Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Help, I hate romance!


I recently had a bit of a girl talk evening with my room-mate. We were talking about D’s work (because he is doing so well and will probably get promoted soon) when she burst into a big smile.

“So….. you think he’s marriage material?!” she grinned.

“Uh. Hm. Yeah sure.”

And with an even bigger grin: “So, can you imagine getting married to him one day?”

And I went silent. Thinking. And then I said.

“I’m not sure. No I can’t imagine myself being married some day at this point. No.”

Isn’t it funny how our own honesty shocks us at times? If she wouldn’t have asked me, I wouldn’t have thought about it. Of course she wanted to know why not. And here’s what I feel like right now.

D is a great person – hard worker, gentle, smart, funny, sexy, understanding, awesome with kids. He’d be a great husband, and an even better Dad. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

But I’m afraid of marriage. I’m afraid of what marriage is to me, what I have been taught marriage is. You see, I only know two extremes: The fundamentalist marriages, and the supposedly terrible secular marriages. I don’t want to be a submissive, meek wife and lose everything I dream of these days. I don’t want to go back to where I’ve been. I don’t want to waste everything I sacrificed just to end up back in the old ways. And I also don’t want one of these marriages the fundamentalists talk about: The man lazy and fat, cheating on his wife, going to swingerclubs, terrible kids. It’s all I know, and I want neither.

I realize there’s got to be more but I just can’t imagine what it would look like. I have just tasted freedom and marriage seems like a prison now.

After I explained this, she pulled a grimace and said “But I thought you wanted kids at some point?”

“Yeah I do”

“So, what, are you going to go European on us and just have them out of wedlock?” she giggled.

“I don’t know” is what I said.

“I think that would be the best solution” is what I felt like saying.

Funny how my own honesty shocks me.


11 thoughts on “Help, I hate romance!

  1. If and when the person and time are right, you’ll know it. Given your gut reaction, it’s not time. Might it never be time? Maybe – and that’s OK. There is no magic “marriage formula” and every relationship is as different as the individuals in that partnership. If/when two people know they want to build a life together and have certain legal protections is the time to think about marriage. Trying to force anything – whether because of religious or secular societal expectations or personal goals/needs/fears – is a recipe for disaster (or at least unhappiness). Been there, done that… Be honest with yourself, listen to yourself, and set aside all the rest. It’s your life, heart, and future – you have the freedom to live and love as you choose.

  2. well, marriage doesn’t have to be split into those two categories, you construct your own marriage and one that you and your partner would cherish! πŸ˜‰

  3. Marriage for you would probably look a lot like your life looks right now. You will be mutually respectful and supportive of each other. You would work out who did what chores either based upon who liked doing them or who was available to do them. Marriage doesn’t change a relationship. Marriage is a legal contract. Being married is also a commitment. Two people are committing themselves to the other person to love and support them in good times and in bad, no matter what. I does not and should not change who that person is. It just gives each spouse certain rights that are not available without marriage. For example, if you or D were in an accident, right now neither of you would have the right to decide on treatment and might not even be notified by authorities of the accident. With marriage, you would be notified first and asked to make the decisions on treatment if he wasn’t able to. There is also legal protection in property ownership, if there is any property owned. This is one reason why gays are wanting the right to be married. Many of them are losing their life partners and finding that they have little or no rights to the properties the two accumulated together. They are then in long-standing legal battles with parents or siblings of their life partner who disdained their relationship and lifestyle and now are carting off everything from stereo systems to automobiles because legally, the family now owns it and not the person the deceased spent his/her life with.

    Marriage is not or should not be set in stone by a “church” or group. It’s something that should be developed by the two people in it. What works for me and my husband may never work for any other couple on the planet. Nor should it. It’s a relationship of mutual respect.

    A baby without marriage–I thought that was the new American normal not “going European”. A baby is also a lot of work, as you already know. Being the only parent for the first few weeks or even ever with having to pay for everything from diapers on up and being the only person on call when the baby is sick and not allowed in day care can be emotionally and financially debilitating. It can be done, but it’s much easier when there are two parents.

  4. You can have your partner with you and have a baby and NOT get married. Not married doesn’t equal “alone” or “having to pay for everything”. I did the out of wedlock thing, and it was great. We finally got married for the tax break, and it didn’t have the terrible effects I’d feared, but not being married was also great.

    • This. I’d been together with my boyfriend 10 years in October. We live together, we share the chores (in fact he does more than me because of circumstances), we discuss stuff before deciding on the solution, … For us marriage is only a paper but we’ll probably get married sooner or later fort he tax break. We are already on a committed relationship.

      The important thing is that you and your partner are on the same wavelength more or less. You haven’t been dating for so long and you are still studying so you don’t have to bring the topic right now but as the relationship advances you’ll start talking about this kind of stuff (how life as a couple would be, how many kids each person wants, how each person wants to raise the kids, how marriage life would be, what type of wedding, …). For example we decided we wouldn’t get married until we both had finished our careers, were working and had been living together for a good while (nothing forces you to acknowledge faster the small annoying habits (for you) that the other person has that living with them together for a year).

  5. Aww! You have so much time, though. There’s no rush. All marriage is is a symbol—and if that symbol has negative connotations for you, there’s no need to go there. My “husband” and I have beeen together thirteen years, living together for twelve, have two children and a better relationship than either of our conventionally-married parents did at this stage. If we lived somewhere that didn’t recognize common-law marriage, we might be more strongly inclined to tie the knot formally, but where we live the tax-status etc. is identical.

    For most people around here (Canada), all marriage is is a way to announce (mostly to extended family) that yes, you realy are actually serious about this person. It really doesn’t have much to do with your relationship itself.

  6. I plan to marry my partner, but as a not-religious person, the ceremonial aspect of it is really unappealing to me. If the state didn’t incentivize marriage so incredibly much, I probably wouldn’t bother but it’s not because I am afraid. It’s simply that it doesn’t really matter to me.

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  8. I just wanted to encourage you as a wife myself, that a true marriage does not look like either extreme that has so unfortunately been preached. My husband and I are best friends first, and also lovers. He deeply respects and cherishes me as a person, which means everything about me. He seeks my opinion, and welcomes my criticism (most of the time.) It works the other way too most of the time. I love him deeply, and really do think he is an amazing person, which comes across to him as true respect. We are both committed Christians, and our faith is the foundation of our marriage. But I have known many secular couples who have also had wonderful marriages that spring from their understanding and respect of each other.

    Just a few thoughts triggered by your post. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. I’m much the same way. I am 44 now and I’ve chosen not to marry. I’m now, finally, seeing a man who values me but I’m still convinced I don’t want to get married.

    Everyone tells me to go with the flow and not worry about it. That’s what I’m doing. We are not even close to making that kind of commitment so I’m not going to worry about it.

    Daniel loves you very much and you amaze me. It took me 15 years of being alone before I could undo the damage my dad inflicted on me to where I did not pick someone who would abuse me.

    Don’t worry about marriage. There is no need to. When the time comes you can trust yourself to make the right decision about your future. You have made great choices for yourself sence you left. Just go with the flow πŸ™‚ it will all be okay.

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