Post # 1
I always wonder why us women are so into marriage, while men just look at it as something they just do when everything else is “in place”. I know not all men are like this, but many are, including mine.
My engagement is being put off for a long time. I’m okay with it. I want SO to be ready and not just propose to make me happy. He has to want it too. I am okay with waiting another year or so before I start getting bitchy about it. But again, my life is being put on hold while everyone else my age is onto their second child. I’m almost 33.
His reasons for waiting is so he can be cancer-free for a while. After his chemo treatments, he wants to be clear for 6-9 months. He also wants more schooling under his belt so that he’s not entering marriage worrying about school, and THEN he will propose. For me, I don’t care how sick I am, if I want to be with someone forever, I make that commitment right away. Yet, I support his reasons even if I disagree with them. He’s the person I want, so if I have to wait, I will do it.
It made me wonder for the millionth time why women as a whole are so much more excited about being “chosen” by a man then men are? I had this discussion with SO last night, and he equated a woman getting married with a man landing a stable career, because if he didn’t have a stable career, he would feel like less of a man. I told him that at my age, going this long in my life without being proposed to sometimes made me feel less of a woman. It wasn’t an emotional, bitchy conversation. It was just a calm discussion. My SO thought it was interesting that I felt that way. I don’t want to feel this way, but with his sister’s wedding next month, these feelings come up. She is much younger than me and her Fiance is a year younger than my SO. They dated 16 months before he proposed and it was a BIG DEAL for everyone in my SO’s family.
Anyone else feel this way?
Post # 3
Gee, we are only programmed for the wedding/marriage thing from day one. We get doll babies and play bride. We are taught to be nuturing. When my niece and I were little girls, we used to go through the Sears catalog picking out our decor for our future homes. We dream of bridal gowns and of being a “princess” on our big day.
That being said, I sometimes despair of women who seem like they could not possibly be happy without being married. Like their life means nothing if they are not married or they are totally wrapped up on that damn marriage proposal. Like all the strides made by women in the past 100 years are meaningless.
Post # 4
The desire to get married is definitely a taught cultural norm, in that as women we’re socialized to think that unmarried at a certain age = something is wrong with her / she desperately wants to get married (except for nuns, I guess). I think it is slowly changing though; it’s more socially acceptable to be an unmarried mother, and fewer and fewer people are getting married.
One of my Fi’s professors is a middle aged woman who just really wanted to be a mother, so she went to a sperm bank and selected who she wanted the “father” to be, and had a child. I say good for her, because she saw what she wanted (a kid) and didn’t let anything (societal norms, lack of a husband) stand in her way.
Post # 5
I think all of these are really insightful posts on cultural norms, but for me and Fiance personally, I can honestly say that he was thinking marrige for us way before I was! He talked about picking out rings way before I ever thought marrige would be on the table and he is definitely a man who has always dreamed about being a husband and a father. Now, this might have something to do with our ages (he’s 25 and I’m 23) but it’s also our personalities and our upbringings and everything else that factors into that equation.
Post # 6
I agree with the PPs, it’s based on cultural and societal expectations, but that is changing.
I think what our focus is on, unfortunately, is the image of being married versus an actual marriage. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors so a lot of individuals are left without a real guide on what a successful marriage is like. And subsequently, we’re only shown the image of a successful marriage if we ever come across it. Who knows if the Smiths next door are genuinely happy with their two children and white picket fence? Go with the flow, or cause societal rifts?
Getting to the point, marriage is relative. I’ve always believed that marriage is a state of mind, and you don’t need a ring or a wedding or even a certificate to prove that. But still we feel the need to be declared married by some body of law (religious or law itself) to be considered valid.
Post # 7
I used to be freaked out about marriage and my SO was actually upset when I told him I might never get married. Now I couldn’t imagine life without my SO and can’t wait for the day I can call him my husband.
Post # 8
Your SO prob wants to make sure he’ll be around for a while and not leave you a widow before marrying you. Im with him on this one but im sure once hes cancer free for some time, marrying you instead of his health will be first priority.
Post # 9
I think its important to be with someone who is on the same page. Now a days our society is backwards and has changed some for the better and some IMO for the worst.
Post # 10
In my experience most men aren’t actually like this. Yes career is important, but most of my friends and DH’s friends love being engaged and married. I think most men are not nearly as excited about the wedding and planning that goes into it, but they are very excited about the marriage and commitment.
Post # 11
@JustHappy: This. Odds are the man is actually more ready for the marriage, while some women just want the wedding but don’t care as much about boring old everyday life that follows it.
Post # 12
I think men and women (if you’re on the same page. for arguments sake, say both in love and ready for marriage) are both excited about marriage and being husband/wife. I agree with @JustHappy: in saying that they probably AREN’T super thrilled about the WEDDING portion. All the money, all the details, all the MILLIONS of things that they never thought you needed, but that us women KNOW you have to have. I mean men are seriously clueless on what goes into a wedding. Nevermind that, you add on what we see in mags, tv and movies…since childhood! I remember going to weddings and thinking “oh my Godddd…I cannot wait to do this” It’s so awesome 🙂 Haha
I am so excited to be married! I already have the greatest man on planet EARTH with all the love in the world to give, so that part will never change…that’s what makes the wedding and planning itself so exciting.If that makes any sense. But I agree with what every else has said…it’s just wired into us like being the protector/provider is wired into our men.
Post # 13
@JustHappy: I agree, if he knows what he wants in life, knows he wants to be with you and have a family, etc, he’ll be excited. If he’s not excited, there’s something else going on.
Post # 15
I think his comparison is kind of off, at least for my Darling Husband and I – I’m VERY career oriented and get huge gratification from my job, but for me the excitement and accomplishment of being successful at my job is very different from my excitement and accomplishment with my relationship with my husband. They’re not parallel and I’m not sure I think they would be for different sexes.
However, my husband was the first one excited about marriage and the one toeing the line for our engagement (I was never waiting, etc), so I also don’t have your type of experience with my Darling Husband. Everyone’s story is different.
Post # 16
@KT808: I agree with you. Women are programmed to want marriage by society. Men on the other hand are programmed to want to have the nicest house, most money, etc. to be considered happy and successful by society.