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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Waiting for Happiness

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about "Waiting." I have had similar thoughts lately about this stage of life before marriage, so I went back and read that post. My thoughts now are similar but I am now seeing something different. When with some of my singles friends, I often hear things like, "When I am married" or "My husband would deal with this." I hear "If I was married, then..." and "Im Yirtze Hashem soon..." I hear these things from women who didn't wait - women who are independent and successful. Who have professions and busy lives full of activities. But they just are not happy. And they expect to be happy once they marry. They expect marriage to work some kind of magic and make all the unhappiness and difficult times in their lives go away. They expect their spouses to take care of all problems, and even if their potential spouse can't do that, then just the state of being married should make things so much easier. They feel they can't be happy with their single, same-sex friends, they need someone of the opposite gender to fulfill their lives. It's not that I don't want that - I really do. I can't wait to come home to my husband, to share the details of my day-to-day life with someone. To take care of someone and have someone take care of me. To really love. I want it very badly. But not to the point of being unable to enjoy anything else in life. Not to the point that when I am out with my other single friends, I am unable to have fun because I am wishing that I am there with my spouse. And not to the point of feeling that marriage will make all the challenges go away - I know that there will be different challenges. I think it is detrimental to a single to be unhappy because of their status and to depend on the hope of a changing status to fulfill them in life. I think being unhappy only makes getting married harder - a desperate and unhappy person is not someone that I want to date, and it does come across in one's attitude as you are getting to know a person. I am not saying someone should be content being single - they should want to get married. But to be miserable to the extent that they can't enjoy their lives and friends while they are single, I think is a huge problem. And I think it is going to carry over into married life as well. The expectation that marriage will solve everything and that your spouse will fulfill everything you are missing is unrealistic and destined to fall flat. Which is scary. It scares me. Because if my spouse thinks I am going to solve all his problems, I am going to fail him. Because I'm definitely not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. So I guess what I am seeing now is a different kind of waiting - a waiting to be happy. With oneself, with one's life, with one's friends and with one's accomplishments. And I refuse to wait to be happy. Because only I can make that happen.


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