We all know the fairy tale that society depicts of marriage, something borrowed something new and something blue. The beautiful white gown and the white roses that brides have been dreaming of since they were little girls. Being swept off their feet by their prince charming, yes we've all seen the Disney movies.
But flash forward twenty or so years from that little girl sitting in her bedroom cutting out bridal magazine pictures and making her dream wedding scrapbook we have a woman who has an idealistic and unrealistic view on marriage. Marriage is not just about the pretty wedding photos and the giant diamond ring on your ring finger, it's about companionship and compromise.
In a modern world where women are not just expected to take care of the kids and clean the house, they have their own ambitions and aspirations we need to stop teaching little girls that marriage is the key to their happiness. We need to stop telling them that they will never be truly happy without a husband and a stereotypical nuclear family.
Throughout history and in various cultures today love is not the defining factor of marriage. Marriage, especially during the 1800s, had more to do with social status and money than love. Women would marry to either increase economic or social status. This is why for instance in royal families marriage was used to create alliances with other countries.
Marriage, therefore, has more implications than just love. Marriage for some was seen as a binding contract. While we don't live in a society that prioritizes these aspects of marriage there is still a practical aspect of marriage that is often overlooked until one is confronted with it in their own marriage.
Marriage involves compromising aspects of one's personal life to fit with the ambitions and goals of their partner. As they say, it takes two to tango, therefore both partners must be equally willing to sacrifice aspects of their life for a marriage to work. Marriage is a process, it does not equate to instant happiness.
As a child marriage was never something that I dreamed of, maybe that was because I was raised by two ambitious and hardworking parents, but my dream as a child was always to be successful and accomplished. As I grew older and watched the people around me and their parents I came to realize that marriage can be an amazing thing but it should not be forced.
Marriage can give you a partner who will help support you in your endeavors but their partnership requires a certain amount of sacrifice. This sacrifice does not have to be a detriment to your goals or path in life but it is something one should be cognizant of when getting married. You are no longer just responsible for yourself you are now responsible for your partner as well.
The stigma that society puts on those who choose not to get married as unsuccessful or loners is wrong and outdated. The same goes for men. If marriage is something one wants to accomplish then more power to them but it is not something that should be expected of people.
It is important to be happy with oneself and their accomplishments before embarking on a marriage. And if marriage is not something one sees themselves being happy in then there should be no reason to say yes. The important thing is to be surrounded by people who support and bring one happiness.
So stop teaching girls that the key to happiness is a diamond ring and a prince charming. She is the key to her own happiness whether that be with another man or on her own.