Marriage: To be or not to be

Well, it was a crazy week for me – deadlines, deadlines deadlines! And although that makes for an extremely stressful week, the most memorable moments were conversations I had with two different women about their relationships – one married and one divorced.

Ok, y’all I’m single, I’m not stressed about the fact that I’m not married or in a serious relationship. Of course, I would like to be on that side of the fence but I just figure the man upstairs will send me the right man at the right time. Although I must admit, Fridays are a little hard, at the end of a busy week – you want to come home and relax or unwind with that special someone.

I’ve been engaged once and close another, and even though those situations were years ago, I don’t regret anything that happened or  in this case didn’t happen. That’s  because I make my decisions with my heart, and my gut – and so I believe I was true to myself and to the men I loved.  I say all this to preface what both these women confided to me.

My divorced colleague – lets call her Tanya – she is in her early 50’s, divorced with three children and currently in a common law relationship, because she isn’t divorced from her first marriage as yet – for personal reasons. Somehow we got on the topic of her ex, and she bluntly said that she didn’t want to marry him, she changed her mind because she was pregnant.

The other lets call her – Penny – late 20’s, married two years and has a one year old. She mentioned that she was having issues at home. And then told me that she only married because of the pressure – her friends were getting married and her parents were pressuring her because she was getting older. Of course (to me) she was still quite young. But I do realize that cultural expectations differ, she is South East Asian and in her particular community she was seen as getting old.

The fact is these women were not in love, not that they were not fond of their mates, but they weren’t ready. This is not the first time I’ve heard this story, but this confirms to me that I’ve made the right decisions along the way. You see I’ve had friends tell me that I’m too picky (if that means not accepting disrespectful treatment, lies or just different morals and values) then yes I’m picky. I’ve had one friend try to set me up with a man, but prefaced my meeting him with a lecture on ( I was 34/35 at the time) the fact that I need to be open because as I get older men are not going to want to date me. Yeah!  I thought she lost her mind too! You see this man was quite wealthy, which means I would be comfortable and probably would not have to work if I chose not to, travel etc. She basically said that this might be my last chance.

Anyhow, I went along – I generally do not like to be set up! I first met him on the phone, we got along really well, but when I met him in person there was no chemistry – and ladies, I’m sorry but chemistry is truly important to me. He also spoke about his wealth (can I say turn off), as if to bait me with that information. And of the few times we went out- he always smelled of alcohol when he came to pick me up, something I took note of but never brought up. He however, alluded  to the fact that he had been accused of drinking too much and became quite defensive about it.

But according to my friend this may have been my last opportunity – an alcoholic, no chemistry…but he’s wealthy! I know for some, the wealth would trump the rest. But I’m not that girl, I want the basics at least-chemistry, same morals and values, ambition, financial security and more.  Having a weathy partner would be a great bonus -who doesn’t want to live a life of luxury. But material wealth alone without the rest does not make for content and happy life long comittment.

Anyhow, I say all this to say, you can only follow your heart. Your mother, sister, friends or community are not living with this person on a daily basis – you are or will be. You can only have faith that your right person will be around the corner. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped in a marriage – that feeling may have nothing to do with anything that person has done. The only people who will have to face this miserable situation on a daily basis is you – not your family, community or society.

Even if you are 48 hours to the altar, you can change your mind. I’ve had one friend tell me that she knew she was making a mistake, but didn’t have the guts to stop the wedding, because of all the plans and people. She’s now divorced from that person after much more heartache and pain.

Go ahead, follow your intuition, your gut, that feeling. You will have less regrets at the end of the road if you are true to yourself.

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