Even if you don’t like country, just have a glass of wine and listen to the lyrics; give it a chance.
Even if you don’t like country, just have a glass of wine and listen to the lyrics; give it a chance.
An editied version of this article originally appeared on HaveHeart Magazine October 1st 2014 (Photo is courtesy of HaveHeart Magazine) You may link to this article here:http://haveheartmagazine.com/kind-marriage-ship-sailing/#sthash.fkr0mZi8.dpbs
What Kind Of Marriage Ship Are You Sailing?
By Tina Zita
Single people are often thought of as “lost at sea” when their friends sail ashore in a matrimonial boat made for two. I sense that some of my friends think of me as lonely and adrift because I’ve remained a single woman. Truth be told, I am not a particular fan of marriage, enjoy my solitude, and was hoping my friends marriages would serve to alter my perspective. In actuality, many of their unions have left me more determined to never drop anchor. I’m not a marriage counselor, but I’ve learned a few things from watching my coupled friends repeat behavioral patterns over the years, and while I realize one incident is not indicative of a whole marriage; the examples below have taught me a lot about what can go wrong and right:
The Rough Water Couple: This couple invited me over to a party. I walked in and the husband proudly showed me his homemade marinade, filled my glass with wine, and complimented his wife’s beautiful table setting. As I sat down to eat, I witness his wife humiliate him for making a mistake in front of their guests and become infuriated when he carried out the BBQ meat on the wrong plate. This example of marriage didn’t look like fun to me, it was rough water. I wanted to take my friend by the arm and whisper, “What is wrong with you? This man loves you and worked hard on this meal. Was his plate choice really important enough to berate him in front of your mutual guests?” It was embarrassing for us and for him; he wasn’t the same the rest of the night.
“Mary and Jimmy” A Smooth Sailing Couple: When they invite me over for BBQ’s, I’ve noticed Mary will kiss Jimmy on the cheek while he is grilling, bring him a cold drink and says things like, “Thanks babe, this all taste great!” Jimmy usually brings her plate before his own, accompanied by a wink and a genuine happiness to serve her. I see this caring attitude reciprocated when it’s Mary’s turn to cook. I’ve learned a lot by spending time with this couple. They are both attractive people, but their charming interactions shine the brightest in any social gathering—like a lighthouse pointing the way back to safety.
Lesson Learned: Appreciate your husband and take notice when he is working hard. Don’t ever shame a man in front of family and friends, ever.
The Woman Who Forgot How To Navigate: I know a woman who has forgotten how to steer her own ship and morphed into her husband. I don’t know what happened to her? Each time we get together I hear things like, “Tim and I just love this color.” The problem is, I’m not talking to Tim, and I miss hearing her individual opinion. While dining at a new restaurant she’ll say, “Oh, Tim will love this dish, we just love garlic.” (Yawn) I wonder to myself if Tim enjoys all of his taste preferences decided for him by his wife. Maybe Tim has changed his mind and now prefers a different color and has developed an aversion to garlic? We’ll never know, because Tim has lost his voice and developed an identical twin.
“Lisa and Mike” A Smooth Sailing Couple: Lisa and Mike have remained individuals and even though they miss each other dearly when they are apart, they encourage each other to take separate trips with friends. Especially, when it’s something the other has no interest in; they don’t fake it, begrudgingly attend, or texted and call nonstop ruining the others experience. Just last week, Lisa began to ramble on at dinner deciding if she had to choose between becoming a werewolf or a vampire, which she would rather embody. Mike never interrupted her; he laughed and listened patiently until she finally determined that she would become a werewolf. Her reasoning being that she is lazy, and becoming a werewolf would only require her to run at full speed and hunt on full moons. Mike smirked, reached for the bread basket and said, “Good choice, I want to find you naked in the forest!” We all roared with laughter! He didn’t take the opportunity to say something rude about her self-proclaimed laziness; the respect among these two remains constant. I appreciate that I’ve never had to witness them put each other down or speak for one another in my presence. They choose to acknowledge themselves as individuals saying things like, “Oh, you’ll have to ask Mike, I wonder if he would enjoy that?” or “Hey, I wonder if Lisa would be interested in going to that concert?” Mike still flirts with Lisa and she’s equally as smitten, routinely latching onto his side as they walk to the car like a couple of teenagers. Did I mention that everyone in our group of friends is nearing 40? By the looks of their sails, you would never know it.
Lesson Learned: Don’t lose your own voice or speak for your partner. Marriage joins two people, sure, you cohabitate and all of that, but you still have individual brains!
The Fanatical Manipulator: My friend I’ll call “Paige” is a college graduate that consistently made top honors. She is one of the most intelligent, funny, capable women I’ve ever known. (That was until she got married.) Her husband became fanatical about his beliefs and does not possess anywhere near the mental capacity for learning that she does. His mounting insecurities compel him to attack her self-esteem becoming so relentless in his pursuit of her confidence; that she has actually begun to believe that she is not viable without him. When her family and friends try to build her up and help her out of her funk, he intervenes, promises to change, and cleverly uses what he perceives to be her “weaknesses” as a means to guilt her back into submission. According to him, she is not zealous enough about his viewpoints and needs to change course. We’ve even heard him say, “Wipe that make-up off your face you look ridiculous!” The truth is, she looked absolutely stunning and merely had on mascara and lipstick! This is an example of a ship headed for rocks.
