ASH AMBIRGE

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Entrepreneurs + Marriage: Possible? Or Possibly Hopeless?

In: Business 101,

Marriage scares the *#$^!&*(±*@&%^$*#@(±!!)!)!%&@# out of me.

As a matter of fact, it scares me so much, there should really be some of these in there: ¡¿¡¿ (For once, buying my Macbook in South America, and having the corresponding Spanish keyboard, paid off. Look at that sexy upside down punctuation! You like them papayas? Do ya? I'm pretty sure I learned how to parallel park faster than I learned how to navigate this keyboard, just for the record.)

It's not marriage itself that scares me, per se.

I can be faithful. I can compromise. I can listen. Care. Love. I know when to put my pride to the side, when to give space, when to throw up him against a wall, and when to shut de fuck up during the game.

I can be thoughtful. Giving. Passionate. Coy–which I believe every woman must learn how to be, to a point, whether she's seducing a new lover, or seducing her husband of 20 years. There's a reason it's called, “keeping a marriage alive,” in which “marriage” is really just a nice euphemism for “sexual appetite.” Let's be honest. (To those of you about to comment and say that a “healthy marriage” is based on “mutual love and respect,” I hear you, and I agree, of course. But I also imagine you're not getting laid nearly enough.)

I actually believe I'd make an excellent wife, someday.

Not in the subservient sense, which is sort of how that statement comes across, but in the holy-shit-I'm-(still)-madly-in-love-with-that-woman-and-I'm-so-glad-I-married-her kind of sense. I'm pretty sure Ludacris nailed it when he said, “Want a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed.” What truer words could be spoken of man kind? By which I literally am referring to man-kind, or perhaps more appropriately, male-kind. 

Hell, I could even learn how to bake cookies or some shit.

The institution of marriage, while I've questioned its validity many (many) times, isn't really what scares me, after all. Whether such a man-made cultural construct is valid or not no longer concerns me, because I understand why it exists.

I used to believe the institution of marriage continued to exist mostly because of tradition, and with tradition, a certain sense of “it's just what people do.” Which is why I rejected it, because I think that doing anything just because “it's what people do” is a ridiculous, lazy and cowardice way to live life–and will often result in misery, dissatisfaction, and moundfuls of resentment that manifests itself nicely into weekly (daily?) blackouts at your neighborhood dive bar. Peanuts on the house, ev'body! –

Rather, I now tend to believe that marriage exists, not always because we're suppose to marry, but because, as human beings, we want to marry.

We've got a secret–or not so secret–longing for companionship and intimacy, and we seem to look to marriage to fulfill those basic human needs.

And that's cool. I can ride that train.

The scary part, however, comes down to one question: What if, while prancing around, eating bon-bons and bathing myself in all of this hot, sexy companionship and intimacy…we drown ourselves & lose everything that was once us…in the process?

What I want to know is this: It is possible to be 100% devoted to your marriage, while still staying 100% devoted to yourself? I know that sounds like a basic question that we've all heard, and one with a seemingly simple answer: “Yes! Absolutely! It's about give and take! It's about maintaining your separate identities! It's about boundaries! It's about giving space! It's about ______________________ (fill in the blank with whatever overplayed self-help phrase you can think of.)

But I want to go deeper than the superficial answers you hear on Oprah.

Because mathematically, it ain't possible, yo. You can't give 100% to one thing, and 100% to another, because that adds up to more than the whole, and, THAT JUST CAN'T BE. (Hat tip, Mr. Hayden, 9th grade geometry class, huzzah.)

So that being the case, it would imply that one or the other will always sort of be, well…half-assed.

And really, this isn't even a fair comparison, because, of course, you'll always have other things in your life that require your attention, taking up part of that whole: family, friendships, hobbies, your impending unibrow…you know, the ush.

So while I don't mean to be so black and white about it–marriage or you, do or die!–I can't help but feel that too often, it ends up being the case.

I've got big things in the works. Big, splashy marks I intend to make on the world. And I refuse to give anything less than 100%. And I have a feeling that it's going to be that way for a long time. As D says, there is no such thing as life balance. And she's right–not when your intentions involve throwing everything off balance.

So where do you find the bandwidth? At what point do you make space for the companionship? The intimacy? And all of the time required to even get to those places? And what must you sacrifice as a result? –

This is why marriage scares me.

Not the institution of it, nor whether or not I'll actually find the right partner (he will have dimples, and we will love each other long time), but, rather, the sacrifice involved in such a heavy commitment.

Something has to go.

And that something can't be me.

Enter your email address and I'll rummage around in my bag of tricks for JUST the thing.

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152 thoughts on "Entrepreneurs + Marriage: Possible? Or Possibly Hopeless?"

  1. George P.H. says:

    BEEP!

    Right, you can’t give your marriage 100% while giving yourself 100%. Like you said, it doesn’t add up. Being in any kind of organization – (and that’s what marriage is: a partnership) – means sacrificing personal gain for the common good. I believe that once you’re married, you stop being an “I” and start being a “We”.

    However, imagine how amazing it is to be with someone who wants most of the same things as you in life. That way, even when you aren’t giving 100% to yourself, your partner is making up for it by giving you a little extra somethin-somethin. That’s the beauty of married life.

    Thinking about marriage when you’re not in love is always scary. I think that if we looked at it rationally, few people would ever get married. That’s why we need a crazy little thing called love – to help us make this big step forward, logic be damned.

    Thanks for the great post!