Why do so many people fear marriage? Well, it's fear that holds us back, isn't it? The fear of failure, the fear of being rejected, the fear of being unloved. Is it possible that the things we fear the most are the most worthwhile?
I was scared of marriage for a long time. My parents divorced when I was in college, and it was devastating. The last thing I wanted to do was have a family and then tear it apart - the pain was just too deep, too tumultuous. I have a Master of Social Work degree from UCLA, along with a social work license in Texas. While studying for my licensing exam, I learned that adult children who endure divorce take, on average, 10 years to process it and heal from it. I'd say that was about right for me. I pushed so many guys away and had such terrible boundaries with them because I didn't really want to fall, I didn't want to risk the loss of love. This was subconscious, but I can see it clearly now. I made poor choices in men - but I learned from it. I'm not feeling regret - I'm feeling liberation. I'm finally free from the pain and shackles of the fear of love. I know love is possible for all of us - regardless of where we come from, what we've endured, what we've feared.
I feel like my generation has been running from marriage. And, I agree, the institution is imperfect. But it does exist, and it's cool for people who want it. For those who don't, there's beauty in the power of a choice. I love choices. I always liked multiple choice questions because of the finality in making a decision and being correct. However, I learned to embrace open-ended questions in college because I could get points for what I did know versus getting dinged for what I didn't know. In relationships, there are open-ended questions. Love is not a multiple choice test. It's all about options and thoughts and being rewarded for what you know. Marriage can be rewarding when you know your heart and you find another heart that aligns with yours. My quest is not about finding the one who completes me. I loved Jerry Maguire, but I don't want someone who completes me.
One of my favorite books is the Celestine Prophecy. The discussion I love most is regarding two complete souls aligning with each other. The insecure relationship (which leads to most divorce, I would argue), has to do with two incomplete circles coming together to make one circle. The most powerful and lasting bond involves two complete circles that join together like Olympic rings. The ideal union involves two individuals who are happy on their own but enhanced by each other. I'm not in my twenties anymore. I've grown up, and I know who I am. I embrace the tapestry of my life's experiences (good and bad) because the combination makes me the unique individual I am today. I believe there is someone for everyone out there.....and there is more than one potential soulmate for each person.
Some may argue that marriage is not necessary today - and I don't disagree. It's a choice! And I want it - I want the commitment, the legally binding contract and the vows that go along with it. I want to be married before God, and I want to have two children and love their father until death do us part. :) Some may say that my odds are 50% that it will end in divorce, but I would argue that the glass is half full not half empty. And the risk is worth the reward....