“Cassie and Matt” A Smooth Sailing Couple: The best example of marriage I’ve ever seen has been that of my friends, Cassie and Matt. They are an inspiration! Matt admires and builds up Cassie in all things, like the time she momentarily took up knitting and made Breaking Bad inspired “Yo Bitch” pot holders. He proudly hung them on the wall making certain we all noticed how creative his wife was and even took orders. When they began to plan their wedding it only took them a month! (I didn’t even think that was possible?) Neither of them stressed over minor details the whole event was fun, relaxed, and low maintenance. They weren’t concerned with which flowers to choose or what color the napkins should be. Their excitement centered on making their union official and enjoying the after party alongside family and friends. When we have Scrabble parties, they are still amused and astonished by each other’s ability to be clever and innovative. Matt never tries to tell Cassie “how to think” if he did, she would toss him overboard and I get the sense he admires that quality in her. Cassie allows Matt the freedom he needs to evolve and never criticizes him, she just quietly pulls ropes alongside him, hoisting the sails, tanning her legs, and trusting Matt’s ability to lead them into their next adventure.
Lesson Learned: Don’t suppress your intellectual abilities for a partner that can’t keep up. A secure person will be inspired by your strengths, not threatened by them.
Cassie and Matt have been together over fifteen years and every time I am around them, I smile with amazement and am honored to witness their marriage. Experiencing my friends separately heightens the enjoyment, and has a unique way of actually making them seem more inseparable and united in my mind. As far as our group of friends goes, we get to hang out with two awesomely healthy individuals instead of navigating around one unbalanced couple all night long. These examples lead me back to the realization that I still prefer casting my own nets and sailing the seas alone. I don’t want a pirate grifting away my peace, I don’t want to live in a cracked submarine knowing that walls will cave in from the mounting pressure, and I don’t want a captain trying to command a ship that doesn’t belong to him. I will say this, Cassie and Matt’s example of marriage reminds me to lift the tarp off my boat and check for rust on my anchor. When I leave their company and drift back out into the sea of singles, I think, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a sailor that doesn’t want to take over my boat and change it. We’ll elect to drop anchors, choosing to drift separately among the waves, while remaining close enough to communicate, hold each other’s rope calloused hands, and admire the uniqueness of our hulls.
Video from: Film Festivals and Indie Films YouTube
I’ve realized that I am a feminist. It’s been right in front of me my entire life, but I couldn’t admit it. I’ve been in the closet because that word has always made me think of “Man-Haters” and I don’t hate men. I LOVE men. It’s just that I don’t believe in surrendering my life’s direction to a man, which I think leads to emotional manipulation and a loss of identity. People say a lot of things under the guise of love and no one can hurt you as much as a person you loved too hard and in doing so, placed emotional weapons right into their hands.
(They will come back with the tools that you gave them in a moment of loving weakness and whack the shit out of you. Even women do this to each other, no thanks, I’ll keep my weaknesses to myself.)
The Suffrage movement wasn’t that long ago, maybe I just need more time to recover from the thought of a woman being unable to voice her political opinion. I’m actually pretty conservative when it comes to gender roles, I have no problem serving a man dinner and clearing the table. Please note the word, “MAN” those are not very common and because of that, neither is my serving dinner and clearing a table.
(I sound like a man hater.)
I am not a man hater. It’s just that I cringe when I see strong; smart, accomplished women I’ve known become meek, toss away their dreams, and live miserably for the “love” of a man.
(That is not attractive on a man or a woman.)
I see men use religion to hold a woman in a state of emotional guilt and self-doubt, directing her toward introspection saying things like, “You need to pray about your attitude; while he plays a video game.”
(I’m not a man hater. I’ve known some awesome religious men in my time that never told me to pray about my state of mind.)
I want to shake these women and say, “Don’t you know you can have it all? There are men out there that will love you without wanting to change you. There are men out there that will not guilt you into becoming what THEY think you should be. There are men in this world that will not direct you like a puppet, they will happily take a seat and cheer you on.
(True love knows that support in a relationship is a two-way street and reciprocation has nothing to do with gender.)
There are men that won’t hide behind religion to keep you grounded. There are men that won’t talk about faith, they’ll exercise their faith. Real faith confidently sets a woman free. I want to grab some women and say, “Its o.k. to be alone, have you ever tried it longer than a few months? It’s better than these relationships!” But if you want a man, “Just be yourself!” There are men that will feel invigorated by your idiosyncrasies and not expect you to change, but he won’t change either, because real love doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not.
A woman I know said, “I begged “Justin” for this mug and he let me have it, I really wanted the set of four but he said, “No, just one.” She is 45, married to “Justin” and an accomplished teacher with a Masters in communication. I didn’t know what to say? I tried to smile politely wanting to say, “Oh, that’s great what a cute mug!” But I stood there in shock with my eyes open wide and everything inside of me asking why a woman would do this to herself on purpose? Then I heard a closet door creak open, finally said, “F*&^ it and hopped out.” I can’t pretend anymore, because I know that love doesn’t do that, and I love myself enough to come out into the light. It’s time to call Gloria…Gloria can you hear me?
Even People magazine didn’t touch that? I don’t care how famous or kind you are, It’s creepy. Yes, it’s a tragedy, he died in his prime, he was handsome and talented, but no grown man has any business dating a 16-year-old girl. I don’t have children, but if I had a 16-year-old daughter you know what I would say? I would say, ” The final answer is NO. Pout, cry, do whatever you want; the result will not change. As your mother, I get to make this choice, and I love you too much to let you start that part of your life too soon. YOU NEED TO DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE AND FINISH PUBERTY. There will be plenty of time for men later….”