Lies and Truths About Marriage???

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I was watching Oprah yesterday who’s entire show was about myths and untruths about marriage that no one ever tells you and most people don’t know until after they’re married.

The show had Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristen, who has written a big article in Glamour magazine. She doesn’t blame the downfall of her marriage on Lance. She says that she compromised in her marriage under the belief that a good wife does certain things and she lost sight of who she truly was. She lost herself and soon, she was no longer the woman she had been nor was she the woman Lance had married. Kristen said she made a sarcastic remark one day that she wasn’t opinionated and Lance gave her this crazy look because he didn’t see her as that way and that was an epiphany for her. She had lost her own opinions about most things because her focus was on her family, children, and spouse and she was no longer an individual.

Oprah said that was the reason she never got married – she didn’t want to lose her own identity; her sense of self.

Dr. Robin Smith was also on the show because she’s written a book entitled Lies at the Altar. She said “cold feet” shouldn’t be dismissed – it’s your inner voice trying to tell you something. She said she never congratulates someone who’s recently engaged or asks when the wedding is or the other typical questions. She says she always asks the person, “How do you feel about that?” She said there are 275 questions in her book that people who are engaged, dating, or already married should ask each other. The questions are a little random like, “How do you feel about people dropping by the house unannounced?”. She said the questions are stuff you assume you know but never talk about and once you’re married you’re amazed when you’re wrong.

So, it got me to thinking, do you feel like you lose yourself once you get married? Personally? I don’t. I think it’s important to keep your opions and your purpose and your “truths” because once you start to compromise those things you can get lost but I don’t think it always happens. I think people who never take time out for themselves or never voice their opinion can certainly lose their individuality once they become a spouse but it doesn’t have to be like that. I also don’t agree with the title of her book. I don’t think people intentionally lie at the altar as a general rule. Yes, I’m sure some people get “the gitters” or “cold feet” or whatever you want to call it but I don’t think there are that many people who actually are standing at the altar knowing that they’re making a mistake but go through with it anyway. I think people want to believe the best scenario will happen and are holding out hope that love will conquer all. That was one of the big messages of the show – love is not enough.

What do you guys think?

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10 responses »

  1. My opinions on the matter are basically the same as yours. But I’ll repeat them in my own words anyway LOL.

    I’m not married as of yet, so maybe I’m not capable of fully answering this question. I think it is possible to lose yourself but that it doesn’t happen to everyone. Maybe not even to the majority.

    I don’t feel that I would lose myself. Seriously, if I haven’t in the past seven years we’ve lived together I’m fairly certain I won’t over the next 50 years. I’m very opinionated and a control freak so it would take some major changes for this to happen.

    Regardless fo whether or not you’re married, if you live together, share your everyday life, joys and hardships – other than a legal piece of paper there is no major difference. If you aren’t going to lose your individuality in this case … why would you with a ring on your finger?

  2. If a person is standing at the alter knowing they are making a mistake then there are obviously problems in the relationship to begin with – let alone making that legal commitment. In this case, maybe love isn’t enough.

  3. Interesting. I think the most common mistake that many married couples [including Will and myself] make is there is an expectation that once married, it’s all sorted. No need to work. Just relax and go with the flow. It doesn’t quite work that way.

    IMO, a marriage means making compromises, some easy and some tough, but the biggest key is to ensure that it’s balanced.

    If one makes many more compromises than the other, then one will lose self-sense and along the way, end up resenting the other. Usually over a period of time. To the point where one would no longer feel as an individual.

    Also, IMO, it’s essential to have three – or four if you have kids – sections in a marriage: time and space for the woman alone, time and space for the husband alone, time and space for them as a married couple together [and time and space for the family together if there are kids]. Granted, with kids around, it’d be tough, but couples do have to make time for themselves or they will forget why they were together in the first place.

    People DO change over years, and it’s down to them [and their other halves] to accept those new changes with grace or not.

    That’s a bloody long way round to say I agree with you. 😀

  4. If a person is standing at the alter knowing they are making a mistake then there are obviously problems in the relationship to begin with – let alone making that legal commitment. In this case, maybe love isn’t enough.
    —————–

    I have a friend who, on the altar waiting by their priest, looked at his wife-to-be coming up the aisle, and realised – right there and then – that he doesn’t love her. He also immediately knew that she wasn’t “The One”. Yet he went ahead and married her. They have three children and they are still together.

