The Fairy-Tale of Marriage – My Story…
“When you need to be loved, you take love wherever you can find it. When you are desperate to be loved, feel love, know love, you seek out what you think love should look like… But learning about real love comes from within.” -Ilyana Vanzant
As an Asian American Female, and now having left my own ‘perfect’ marriage 3 years ago many other women have been asking me to post the pressures women constantly face among their peers, family, and friends. Specifically, for Asian women how do grow up with the idea of a fairy-tale wedding? This notion births at the first topic of discussion among our elders, on the glitz and glamour of the ‘wedding day’. That a prince-charming is essentially supposed to ‘rescue’ us off of our feet…
If you are one of those women, like myself, who loved Cinderella and The Little Mermaid growing up: rest assured these are the savory sweet disney tales. They sound good- but unfortunately aren’t reality. It’s remarkable how more and more women, after having ‘checked’ the marriage bucket off of their list, after the wedding day is over they experience ‘wedding blues’. When we let the pieces fall into place and realize how unsatisfied and unfulfilled we were in the first place, that void was filled with a ‘prince-charming’?
This is the inevitable tale many women fall prey to this ‘false’ idea of marriage, while it tends to be ingrained in our culture, this monumentous celebration of what’s supposed to be two human beings equally coming together joining their lives in complete partnership… is often placed on the back burner. It becomes about planning the big party, and we fail to avoid the giant red-flags for the sake of ‘society’, a ‘family’, a beautiful dress, wedding cake and more…
Ah yes.. That indeed was me… I so badly yearned for connection, to recreate a family I had lost (my parents and brother before the age of 19). Because, I neglected to take care of myself that I found tremendous validation in the men I was dating. Often my relationships would overlap because I was frightened to be alone- so when another ‘prince’ or ‘suiter’ would begin to court… that’s the path I would often take.
I didn’t know what or how to value my self-worth. For my, now ex-husband, I often put the pressures of my own insecurities on him, and how perhaps a ‘fairy tale’ wedding was the answer. It’s interesting when hearing how my girlfriends get disappointed when going on vacation with their boyfriends thinking, ‘he will propose’ to find out that their expectations had failed them. Again, it’s the idea ‘fairy tale’ that we grew up with…
For myself, sure there were many red-flags and abundant tell-tale signs that we truly brought the worst out of each other, not to mention the ego, violence, and money that fueled this outward idea to our families, friends, and networks that we were this ‘picture perfect couple’ added more layers to the pressures of status quo. But this thought of marriage, ‘maybe he’ll change’, a dream wedding, a dream venue, and of course all of the incredible details in planning a big fat Indian-Filipino fusion wedding took me for a ride.
Pearls I can offer women who are currently faced with this pressure:
1. Love yourself first. Honor you, and spend some time reflecting what is it in a partner you truly wish to have.
2. How do YOU want to show up as an amazing partner?
3. What are your beliefs in a solid partnership: autonomy or complete co-dependency.
4.Can you think of a few couples you admire that have this ideal partnership? Spend some time with them to learn about their relationship balance.
For the folks that inspired me to write who are currently in secretly unhealthy, unhappy relationships the one thing I can offer you is, think about the absolute worst that can happen. I admit I lived in so much fear for a very long time. Fear of what my family, friends, network would think.
Once you free yourself from all of the external side line noise, and get clear of how you truly DESERVE to live an incredible life filled with joy (yes you are SO worth it!)- assess your current situation. I chose surrender everything, and walk away from what was comfortable- and it has been the most profound healing and love I could ever experience for myself while shedding the ‘pressures’ of traditional Asian expectations.
Join me in creating this new dialogue! I would love to hear your thoughts below, what is currently holding you back? What pressures do you face? We are always looking at more ways to provide greatness that you can step into… Once you love yourself first. and it’s SO beautiful.