What makes us stay in a relationship? In a world where we can say divorce as quick as we can say ‘I do’ and where couples are disposable, staying with the same partner can be really tricky. The temptation to seek for the greener grass has never been so easy today with internet and the multiple networks we can get thanks to our job and other various activities. Yet, as we can get bored of a long-term relationship, we can also get bored in multiplying partners. Some of my single friends, who have a long list of conquests, are starting to want a long term relationship. But it doesn’t come easily. On the other hands, some of my married friends envy my single friends in their no-string attached relationship. We’re never satisfied with what we have…
As women become more and more independent, they do have the choice of leaving a relationship or a marriage that doesn’t work. It wasn’t the case fifty years ago. Poverty makes us stay together, that’s one reason. After the 1929 krach, people couldn’t afford to get a divorce so they stay together.
Mentality has also evolved. Not so long ago, a woman couldn’t do anything without her husband’s approval. She couldn’t open a bank account on her own. She wasn’t allowed to vote. Now, women don’t necessarily need a man in their life. They only have a man because they want to. That’s a huge difference.
My generation grew up very very spoiled. This has a lot of consequences in our love life. We are not taught anymore how to please a man. We’re just taught to think for ourselves. We have also learned that marriage isn’t an insurance for life anymore. Therefore, it’s important to get independent.
Yet, people still get married, as they believe love can last forever. Most of us still carry that hope. And this may be the reason why we stay together, after all. Because of hope.
But we set a list of expectations the other has to meet by doing so. When I ask my married friends why they choose to marry, some of them told me that it was because their significant other met all their expectations, or at least, the most important ones. One of them told me she knew she would marry her husband because he was the only one to handle her difficult character. Before him, no other man could keep up with her. But she married late, after 32, and she admitted it helped her a lot in her decision and to see what she wanted in a marriage.
Another friend of mine, who’s 52, married last year his very long-term girlfriend. They had been together for 27 years before getting married. He explained he never wanted to get married. But enjoyed a lot his wife’s company. Together, they crossed many hurdles. They managed to build a strong couple. He admitted it took him a long time to realize she was the one. And as they’re getting old, he only wanted to thank her for staying for so long with her by making her an honest woman.
I guess it’s all about expectations. Isn’t it?