Have you ever wondered why it is always the woman with the 27 cats and not the man? Why do people not say the man with the 50 dogs as this lonely, spinster who pines alone for his dogs? It is very odd. If a man is single, in any culture, at the age of 25- he is the bachelor who is living it up. He doesn’t need actually need to even have a relationship to be accepted. Heck, he can even get to 50 and as long as he has a stable job, people won’t even think twice about it.
However, is that really the same for women? In the Asian world, and probably many other worlds, women at 25 and not married is classed as ‘out of date.’ Women fear it and once upon a time I did as well. I used to hear from the age of just 18 that marriage is around the corner. I always said to my mum I would be the woman with the 27 cats. I didn’t even feel any embarrassment saying it- I probably should have though. Not because of my parents, I mean if my dad had it his way, his little girl will be home every day of her life. She doesn’t need anyone as long as she had her dad holding her through life. But, society is different.
Every girl is raised to fear ending up alone. You go to weddings and will hear ‘You’re next.’ I can assure you there have been 50 since I first heard that and for all of you girls thinking about this, you probably heard it too. Why must we fear not getting married more than death itself? Why do we need to think that marriage will solve all of our problems? Is this cultural or is this religious? It’s both by the way.
Anyway, when you grow up as a girl the one thing you think about is the wedding day and not the marriage. Many girls today will be told marriage has to happen because heaven-forbid they do not get married but is that it in life? If you are not married by 30, that’s it isn’t it. You start the catery up. You knit the little jackets for your cats and you begin to rock in the corner. That doesn’t ever happen but that’s what you start to imagine.
Parents with sons do not have to worry about this. They encourage their sons to get a stable job first. There is no sell-by date but there is the worry of course but not like the ones with daughters.
I see it more today in all cultures than I have ever before. It honestly doesn’t matter what race you are I see it. Girls are showing their engagement rings, planning their weddings and excited for their big day. It is beautiful to see it really is because in our eyes, we are doing what we were raised to do.
But.. were you told about how life would be after the wedding day? I am sure you looked amazing in your wedding outfit, your family looked happier than ever, tears were shed but what about the day after? Have you two discussed where you want to be in 10 years, have you discussed your life goals or the most horrific topic of all- money. Have you discussed chores? Have you planned when you want kids? Have you discussed your core belief system. These things do take time and thankfully a lot do. However, a lot believe we need the ring. We are taught to put a ring on it. That’s it. The rest is over- he is trapped now. Wrong. No one is ever trapped and if you think that, you need to think harder. We are in a modern day where things are only getting better. Cheryl Cole or Cheryl Vas something was divorced in less than 14 seconds. If you do not think about the core principles of marriage, that could a possibility.
We start to think the day after our wedding day. You wake up and you really start to think about your life more. Are you going to be a housewife that you promised your husband because I mean it is not unheard of making out you are Nigella in the kitchen and the most family-oriented person in the world. You may have even thrown out the ‘whilst you work, I will look after your parents.’ Or did you go the other way, did you say you will be the breadwinner and earn the millions and will make time for all of the other menial chores. What expectations did you say before? Thing is, expectations is just that. It is not a tangible good you can keep forever. It is a concept and concepts can change. You both must be ready for it..
Now let’s start by discussing the parents with the sons. Ha they got it easy right, they didn’t worry about daughters and planning their big day before they hit the old age of 25? Incorrect. No their struggles are just beginning. They have inherited a new daughter. A daughter raised to believe the wedding day is the biggest day of their lives. Their new daughter has been raised to the point of their wedding day. You have to treasure this daughter like she was treasured in her own home. Are you ready to open up to her? Because the rest of her life is up to you. I mean you’ve taught your handsome son to focus on getting a good job and staying out of trouble. Have you taught your son how to listen to women or help out in the house? Are you willing to admire your new daughter like she has been admired in her life? Will you stick up for her when she is lower than low because her family isn’t calling her every second in the day anymore.
And for the parents who are raising your daughters, you have taught your daughters to stay home and not become too social. Yeah YOUR home.Not all homes are the same though. So although you have protected the apple of your eye from the big, bad world, you’ve now released her to it? She is so so used to being in your home, with you paying for her, feeding her and you cleaning her clothes. Now she is expected to do that for someone else. Is she really ready? She’s ready to look beautiful and to tell the world she is Mrs .. but is she ready to become everything you are now? Have you taught her that marriage is hard work or have you encouraged her to have her big wedding day the minute she finishes her university degree.
Can you see the dilemma yet?
Sons are being taught to become independent and earn money and girls have been taught to stay sheltered. When she says she wants to pop out and socialise, you will ask for what time she is back? When he says he will pop out and see some friends, you wave them goodbye- That’s my boy. They are taught very different things and now they are running a home together. These expectations that have been sent from above is causing a lot of hiccups in society today. Can your son be ready for his new wife’s demands. They now have new limits to their freedom. Can they cope? They are different to yours but that’s what a marriage is. It is a partnership. Is he really ready for that? What if the man isn’t earning as much as he would like and the girl is not as homely as she wants to be? Nothing kills a relationship more than over-promising and under-delivering.
I have had a thought and that is 50/60 years ago, marriages lasted for multiple reasons, such as fear of society, social norms and gender roles that are enforced. They were taught how to be a good wife and a good husband. Now, it is a little different. We are raised to have the big wedding day. We want to put the pictures on the wall, we want to upload the pictures onto Instagram, we want to basically tell the world. Parents worry about getting the spouse more than keeping the spouse. Parents are sheltering their kids from any possible scandal so they marry them quickly. However, is a divorce not as scandalous anymore? Not really. I mean it happens in every family. Thing is, why marry at all if you fear there could be a divorce? Marrying for the wrong reasons will never work out in my opinion and I hope people agree with me. I’m not saying drag out a relationship or live together first. I mean communicate clearly why you want to get married and be sure of who you are first because you want the grounds to be as steady as possible first. You need to know your 10 year plans, your idea of perfection and to be willing to open up to another family.
You need to be sure who you are marrying as a woman. Women are quick now to say yes to someone because they are fulfilling their duties. Thing is that is just one. When you are married, you have a million more. If you are not ready for that or if you are not sure you want the person you are marrying, why are you getting married right now? Because we are all too scared to become the woman with the 27 cats, that’s why.