Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you focused on the Plan instead of the (Wo)Man


I know a lot of married people. A lot, a lot, a lot. And for those in my age bracket, I'm sad to say that about 70% of them are not happy. I mean like Not. Happy. At. All. My older brother and I were talking about it and we've heard a lot of the same stories. Some people didn't want to get married in the first place but thought "it was time". Others knew early in the marriage that it wasn't going to work out but decided to adopt a "wait and see" attitude. Others have grown apart. Others just kind of let things dissolve into "whateverness". 

I'm just wondering how many people get to the point where they are just ready to kick the Life Plan into effect. Get married, have kids, live happily ever after and so they just shoehorn the person they are currently with into the Plan. Women have the added pressure of the biological time clock detonating at any given moment and we've all surely seen how that affects life mate decision making.

If I had a dime for every time I heard a guy say, "Well, she had put in the time and I was going to get married eventually anyway." Or every time a girl admitted, "I was just ready to get married." Good people, we call that settling and that rarely works out well in the long run.

Having been proposed to a few times (truly not bragging on that),  I have to ask myself - what are you waiting on and what are you looking for? And I know that I'm waiting on the absolute sense that I'm marrying the right person for the long-term not just someone it might be cool to be married to for a little while.

I've given enough speeches about how there are worse things in the world than being single so I'll just save that rant. Instead, I'll get your opinions - Do you think too many people settle for the good of The Plan? Or do you think too many people hold out for that perfect soul mate? Just curious about your thoughts. The floor is yours.

68 comments:

David Parrish, Jr.(Inkognegro) said...

Marriage is far too difficult and all encompassing to just do because it's time.  

CaliGirlED said...

I think settling for the good of The Plan is so commonplace that it is "okay". He/she "put in the time" or was there when I felt I was ready is just....well....commonplace. And it is so wrong! Convenience does not a marriage make.

Still thanking God that He saved me from two disasters that would have for sure ended in divorce.

Vroshell said...

I have a friend his significant other gave him an ultimatum “marry me or im gone” and he proposed and the are now married..just the other day I asked him why did he do it …his replay was  “I have a great career and beautiful home what was keeping me from getting married.” Ummmmm maybe the …I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with this person.

GuessImJay said...

People always say that life is short but really, life is long if you are waking up every day next to someone you don't really like any more. #DoNotWant

Mocahgirl said...

Going through this with a friend. He just thought he should get married and she wanted to, so he did. They're now going through a separation.  The split is amicable, but he wishes he never married her. 

MeetCharlieL said...

I almost got caught up in this. The whole "she put int he time, we'reprobably going to get married one day anyway so why not today" - no. Dodged a major bullet.

TrulyPC said...

Do you think too many people settle for the good of The Plan? YES.  I believe that marriage is a serious journey that I want to take with someone who is committed to that journey and who has the same goals as myself.  It's not easy walking away from relationships that aren't working when society, self and often times family and friends define your worth with by it.  I just couldn't settle so I walked away and while I know it was the right thing to do for me I still have family and friends feeling "sorry" for me because I ended it.  I have to remind them that I am not sad or lonely and very happy with my decision.

Javalicious said...

My sister did this and now I think she's about ready to gnaw her own arm off to get out of the marriage. That doesn't seem worth it.

blackprofessor said...

I dodged a serious bullet as I was on the Plan program myself!  I saw my ex a year ago and I silently thanked God again! 

I have also had the benefit of seeing what happens when you leap without looking and it is not pretty!  I am still holding out hope to meet the man who is perfect for me, though not perfect, because I can't imagine forever with someone I can barely stand.

TrulyPC said...

This is exactly what I was trying to avoid so I walked away.

TrulyPC said...

 I saw my ex a year ago and I silently thanked God again!  LOL!  I have done that.

NY2VA said...

If you're doing it because you think its time, then it ain't time. My husband is my best friend and I can't picture life without him, but there are days when I look at him and want to jam a rusty spoon into his abdomen and give it a good twist.  Now mind you, I wouldn't leave him to die because that is my Boo, my heart, my everything.  I need him.  I would definitely take him to the ER for treatment and nurse him back to health, but I imagine that when you marry somebody because "it was time" the urge to let a nucka bleed out gets stronger over time.  

Living a life in which everyday is a series of "rusty spoon" moments...  That definitely is not the business.  But that's what life becomes when you marry because "its time".

