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love and marriage

I think I’ll do a few of these entries on the relationship between women and <<insert social thing here>>. We start with marriage.

In recent conversations with several women on this topic, which came from a few recent events and also just plain ol’ coincidence and so on, I’ve seen how far the pendulum swings and also where it freezes still for some women when it comes to marriage. Today, I found myself giving someone the following bit of advice, after the woman I spoke with told me about her last marriage and how much loss she experienced, and also, in a way, warning me of the same path. She said she used to believe in the formula of love and marriage and all that and it all turned to shit. To which I said…

Happiness is our own responsibility. You can’t ever let a past experience suck that away from you. This has been a lesson I’ve been taught repeatedly over the last year and a half, and the experience of learning, de-learning, and re-learning it, has made me believe in love again. I didn’t believe I was capable or deserving of it, and sadly many women don’t, for all sorts of reasons, but there’s most often the feeling of not fitting into to some kind of wife-worthy template that gets n the way for a lot of women too. In the relationship I’m currently in now, I have found that, FOR ME, my belief lies in the psychospiritual connection I have with him. From what I’ve observed when people talk about failed relationships and marriages, there’s this undertone of woe that their partner is no longer who they were when they were first united, which is an absurd thing to wish for anyway. We all evolve, and change, and an annoying yet gratifying thing about being human is that you’re always changing. You have a base sense of self but it is never actually permanent. You never stop growing, learning or changing. Ever. The same is true in a relationship.

Our culture tends to candy coat the FUCK out of domesticated pairings of all kinds, especially with monogamous human relationships. But there’s murder in the expectation. Grow together. Learn together. Don’t kill yourself with the way things “should be”, for there is no such thing. Your experience, your happiness and your truth lies in how you define it. I saw in that woman’s eyes at that moment the box I carried around in my chest for a long time, full of guilt, about mistakes that I had made. And I set it down some time ago, which let me open up to find and believe in love again. It is real and it can happen and it’s just… waiting for you to realize that.

One thing that’s always struck me about marriage, here in this country especially, is the fixation on the modern bride, THE BRIDE’s DAY, THE BRIDE THE BRIDE THE BRIDE, and yet the ceremony is still completely fucked up and the groom is also ignored. Intelligent, independent women doing the white-dress get up, being “given away”, her family footing the bill .. and the boys just show up dressed in black, and that’s that. It’s such a gross misrepresentation of what’s actually going on, of two people being united, not one forcing themself onto the other. It would be nice if men did/would be allowed the room to assert themselves more as feeling beings. So many of our rituals completely discount that, and leads to so many unnecessary imbalances in our society.

It’s in the little things. Look around.

Tomorrow: I open up Halloween Weekend with a real horror show — missing girls and gang-raped teens. Misrepresentation, poor focus, and a slack-jawed education of our children.

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About womeninstrangeplaces

I am a writer and artist from New York City. I live in Oslo, Norway. I dedicate my work to promoting literacy, experimentation and expression, women's empowerment, and awareness against sexual violence. I do my best to do what my gut tells me at all times, and on weekends, I go dancing.

2 responses to “love and marriage

  1. Sarah

    Thank you for this,
    Happiness is our own responsibility.
    and this,
    You never stop growing, learning or changing. Ever.
    and this,
    and finally this,
    It’s in the little things. Look around.
    I couldn’t agree more.

    Also thank you for the post on self-publishing, perhaps one day I’ll have something to call a book and this helps me to see it is possible.

    You are greatness!

  2. Sarah

    Oops got carried away with the “and this”.
    I wish there was an edit option… c’est la vie!

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