Marriage…Giving Up A Piece of You?

I finally finished reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I began a discussion about it a few months back in the post titled Should We Come with a WARNING Label?  While the title may be explanatory it might make sense to revisit it.

I liked the research done about the topic of marriage.  The different points of view of what marriage is and what makes it survive varied from country to country, but the one constant was the work that went into it.  I believe that marriage should never be taken lightly and neither did Elizabeth.

There were many points in the book that I jotted down, but what I’d like to discuss with you today is what you think about marriage.  Do you feel that marriage is giving up a piece of you?

‘…Robert Frost wrote that “a man must partly give up being a man” in order to enter into marriage – and I cannot fairly deny this point when it comes to my family.  I have written many pages already describing marriage as a repressive tool used against women, but it’s important to remember that marriage is often used as a repressive tool against men, too.  Marriage is a harness of civilization, linking a man to a set of obligations and thereby containing his restless energies…’ Pg 197

In all honesty, this idea of marriage being a repressive tool saddens me.  I am not married yet.  But I do not want to feel repressed and I do not want my husband to be to feel repressed either.  I love his restless energies.  I would hope that we could have a 50/50 relationship, where the responsibility of a marriage is not carried more by one person than the other.  I know that we have our strong suits and I feel confident that we work as a team on virtually everything except for picking a restaurant.  I do feel that the times have changed significantly, enough to say that the husband and wife no longer have assigned roles.  What say you?

What are your thoughts on marriage?  Do you disagree with marriage being a repressive tools for both sexes?  Are aspects of this statement true?  Let me know your thoughts below!

Until then,

Should We Come with a WARNING Label?


photo credit: elycefeliz via photopin cc

You walk into the supermarket, reciting the short list of items to pick up and out of the corner of your eye you see something that causes you to stop.  You take a double look, this one slower, to see a vision that makes you hold your breath in until you realize, oh I’m holding my breath. You realize you’re staring and you try and distract yourself with what you came into the store for.  But who are you fooling, you can’t remember a single item.  May you be so bold as to inquire if the lovely creature is taken?  Might you exchange numbers in hopes of starting something that will end in a happily ever after type scenario?

For you, the first encounter, might not have actually been the grocery store.  It might have been the gas station, the shopping mall, the dentist’s office, or dare I say a blind date.  One thing did lead to another and the next thing you knew you were in a committed relationship.  Regardless of how you got there you have to admit that you’re not alone.  There are many people out there, within a stone’s throw from you, that shares a similar story to your own.  You’re eyes met, a spark sprang into being, you fell madly in love and now you hope to end in a happily ever after type scenario.  You are now comfortable, as is your significant other, and you start to notice that all the things you thought were cute are starting to REALLY ANNOY you.  Before we enter into a committed relationship, Should we come with a WARNING Label?

I’ve been reading Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert (A part DOS to her Eat, Pray, Love) and she gives a play by play of how her feelings went from never marrying again to understanding/researching marriage and her journey with Felipe.  The thing I love about this book so far are all the tidbits of history you read about marriage itself.  In chapter 4 she talks about the potential to minimize our dangers in premarital preparation.  If we look past our delusions of the person we love, and realize that no one can be perfect, that we all have our faults, can we not help the other person out by listing the items which, while they love now, might grow to ANNOY them.  Can we cross our fingers and hope that despite our long list of undesirable faults, that the person we love, loves us back anyway? 

When listing her faults, Elizabeth asks Felipe HOW can he love her still and he responds after a while saying, “When I used to go down to Brazil to buy gemstones, I would often buy something they call ‘a parcel’.  A parcel is this random collection of gems that the miner or the wholesaler or whoever is bulls&#@ting you puts together.  A typical parcel would contain, I don’t know, maybe twenty or thirty aquamarines at once.  Supposedly, you get a better deal that way -buying them all in a bunch- but you have to be careful, because of course the guy is trying to rip you off.  He’s trying to unload his bad gemstones on you by packaging them together with a few really good ones….So when I first started in the jewelry business, Felipe went on, I used to get in trouble because I’d get too excited about the one or two perfect aquamarines in the parcel, and I wouldn’t pay as much attention to the junk they threw in there.  After I got burned enough times, I finally got wise and learned this: You have to ignore the perfect gemstones.  Don’t even look at them twice because they’re blinding.  Just put them away and have a careful look at the really bad stones.  Look at them for a long time, and then ask yourself honestly, ‘Can I work with these? Can I make something out of this?‘ Otherwise, you’ve just spent a whole lot of money on one or two gorgeous aquamarines buried inside a big heap of worthless crap.

We are fortunate, when we can find that special someone, who we love despite their flaws, and they love us back despite ours.  However, what does a person do, when they only took the time to look at the blindingly beautiful gemstones in their parcel and ignored the huge heap of worthless crap?  I’m sure we’ve had at least one of these moments in our earlier years of dating, where we stopped and realized, beyond all our wishing for the happily ever after, that this relationship was NEVER going to work out.  How did you end it?

I think sometimes, people do give us warnings.  They let us know from the very start, their character, their truth.  We tend to turn a blind eye on it, hence the phrase, Love is blind.  We see what we want, when we want to see it.  What did you do in that situation?  For a while I bought parcels, with the intention of examining it with a microscope before making any commitment.  If the amount of crappy gemstones outweighed the few beauties, then I gladly handed the parcel back to the seller.  Giving yourself time to examine the character of a potential significant other, is not something to do lightly.  If what you see is something you CAN commit to, do it, if not then don’t.  But love can blind us, and I think its only fair to yourself and to the other person, to use the ‘Rip the bandaid off’ technique.  Dragging it out only makes it worse.   

A penny for your thoughts! What advice could you give someone trying to face the fact that they got a bad parcel?  How can a person take charge of their love life?  

Until then,