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Erroneous views of marriage

August 1, 2017

In America, some statistics show over 70% of the divorces are filed by women. Yet women more than men are the ones who seek marriage as the ultimate validation of themselves, often making a big fanfare of their wedding day.

When the marriage isn’t working and a divorce is filed, some women celebrate as well — often very publicly on social media, blasting it out to the world — when perhaps it should be a time of grieving, reflection, and learning.

This means only one thing. These women have a very erroneous view of marriage and what it takes.

It is not supposed to mimic a fairytale, a romance novel, or a movie.

It is not so you can change the man (who has so much “potential”) and make him the man of your dreams.

It is not so you can start a family even though he doesn’t want to be a father (or would make a bad one).

It is not so you can validate yourself as a desirable woman.

It is not so you can make your parents or peers happy and earn their approval and acceptance.

It is not so you can be a princess for the day.

It is not so you will never be lonely.

It is not so you won’t ever have to worry about money again (which you’ll pay for in other ways).

The common fantasy is that marriage should solve all these problems — when it does not. In fact, these issues are often the same reasons why women file for divorce. They are STILL lonely after being married. Their husbands are STILL the same guy who refuses to change. They are STILL living a mediocre life that doesn’t look at all like a fairytale. They STILL don’t feel good about themselves despite making everybody else happy. And after having a baby, life actually doesn’t get easier but tougher.

What does this tell you?

If you are single, be glad. Be very glad. You can now screen your suitors carefully. You can decide on the right guy to be with so you can be good partners for each other.

Now is the time for you to avoid being a statistic. Marriage is not a means to happiness. It does not get rid of loneliness, anxiety, stress, nor does it give you self-esteem. For these problems, you have to do inner work or consult a good therapist.

Marriage works best when two people are ready to share the abundance of what they already have, not when they are seeking to eliminate their deficiencies through a spouse. And that is only ONE factor. (Read about the Five Pillars of what makes a relationship work.)

To minimize drama and stress, marry for the right reason:

To commit to a long-term relationship where two people can share their love and grow — both individually and as a couple. 

This way, if any problems arise or even if a divorce becomes unavoidable down the road, you will know you put your best foot forward and you can live without regrets.

Remember, we are talking about the 21st century marriage, not the antiquated concept of the past where marriage is to take place at all costs because the clock is ticking, it’s economically convenient, or society approves.

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  1. Anne permalink

    Hi One Truth

    Recently I heard about a lot of couples, who are exclusive, dating exclusively, but are not announced as official boyfriend-girlfriend. With one of my friends, the girl was not sure if he is her boyfriend or not, but knows that they are dating exclusively for many months now, whereas the other case they were dating for a long time , they discussed exclusivity but the guy didn’t want to call the relationship boyfriend-girlfriend, so they were, just ‘friends’. Even though they went on holiday together for a week, etc. This situation seems more and more common in England where I live now.
    Maybe you could write an article about this, and what girls should do in a situation when the guy didn’t call you his girlfriend but wants exclusivity. I remember your advice was to not enter into exclusivity with anyone if it’s not girlfriend-boyfriend. 🙂 Just wanted to refresh this topic as I recently met a lot of couples like this.

  2. Marketa permalink

    Excellent. Thanks for the post.

    Although, isn’t it that women are often the ones who file for divorce, but only as a reaction to their husbands’ ‘wrongdoings’? Technically it was the husbands who broke the marriage, the wife’s decision to divorce him is just a natural consequence of his behaviour. I personally know a few broken marriages where it was always the woman who initiated the divorce but only because her husband had cheated on her or had developed an addiction (alcohol etc) and so on. Isn’t this what goes hand in hand with the saying that women notice a problem in the relationship/marriage, whilst the relationship/marriage is still going on, but men only notice the problem AFTER the relationship/marriage has finished? After all, you know what they say about the age old problem of a love triangle (one men, two women)? That it only becomes resolved when one of the women (ether his wife, or his mistress) pushes for a solution ….i.e. the wife finds out and tells him to either finish the affair, or she’ll divorce him. Or it’s the mistress who threatens to leave him, or will tell his wife about the affair…in other words, it’s always the women, one or the other, not the man who seek a solution. If it were up to the guy, the love triangle would carry on indefinitely…But sure, we could argue that if the woman married the right guy in the first place (as opposed to marrying someone half-decent only to get a ring on her finger & approval from the society), that would have prevented a lot of problems happening further down the road.

