RelationshipsSelf Love & Empowerment

Marriage, Choices, and the Judgment that Follows.

By January 9, 2018 No Comments

Hi. It’s me, Kali.

Guys, I gotta apologize. My mind has been somewhere else completely these past few months and writing just has not been a thing I’ve had the bandwidth for. I know that sucks because a lot of you use the Blush blog as a way to interact with our community, so sorry bout that.

But, I have some good news.

I got married!

Photo by Beatrice Clark

 

Yayyyyyyy.

Y’all, I totally understand the hype now. Planning a wedding – not so fun. Don’t recommend. But the actual wedding? I get that it’s just a day, but it is a day to freaking remember. Highly recommend.

And while I didn’t feel like a pretty pretty princess, I sure as hell felt so much love. And ok sure, my dress rocked. But I mean the vows (melt – y’all, he KILLED it), the bridal party (hotties), the drinks (too many), the food (omg), and the band (lit)…it was all fabulous. And worth it.

However the glitz and glam wasn’t enough to put my mind on pause. I still had some hesitations. Not about spending my life with Andrew – I had made that decision loud and clear three years ago. But about other things.

Ugh fine, I’ll admit it.

I have to say that I was genuinely worried once I got married, I would start judging those who weren’t.

Not, like, in a “Umm you’re not married? And you’re living in SIN???” type of way. But in a general lack of perspective type way. I feared that once I was married, I would look at other longterm couples and think, “what’s taking you so long?” which is complete bullshit because Andrew and I are coming up on five years and in no way, shape, or form do I want to completely negate our relationship PRIOR to marriage.

I feared that once I made the leap, I would lose all ability to understand why someone else hadn’t. And I thought, “Geez, given my profession, am I that out of touch?”

But you guys, I’m not the problem. I mean, I am a problem in lots of other ways. But not in this one. Social pressure is the problem.

Still. I was worried. And, I realized that wasn’t all I was worried about.

I was worried how my single friends would view me. Would I still be relatable?
I was worried I’d set my bar too high on expectations financially.
I was worried my brand on Blush would change since I am now hitched.
I was worried I’d start acting more “seasoned” than other couples. Smugness. Ew.
I was worried Andrew and I wouldn’t look back on our pre-marriage relationship as “real.”
I was worried my clients wouldn’t think I was “in it” with them anymore.
I was worried I’d start to use the word hubs. (lol jk I WILL NEVER)
I was worried being married would change me.

 

Photo by Beatrice Clark

 

Now before I continue, these thoughts did not haunt me throughout my engagement or my wedding day. But they did come up from time to time, and I hated that I even had to entertain them. What is it with timelines and norms and expectations that create SO much anxiety? Why are milestones so explosive in such surprising ways?

I think the answer therein lies in judgment. Judging others for their choices. Judging ourselves for ours.

These thoughts didn’t just appear out of thin air. They have been circling around conversations for months surrounding my engagement as a result of insecurity.

I couldn’t sit through happy hour with an acquaintance talking about how much she looooves her LA lifestyle without a comment about “boring married couples” coming up and wondering if she meant me.

Were mortgages really that offensive? I wouldn’t think so. I mean hell, I don’t have one but that’s certainly the goal.

And then came the name stuff.

As most of you know, I’m going to be Kali Rogers for the rest of my life. I’ve built a business with this name, I’ve worked my butt off on getting my SEO for this name, I wrote a book under this name, and Andrew, as he said during our vows (told you!), fell in love with me when I had this name. So it’s sticking, and I’ve known that would be my choice for about three years. Therefore, I’ve been defending this choice I’ve made…for three years.

Yes, I will probably have a different last name than any children I choose to have. No, this does not bother my now-husband (he wouldn’t have it any other way). Yes, I could change it personally and leave my name professionally.

But I don’t want to.

And again, why on earth does that offend?

