I Am Not My Relationship Status

“When are you getting married?”

“How’s the wedding planning?”

“How’s the house?” “What’s still missing?” “Are you making progress?”

“Have you picked a dress?”

“Have you found a caterer?”

“What’s your wedding theme?” “What color of the flowers are you going to put?”

“Where did you get your furniture from?” “Did you know X is better?”

“Where are you going on your honeymoon?”

I often get attacked by these questions even before someone asks me, if they do, the all important one, “How are you?” or “How are you managing?” or even “How are you feeling about all of this?”

People assume they have an all access-pass to my life and actions just because I wear an engagement band. They want to know every single tiny detail and give their opinion about it without even considering I am my own person. They will shower me with their advice and pointers without even knowing a single thing about what makes me who I am or what I like and dislike.

My life does not revolve around my wedding and around my house.

The wedding especially was never my priority. I still think of it as a rite of passage and honoring family, but I can’t get carried away in the fantasy.

I never played house or wedding as a child, preferring to read and write. And I never dreamt of being swept off my feet by the ultimate prince charming, or the first guy who ever gave me the time of day.

I had a very hard time accepting the fact that I was in a committed relationship, and to this day I still struggle with the idea that I might lose myself in the person I am with. I fear that I can’t make a decision on my own anymore either. And sometimes I can’t see my wedding date as the beginning of a new chapter but rather the end of the person I am and everything I’ve gotten so used to.

It absolutely stings when people tell me, oh it’s so great that you work at this institution because you can cover your children’s tuition. You’re so lucky!

Did it ever occur to anyone that I may be doing this job because I enjoy it, because I knew at the age of 16 that I wanted to work in this field? Because I studied hard for it at two of the best universities in the world and earned it because of all my hard wok and efforts? And I still come into the office every single day and prove myself to the department that they hired the right person. Because I care. 

But the community sees me as a wife-to-be, a Mrs. in training. I lost every right to my individuality the day I said yes, because my worth can only be defined by the man I am with. I bet people assume I am getting married because I’m afraid I’m going to end up alone. I also bet people assume I’m going to hang up my diplomas on the kitchen wall and spend the rest of my life taking care of the house, cooking, and raising children.

What if I don’t? What if this was never my goal? Do they even know that I truly, from the bottom of my heart, couldn’t care less about home decor and the so-called proper technique to washing dishes? Right now, I’m just throwing things around, trying to find what makes me comfortable and at home, but nothing else?

You know, I would kill for someone to ask me about how I am, what TV show I’m watching, what book I’m reading, what I thought about the latest Avengers movie.

I’d kill for someone to remember that long before Ahmad came along, I was my own person- and I still am.

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. baliinfoblog says:

    i love this!! Its so true. I avoided the whole big wedding thing, but all the other questions about babies etc came straight after. It will get better I promise. Just stay true to who you are. How are you by the way, and what are you reading?

  2. artman413 says:

    Oof…that’s a heavy one.

    I personally prefer to view people as individuals rather than couples. Even my two closes friends, who are married to each other, are two distinct people to me.

    In that vein, it’s a little frustrating for me to deal with my brother and his girlfriend sometimes because I think he does allow himself to get lost in her.

    It sucks that people are trying to diminish such a bright personality under the shade of ‘marriage’. Personally, I’d love to ask you about the new Avengers film, but I haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

    1. TK says:

      I guess you need to slightly nudge your brother to remember he was his own person before he met his girlfriend- if it bothers you that much.

      I tend to not get into the business of my couple friends, only asking how the other person is but nothing more.

      I am glad I have this blog up and running to be able to vent, otherwise I would allow society to break me or change me. But it isnt going to happen.

      Ps: the film was awesome!

  3. AhmadF says:

    We’re gonna go see the movie!

  4. lucydanvers says:

    This was an amazing post! I know exactly how you feel! I’m dating, and my family constantly tells me if I do not provide my husband one day with children I will be alone in this world. They also say if I do not want to get married I will always be alone.The constant assumptions that my degree is for nothing and that I must be content to stay at home and have children is degrading. I can only imagine how frustrated you must get. It’s great that you have written these thoughts down, too many people are afraid to verbalise how judgemental and sexist society really is, and how gender roles become more apparent upon reaching adulthood. Don’t ever change who you are and continue to be strong-willed against the strong patriarchal society when and if it tries to mould you into someone you are not.

  5. finkelstein says:

    If you get through this one, you may be seasoned enough for the baby thing, which is essentially the same thing all over. Don’t let them ruin what you and your fiancé have. You’re getting married for your love for him, and his love for you. It will last longer than this whining. I was engaged for only 3 months, so the suffering was short enough. Hang in there.

    1. TK says:

      Thank you for this. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, as they say. I don’t think these comments will be able to break through the relationship we have. However someone has to talk about the pressures society places on us to take on the role of the typical wife-which is not me at all.

  6. Uday says:

    Seriously, I don’t really understand why people give so much importance to wedding, when it’s the marriage that’s more important! In our country, weddings go on for multiple days and I dread the day I may have to go through it all! I’d kill to have a simple ceremony just the people who matter to us.

    Anyway, I appreciate you even more as a person after reading this post. You surely are an inspiration. And btw, I hope you write a post on what you thought about the Avengers movie 🙂

    1. TK says:

      Thanks Uday! Very kind of you to say!

      I hope you can break with tradition when the day comes and do what makes you and your bride happy. I’m trying to do this to some extent but I hope it won’t backfire on us. I agree that we aren’t taught to value the marriage as much as we value the wedding and the obnoxious acts of showing off!

      Ps: I saw The Avengers yesterday and it was awesome!!! I’m very much a fan of the MCU!

  7. It is a difficult hurdle to overcome – being paired to someone for your own identity. I think it’s just easier for people to compartmentalize everyone. It helps them, but it diminishes the person. When you do have children, if you do have children, you enter another compartment. And, it gets really creepy with the whole “they have an all access-pass to my life and actions” when you’re pregnant or have your small one with you in the first couple of years.

    1. TK says:

      Uh oh! Thanks for the heads-up! I think we will wait on the children part just to allow ourselves to recover from all the “investigations” we are being put through right now.

  8. HumaAq says:

    Wow.. Wait till you get married, everyone expects you to be perfect and know everything at once! Oops sorry don’t wanna scare you.. And besides I’m sure your husband’s support will be best.
    You have written is so beautifully.. The struggles and expectations of everyone for you to answer them all..

    1. TK says:

      Nah you didn’t scare me at all! I honestly don’t know what I would do without his support. It keeps me going.

      Thank you for always reading, I’m glad I can express these feelings that are almost unspoken of.

      1. HumaAq says:

        It’s fun reading and being on this ride with you. Brings back memories as well:)

  9. Being your own person, retaining your individuality and having space to do your own thing is so important in marriage. They are as important as being flexible in thought towards the principal person of interest. After 35 years of marriage my wife and I are still the best of mates whilst still having our own interests and individuality. Everything else we share and after all those years have remained totally true to each other.
    Tolerance and patience and also essential ingredients.

    I’m sure your life together will be the same as ours.

    1. TK says:

      What a beautiful thought! I hope so too.

      I will take your advice to heart, that is a promise. I am truly lucky that my partner is extremely supportive of my individuality as I am of his. However the problem is with society’s perception towards married women- which we are slowly trying to change.

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