8.25.2005

Compromise and Commitment

When I think of marriage I think of the two Cs: Compromise and Commitment.

It's been my experience that so many people feared commitment, and as always, myself being the iconoclast that I am, I have no fear of commitment. My fear is of compromise. In a previous post, I refered to marriage as "setting yourself up to compromise for the rest of your life." Now, I do not necessarily think fear is the right way to describe my feelings toward compromise; I think lack of desire would be more accurate.

I think my ability to be committed to something is nothing short of amazing:
  1. I had a best friend who lied to me, pathologically telling different lies, and I stayed because I felt she needed a friend; I was committed to our friendship.
  2. There was this guy in whom I found significant interest, and if I am being 110% brutally honest with myself, I would acknowledge that he was never really interested in me, and thusly nothing would ever really progress for us at all. However, emotionally [I'm not sure if that is the right word here] I was 110% committed to him for over six years. I hate to give him so much credit but I've learned so much from that experience alone. I've learned that if you aren't on the same page... it never works.
Committment has never been my issue, in part because I think that it is so closely related to determination, in most cases I cannot differentiate between the two. When I want something, I want it. I do not know how to stop until I get it. Even if that means holding on for six years to an empty jar-- only to find six years later that I am inevitably empty-handed.

Another case in point. I do not yet have my undergraduate degree, and at this point I do not yet know when I will. However, I do know that no matter what it takes, no matter how many years, I will not rest without it. Now I will say, that I do have a great job in Marketing right now [not telemarketing or customer service], an acutal marketing position. Many people are telling me that we my current level of education added to my actual intellectual copacity, even without a college degree, I could still easily make more than some people who are already degreed. I do not doubt this possibility, especially since [even though I am in marketing] I've recently been working with the president of my company to re-model our pricing structure for our services in order to maximize our profit margin based on recreating a formula that uses optimized variables instead of concrete values combined with the results of our recession analysis. Even if I am offered a better position, or a higher paying position, that will never be enough for me without a piece of paper which says that I am qualified.

For this reason, mainly above all others, I am in a state where I refuse to pursue any potential relationships of anything other than a friendly nature. I am even quite skeptical about adding friends to the mix--especially male ones. They can be a distraction. I'll tell you guys a secret; my biggest fear right now, is getting into a relationship that leads to marriage, then to kids, and that leads to me never becoming qualified.

My committment to finishing my education comes before any other varible in my life's equation. It comes before my present job [which at 22 sans degree pays me more than many degreed teachers make]; it comes before any sort of lovelife [which has never really been important to me], and in some cases it comes before my friends. What is hard but completely honest, is that I truly believe finishing comes before everything but God in my life. Once I am back in for the long haul, if my friends can't understand that school comes before them, then that is their on misfortune-- same goes for family. And anyone who knows me know that my friends and family normaly mean the world to me; however, neither of those can qualify me.

So my lack of desire-- it's compromise. For as long as I can remember, my mother has tauht me never to settle. I see compromise and settling as being on the same level. Marriage is one big compromise, especially for a woman who takes the role ordained for her in the Bible of submitting to her husband. Many women often get up in arms when I say that I do believe that this is how a marriage really works: A woman submits to her husband.

I've thought long and hard about marriage, and exactly what I would be giving up by not embarking on such a union. I've read a lot about marriage, and not in books by psychologists and such; I've only used one reference: The Bible. I am not a Bible nut, but for some moral situations I belive that the Bible often presents the best formula: such is the case with marraige.

The Bible says that a woman is to submit to her husband. It also says that husbands are to love their wives. I think those are the only to principals that matter. Maybe that is in my own rationale though.

If I ever marry, I woud want the marriage detailed by the Bible in Ephesians. I would want to be a wife who submits unto her husband, because I believe that a husband is supposed to be the head of his household. Now, do not misunderstand me. By submitting, I mean the wife allows her husband to make the decisions for the household after issues are discussed between the two of them. I believe that together they lay out the pros and the cons, but at the end the decision is the husband's to make. That is why it is imperative that the "husband love his wife as Christ loved the church, and be willing to give his life for her."

If I every marry, he would have to be someone how loves me with that kind of love, because if I am entrusting him to make decisions for me and our posterity he has to love me. He has to love me enough that he put us before himself when making the decision for our house. If I can't trust him to make sound, logical decisions, then he is not the one with whom I am supposed to be for the rest of my life. He'd have to be man enough to make sound decisions, and not rely on me, his help, to wear the pants and make decisions.

This is why marriage scares me. For the first time in my life, I would have to compromise on the majority of the decisions that I am used to making on my own. I have lived on my own since I was 19; I've made all the decisions on where to live, when to change jobs, what to cook, when to wash, how I like my apartment kept, how clean and when is it acceptable too be a little out of order, who can come over, and when.

I can't imagine having a roommate let alone someone who has equal or more say than I do in our home. That is a bit much for me. I am not willing to trade in my privacy and my ability to just be. Maybe I am young, but I know that marriage is work. You don't stumble upon a good marriage. You NEVER stumble upon a good marriage. It is work. Even though I am alone [relatinshipswise] and I live alone, I still never find the time to feel lonely. Everyone is usually so shocked that I'm not, but I'm not. I can't see being so lonely that a dog can't provide a quick fix.

Yes. I see my friends, and cousins in their relationships that are leading towards marriage, and those of them who have children already. I don't want that, very little if anything about that intruiges me now. Like I said, maybe I'm young, but I hope I stay this way forever.

3 comments:

ahleks said...

Pfft! You call that long?

EXSENO said...

I don't think you're to young, you have a good head on your shoulders(as the old saying go's).

If you feel this way and are really happy with it then go with it girl and enjoy it!!

When my husband died after a period of time everyone I saw wanted to know why I hadn't found someone and remarried. They just don't get it. I am finally happy being just me. If I had it to do over again I would have done everything I wanted to do before I married.

If I had if to do over again, (and knew then what I know now). I just might have never married. lol (funny but true.
There is a lot I would love to say to you, but it would take to long. So I'll just say this,marrage isn't for everyone. I picked up on that "not lonely" so go with it and enjoy the heck out of it.

MoDigli said...

22??!!! Wow!!! You are SO young! You've got time to go for that degree and still do WHATEVER you want to!!! I didn't go back to college til I was almost 24 yrs old. Finally finished at age 28 and it was a proud, proud moment because I had done it ALL BY MYSELF with help from no one! Mommy didn't pay for it, and neither did Daddy. It was all me. Now, I'm 35 and I just finished my Masters Degree. It's always worth it to invest in YOURSELF and your own interests.

As for marriage. Interesting stuff there. I would agree that I am also fearful of the COMPROMISE more than the commitment. I never thought of it that way in a conscious way, and so I enjoyed reading this and kinda figuring that out for myself.

Part of me would like to be married and do the whole family thing. The other part of me is more like Kathrine Hepburn and wants her freedom forever. The good part? We can choose whatever we want, and even then, we can still change our minds.

Peace! :)