Thursday, 30 July 2020

The Problem Is Not Marriage. It's WHO You Marry.

So lately I've been getting bombarded with posts and articles about how women are choosing careers over marriage. It brought me back to my teens where I too was one of those people adamant that marriage was not for me and that I would dedicate my whole life to my career and work. That I would never choose to end up like my mother, a SAHM and nothing else to show other than photos of her amazing house, husband and kids. I would shoot down every notion that "I would regret it" or "you'll change your mind" or "but women are more fulfilled in marriage and having kids". Maybe it was just my generation or what is coined "modern woman" but I was certainly one of those people in the article that did not look too kindly on men, marriage and kids. 

Until I met Hubbycat and got married. Now I realise that the problem is NOT marriage. The problem is NEVER about marriage. Marriage in all terms is just a contract, a piece of paper, a written promise to make the relationship OFFICIAL & LEGAL. So when you think marriage is essentially that how then is marriage the problem? It's not. It is essentially no different from being in a committed relationship - just that you get a paper. So you cannot condemn marriage and say you want to focus on a career when you're in a relationship. 

The problem then becomes WHO you marry. For me, I made it clear to Hubbycat that entering into a relationship with him does not mean I am suddenly responsible for the household, the food, the kids and all that. I was not his mother and getting together with him did not suddenly make me his mother. We both had a clear understanding that we enter on equal footing - we BOTH take care of the house, the food, the kids, the finances and all that. There is no "I'm the man, my job is to get the career and you as the woman just follow and trust me completely, ignoring all your ambitions because when you agree to marry me you agree on letting go of all that and focus on the sole responsibility of your womanhood - giving me babies and taking care of the household." Of course, oversimplified but you get the gist. 

Hubbycat and I have a working relationship and a personal relationship. Everything in our life is a relationship - we take charge of everything together. Work, kids, household, finances - there is no this is your territory and this is mine. I got married, I run two businesses, I am a mother and I am my own person. Did marriage stop me? Hell no. I am able to do all the above because the person I married is supportive and respects me enough to let me do what I want. The person I married did not expect me to give up my ambition or dreams to fulfil his. The person I married saw how these things made me happy and have supported me in every way possible to make it a reality. The person I married does not feel threatened that his wife earned the same amount of money as him. The person I married did not ask me to slow down because his ego felt threatened. The person I married is my equal and the person I married treats me as his equal. If I didn't want to take care of the kids, I know in a heartbeat he would find a way to empower me to do that. If I suddenly wanted to find a 9-5 job, I know in a heartbeat he would send me out there with kisses, love and all his support. 

So women, don't berate on marriage. The problem is not the ring or the piece of paper. The problem is who you are in a relationship with. If the man or woman does not support you, your wants, needs and ambition then please, don't even get into a relationship with them. I hate it when people say as a wife you need to support your husband even if that means giving up your dreams because that's not how love works. That's just selfish to me because if the wife gets happiness in working, how dare she is forced to trade that for a life that she is not happy with just to make man happy. Of course, if the wife is happy doing that, by all means, go ahead. There are women like my mother who derive happiness that way. But to say ALL women are responsible and should behave that way is nonsense. 

Marriage is not the problem. It's the person you're marrying. If you can't find the right one, you're seriously better off not being in a relationship with that person. Don't even talk marriage, you should have nothing to do with them completely. Marriage should never change the dynamics of a relationship. Marriage should never be a reason to expect men or women to be someone different altogether. Marriage should ultimately be just an "OFFICIAL CONTRACT" of your relationship. And if your relationship is riddled with trouble, obviously, don't get married. I hate it when people make marriage more than what it should be because I've been married since 2012 and I've learnt that marriage is NOT more or less than what a committed relationship is. That being said... then why get married? To be honest, legality. But really, if a marriage doesn't work for you, don't get married. 

For me, the problem isn't about getting married or not. It's people belittling marriage and making it sound like a death sentence. A death sentence to a woman's ambition and career opportunities. A death sentence to a woman's autonomy and power. A death sentence to a woman's independence. It's not. I know of so many powerful women who have achieved so much and are married. I know businesswomen who run multimillion-dollar companies and are married. So really, marriage is NOT a death sentence. But marriage to the wrong person is. 

-Ally

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