Some of this has to do with me. I want to be relatable to others because at this point in my life I’m PROGRAMMED that way so I hate it when others don’t feel validated. I like to be a cheerleader for all of the choices, even those I would never consider for myself. So I want my single friends to take their time finding partners and getting married, if they choose that at all. I’m totally down with church weddings as long as no one mentions a female being the result of a man’s rib. I want my best friends to change their last names as soon as they can if that’s what they want. And it’s great that some couples finally feel legitimate after marriage and have a newfound confident swagger wherever they go.

But I can’t live my life validating others. At some point, I have to validate myself and not apologize for the fact that my wedding reading was Obergefell vs. Hodges and I’m genuinely freaking out that getting a kitten is going to be too much responsibility for me even though friends my age are having CHILDREN.

…As you can tell I’ve been ping ponging these thoughts in my head around for a while. So here is what I’ve been silently telling myself during this process and will hopefully continue to do so for years to come.

Photo by AJ Latteri

 

One person’s choice does not negate yours.

 

Support for choices are NOT mutually exclusive.

We have to hammer this into our heads over and over again. Someone making a different choice than you made does not mean they don’t support your choice. Just because every single one of my friends changed their last name after marriage DOES NOT MEAN that they think I’m a disrespectful angry human for not changing mine. In fact my friends LOVE IT. And you know what? They are allowed to make choices that fit their mold and lifestyle while also respecting a different mold and lifestyle. It’s not hard logic.

For example, if you painted your bedroom a shade of blue, that doesn’t mean you hate every other color in existence. You can also like lavender, grey, nude, yellow, mint, and powder pink. You do not have to wage a war on every color in the spectrum because you went with baby blue.

This is for us to remember when we start to judge, and this is for us to remember when we make a choice that doesn’t fit in line with everyone else’s. Because unfortunately, I’ve observed a common reaction in others when these two scenarios arise. and I’ve noticed them in myself as well.

When we hear a choice that doesn’t align with the choice we made, we feel insecure.
When we make a choice that doesn’t align with others’ choices, we feel fear.

Insecure that others aren’t validating our choices. If I admire this person and they made a different choice, am I wrong? What are others thinking? Am I totally alone in this? What am I missing here? I should go OVERBOARD in defending my choice and make sure that others know I am 100% COMMITTED to my choice or else they will catch on and think I’m dumb, too. 

Fear that others might not view you in the same way when you go against the grain. Well now I’m feeling a little insecure, too. I’m scared others are going to think I’m weird or think that I’m insulting their choice by doing something different. Am I being smug? Ok, maybe I should compliment their choices so they know I’m not being mean. Oh God, should I just change the subject? Can we still be friends?? Maybe if I apologize for my choice everything will be OK.

*panic*

This happens all the time – over choices big and small.

So here’s my take:

Take a breath. Recount why you made your choice, and explore the reasons why someone else wouldn’t. Turn your brain into a collaborative workspace where all ideas are welcome. Resist defensiveness and remember that freedom of choice is a gift and we should be able to exercise it effortlessly. Applaud friends for showing you another side to a decision. Appreciate that you live a life where you can see both sides played out right in front of your very eyes. And remember that in this scenario, you can have your cake and eat it too if you choose tolerance, compassion, and acceptance.

I’d also like to add that this whole marriage defensiveness insecurity fear thing doesn’t come up with men half as much as women. So yes, gender plays a role. Aren’t we LUCKY?

Anywho.

Practice this process much as possible in every scenario you can. It’s ok to think differently than friends – even when it comes to something as grand as marriage. But if we can learn to accept our own choices while being supportive of others’ choices, it will make the big milestones easy to cross without apologizing, judging, or freaking the hell out.
 

Don’t apologize for your independent choices.

 

As you can see, while this blog post uses marriage as an example, this isn’t about marriage. This is about any choice you make. Ever. Marriage just happens to come with lots of little choices.

