April 27

Staying Together for the Children (and why I think it’s dumb)

“We’re staying together for the children.”

 

I’m sure I’ll ruffle a few feathers here, but I have a pretty strong opinion about this and lately I’ve been crossing paths with a lot of men and women in this very position.

I can understand the good intentions and I can also understand a parent’s desire to place their children’s needs ahead of their own, naturally. And all my respect to the parents who want to set a good example for their children and provide them a stable, loving home.

But is it?

I know a lot of unhappily married folks – as I am sure we all do. Married couples that are no longer in love, yet they go through the daily motions simply because that’s ‘the only choice’.

But it boggles my mind every time I hear it.

“For the children.”

Society tells us that we have to have two parents and live under the same roof to be considered a ‘family’. Most parents think if they actually care about their own happiness as well, their children will grow up to be scorned for life. Some children are also taught that if they don’t have a mommy and a daddy that live together – they aren’t normal.

I think it’s completely ridiculous.

Some parents are pretty darn good at disguising unhappiness. But kids aren’t stupid. They can detect tension. They can detect unhappiness. And even if the parents aren’t fighting, they know when something isn’t right.

I know, I was one of them.

What does staying together for the children really say?

It says it’s okay to be unhappy. It’s okay to not value yourself enough to find your true happiness. It’s okay to settle. It’s okay to live in perpetual misery.

One might argue that it teaches ‘commitment’ – but why does commitment have to be confined to four walls and a roof?

And given that we tell children, “you deserve to be happy”, isn’t that kind of hypocritical?

Should we not then, be leading by example?

In my opinion, what we should really be teaching our children is that a true family doesn’t depend on marital status.

A ‘family’ will be committed to each other and love each other just the same no matter how many roofs they live under.

Unconditional love.

THAT is family.

My parents (whom I love more than anything) separated when I was in my twenties. Growing up though, I knew that even though they did love each other – they weren’t ‘in love’. And I can say with honesty, I have never once felt any less loved because we weren’t contained under the same roof.

And yes, most parents ‘stick it out’ until the children are older, have the ability to understand, won’t be effected ‘as much’. Understandable, but as an adult now seeking to find my own happiness – I can’t help but feel my own sense of guilt. Perhaps had they not ‘stayed together for the children’, they would have had many more opportunities to find their true happiness a long time ago.

Looking back, had I been a child – I would have got through it. Personally, I don’t think a short time of discomfort should be set aside in exchange for years of unhappiness. Life is too short, but that’s just me.

Now, I don’t believe divorce should be an easy solution either, and obviously comes with it’s own negatives. But, in the long run… just as parents want their children to be happy – children want their parents to be happy.

Unhappy parents = unhappy children.

If we want our children to focus on their happiness as they grow older, we have to do the same. The happier you are – the more love you have to give. And what’s wrong with that?

If it’s handled with maturity and dignity – separating for the children can be the best thing ever.

March 26

He’ll Never Be My Everything

One of the reasons I seem to have trouble finding a ‘relationship’ or getting into one – hell, even finding a date for that matter – is because I don’t believe in the ‘conventional’ relationship.

The dynamics of the ‘relationship’ are changing – as some people are now more focused on their own personal goals and choosing to stay single later on into life – but the vast majority of people I meet still have a pretty narrow view on what it means to be ‘in a relationship’.

Man and woman meet. Man and woman fall in love. Man and woman spend thousands of dollars on a piece of paper that says, “I love you”. Man and woman buy house. Man and woman make babies. Man and woman do the same 9-5 thing for the next 40 some odd years. Man and woman move to new home  for more ‘mature’ people. Aforementioned children are now changing man and woman’s diapers.

(And if you’re not part of the 50% that make it this far, you’re probably part of the 50% that pay a few more thousand just to have that piece of paper destroyed so you can start all over again. Rest assured though, someone will still be changing your diapers.)

Blech.

I’d have a more fun taking up knitting and adopting 40 cats – and I don’t even like cats. However, if I put some serious effort into it – my knitting would keep me warm at night.

