If you've been on Facebook at all this week, you've probably seen the blog post "Marriage Isn't For You" that seemingly everyone you know has shared. It's an adorable post about how marriage isn't about you, it's about your partner and is bound to make some people tear up. While it's important to note that I agree that it's important to get the message out there that marriage takes work and there are a lot of times that require you to be more selfless than you knew you could be, I have some problems with this article.
Seth talks about how his dad's advice made something click, saying "a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It's about the person you love--their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams." Now don't misunderstand me. I very much agree that your spouse's needs, hopes and dreams matter greatly in marriage. But you know what? Yours do too.
If you enter into a marriage saying I am only giving towards whatever you want to accomplish in life and I'm here to support you, that can't be healthy. A marriage is about uniting two people down the same path towards shared needs, hopes and dreams. Marriage is definitely about you just as much as it's about your spouse. The hopes and dreams of you as an individual work towards establishing what they are as a couple.
Seth uses the words "selfishness" and "selflessness" quite a bit throughout his piece. That's the wrong word to be using. The word is trust.
Essentially, marriage is about trust. It's that Kyle trusts that I have his best interests in mind and that I trust him the same way. When Kyle asks for some alone time, is that selfish? Or when I asked to move somewhere completely different so that I could pursue something in the entertainment industry, was that selfish? No. Because, in a healthy relationship, it's important to express what you want, whether it be regular daily activities or long term dreams.
So, if I had followed Seth's definition of what true love is, would we even be in Vancouver right now? Because according to him and his father, I should have pushed that desire out of my mind and focused on whatever my husband had planned for us.
Kyle and I don't have a 100% selfless marriage. But, we without a doubt have a 100% trusting marriage that still goes against what Seth described as "today's "Walmart philosophy", which is if it doesn't make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one."