I had a conversation with someone last evening which made me think about one of the wrong reasons people get married.
Some people get married because they want to be identified as some one's spouse. I think this reason holds true for both men and women. But sadly, I think that it holds more true for women than men.
Some years back, I was in a car with a friend of mine and her husband to be. I was not too fond of her choice of husband as I considered him to be extremely arrogant and way too full of himself. But hey, I was not the one that was going to have to live with the guy, so I tried my best to tolerate him.
The conversation in the car shifted to where she talked about wanting to quit her job eventually and become a stay at home mom. Nothing wrong with that. It is an admirable thing to do even if it is not something I want for myself. But what got to me was his attitude on the matter. He said that she had just gotten a promotion for her new job (the engagement) and she will be getting another promotion in June (the wedding). It seemed to me that he was already shaping her identity into his. It seemed to me the beginings of a dysfunctional relationship. I was rather disgusted.
When my mother was alive, she would talk about a certain woman that we knew as having a high status because she was the wife of a lawyer. My mother would exclaim, "But she is a lawyer's wife." I would then say, "So what? What about her? What does she do? What type of person is she?" To that my mother would reply, "She is a lawyer's wife." You can see that conversation would go no where.
I think it is important to maintain your own sense of identity. Even if the person is a stay at home mom. Have your own identity, your own interests, your own opinions, and your own life outside of the relationship/marriage. This is critical for emotional self-preservation. Otherwise, you lose your own self. You will also lose respect. Respect from yourself and other people.
Above all else should be respect.
The man who respects you for who you are outside of his identity is the man to have and to hold and cherish for the rest of your days.
Without respect, there is nothing.
Above all else should be respect...
(Painting by Edmund Blair Leighton. This is a painting I particulary like and seems to fit the post.)