Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Females dream of getting married from a young age. The pursuit of Prince Charming is encouraged in the media. Girls read fairy tales and want their own Prince. Women watch movies that show perfect men behaving in perfectly romantic ways. We crave those types! Lust after them! Go hunting and searching for the guy who can live up to our fantasy expectations, while real life men endure getting bashed with our unfair needs.

Growing up, I felt no interest from anyone about my dreams and career thoughts. But I got a lot of attention for eating an extra cookie or other treat.

Everyone encouraged me to be a very nice girl who watched her weight. That was the foundation of my life in DoorMatville. The underlying message was to be as nice and as thin as possible in order to attract a husband—the big goal for me and my friends. We played at being wives and mothers with our dolls, while boys were having a lot more fun playing ball and getting dirty. By early teens, everything revolved around having a boyfriend.

I wanted a career but got a husband—right out of college.

DoorMats do what others want them to. My longing was to do a creative activity. But, I’d been brainwashed to need a husband to feel successful and thought I’d be treated like I’d be a failure if I didn’t have one. Getting engaged gave me a lot of attention. Planning the wedding was fun. So were the trappings—presents, the long white wedding gown, flowers and bridesmaids. All this is supposed to be THE SUCCESS factors for chicks.

Once that was over and married life set in, I wondered, if marriage is considered SUCCESS, why didn’t I feel happy?

I see women on mission to find a husband. If I advise them to create their own lives and make themselves happy first, they write me off as bitter toward marriage since I’m divorced. I’m not. My ex and I are still good friends. We just got married too young. He didn’t make me unhappy. I did that to myself, by ignoring my own needs as I catered to his, and everyone else’s. He treated me well. I gave myself away to please others. Insecurity blinded me to my right to be happy. I got married before I’d grown into an individual. I had to leave in order to become one!

I do believe in marriage—for the RIGHT reasons.

RIGHT is finding someone who you fall in love with, slowly, and who grows into your good, if not best friend, and lover. RIGHT is someone you marry because you can’t imagine spending the rest of your life without him, not because he turns up when you’re feeling like a loser for not having a husband or your biological clock is ticking and the poor schmo gets chosen to stop the clock.

Women who see marriage as SUCCESS do it backwards—making getting married more important than the guy they marry! And making the catch the source of SUCCESS, instead of making a SUCCESS of the rest of your life with this person.

Real SUCCESS is being able to work together in love and compromise to make it a strong and solid bond, connected by support and intimacy.

Seeking to find an appropriate candidate to make you feel complete—hopefully one with lots of money and/or power so that you can seem successful to friends and family—makes the guy an accessory, instead of the man you love and cherish. He becomes a goal instead of someone you create a loving partnership with. In my book, Straight Talk with Gay Guys, Matthew equates bridal magazine as the female version of men’s porn magazines, and warns:

You need to understand that while men have ego trips, women do too. For a man, it may be, “I screwed this hot chick with big tits.” For a woman, part of their ego trip or kissing contest is “I’ve got a man and you don’t.” You should realize that in the same way men have their porn, you have emotional porn. When I see bridal magazines and bridal television shows, I look at them and think, it’s all about YOU – YOU and your wedding dress, and who YOU can invite. And your bridesmaids. The groom is like an afterthought. The more I see this, the more I realize in the same way that men objectify women’s bodies, women do that to men all the time. You are the problem too. It’s not all about YOU and what YOU accomplish, and the groom is just this thing.

I strongly agreed with Matthew’s assessment. Women objectify men to give her the sense of self she should give to herself. I had a friend years ago whose parents insisted she marry a doctor, dentist or lawyer. She became ruthless in pursuit of one, to get acceptance from good ol’ mom and dad. Erica (not her real name) moved in on a med student I was with. When I confronted her, there was no apology. Just, “I have to find the right husband and this guy may be right.” I stopped hanging with her.

A year later, I bumped into Erica, who immediately said, “I’m engaged to a dentist.” I asked if he had a name or face, or a hmmm.. Or was he just the prize to achieve SUCCESS. She was clueless about my sarcasm. Years later I heard she’d turned very bitter after her divorce.

How the heck can someone find warm, delicious, tender, loving intimacy with someone she marries for his degree, or his wallet, or his sperm to quiet the ticking clock?

Since there’s no such thing as Prince Charming, the fantasy can only disappoint when it’s initially realized. Once the wedding excitement is over, Prince Charming can quickly turn into a frog when he doesn’t live up to expectations. We’re brainwashed to want what won’t make most of us happy once we get it, since real life isn’t a fairy tale. Then what do many women do?

Blame the guy for not being was hoped for!

What a terrible burden to put on guys! Most can’t figure women out as it is and then we dump all these romantic expectations or needs to be taken care of in fairy tale ways on them. It adds a whole other level of creating problems. We don’t see what happens at the end of a romantic movie when the happy couples goes off in the sunset. All looks perfect at the ending, but the trouble is, that’s not the ending. Real life sets in. In my book, Michael T. F. clarifies:

In the real, non-Disney, world men leave underwear on the floor, don’t care if you reach orgasm, and think going down on you only has to happen on your birthday (which he’ll probably forget anyway). The problem with fairytales and Hollywood movies is they end right at the happiest point, usually the wedding. They don’t show you what life is like a month later when Prince Charming
is tired of sweeping you off his feet and the white horse has crapped all over the castle.

Celebs reinforce the Prince Charming myth publicly. An episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was centered around Kim and Kourtney setting up Khloe on blind dates to find her Prince Charming. Her dates did more croaking than charming. Yet it reinforced the message that chicks need to find their Prince Charming. I winced whenever I heard the commercial for it. And I’ve heard many other young starlets yearn out loud for the day she finds her Prince Charming.

And then women wonder why guys act like they’re on pedestals?? Hello!

I believe Britney Spears’ downfall was partly because she always talked about getting married and having kids as her ultimate goal. Being very spoiled, when she saw Federline, she sent for him to join her in Europe on tour, he probably did her really well (Brit does love sex!), so she dubbed him her Prince Charming and rushed to marry him. She got the hubby and kids, but not happiness. I do believe that’s what made her spin out of control. After all those years of looking forward to marriage and kids, it wasn’t what she’d anticipated. Rushing into marriage with someone you barely know, with a lousy track record in relationships, doesn’t lead to a happy marriage.

When you finally get the marriage and kids you’ve been programmed to want in order to feel complete you, and you don’t feel complete, or happy, where do you go from there?

Check out my On Having Marriage and Kids video, featuring Michael Musto, one of several based on my Straight Talk with Gay Guys book. There’s lot of advice about the wrong and right reasons to get married from some of the fabulous gay guys I interviewed for my book, which gives women advice on straight men—33 caring gay friends in a book

I’m not hoping to get married, but, I do hope to meet a guy who makes my wonderful life even more delicious by being in my world. He won’t be my world. I already own that privilege. But he will increase my happiness. I’ve learned that no person can make me happy if I’m not happy on my own.

I want to meet a guy who rocks my world so much that I’d want to commit to marrying him, after being together for several years. I don’t need a marriage license to feel loved and secure. I already feel that way. Women need to reprioritize what’s important! And, not jump into marriage too quickly. Marriage doesn’t complete anyone!

Only YOU can complete you.

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