As people sometimes do, Jason and I are having a disagreement.
Tonight at dinner I said, "I don't think being married is a next-level adulting achievement unlocked".
My theory: A lot of a-holes are married because they have somehow managed to find someone who is willing to tolerate them. This can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the nicest people I've ever met in my life are unmarried and have never been married and I admire them for things like their education and work ethic and other reasons completely unrelated to their ability to walk down an aisle.
Jason was a bit pouty at my theory and said that he thought that finding the right person and getting married to them was indeed an achievement because, well, finding the right person is not easy.
I had actually never thought of it from his point of view before, and I not only like the way he thinks but I will also admit that he has a very good point.
I still kind of think I'm right though.
I know several people who frequently crow about how they've been married for X number of years, and I know for a fact they fight constantly and are pretty much complete dickbags who could literally find no one else to tolerate them. So...yay for them? I mean, that sounds like a pretty miserable life to me, but I guess if being married is what you consider the pinnacle achievement of the world then yes. Fabulous. Good for you.
I say this as someone who genuinely enjoys being married. Don't get it twisted. I love my husband deeply. I genuinely enjoy his company, even after nearly twenty years. He makes me laugh every day. He's a wonderful cook. He compliments me all the time. He's fun and funny and smart and sweet and has the best heart of anyone I've ever met in my life. I am very happy I married him and I am very, very thankful for the life we've built together. I've actually fooled several people into thinking I have my life together...I still don't even know how I've managed that. (Hint: I don't. Not even close)
Yet, I still don't think the actual marriage itself was an achievement.
I could MAYBE go so far as to say that the fact that we've been married for over 14 years and haven't stabbed one another in the eyeball ever is a pretty good achievement, but since it's only 14 years I can't even say that. I mean maybe when it's like twenty or forty years or whatever I can be like, "Yes! We have examples! We know what we are doing!" and actually mean it. Right now I feel like, "Holy crap, we've really just lucked out here. DON'T TELL ANYONE."
Weird, right? That's probably weird.
I don't know. I think I can be happy and proud of the marriage I have without it being the only thing I'm happy and proud of, if that makes sense. I've lamented before that motherhood and weight loss are two of the only things that women get praise for and I find that to be sometimes painfully true, especially when one of those things about me is so ridiculously boring and the other (and my inability to achieve it again) was so very, very painful to my heart for so very, very long. Marriage is like, next-level-this-crap. I've seen several people posting on Facebook about how amazing their marriages are and then within weeks or months it's all over and they are with someone else. I mean, it happens. Zero judgement there. But honestly...you are more than that, right? There are other things that make you who you are.
I mean...there should be, right?
Like I've had this really hard time with my job and how hard it is. I want to be the best person at my job and I work really hard at it. My therapist said to me not long ago, "Even if you lost your job you'd still be a good and worthy person" and I was like, "OH." I mean, it seems stupid that I wouldn't just UNDERSTAND THAT like a normal human being, but yeah. I didn't. So much of my self-worth has always been tied up in my job, so I completely get how so much of someone's self-worth could be tied up in being married. I do.
I still just can't give up my position on this though. I think you can live a very happy, fulfilled life without being married. If you do find the right person, you are blessed indeed but if you don't? Well, you are still okay. You might even be awesome.
Even if your right person completely disagrees with that statement.