    Overall I completely agree with your article – after all, as a single woman in my 30’s I know too well how strong the peer/society/family pressure can be. Bob Proctor says that ‘Most people tiptoe through life hoping to make it safely to death’. When I look around, I have to agree. This is indeed what the majority of people seem to be doing. I’d also add that whilst they’re tip-toing to death, they’re trying to do things to tick the right boxes along the way, hoping that that’s what will make them happy (e.g. Got a college degree that would make one’s parents proud? Tick. Got a promising, albeit perhaps boring, job that one’s peers will envy? Tick. Women; Got a great guy with plenty of potential and bring future? Tick. Did he propose with a big rock to put on my finger? Tick. Did we have an enviable wedding? Tick. Do we have two kids, ideally a girl and a boy? Tick. And let’s not forget about the to-die-for house in the suburbs. Tick. Twice yearly holidays abroad? Tick. ….tick….tick….tick. I’m sick and tired of being expected to tick boxes only to comply with OTHER PEOPLE’S expectations and to make THEM happy!

    Yes, as most women, I’d like to get married once, but only to the right person, otherwise, what’s the point? I almost married the wrong guy, in fact, the wedding was planned for next month! I knew it was all wrong when I realised I was looking forward to the wedding, but not the life AFTER the wedding…What a lucky escape I had!

    I am, however, sceptical – as long as future generations are still brought up the same way (i.e. if a single woman, especially a middle-aged single woman, continues to be viewed as ‘flawed’ in some way, as long as ‘being left on the shelf’ carries on to be most women’s biggest fear), nothing will change and women will keep on getting married for the sake of getting married, even if it was to be to the wrong guy…

    • Marketa,

      You’ve made some good points, and certainly women have legitimate reasons to divorce their husbands if there is abuse or addiction that irreparably harms her or the children.

      But I wouldn’t generalize all men as the wrongdoer causing women to divorce them. There are plenty of women who cheat on their husbands where the husbands don’t initiate divorce. In fact, more men than women prefer to avoid divorce and hold the marriage together either for the sake of reputation, child custody, or finances. Women are not always the ones seeking a solution, when a lot of divorces occur due to women simply either falling out of love with their husbands or decided they never were in love to begin with. In general, women take matters of the heart more seriously and personally, where if marriage is no longer offering her romantic love, they view the marriage as a failure. This is not as true for men.

      In a nutshell, men in general view divorce as a failure while women view divorce as emancipation from a failed marriage. And you’re right about the ridiculous notion of single women being viewed as flawed and that it really should be phased out of society!

      It’s therefore wise to figure out what it takes for marriage to work and become the kind of person that knows how to make it work (of course, with a man with similar goals). This I outline in detail in Be a Prize Catch Wife.

      • Marketa permalink

        Thank you for your response, One Truth.

        On a vaguely related subject; I’d be very interested to know what your thoughts are on a man who is/was in a relationship with a married woman. We know – and you state this diligently throughout your blog – that a woman who is, or would like to be, in a relationship with a man who is taken, clearly doesn’t value herself, otherwise she wouldn’t put up with having to share him. Does this apply to a man too? In my humble opinion I’d say yes, it would apply to a man too, because most men probably wouldn’t be happy to share their girlfriend with anyone (e.g. her husband).

        The reason why I’m asking is because I have only just been introduced to a man in his 30’s. The third party who introduced us had told me before the intros, that ‘his last relationship was with an older, married woman’. Now, of course, I don’t know any details (e.g. how much older she was, whether their relationship was purely sexual, or whether he was involved with her emotionally too etc), but that info put me off slightly and somewhat cooled down the immediate attraction I felt towards him. The bottom line is that the man in question has permanent residence in Italy so the geographical distance closes doors on anything that could potentially ever happen between us, which is probably for the better.

        To help me write him off completely, I’d hope that you could tell me something along the lines of; a man who doesn’t respect another person’s exclusivity doesn’t clearly value marriage and is therefore not a marriage material and would not value his own exclusive relationship in the future. Furthermore, he may have issues with his self-esteem, because a truly confident man would not have a relationship with a woman who is not 100% available to him. Would I be correct on this please?

        Apologies if this sounds like I’m abusing the comments section instead of asking about this in an email exchange for example, I thought that by posting it here, other readers could perhaps benefit from your input on this too?

        Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thank you.

        • Marketa,

          Not a problem to ask questions and other readers do benefit.

          All your points are valid. Another reason for a man to be involved with a married woman is that he has a fear of commitment or sustained emotional intimacy. This could be due to not being emotionally available himself or other obstacles, which you astutely pointed out, that stand in the way of being with a single, available woman.

          At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, a single man has no business being with a married woman if he is interested in a long-term committed relationship. It reveals all sorts of questionable traits such as low self-esteem or if he is just after the thrill of what’s taboo, addiction to the adrenaline rush of forbidden conquests.

          You are wise to be wary of dating a guy with this past. Now, of course if he is really done with the married woman and has now changed and honestly wants to be fully available to a committed relationship with a single woman, then that means you could explore this possibility with him.

          How you would know for sure would take time and effort to get to know him well, as this affair with the married woman could have been a temporary phase, though it itself indicates a level of self-esteem that may manifest in other ways when you date such a man.

  3. Siba permalink

    wise words…

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