At the end of my freshman year at CMC, my boyfriend came home from a 13-month deployment and proposed. It wasn’t a surprise, and almost all of my friends expected me to start my sophomore year of college with a fiancé. Yet even with this knowledge, many approached me with more judgment than joy.
What baffled me the most were the weird assumptions people started to make when I came back to school following my wedding. Instead of asking how my classes were going, people asked me whether I felt tied down, regretted my decision to get married young, and how I thought it would affect my success in the future. Instead of engaging with me about course material, people wondered if I had to learn to cook so my husband wouldn’t starve, and how soon we were planning on having children.
Many of these questions were asked candidly, out of pure and non-malicious curiosity. To be completely honest, they often showed me perspectives I hadn’t yet considered. I respect that. But mostly, they were incredibly frustrating. Instead of the strong, independent, intellectually curious young woman I perceived myself as, many of my peers made me feel as if I were a novelty, a little housewife with a completely different life and trajectory now that I had a wedding band on my left hand.
People seem to think that getting married means sacrificing your personality, individual self-worth, or independence. But that’s just not true. Marriage is a partnership – a team. I didn’t sign up to be a cook, or a maid, or an assistant. I signed up to hang out and have fun with my best friend for the rest of my life. Romance aside, it was pragmatism. We work well together and complement one another in ways I had never imagined possible. I’m a bookworm, by-the-book history nerd with a penchant for cooking, and he’s a comic book loving fireman-engineer in the Navy who can fix anything and is incredibly innovative. Everything just works.