Getting married is not an accomplishment.
Updated: May 28
Every achievement you make in life, no matter how big or how small deserves its own little reward. In another world, I’d be celebrating with champagne - but that’s rather prohibitive if like me, you enjoy celebrating the small stuff.
I read an article by Natalie Brooke in the Huffington Post a month or so ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It’s titled “Getting married is not an accomplishment.”
The theme of the article is essentially how society places more value on women based on their marital status. Other accomplishments, like getting a degree, opening a business or landing a great job are held in less esteem, and it’s time to re-think how we value women. I agree wholeheartedly.
Women today can choose not to marry, not to have children; sit on a mountain in Tibet and live with the monks. This is amazing, though there’s still a way to go.
I’ve done all the things the author writes about that should be valued as accomplishments: worked my backside off to get two degrees, landed great jobs that paid extremely well and have my own business. Then in 2012, we left it all behind to find a simpler life in Vietnam. Because despite the hype, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All these things, including getting married and having children, were all celebrated with bubbles of some kind.
Essentially, the piece is on the money. I struggle with “You don’t have to have a brain, drive or special skill set to get married. You just have to have a willing partner.”
I disagree, after nearly 20 years of marriage, what you absolutely need to have to get married is a brain, drive and a special skill set. For that matter, so does your partner. Because when you make that decision, it’s life-changing!
Aside from the dress and confetti (rose petals of whatever the hell you want thrown at you when you walk down the aisle), your decision in your life partner is the most important decision you will make. Once the big day is over, it’s then time for the rest of your life and in that life, you will learn the golden rule: compromise - a very special skillset that you’ll use daily for the rest of your married life and will enrich your life in other areas too - though probably best not to celebrate each compromise unless you have a family discount at the Betty Ford Clinic.
So let’s not take the big day too seriously, and of course, let’s celebrate all our sisters’ achievements in whatever field they make them. Let's not forget the fella's either because they are along for the ride as well. They are allowed to celebrate too!
Though don’t discount the importance of the accomplishment you have made if you choose to marry or take a life partner. You don’t need a willing partner: you both need to be the “right” partner.
Jobs will come and go. You’ll change, your goals will change, your life will change, and your marriage (long after the bells and whistles) will need to survive the journey.
So here’s a toast to everyone who has achieved something! Let’s break out the bubbles or that special treat for every success. I’ll see you all in detox!