Marriage ≠ Happiness

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It was a slow and rainy Wednesday at work so my co-worker and I began talking about our romantic relationships to pass the time. I explained to her I considered myself single(ish) and she shared the same sentiment as well, a sentiment several millennials like myself can relate to. We continued our conversation about relationships and marriage, and before she left she said these words “I’m just trying to make money, catch me a husband, so I can get my happiness.” I pondered on those words for a while, and all I could think to myself was money and marriage aren’t the keys to happiness and why do we even still believe in that age-old ideal?

Marriage has always been seen as a high priority goal on the list for people wanting to achieve the american dream. Even in 2017 a lot of millennials still see marriage as this fairytale-like fallacy, and feel in order to have happiness then they have to be married. Fortunately for me I grew-up in a family that has always expressed the reality of marriage. I was taught it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and the only way for it to truly work is if both partners feel complete within themselves. So I’ve never aligned marriage with my happiness, nor have I ever felt the pressure to find a husband to complete me. Truthfully, it wasn’t until recently that I even felt marriage was something I could see myself partaking in (but we’ll save that topic for another day).

Even though I think the institution of marriage is highly flawed, I still believe in the sanctity of it. Marriage is sacred, and should be seen as something to solidify an immense and unbreakable bond between two individuals. Traditionally speaking, marriage has never been about true love or happiness. It has always been handled like a business deal, using women as collateral. Women would provide domestic duties in exchange for financial security. However, those days are (almost) behind us, and women make enough to sustain their own cost of living. We can now officially marry one another for all of the right reasons yet we still are not. 

Mostly because people truly don’t care about having a happy and successful marriage, they just don’t want to be alone. They have this notion that if they’re unhappy and single then being attached must equate to happiness. They fail to realize you can be with someone and still not be happy with them. All you end up doing is temporarily occupying that incomplete space in yourself with another person but not actually fixing that emptiness you feel. Marriage is not this cure-all to loneliness and people have to  stop treating it like it is.  So how do we change this flawed idea of marriage? 

Well for starters, people have to become more honest with themselves, and begin asking themselves very uncomfortable questions. For instance, when’s the last time you took a moment to reflect on what truly makes you happy? Not what society tells you will make you happy, or what would make your parents happy, but just you. We don’t ask ourselves that question nearly enough, and then we begin to depend on others to tell us what will make us happy. However their happiness is not ours and vice versus. Once you find your happy you become more comfortable with who you are, and you stop looking for happiness within someone else. 

Now hear me clearly when I say there is nothing wrong with wanting to be married. Marriage can be a beautiful thing when done correctly. Just stop looking for marriage to fulfill this empty void in your life. It won’t, and you will end up feeling even more alone being married than you were while you were single. You have to remember you are the sole source of your own happiness. Once you realize and believe that I guarantee you everything else in your life will just fall into place (yes, even marriage).

Well until next time kids, 

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