Recently, a very happily married woman told me that her marriage doesn’t count as an achievement. I laughed in disbelief and almost spit out my wine. It was like she was describing something that merely happened to her rather than something that took time to make happen. Meeting someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with and marry is no easy feat, especially this day in age. Why isn’t it an achievement?
- It’s hard enough to find someone to date for a few months, let alone years. Before I met my current boyfriend, I remember feeling extreme anxiety about when and how and where I would meet the next guy I was excited about—and that’s just the initial meeting. Whether it lasts longer than a date or a few months is something that you can’t really predict beyond the first encounter with someone. It’s scary AF, so yes, I do believe it’s an achievement when two people have come to a realization that they want to be together forever. It’s beautiful, actually.
- With so many fish in the sea, it’s really easy to be indecisive. Plus, there are, like, 7 billion people in this world. To choose one of those people to marry for possibly the rest of your life is quite the accomplishment. There are so many options! When you finally narrow them down and pick the best one for you, that’s call for a celebration.
- Getting past the fear of divorce is real. If you’re anything like me or my friends, your fear of divorce is much more robust than your fear of marriage, especially since the divorce rates seem to be continually on the rise in our country. It takes courage for some people to get married despite the odds that it truly might not work out for the long haul. Overcoming this apprehension is definitely an achievement.
- You don’t need education or talent to be married, but you need to have a real sense of who you are and what you want. People typically see achievements as having to do with talent or education. Those are are the basis for building skills which contribute to your ability to succeed and achieve. I get it, but it applies here too! Sometimes it takes years to develop a true sense of who you are and what you want in a partner and in your life. Getting to that point isn’t easy for most people, so if you know what that means for you and you use that to find a spouse, I’d consider that a major achievement!
- Choosing the same person every single day is a totally an achievement. Part of marriage as I understand it is the ability to wake up and choose the same person every day. It’s choosing to take care of them, to love them and to do what is best for them in addition to doing those things for yourself. That is not easy! Some days I don’t want to choose anyone except for myself, so the level of selflessness necessary to achieve that amazes me.
- Succeeding in life with someone else seems pretty ideal. Like most modern women, I fully expect to crush life on my own because I’ve prepared for it. That being said, crushing life with someone else by my side that I can turn to through thick and thin sounds pretty special too. It might sound a bit idealistic and romantic, sure, but I believe that two heads are better than one. Two heads crush more life together.
- As long as you’re just as proud of your other achievements, I think it’s totally fine. Often times people scoff at women that believe their marriage is an achievement because sometimes they place their marriage above other achievements like graduating college or buying their first home. To me, as long as a woman possesses equal pride for all of her accomplishments however she defines them, then society should support her. Achievements are subjective. You might not think that a promotion at work is a big achievement for you while another person doesn’t care. Let’s focus on empowering women and celebrating them rather than tearing them down, shall we?
- Aiming for everlasting love means you have high standards. Some people believe that women who believe that marriage is an achievement somehow settle more often than women who don’t. This logic perplexes me because most goal-oriented women that I know would never settle for just anyone or anything. Ambitious women want the best relationships, the best jobs, and the best opportunities. If a woman aims high and gets what she aimed for, I would consider that an achievement, wouldn’t you?
- It’s not like it’s required. Marriage isn’t required, but neither is graduating from college or having a child or buying a home. You don’t need any of these things to live a successful, happy life and yet we’re much quicker to recognize those things as achievements over marriage. I think people are against realizing marriage as an achievement because they have this view that society believes it’s required or strongly recommended. Maybe that was the case 40 years ago, but not so much anymore. This is 2017! Marriage is completely optional, but when it happens, it’s pretty damn special.