Marriage and Happiness

So I was watching Oprah on marriages around the world the other day.  I myself have divorced parents who are both remarried (my father several times).  I have been married for almost 12 years and I am by now means an expert.  I know I love being married and over time my marriage has changed as my husband and I changed.

We married young and at that point we were both still in college and working and living with my grandparents, so it wasn’t as if we were setting up a home or had to cook.  We were tired and just trying to get by.

After college we moved to Bermuda.  There is when we discovered our married selves.  Neither of us had any intention of cooking or cleaning, not because we were lazy or selfish we just weren’t used to doing it for someone else.  We shared the duties and things worked well.  We both worked more than 12 hours a day and enjoyed socializing on the weekend. We adopted 2 cats and had something else to care for and they became our babies.

We moved back to the US almost five years later and settled into an apartment.  There we also split the duties as we both still worked, but now together. Then came our first child.  Then a house.  Then a dog and 2 more cats and one more baby.  At one point I stopped working in a corporate environment and started working at home.  So I took on the majority of cooking and cleaning.  My husband does the outdoors stuff and baths the kids.  I like being a home manager.  I love being with my kids. I love the freedoms I have during the day to share this world with the kids.  I’ve been able to volunteer more and do more with my friends.

I went to college, did a masters degree and was a professional in finance for many years.  At first I was a little sad to have worked so hard to only be staying home as I thought of it.  But it became so much more.  I am the treasurer of an all womens financial club, I can teach my kids various things and help my grandparents and participate in church activities.  I do not miss getting up early, sitting in traffic, working to meet goals for someone else.  I do not miss the long hours with my child in daycare and trying to cram all my living into one weekend each week.

So I was so apphalled when on Oprah Elizabeth Gilbert made the comment that nowadays people want to get married, but no one wants to be a wife.  That no one wants to sacrifice themselves and or their career for a husband or a family.

I love being a wife.  I love helping my kids.  I love my life.  I don’t miss my career.  I don’t want to go through life thinking I’d have to choose.  I do have plans to go back to work when my children are in school and to pursue social services, because I think being a mom and a volunteer has shown me there is so much more to helping people.  But I would not trade being with them while they are young and when they are in school, I will go on trips and be a chaperone and all of those things.  I will bake cookies and keep notes on appointments for my husband.  It’s not a sacrifice.  It’s a decision and a blessing for me.  To me a sacrifice means I am giving something up that is really hurting me to do so.  Leaving work to be there with and for my family is not something that was painful to do. So yes some people in this world do still want to be a wife, it is an honorable part of a family.  And by the way I don’t iron for my husband.  I’ve never learned how to and I have no desire.


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