Mo said...

*Brings a three-legged stool & sets camp in the middle of BnB*

tiffanyinhouston said...

When I was in my 20s and all my friends and line sisters were getting married, I would come home weddings and cry and ask God what was wrong with me that I couldn't getting married too.

I was SO. NOT. READY. And I really had no clue. Half those folks are divorced now and I say that with no shade, because I went through a couple of divorces with friends in a support capacity.

I got married when God intended for me to get married (and if He wouldn't have intended for me to get married, that would have been how it was) when I was 37 years old. I was mature enough, secure enough, and financially solid. My only regret is that it's not so easy to start a family when you are older but God's gonna take of that for me..one way or the other.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

In my opinion, I believe that quite a few women are more caught up with the Wedding and the dream of having the Perfect Husband, House, and Children, with barely any thought to the reality of it. How many times have we seen an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" with women buying wedding dresses when 1) there was no proposal or 2) there is no man in the picture yet? Wedding thirst is real!

As for the men? I'll have to ask my male friends what they think. I'd rather not try to speak for them.

thinklikeRiley said...

Until I look at somebody thinking This is Mrs. Riley and I'm not letting her get away, I'm straight.
But you folk can go ahead and get married up to any old damn body.
See how that work out for ya.
riley out.

Monica said...

 A wedding is the biggest theatrical event most people will be involved in in their lives.  We want a piece of the fantasy for ourselves and an entire industry is buttressed on making the fantasy come to life. Thus the spawn of Bridezillas.

Also many folks of getting married with no real idea of the stages of love, so when nights of romance turn into daylight and dishes, disenchantment sets in.

SouthernWes said...

I remember EVERYbody telling me I was getting married too soon. They agreed that she was a good woman but said, why not wait. I went with my head and my heart and have never regretted it. I am glad we waited a bit to have these kids though because whoa. I love them but whoa - parenting is no joke.

Cassie said...

I need a dime for everytime someone asks me "What are you waiting on, what are you looking for, you're not going to find perfection, you know." I know. But like you said Chele - it has to feel right from the start.

Monica said...

 If someone had asked my young self my plan I would have said: Married at 24, two kids by 30. What's the saying "If you wanna make God laugh, tell him your plans?" If I had married the person I was with back then we'd have been divorced in <5 years. He had commitment issues and I had some insecurities to work out.

After that relationship imploded I ditched the plan and took a more carefree approach until I felt really ready and started seeking those out on the same page as me.

Bailey said...

Went into lurk mode for a little while but I'd rather wait and get it right than hurry and et it wrong.

GrownAzzMan said...

I guess I just can't tap into that 'gotta be married' pressure, internal or external.

tiffanyinhouston said...

 My grammar in this post was TERRIBLE! But ya'll get the point, I was thinking and typing at the same time.

march pisces said...

true story.....guy went out on first date with young lady and said, "i'm going to marry you!" she went out and bought a dress before the proposal. they did get engaged within that year. they had the big wedding and the marriage ended 5 months later. yes, 5 months.

SingLikeSassy said...

I got married because I loved my husband. The guys I dated before him were not meant to be my husband. In fact that guy I dated for four years I don't think at one time in that relationship I ever seriously thought about us being married to each other. I knew he was not my "til death do us part."

I don't think people should settle cause you have to wake up with this person every.single.day. You don't want to let all your resentment and boredom etc. well up and you mess around and stab somebody in the side of their neck with a spork.

nylse said...

i think its not about the Plan or the person - but the individuals themselves have an unrealistic view of marriage.
If you stay married long enough, maturity allows you to recognize that generally speaking that what you have is a good thing - a support system, some one who loves you in spite of, memories, and the ebbs and flows that go with living.  
Somehow marriage came to mean that you'd be perpetually happy and the reality is not so.  All this ranting and raving about how bad marriage is is annoying (to put it mildly); since marriage takes two - each person needs to self-evaluate and make sure that they are doing and being what they expect from the other person.

Angela said...

Don't forget, "You're too picky." It's a shame that so many people jump in and out of marriage because they haven't given enough thought about themselves and what they NEED in a wife/husband instead of only what looks/sounds/smells good.

C W said...

A therapist friend told me once, weddings are one of the biggest displays of narcissism.

