November 4, 2015

Why would anyone want to marry me?

For the last 8 years I have had an intense desire to get married, settle down, and start a family.  All with a good, kind man.

As I left my teen years behind, my ideals and expectations shifted, or completely changed.  What was once a long list of desired qualities in a "future husband" became shorter and shorter as I realized there are really only a few REALLY important deciding factors when it comes time to find a mate.

Those things which have not changed are:
  1. Godly, Jesus follower 
  2. Able to provide / mature
  3. Hard worker / responsible 
  4. Kind, compassionate, caring, generous
  5. Has a good relationship with his family
And that's about it.  In those "five things" his faith, character, relationships, and manhood are all affirmed; and not in some superficial manner. 

All this "future hubby" stuff got me thinking, and as I approached my 21st birthday, still single, and with no apparent prospects on my radar, it made me aware of this thought: "what type of guy does my lifestyle attract?"  

So, my early twenties passed as I tried my best to be kind, caring, mature, friendly, responsible, hard-working, etc.  To build a stronger relationship with my family, and with God, all the while keeping my "ideal" in the back of my mind.

It was seemingly all for naught as year after year, nothing changed on the "relationship front." 

Next March I'll be 26, the beginning of the downward slope towards 30.  And I am still single; and feel generally unnoticed by the good male population.  There was a nice young man who showed interest in me, but for several reasons I didn't go ahead with being more than just friends.  Because, deep down I already liked a nice young man (who I've liked for 3 years, but who is apparently unavailable).  So, I'm trying to mend a broken heart, because, yes, I gave some of it to him.  As the quote says, "sometimes, pain is all that lets you know you're alive."  

But that's not why I'm writing this.  It's not a sad lament to unrequited love, or to my single years, to lonely years, or the fear I'll grow old, alone.  No, the real reason I'm writing is to expound on why someone wouldn't want to marry me.

Let me explain. 

When a couple goes on a date, they get cleaned up, shower, shave, slick back their hair, apply make-up, wear something fancy and fashionable.  Basically, they put on a certain 'look' to be more attractive to the other person. 

And then the conversation, over the meal, or walk, or drink is all about their respective accomplishments, goals, and aspirations.  Rarely, if ever, will you hear them say, "now let me tell you about my biggest failure, my flaws, or my faults."  Why not?  Because we want to present to the world, to them, the best version of ourselves.  The version you see in the carefully selected, creatively edited profile picture on Facebook.  Of the flawless, airbrushed content provided on Twitter, SnapChat, or Instagram.  

But is that an accurate portrayal of our real lives?  Will we have to keep hiding all the mess, the broken dreams, the unhappiness, or disappointment, or (gasp) our failures?  When did we become OK with only accepting "perfect" people? 

So, "why would I not want to marry you?" you might wonder.

Here's why. 

For one thing, I have wrestled with anger and bitterness for well over a decade, and even though I have been victorious in both areas, I still deal with periods where I'm not much fun to be around, due to these problems. 

Trust is another biggie I deal with.  Trusting God to provide for my needs, trusting my family will still love me despite all my screw-ups, trusting friends won't betray or abuse me, and the things I have shared with them.  

Another hurdle I'm trying to overcome is all the lies I've told myself (and believed) since age 15.  Lies such as: "you're not smart enough to be in this family," or "you're just a failure," or "everything I touch, dies," or "why don't you just do yourself a favor and end it all.  I mean, c'mon, who are you kidding.?"  Some of these thoughts, and self brands are demons I fight regularly.  The failure one especially.  There are still times I feel as if I'm walking around with a big red F stamped on my forehead. 

And last, but not least, my extremes.  I was just considering this aspect of who I am, and why I hate it so much.  I'm a fairly cautious person, but when I find something I like, look out world!  As I almost tweeted recently, I'm either totally distracted, or totally committed.  This is bad because it has negatively effected my walk with God, my family relationships, friendships, education, and work.  When I'm 'in' I'm all in, and when I'm not, well, you get the picture.

I'm also no good at math, unkind, selfish, loud, I don't love God enough, stingy, not the greatest baker, and oh yeah - I still live at home, don't own my own car, and have a job which pays about $400 a month.

So why did I want to put this "all out there?"  For the sake of honesty.  I've sometimes portrayed myself as one with all the right answers, who has it all together.  But that's simply not true.  I have some dark struggles which I deal with every day.  And although I may not marry soon, or ever, I'm glad to know that God loves me and is more than willing to help me solve my problems. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Abby! That certainly took some courage to post this, I am sure!!! Thank you for being raw and open--- it's inspiring me to be honest about myself-- to cast aside any facades I might wear.

    I pray that one day God will give you a man who will not resent you and your flaws, but will work with you to overcome them and love you in spite of them.

    And dear sister, you don't have a giant red "F" stamped on your head-- because God's mercies are new *every* morning!!! Every morning is a new chance. :)

    I love you muchly,
    Jo <3

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    1. Haha, thank you! It surprised me at first, but all these thoughts have been building into this for a while, and I just felt that I HAD to share my story, or this bit anyhow. I want people to see the real me, and not someone I have made up, and who is unapproachable. I don't want to be that.

      Thank you for your encouraging words. God's mercy has been so evident in my life, I am grateful for how He has changed, and is changing me every day.

      I love you too, sister!

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  2. Thank you for sharing, Abby! And as much as I'd like to say God does have someone out there for you (because He does), I'm not going to because I know that doesn't help with the longing that you and I have. ;)

    I've kinda been pondering the same things lately; why would someone want to marry me? I see my flaws and then see the types of girls most guys are interested in and realize that I'm not like them, and it makes me wonder if there is a guy out there that can deal with me - my flaws, passion, etc. It made me want to change who I was to "fit the mold" that most of the young ladies of our generation are like, but then God reminded me He didn't make me like them. That I was created out of a unique mold to be me - not anyone else, and He has a plan for me. And He has a plan for you! You have not been forgotten and you are not a failure. God has a unique plan for you for your good (Romans 8:28), and yes, I know that it is hard to believe sometimes. :)

    Whenever I get tempted to show only the "best me", or to put on make-up (not that make-up is a sin, depending on your heart attitude), or I want to dress a certain way to get attention, I'm reminded that I'm only doing it to be that "perfect person" that the world is saying I have to be. But in reality, I'm not perfect, I'm not going to be a perfect person, and I don't want to marry a perfect person. I want someone who is going to be real and raw with me as I am with him. I want a relationship where we can be completely honest with one another from the get go - before a "romantic relationship" is even part of the equation.

    Just remember, don't judge yourself based on what everyone else is "doing". God has a unique plan for you that is different than everyone else's, and be faithful with where He has you. :)

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Sara.

      Oh yes - that is so true! I don't want to fit into anyone's mold, except God's, and that's why I feel so isolated at times, because I am not willing to compromise just to be relevant. It's not worth it at all. So if that means going through life as an "outcast" because of my lifestyle, I'm okay with that. I have God, and isn't that enough?

      Amen! Me too. I want friendship, companionship, and honesty in a relationship even more than I want intimacy - those things bring intimacy, but if I have to be someone other than myself, then what's the point of the relationship? The few real friendships I have, are because I have made it my intention to be truthful, raw, and real. And in response, I have been able to deepen those ties with my family and friends, because we have a mutual respect and understanding based on that reality.

      Oh I'm not... I'm judging myself based on what I need to have in order to just survive in this world. Thank you for the uplifting words.

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Thank you for sharing!