I have been married.
I have been not married.
When asked if I will ever marry again, my typical response is “I have no idea what marriage is.”
However, this is what I believe marriage is not…
Marriage is not laying beside another person night after night, crying yourself to sleep while the other person obliviously sleeps soundly.
Marriage is not being told by your partner how to act or what to say at a social gathering as to not embarrass them.
Marriage is not giving a “daily report” about your children to their other parent, who chooses to not see them for days on end, but instead leaves for work before they awake in the morning and comes home well after bedtime.
Marriage is not walking on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop and watching all hell break loose when it does.
Marriage is not the silent treatment.
Marriage is not being told that your feelings and thoughts are invalid.
Marriage is not receiving threatening letters on your anniversary stating a divorce will ensue if you don’t start acting a certain way.
Marriage is not attending extended family gatherings alone with your children because your partner refuses to attend.
Marriage is not watching TV during sex, in an effort to disconnect from the feelings you are being raped, while trying to formulate an answer for when your partner asked to rate their performance.
Marriage is not living for the next time your partner is out of town on business for the week so you can breathe again.
Marriage is not planning every vacation, making all the preparations, and then listening as your partner takes credit for it all.
Marriage is not staying up until 2 AM on Christmas Eve. assembling, wrapping and setting out gifts for your children that have been purchased alone, while your partner is passed out on the couch.
Marriage is not being told lies about your financial situation.
Marriage is not your partner making major life decisions regarding your future with their original family members instead of your input.
Marriage is not based on lies.
I don’t know what marriage is.
However, I’m clear on what marriage is not.