    He does love her, but not in a way [he feels] she deserves. As far as I know he’s never told her about that relevation and has absolutely no plan to tell her nor leave her. She’s the mother of his children and she’s a good wife with a huge heart, so he feels blessed that his wife is happy and so are their children. That’s all he cares about.

    When he confessed to this to Will [who then told me], I was thoroughly shocked because I didn’t think anyone who’d realised yet went ahead marrying her/him. Although it’s been four years since I learnt this relevation, I’m still wrapping my head around it. Half of me admires him for being there but another half of me feels he was being dishonest. I don’t know.

    The idea of his wife not knowing what went through his mind that day … *shudder* It’d kill me if Will had that thought [I drilled him with questions to make sure!] Will did point out that the friend HAS grown to love his wife, deeply enough to regard her his half, so it balanced out. Fair point.

    OK, I will shut up now. 😀

  5. Wow – I think that would kill me to learn. Not that she ever will maybe, just in my head to think after so many years of marriage and children and almost a farce of love (before he eventually grew to love her).

  6. Oh I definetly “lost” myself in my marriage for quite a while. I was a SAHM when my kids were small and I lost myself big-time. It wasn’t until years later when we split for a year I found “me” again. That’s when I went back and since then things have been ever so much better

  7. What a great topic!!

    It seems like we go into marriage with blinders on and we learn the hard way that marriage requires work, a lot of work. It was a revelation to me when I realized I wasn’t going to love my husband every day, that there are days I don’t like him and he pisses me off. And yet, no matter how mad I may get, I know that a good fight isn’t going to ruin my marriage and ultimately I need him and he needs me to be happy long term.

    Maili makes a really important point about finding time for yourself, as a couple and as a family.

    It’s much easier to get “lost” in being a “mom”. We were married 18 years before we had our son and I never felt “lost”, but I find it’s a constant battle to be more than “mom”.

  8. I agree, sometimes love alone, isn’t enough, but you need to at least start out from there. I can’t imagine marrying my hubby, kmowing that I didn’t love him, or vice versa.

    I agree with Maili’s asertion about the time management needed to stop you from losing yourself in a marriage.

    I’m too independent to ever get sucked in to losing my own identity, but it does happen. I have friends for whom, nothing exists outside their children and their marriage.

    I always wonder how they would deal with it, if it all came crumbling down, e.g. the guy has an affair, and leaves her.

    A good way of making sure you don’t lose yourself, is by making time for your girlfriends. Go out for a meal, eye up a gorgeous waiter, and talk about which hot actor you would leave your husband for. *g*

    Hey, it works for me!

  9. I like what Maili says here:

    “IMO, a marriage means making compromises, some easy and some tough, but the biggest key is to ensure that it’s balanced. ”

    As probably the most recently married so far out of the commenters, I’d have to put this as one of the top successful tips in new married life.

    Occasionally, me or my wife will forget that we do not need to be attached at the hip at all times. Yes, yes, we are now “one” and will naturally do more activities together. But I am finding out that it is important that I still get together with my buddies and play basketball once a week; it’s sill important that my wife leave the house and enjoy time with her friends. Yes, we are “one”, but we are still two separate personalities.

  10. As far as cold feet… people get cold feet about lots of things, like whether they have chosen the right school or the right car. Sometimes cold feet can be because one isn’t sure of themselves or whether they can be the best for their future spouse.
    I think there are TONS of things one doesn’t know about their spouse before they are married. And no number of silly questions in a book is going to help you know someone. MARRIAGE is not about falling in love and staying there forever. Married is about making a commitment to bring your relationship to the next level over and over again forever. Everything (except commitment) fluctuates within marriage, you, him, and everything in between.
    I don’t feel like people are bound to lose themselves in marriage. It can happen and it seems to happen to women more, but it can also be reversed. If you feel pressured to be someone you are not around you significant other, than marriage may not be the best step to take until you have uncovered the reason why you feel that way.

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