Better Together

A few weeks after our wedding, I ran into a high school classmate. She was interning for a company in the building where I work. I stopped her in the hallway to catch up. When she asked about my life, I told her about the recent wedding and a few other things. I then asked her what was going on with her. Her response was, “wel, I’m not getting married—I have too much I want to accomplish to even think about that.” She then told me she was in grad school and a few other details, but that first sentiment is what has stuck with me.

I haven’t seen her in close to a decade and once she knew I was married, I suddenly became someone less ambitious, less significant. This could also be in my head, but based on her tone, I think it’s a pretty accurate reading. She reminded me that you really shouldn’t generalize anything.

Although I didn’t care for her generalization, it did get me to reflect a bit on our relationship. I started wondering if being involved in a serious relationship had indeed held me back in any way.

When I started dating Mr. Starfish, I never really thought of our relationship as closing any doors. Looking back, I see it as something which opened me up to more possibilities. We started dating when we were teenagers. Although our relationship formed early on, I never saw it as a reason to stop growing, changing, or pursuing my dreams. It’s actually been quite the opposite.

Since we started dating in our teens we went through a lot together. We went through that college struggle of what do I want to do beyond graduation? Both of us struggled with what we should do and what we wanted to do. I went to school and received a degree in a pretty specific field. My senior year, I decided it wasn’t right for me. When I look back at that time of what to do post graduation, I feel like if I were by myself, I would have felt like I had less options and maybe even settled with that career.

I had a bit of family pressure (pretty much in my head out of guilt) to continue in the field. My parents were very generous in paying for the bulk of my education. I specifically chose my private college due to their excellent program. The tuition was far higher than those of my siblings. I felt like if I didn’t pursue this field, I’d be failing them and all the hard work it took them to put me through school.

One of the things that I learned from Mr. Starfish, whether he knows it or not, is to always question happiness. I knew in my heart this field wasn’t right for me. He simply thought that if it didn’t make me happy, I should do something else. He made it sound so simple. Having his support regardless of what I chose, gave me the encouragement to make a leap of faith and try something completely different.

I feel like we are constantly reminding each other to make happiness a priority. We support each other and encourage each other. I feel like I’ve found someone who sometimes believes in me more than myself and gives me the courage to try things that may be scary. I like to think I do the same for him.

While life does change a lot from being single to coupledom, I don’t think it has to close any doors or limit dreams. Do we make compromises? Yes. Do we check in with each other on things? Yes. You don’t have to do this when you’re single, but you may not have that person who also has your best interest at heart. I value Mr. S’s opinion. When I’m making big life plans, I want his input, not only because I want him to be a part of it, but often times he gives me a new perspective or the encouragement I need.

I think marriage is what you make of it. I know I would still have many accomplishments of my own regardless of my being with Mr. Starfish, but I think his support has helped me to further believe in myself and pursue more. I think we are both equally great people, but I also think things are better together. Isn’t that the point of marriage?

Have you ever gotten the feeling that people thought you were less ambitious or received  any other type of judgment based on your relationship status?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Starfish

Location:
Boston/Newport
Wedding Date:
October 2010

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  1. Guest
    anna, Guest @ 7:36 pm

    My husband has really pushed me to do MORE with my life. Having someone else have faith in me, and push me, AND be there to catch me and support me, has been invaluable. I would not have been able to go back to school to get my masters, and therefore not be in the job I am in today, if I had not been with my husband. And I don’t think I would have been motivated to push myself out of my previous career without his gentle nudging.

  2. Member
    cafegirl 1021 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:30 am

    I think everyone grows differently. For me, I can’t imagine marrying someone from high school because I really needed my 20′s to be independent and to do things on my own. But that does not mean that people who found the right person early can’t grow and thrive. I don’t think your friend was being rude (it all depends on tone–was she snarky or just reflective?) Some of the responses to this post make my back stiffen and remind me of having to defend being single in my 20′s. Just because she said that does not mean she can’t get a date or won’t marry.

    @Melini: I completely agree with everything you said.

  3. Member
    Mrs. Kettle 926 posts, Busy bee @ 5:35 am

    I’ve had similar reactions from friends who are exactly my age but not ready to settle down yet. But with Mr. Kettle, I’m not giving anything. Everything we’ve both dreamed of and wanted is now an actual possibility only because we’re with each other. NYC for grad school? Yup. First child delivered in Europe? Yup. Own our own business? Yup. Neither of us ever thought those very specific yet obtuse goals/dreams were possible until now.

  4. Guest
    snowygreen, Guest @ 9:57 am

    Hi Mrs. Starfish! I too am getting married in RI and am looking for a videographer… I’m wondering if you would mid sharing the name of yours? I looked back thru your posts and couldn’t find it, but maybe I missed it?! Thanks!!!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Starfish 1902 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:02 pm

    @snowygreen: I’m sorry I just saw this now. I don’t think our wedding videographer is in business any longer. He took down his website and when our corrected video finally arrived it was from a SC location. Mrs. Zebra worked with Mike Picard, you may want to PM her and see if she has any feedback. I hope you find someone! :)

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