A lot of people think marriage is constricting and it takes away your freedom, but I disagree. My single life wasn’t completely terrible, but it didn’t really feel like freedom. The only thing you’re not necessarily free to do after marriage is sleep around with random people, and I was never really into that anyway. The guys who just hit it and quit it as if I wasn’t even human were bad enough, especially the ones who were rude enough to sneak out while I was asleep and leave my apartment door unlocked so anyone could just come in and kill me if they wanted to. Thanks a lot! Even if you didn’t want something serious with me, you should still be a decent enough person to give a shit about my safety. The ones I actually dated were worse.
Every guy I dated was judging me on things that I didn’t feel like I should have to change about myself to be loved, like my physical imperfections, my affinity for sleeping in rather than getting up early in the morning to go to the *gag* gym, my vices, and my unconventional/antiestablishment views. I thought I had to pretend to be a more “socially acceptable” person or I’d definitely die alone.
Worst of all, I had to pretend I was okay with socializing when my introverted self was mentally exhausted and wanted nothing more than to spend the evening at home peacefully. I’d tell myself not to be a buzzkill, go to all the social events because I can’t let my friends down and I never know if I might meet my future husband there. I’m an atheist so I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but pretending to be an extrovert when I’m a 100% textbook introvert is as close to hell as I can imagine.
By the time I met my husband, I had stopped giving a shit about any of it and I was okay with dying alone if that was the only way I could be my true self. That was when I started becoming really free. When I did meet him, I unapologetically refused to put on any airs to impress him. I figured he’d be just like all the others, so what was the point? That was when he surprised me. No matter how many times I put him in the back burner, he kept popping back up to let me know that he was still there and just waiting for a chance. When I finally gave him that chance, I wasn’t disappointed. He wanted the same things I did and wasn’t afraid of commitment. Best of all, I could be 100% honest about who I am for the first time in my life and still be loved.
About two years after we met, we got married and adopted our dogs. Since then, I’ve been 100% free and 1000% happy. I don’t have to pretend I like getting up early or working out. I don’t have to feel ashamed about my imperfect body or my vices, and I can be completely honest about my opinions. In this household, it just makes for more interesting conversation. Best of all, I don’t have to go out when I don’t want to or make an excuse as to why I can’t. I can answer honestly “I am mentally exhausted and cannot handle socializing right now, so I’d prefer to stay home.” It’s amazing to be able to be myself and still be loved. This is the ultimate freedom.
I realize that not everyone has this kind of amazing marriage, and that makes me sad for them. Some people just aren’t capable of the depth of love required to have this kind of relationship. For example, if I had made the mistake of marrying my abusive ex, it really would’ve been a ball and chain. So I guess my best marriage advice is to not marry an abusive judgmental asshole.