unhealthy relationship?  There is something so screwed up about the way our society repeats the absurd notion that "love is sacrifice" like it totally makes sense when it totally doesn't.  It can really screw with a girl.

Women should be choosing life partners because of their strengths, because of what they bring to the table, because we see so much good in them that their flaws pale in comparison.  Because they make good teammates.

If you have to "transform yourself" into some kind of a yogi-zen martyr just to keep your relationship going, it's not love, and it's definitely not marriage-worthy.


Amanda said...

Oh yeah, I remember reading that article a while ago, and I was WTF. Ok, so maybe she has a point on the oxytocin effects on your brain and on girls lying to themselves, (3 and 4 in the article), but I agree with you. She makes it all about how being a wife equals being a martyr , how your career , caring for yourself or any goals, hobbies, passions, you might have are unimportant, worthless. And well, what they say about sacrifice, is more about compromise but that does not mean you have to go on and stop being you. Like you said, that would be the definition of unhealthy.

Ashley said...

Glad you felt the same way! I was so surprised by how much I disagreed with this article.

Martie* said...

Hey Ashley!
So far I wasn´t a regular follower of your blog. But your take on this crazy article just lit up my day so I just had to comment :)
Could not have said it better - so I didn´t and just put a link on my blog and I hope everyone reads it :)

love your blog - especially the "Apt.10"-post. Are you going to post photos of your new condo as well?! Would be great!