All I could say was , "Wow."

rozb said...

People try too hard to make someone match the plan, instead of working the plan and letting the right person get in there. I refused to get hurried by the biological clock conversation, or folks saying older Black women will not find a man, blah, blah, blah.

I am still working my plan, but I was able to meet and marry the man who fit right in and supports it. No need to change him or make him do something he does not want to do. I wouldn't want anyone doing that to me...

CaliGirlED said...

 Bwahahahaha!!! I love when people give the real scoop on marriage! And I love that after inflicting said injury you would rush him to the hospital, be by his side and nurse him back. ROTFLMAO!!!

rozb said...

 We are on the same page, Tiff. Love your blog, BTW!

One thing - I am 47 going on 48. I will not be birthing no babies. I can adopt or be a foster parent, though. If I get pregnant at this late stage, you best believe, there will be a lot of runny mascara-stained conversations.

CaliGirlED said...

 "I love them but whoa - parenting is no joke."<-----Another truth that people shy away from telling!

CaliGirlED said...

 By the way, how is Mr. Roz? :-)

CaliGirlED said...

 I'm 41 and done son! Mr. Cali gonna have to be cool with that. Definitely feel you on the runny mascara-stained convos!

Slim Jackson said...

This settling conversation is an interesting one. I actually try not to use the word settle unless absolutely necessary to describe a situation. When a man is ready for that next step and not in a relationship, he seeks one that he'll be happy with. When he's been with someone for a while, doesn't particularly feel inspired, but figures they been together long enough, that is settling. I feel like taking that step should be a "I feel the need to" as opposed to "I have to because it's been X years or days." Of course, I've never proposed or been married, so I'll be sure to write something years from now after I finally take the knee.lol. 

Only the Tall said...

Say Yes to the Dress, whoa. Have you seen ( actually made it through episode number 2) Tanisha gets married. I know it's scripted, but this "reality" show about a loud and ghetto chick getting married to her hard of hearing, lazy boyfriend is beyond crazy. What's crazier is that you know that there are real people in similar situations. Glad it's not me.

Only the Tall said...

"daylight and dishes" is real. Love it.

rozb said...

 He's doing good! We're in Atlanta visiting his family for Memorial Day weekend. I do love it here...

invectiva said...

Me either.  For a lot of people, I'm hard to live with, and I'm definitely extremely particular about what types and levels of day to day stressors are allowed to be in my life.  If we can't even get past those two major things, marriage can't even be on the table. Let's see how we do side by side for awhile, please.

There are no picket fences in my long-term goals, but I don't rule them out, either. What works for me and another person is what works, but it takes time to figure that out for both of us. It's definitely hard, though, when I have to fend off society (and for many others, also their friends/family) telling me that I'm not young enough, hot enough, and I'm destined to be a LONELY OLD SPINSTER if I don't get it together Right Effing Now. It makes me tired.

C W said...

Even if marriage is not in the plan, I find that people do things because they have kids with them.  "Oh well she has my kids so I feel obligated."  Now he is ready for the chick to move out.  Messing with another chick now on top of it. 

CaliGirlED said...

"so I'll be sure to write something years from now after I finally take the knee.lol."...You hear that ladies, he said YEARS FROM NOW. LOL!!!

Singlelif said...

I too have been proposed to many times, but have had reservations on taking those last few steps to the alter, out of fear that I would be walking The Green Mile...

So, yes, I absolutely believe that people settle for the good of The Plan.  Is there any other explanation for these marriage shenanigans. America, the land of extravagant wedding , and record-setting divorce payoffs !  God Bless prenuptials and the assets that they protect.  For real though,the best advice I can offer to anyone seriously contemplating marriage comes from the immortal words of the Esteemed Judge Mablean..simply, "Dig deep before you leap" ! 

OneChele said...

He really did.

OneChele said...

Welcome back!

OneChele said...

We feel you, TIH - no worries.

Only the Tall said...

Amen and AMEN.

C Nelson said...

 This was me, only on the other side, and I let myself get talked into it. "That's his son you're carrying; you need to let him step up and support you if he's willing." I knew he was as dependable as a rusted-out ladder in a house 300 years abandoned, but she was my second mom and I was barely twenty; I trusted her more than myself. It lasted less than a year. We married in December; by next October, we were done.

no comment said...