Okay, I am exaggerating (very mildly), and I know it can be – and is – much more fulfilling and exciting that that. But that scenario, defined by society, is the typical life process of two people (in a nutshell). I won’t argue that complacency is the right thing for some, nor do I have anything against those who do it.

But it’s not for me.

And I don’t really believe in that whole “this is my other half” crap. Last time I checked, I was a whole person.

In my opinion, my kind of relationship is when two wholes come together and forge a dynamic duo – full of love-filled super powers.

Personally, I have a laundry list of goals. I want to own my own business. I want to travel. I want to write a book. Then I want to travel some more. I’d like to pursue my interest in philanthropy. I want to go mountain climbing. Sky diving. Horse back riding in the desert. I want to see and do shit. Lots of it. Maybe there will be a kid or two in there somewhere – but there are parts of my life I want to live before giving life. And I’d like to share those experiences with someone.

I’m not saying that being in a relationship hinders any of those things. It’s finding the right kind of person that has the same kind of mind frame as me that’s been the biggest challenge. The kind of person that can appreciate the present moment and doesn’t put a time stamp on so-called milestones just because ‘society said we should’. Society has this standard that that’s what people my age do – get married, pop out babies, and become another cog in the wheel of the proverbial rat race to get out of debt and pay down the mortgage.

Once again, blech.

Most of the men I have met recently tell me they want to get married and have kids. They want their ‘other half’, they want to feel ‘complete’, and they want a woman that becomes their ‘everything’.

How romantic.

Not.

When someone becomes an ‘everything’, what does that mean? “You’re my everything”. Think about it. Doesn’t that sound a bit ridiculous? If ‘everything’ you have is the result of something or someone else – what did you have before?

So, I decided to google it – and naturally, I found thousands upon thousands images of hearts and what not to give to your ‘everything’.
I also decided to make my own version ->

Let’s say the unfortunate should happen (which most people don’t even want to think about), and you lose your ‘everything’… theoretically, you would then be left with – well, nothing. But you’re not though, because you still have YOU, and that should be ‘something’, right? For a lot of people, they haven’t discovered that ‘something’. And if you don’t have a clear idea of what that ‘something’ is – the relationship with yourself – be prepared to feel a whole lot of yup, you guessed it – nothing.

Most of the men I currently meet also get annoyed because I don’t have as much free time as they do. Some of them, don’t understand why and how I don’t have a favorite TV show, movie, or why I don’t have oodles of free time when I’m not at work. I’m usually working on one of my other projects (I have many), or doing something active, or doing something that involves learning.

“But I haven’t seen you for a WHOLE week! Why are you so busy all the time?!  Wahhhhhh!”

Sniff, sniff.

Not my kind of man, not my kind of life.

I wan’t a man in my life – but I also want a life in my man.

The kind of man I want isn’t around every waking moment of every day. He has goals of his own, and doesn’t need me around 24/7. When we are together, we have fun – and when we’re not, we know how to stand on our own two feet.

He doesn’t live life ‘for me’ – he lives it for him. We’re not each others reason for living – we’ve been living up until this point – so I’d say we already had one. We’re on each others journey for the ride – because some experiences are too good not to share, and we have a damn good time together. He doesn’t take care of me – but he cares for me. We’re there to help each other through the challenges, not as a way to escape them.

We don’t ‘need’ each other to live. We want each other to live.

He doesn’t mind if I go out with the girls – and he doesn’t fear being put in the ‘dog house’ when he decides on a night with the boys. (Seriously, it astounds me the number of men that live in fear of the dog house. If someone put me in the dog house for wanting to be me – I’d be looking for a new house.) Hell, if he wants to hit up a strip club, I’d probably toss in a few loonies myself.

We make compromises and sacrifices just like anyone else. We don’t solely depend on each other for happiness, we simply add to the happiness that we already had. Our relationship is an added bonus on top of the relationship we already have – with ourselves.

We’ll never be each others ‘everything’… but we’ll be each others ‘extra thing’.

Sounds like ‘everything’ I could ever want.

Now… I just have to find him.

But, I’m sure ‘everything’ will come together in due time.

Also, I couldn’t help but add this tacky photo – but it’s not bad to look at and it sums up the added benefit I’m after quite nicely: