ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Entrepreneurs + Marriage: Possible? Or Possibly Hopeless?

In: Starting an Online Business

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.

Aug 5

2017

“My Brand is Boring As Fuck. With a Capital F.”

Aug 5, 2017

Andddddd it’s a wrap! We took The Cotswolds by motherloving storm this past week, as I led a cozy, intimate business retreat with five killer women in the English countryside, complete with fireside chats, darling little pubs, open-air picnics, tons of peppermint tea, and, of course, trekking around in our wellies through refreshingly moist meadows […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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2013

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How many books do you have in your Kindle library that you haven’t read yet? How many times have you said to yourself, “I should really learn how to write better copy,” or “I should really learn Photoshop,” or “I should really learn how to shower more regularly instead of rotting away in my yoga pants […]

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2015

The Smell of Desperation

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You can smell the desperation. You see folks running sideways all over the internet trying to get noticed, be bigger, get heard. But there’s a simple truth that a lot of people forget: If your message is weak, no one’s going to care, no matter how loudly you parade yourself around. Have you ever had […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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2012

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May 4, 2012

Ever jump in a pool fully clothed? You gotta try it. Borderline rebellious, without landing you a spot in jail, or any unplanned pregnancies. (Usually.) I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped into more pools clothed than the average human being, which must qualify me for something. Something other than the insane asylum. Or the WWF. My […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Feb 7

2014

Just The Tip: Nobody Wants Your Free Goodies

Feb 7, 2014

Alright, it’s time we had a talk about your goodies. I’ve seen free goodies being offered all over the internet for year after (painful) year, and I really have to wonder: Are they honestly as good as Ciara’s? Kidding. We both know that’s impossible. Have you seen her abs? Regardless, if you’ve ever caught yourself writing, “Sign up […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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2014

What To Do When You Hire Them And…They Suck.

Jul 10, 2014

So you started a business and before you knew it you were regularly lip syncing to Gaga while kicking ass, taking orders, AND taking names—which, for the record, I hear is a mafia term. Isn’t that delightful? Suddenly, you found yourself with an extra $5 and immediately shouted to no one in particular, “I’m going to reinvest […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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Mar 30

2016

Create & Offer What YOU’D Want to Buy.

Mar 30, 2016

  “THAT’S GENIUS!” said a lot of really sweet people really big brown nosers after the launch of Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends last week. Except they weren’t giving me the compliment because of what it contained, but rather, because of what it didn’t. “You mean you aren’t inundating everyone with another Facebook group? No forums? No Google […]

In: Starting an Online Business

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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