I have been called picky all week and that boils my grits esp. coming from married women/or those in long term relationships. You found what you like why can't I??????? Did anybody call you picky while you were single and dating that word is like nails on a chalkboard and IF I dated a bum or no good negro they would ALL be the FIRST to talk cash trash about me and him. You can't win so I just do me. 

no comment said...

While I never wanted a big expensive wed (I am cheap) I don't think it is always about narcissism. Some ppl just want a big wed because that is their personality and some of those couples do stay marred just like those who go to the courthouse or have small weddings end up in divorce court. I say people should have the wedding they want or don't want BUT all couples should take marriage and their vows very serious. 

CaliGirlED said...

"I knew he was as dependable as a rusted-out ladder in a house 300 years abandoned"...Well damn!

Marioned said...

I think people have an unrealistic view of marriage and sadly many folk now days have less married  role models.  Talk with couples that have been married for years and overall are satisfied.  They can help you understand the journey,the work involved and the mindset.  Many couples marry for the wrong reasons and many of the things that make a great relationship are not the things that so many nowdays use to make a choice.  It is more about whats inside.   

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 "Somehow marriage came to mean that you'd be perpetually happy and the reality is not so."

And, boy, does the media sell that shiggity hard.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 And I bet they still had wedding-related debts to clear after those five months. >_<

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 Never heard of that show, but it sounds...interesting, to put it politely. ;-)

lawsoncomp said...

I think that women should ask their mothers about this marriage business if she's still living and married. I think the information will be eye-opening, and you may not like what you hear.

Our expectations, as a society, of marriage are quite unrealistic (romantic) as many posted already. It is, above all else, a business contract. It is a very practical way to achieve a reasonable standard of living or wealth for a family. These days people worry more about their present feelings rather than the long term structure of their lives and lives of their offspring.

Saying this as someone who's been at it for 19 years (with kids). Everyday is an opportunity to decide to be happy.

fly_on_the_wall said...

I am ready for marriage but I`m not prepared for divorce. It`s not an option for me. I`m not holding out for perfection, but I`ve realized that just because there`s nothing necessarily wrong in a relationship doesn`t mean it`s the right relationship to take to the next level. And when you lose sight of that setlling becomes very easy. I`ve been accused of being apathetic when it comes to marriage, and maybe there`s some truth to that because the idea of being married doesn`t really concern me all that much. I am more than just my relationship status.

Vee said...

People don't settle just in marriage. They settle in relationships too. A lot of people seem to think that being in some sort of relationship is better than being alone, even if you're not particularly in love, even if you fight all the time, even if your significant other calls you a bitch or a whore all the time and tells you to get out of the apartment... or even if your significant other gets mad at you every single time you go out, whether together or separately, because they're sure you're doing something with someone or at least trying to cheat. Yet it's impossible to tell them "just get out, that's not good" because they're used to it and they're scared of being alone. 

Not all relationships are as extreme as the examples I gave, but they're also not "true love" or even true friendship, in which you can appreciate the other even if you're not in love with them. Friendship is the basis of any good relationship, in my opinion. I always tell my friends to look at their boyfriends "from the outside": is that the kind of person you'd want to be friends with? If not, then why are you with him? 

Bettina said...

Been lurking for a minute, your blog has been high quality entertainment these last few weeks!!

Hmm. Of the married folks I know, they 'seem' pretty happy and well-adjusted to the life. I can't think of too many (maybe 2?) stories of folks who got married and are ready to murder each other within a few years.
I can't say I believe in the "one perfect soul mate" thing since there's 7 billion people on the planet, but in my peer group I feel like the married folks did marry the person who was right for them AT THAT TIME. Going into the future, whether they choose to grow together will determine how long it lasts in my opinion.

So I guess I feel like it there's two parts to it:

 1) Finding someone that suits you, not just someone who's convenient or who "put in the time" i.e. not just a sense of obligation, and

2) Choosing to grow together going forward and taking the necessary steps to support that goal (spending time, caring about the other person's hopes/dreams/plans and making an effort to accommodate both of your dreams

Rosalind G said...

I think it's both, Michele. I think too many people hold out for that perfect soul mate, and when s/he doesn't show, they settle. I've been divorced longer than I was married, but I know that since my divorce I've been tempted to settle with men I got along "well enough" with.

