One night there was a round of “girl talk” regarding male-female relationships. This conversation took place about 2:00 am after a party and all or most of the participants were pretty well inebriated. I have never forgotten what the hostess of the party shared. She was divorced but she and her ex were still on speaking terms if not “friends”. She said she asked him where she went wrong and he told her “women are so desperate”. He told her that women stop at nothing to get or hold on to a man. Rather than being offended by this statement, I could see the validity of his observation, in fact, I saw it in some men as well.
I was in my late twenties and had never been married, a condition that was unacceptable to my family. I had been pushed and prodded toward relationships and even marriage with men who were totally wrong and some even unhealthy for me. When I questioned why they were so desperate for me to get married, they told me that they knew I wanted to get married. One family member even told me that my life was “sad” because I was actually enjoying my single life. As difficult as it is to admit, I became desperate to show my family that I could get and keep a man.
At times, I would attempt to push relationships to be more serious than I even wanted them to be. I knew that while I enjoyed spending time with various men, there wasn’t any one who was a “good fit”. Honestly, deep down I liked not being responsible to any one person for reasons that go deep into my childhood.
I ended up in a 7- year relationship and 3 – year marriage with someone who was very abusive, physically, verbally and emotionally. Even though he was very unlikable, my family, with the exception of my father, seemed happy that I had finally found someone with whom to settle down. Let me put in a disclaimer here by saying that my family did not know about the physical abuse.
My point is that I experienced the desperation first hand. Oh how sad, you say, yes it is sad but I was not alone in this push toward marriage. It is something that has been passed down from generation to generation, the pressure to settle down, be a good provider, marry, and to have children. I believe that if some women were not shamed or driven into settling down, they might have made better choices.
I understand that times have changed and hopefully there is less pressure toward marriage but I am still seeing the desperation. Women and/or girls are still getting pregnant to force men/boys into relationships and/or marriage though admittedly neither are a requirement to having a child in this day and time (no judgment here). Parents still don’t understand why their sons and/or daughters are not married, why they prefer another woman to a man or man to a woman, why their career is more important than marriage, and/or why their relationships don’t last. I see women pushing relationships that just don’t work as evidenced by the high divorce rate.
Continued in Part Two