“How is wedding planning coming?” “Are you excited?”, “Did you pick a dress?”, “What are your colors?”…. these are all very reasonable questions to ask of a newly engaged woman. I just flat out hate them. My stomach churns and slowly twists in knots, realizing I have no idea what I want, because I am unbelievably scared of being a wife. Like, deathly afraid. How do you know if you are ready? How do I know if marriage is even right for me? How do I even know if I am going to be a good wife? I love my fiance, but the honest truth is that I feel like I’m going to fuck it all up.
What does a strong marriage even look like? I was not your average girl who grew up thinking about marriage and the proverbial picket fences. I did not dream about weddings, husbands, or babies. My dreams consisted of high paying jobs, owning my own home, and being able to travel the world. Things my mother never did, despite being married twice. All the women in my immediate family are divorced. Most women I know are actively recovering from some huge betrayal in their marriage or stashing their eggs in a hidden basket, waiting for the next shoe to drop.
How can I trust this one person? I am a product of abusive, womanizing and drug addicted father-figure relationships. Beginning with my grandfather’s betrayal of paternal trust, reinforced by my biological father’s physical abuse and addictions to both women and booze, and foot-stomped by my step-fathers drug addiction and repeated infidelity. That being said, this particular post isn’t about my plethora of daddy issues… you would need a few weeks to cover all that. I am just trying to lay the groundwork for the discussion on my general distrust of people; men specifically. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Leave them before they leave you. Everyone will eventually leave you. Never have to rely on anyone so that you can manage it all on your own when they leave you.
It’s ingrained so deeply in me that I can’t shake it, even in the face of God delivering me someone who truly loves me, respects me, and accepts my bullshit. This fear of rejection I have allowed to colonize my psyche, like mold in a damp, dark basement. It makes me a professional saboteur, stealthy and elusive with an arsenal of subterfuge techniques so advanced, I’d rival a trained FBI operative. All of this flanked with intense commitment phobia, progressing the cultivation of my self-fulfilling prophesy that I don’t deserve true love or happiness.
Can I make the sacrifice? Space, independence, finances, autonomy? Even now, pre-marriage, I am struggling with my identity getting lost. I get tired of hearing how people judge me because I travel or hang out a lot without my fiance. His own friends asking if it bothers him that I travel without him. I’m wholeheartedly convinced they want me checked up on, because no woman should possess the amount of freedom I do if I am to “take on a husband”. Are we in a 50’s movie??? Is this the Hand Maiden’s Tale? Why are you so concerned sir? I am my own person. With my own desires, hopes, and needs. Why is my being now hitched to another human being because we intend to marry?
So, I know, I’m lucky… I’m blessed…. But I am honestly trying to figure out how to write the most beautiful Happily Ever After ending on a Grimms’ Fairy Tale….