But, I just can't shake the feeling that if I settled, I would miss out on the man GOD was preparing me for, or preparing for me. So, I wait. And, in that waiting, I've *become* 100% okay knowing I may never marry again (it was a process). Shoot, I've grown to like being single so much, a man would pretty much have to be The Rock to make me want to give it up, LOL. Not really, but you get my point. :D

JojoRaze said...

I love that quote from Judge Mablean.  However, it was "Look deep before you leap!"  It makes anyone with a shred of brain cell see that marriage is no joke and requires more thought than popping a chiclet.

EvolvingElle said...

I'm at the age now where most of my friends are married or are in serious relationships.  I believe most of them are happy and didn't settle.  Even though when I was home this weekend, a friend stated that although her husband is a good man and a great father, she wishes she had experienced a little more before getting married (They've dated since she was 19 and got married when she was 24).  Not sure if that's really relevant to your question, but I thought I'd share that.  I did tell her that the grass is not always greener on the other side. 

Growing up, I had a life plan, which included me being married by my current age (30) with at least one child.  I can honestly say that I have no marriage prospects and am not jumping up and down to be a mother at the moment. 

I believe people show you what they want you to see.  And most people appear to be happy.  But you don't know what sacrifices were made in order for them to get to where they are.  I do have to admit I'm a little leery of people who are always professing their love for their mate/spouse on social media.  If everything's so great, who are you trying to prove it to?  Those people that are close to you, like your family and real friends, know how  you feel about each other, so why all of the dramatics and production???

I know my worth, and I truly believe that's why I'm still single.  I don't put up with a lot of bs just to say "I have a man".  I can be miserable by myself.  I honestly would LOVE to have a monogamous relationship at this point, but I don't have to make wedding plans anytime soon.  And I believe that if most people were honest with themselves, people would wait on getting married and we would have a lower divorce rate in this country. 

Kitadiva2 said...

Got a cousin who did this 3 times.  Yes three.  Each marriage lasted a year or less.  The weddings were beautiful though.   She is  33 years old.   

All this rushing to the altar, that can wait for me.  Am I looking for a great relationship with a great guy - YEP, sure am!!  But I had the privilege of experiencing marriage up close courtesy of my folks.  They are together 39 years strong, but there was a battle here are there and a lot of work too. Romantic dreams about marriage are filtered out by reality real quick.  I and the RIGHT guy are worth the wait and work.  Until that happens, I am strolling alone and I'm good.

Chance said...

lol @ "boils my grits".....I haven't heard that saying in a minute!
Javalicious 
But for real, I do agree with you. I am not trying to just pick any ol' body either. For me, I have some generational curses/cycles I'm trying to break, so I am going to be very particular/prayerful concerning this life choice. People don't realize it, but this can truly alter the course of not just our own lives, but also the lives of any children that could come as a result of the union. Trust me, I have seen the affects "just choosing someone who's good for the moment" does to the children. It's not pretty.

Ms.LTB said...

 My cousin was in her 40's and childless.  She went to the doctor expecting to have a procedure done and they came out and told her they couldn't because she was pregnant.  God does things when he wants and she's one delighted mommy.

Shareef Jackson said...

A huge part of marriage is having faith that things will get better.  That's not saying that you don't do anything - as a matter of fact, the faith is what drives me to work as hard as I can in my marriage - but it does mean that there will be ups and downs as you pursue "the plan".  There will be times of unhappiness and such.

I really don't think the choices that you give are really that separate. You should always hold out for a soul mate, but the definition of a soul mate isn't someone that completes fits every good thing. It's finding another flawed human being that you're willing to faith in to ride out the waves.

nylse said...

Marriage benefits the man and the woman; after all, a real marriage is not a one sided affair (forgive the word choice).  
The children belong to both - you do know it takes two to make them and two to raise them and they are forever attached to both of you regardless of who is footing the bill.
the ceremony may be a "look at me fest" for the bride and that's not even necessarily true, but the marriage benefits both.

sounds like you've been burnt by a bad relationship.  maybe men need to change their attitudes toward marriage also - based on what you're saying.
i been married a lonnnnnng time, to a brother, no less!!!

UKDating said...

Psychology. Anything not-said, not-done, etc. grows lagger and larger with years. But we can fix it if we try. 

Uniform Dating UK

One Chele said...

Ditto...

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