Last week, musician Alanis Morissette published a blogpost on iVillage where she talked about how becoming a mother changed her life completely, for the better. This week she shares a post about her views on marriage. In her fairly lengthy treatise, Alanis talks about marriage … what it used to meant to her and what it now means to her as a married woman. Again, I think it’s an interesting read. Click below to check out some excerpts.
I was 12 when I first really thought about marriage. As an institution, it had long been threatened by skyrocketing divorce rates, the feminist movement, the 60’s freedom movement, as well as by the evolutionary imperative to update an antiquated system. A high percentage of people were either getting divorced and swearing off marriage altogether, or they were continuing to live so-called coupled lives of quiet desperation and resignation. If I was to be part of the marriage conversation at all, I was not prepared to make a lifelong decision based on adherence to or rebellion toward something. There had to be a third way! I had to find or come up with a new definition of why I would — with all these new reasons not to get married abounding — still jump the broom and be “made an honest woman out of” (as though I’d been dishonest the whole time — ha!). And so began my passionate foray into all-things-research around a simple question: Why would I even entertain getting married? Looking back I can see that I was both ashamed for how isolated I felt in my dearly held value system of monogamous commitment-for-the-long-and-windy-haul, and I also wanted so badly to prove that I was open to all approaches, lest mine seem totalitarian (read: I’d been made fun of for what I believed in in so many of my hipster circles). I wanted to be wrong about what I believed, if for no other reason than I wouldn’t have had to tortuously date for so long with no outbreath of wedding-trigger-pulling! I wanted to get down to the business of my dream come true! Waiting for “the one” and sidestepping almosts while holding firm to a vision was not for the impatient of heart. And so it was with this eye-on-the-prize way of thinking that I spent the last two and some odd decades doing my own personal research and development toward a new model for marriage … What I yearned for was a relationship that took into account that I was a female animal like any other: I yearned for security, protection, generosity and partnership like anyone else, and I yearned for babies too. I was also a spiritual being, yearning for consciousness-raising and the promise of wholeness through the committed relationship alchemy that was me and another with two feet in. I qualify two feet in because where I live, in Hollywood, it’s all too easy to be married for the infatuation of it all, and have it all come undone as quickly as it arose, rather than for it to be the sweltering sweat lodge of truth that I always yearned for marriage to be. I craved a marriage that was entered into for deliberate reasons, not one where, “I’ll see where this goes and if the heat in the kitchen gets a little too hot, I’ll jump ship.” I wanted a marriage that woke me and my beloved up out of our slumbering! I wanted a marriage where the height of intimacy and healing and growth were par for the matrimony course. I wanted a marriage where conflict was an invitation to growth, and it indicated a beginning of something — not the end! I wanted a marriage that I entered into with great consideration based on self-knowledge and open eyes while dating, where our true norths were similar, where our values were matched, where our missions were aligned — knowing that if those bases were covered, persevering through the other incompatibilities would then be made possible. I wanted a marriage that I entered into neither too quickly nor too cavalierly. And, perhaps most importantly, I wanted a marriage where I could be the fiery yet tender-hearted alpha female that I am, sans wings being clipped. I wanted my marriage to require something of me. I wanted the kitchen to get hot. I was a moth that wanted to be swallowed into the flame. I wanted my man to demand that I grow beyond my defense mechanisms. I wanted to influence and be influenced over time … I now spend an inordinate amount of time outside of my habitual behavior wheelhouse and slowly, almost imperceptibly, I am beginning to become unrecognizable, knowing that this will eventually feel familiar and HOME. I thought getting married would be beautiful — and it is. I thought marriage would be hard — and it is. And I thought someone whose bones I would want to jump who also shared my new definition of marriage would be hard to find — and it was. But as my dear friend said to me during a particularly despair-filled moment, “You only have to find one.” And I did. And I’m so grateful I kept the flame vision alive, and didn’t give up before I met him.
The full text of Alanis’s very well-written blogpost can be read HERE on iVillage. While I think I preferred her first blogpost about motherhood, there is no denying that her penchant for the written word is completely engaging. I am quite enjoying this peek into Alanis’s life. Where else would we be able to hear about her evolving life? I hope this series of blogposts for iVillage continues. So far, so interesting.