Thursday, March 3, 2011

A relationship rant for Thursday

Just once, I would like to see an article on relationships/marriage that doesn't take cheap shots or use passive-aggressive (uh, or straight-up aggressive) language for the other side.

Two examples...

Why You're Not Married

  • "The problem is not men. It's you."
  • "You're a bitch."
  • "Working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife."
  • "You're shallow. / You're a slut. / You're a liar. / You're selfish."
  • "A good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself."
Message: You're single because you're kind of awful and no man wants someone like you. (He wants a smiling, perky little thing to do his laundry, feed his ego and put him first.)

An Open Letter to the Women Who Are Telling Me It's My Fault I'm Not Married
  • "As I was leaving, she said to me, with a great deal of kindness: 'You're pretty, and you're smart. It's a curse. You'll have a lot of difficulty finding a man.' It could have been crushing, if I wasn't aware of it already."
  • "In essence, in order to participate in the ritual custom of marriage, we have to become shadows of our best selves."
Message: You're not married because you're too awesome, too pretty, too educated, too powerful and too much of a fucking delight. (Those empty married folks? They didn't have much else going on in the looks or career department, so they got hitched instead.)

Sigh. Do you really know why you're not married? Me neither. And neither do these authors. And neither does anyone else. Except maybe Jessica Ravitz, who sums it up with a no-nonsense: "Sure, you might be a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough. Maybe, though, you happen to be 41 and single because life, real life with all its complications, has just worked out that way. So far."

That goes for everyone, married or not: life just worked out that way.

I believe I'm married because my life worked out in a way that I found Dave when I was young. It feels more like dumb luck than anything I planned, did or didn't do. And I'm getting annoyed with articles that ignore the role of luck while simultaneously taking a shit on women on the other side of the marriage line. I know women who are happy being married and women who are happy being single, and I also know that it's absurd to shove us all in the same box, toss around a bunch of labels and draw black-and-white conclusions based on little more than insufferable superiority.

So stop it.



TKTC said...

I want to say so much and I don't think I can say it better than the above. Thank God for good options and luck and great husbands and the adventures that come with any/all of them. Well played, madame.

Nata said...

Did you see this response? Amazing.!5765202/10-more-reasons-youre-not-married

Kaci Johanna said...


Married In Chicago said...

Its really interesting to think about if there are differences between women who are and aren't married. While I certainly don't agree with the things you quoted, I also don't think I fully agree that whether or not someone gets married is all about luck. Something that comes to mind is partner selection. What else do you think might be going on?

elle michelle said...

TKTC: If YOU can't say it better, there is no better way for it to be said.

Nata: That? Is great. Thanks for sharing!


Married: I definitely don't think it's ALL about luck, but I know that I wasn't searching for a husband when I met Dave. Heck, we almost didn't even end up at the same school, much less in the same class during my junior year. I call that luck. The rest of it? Well, we're good fits for each other, we fell in love and we worked/work hard when the relationship demands it. But all of that came after the fact that we somehow ended up sitting a few seats away from each other in one simple theology class in 2003.

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