When is the wedding? Who participates? Where is it? How much does it cost? Who’s invited? What’s the vibe? What does it represent?
 

“Flower Gram” – isn’t she adorable?

 

And then aside from the wedding…

What does marriage mean to you? What will change? What will stay the same? What are your new goals? What are your dreams? Who will be your social circle? Do you want children?

Geez.

Marriage opens you up to a lot of “life forming” decisions. And they are INCREDIBLY personal and theoretically should not involve anyone other than you and your partner.

But theoretically is usually bullshit, as we’ve all found out one way or the other.

You are going to have parents, friends, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, mentors, and colleagues give their two cents about your choices. Maybe it’s because they’re nosey, but generally most people are just curious. Life events make for great conversation and you can learn a ton about someone just by asking about their wedding. For example you could probably tell that I am a liberal introverted feminist after about 10 seconds of me discussing mine.

As if you didn’t already know that.

Whenever these hot button topics come up, don’t apologize.

Don’t apologize for not inviting someone you barely know to arguably one of the most important days of your life. Don’t apologize for not wearing white. Don’t apologize for marrying someone too fast or too slow (is there such a thing?). Don’t apologize for not cutting the cake or having a cake or changing your name or not changing your name or ANYTHING ELSE that doesn’t directly hurt somebody else. And if people genuinely believe that your decisions about your marriage OFFENDS them, we have to have an entirely different conversation about social circle selectiveness or boundaries.

Girl, you do you. Marriage is ideally for life, and you have to live with these choices. You will not and cannot please or appease everybody. Impossible. And if you try, you’ll always be abandoning what’s right for you. So do what you need to do, and in order to feel healthy and secure about it, stop apologizing. Apologizing breeds insecurity and fear – and we all know where that will take you.

HELL.

Just kidding. But it won’t feel aligned with who you are, and you don’t deserve to live like that.
 

Find people who have your back.

 

Coach Charlotte!

 

Life is so much easier with a supportive network.

You’re not going to be able to dodge all of the anxiety that comes with big decisions. I don’t care if you are the most self-assured badass woman out there – we all experience some discomfort when big milestones approach. Even if that means processing the guilt that comes with fighting for what you want tooth and nail.

So…why have to fight at all?

There are some people you won’t be able to filter out. Family is going to be there through it all, and you can’t choose your fam. So for every person that you can choose, make them fabulous.

And I don’t just mean sweet natured or humorous or intelligent. I’m talking the type of people who are so confident in themselves that being toe to toe with an equally confident person doesn’t shake them. I’m talking about the type of people who welcome diversity and desire complex and interesting friendships to round out their social life. I’m talking about the type of people who know how to truly love and will back you up regardless if it fits their decision-making compass or not.

Those kind of people.

That’s who you want in your life. Because when it comes time for you to take some big leaps and change your life forever, they won’t meet you at the crossroads with fear or insecurity. They’ll give you a big ass hug and tell you that no matter what you choose, they’re going to be there. Your life choices do not infringe or offend them. And that will always give you the space and calm you need in order to choose what’s right for you, knowing that you’re loved along the way.


 

IN CONCLUSION

  1. Getting married is fun if you’re into it.
  2. Feeling insecure/scared about your big life choices is not.
  3. Push out resistance by balancing thoughts, not apologizing, and surrounding yourself with support.
  4. I wrote a lot and my fun wedding pics broke up the text.
  5. When women support other women in their life choices, progress happens.

Oh, and if you’re going through any of these biggish milestones in your life, Blush is here for you. Our life coaches have gone through it all and are ready to help clear your mind of anxiety and guilt while you make healthy and individualistic decisions for yourself. Join us today and see how we can help change your life.

xx

Kali Rogers

Author Kali Rogers

Kali Rogers is the Founder, Janitor, and CEO of Blush. You can stalk her on Instagram or ask her whatever you want via email. She loves the attention.

More posts by Kali Rogers

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