Marriage Mondays: Marriage Supermodels, Just Me

Today's Marriage Monday is a series of interviews I did with some lovely friends of mine. I asked a bunch of girlfriends, all of whom are in very different stages in their dating/relationship lives, some questions about marriage role models. I am really excited to share their responses with you. I "participated" in the interview also, and will be posting my own answers last. I'm excited to share with you these smart, interesting women's take on marital role models and how they weigh in on our own marriages. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together! And please, feel free to answer the interview questions yourself in the comments! I'd love to hear more views on this topic! : )


Wow, today has been a heck of a day! This is a record number of posts for one day here on NTMK! I really thought about splitting up the series, but I just loved it so much that I couldn't wait a whole week to post the rest. I got greedy, people. It's true. Still, I hope you've loved reading these posts as much as I enjoyed putting them together. This has been something I always wanted to talk about with my friends and with you guys. What a great way to have this conversation with both. Anyway, before I post my own responses, I wanted to make a special announcement. Starting in September, Not the Marrying Kind will be accepting submissions for Dance Friday and Marriage Monday posts. I will be posting guidelines later this week and I hope you'll help me spread the word. I am still working on a giveaway, too, and hope to be doing that this month (finally!). Anyway, I hope all you readers will come back and consider submitting to this here little blog. And for those of you who read this because of my personal posts, don't worry. I'll still be rambling on about my boring life. I'm too narcissistic not to. : )

I am excited about this as a new way to open up the conversation about marriage and weddings, though, and I hope you are, too. It's a bit scary to be doing this. And I'm not going to lie that I'm terrified to finally be doing it, but I'm hoping for good things and I hope you'll forgive me if the journey to getting things going is rough. I sure am glad so many of you awesome, smart ladies are with me on it. Now...on to my own marriage role models interview! Enjoy!

1. Marty Created Alias? Well, I created Marty, so...

2. What is your marital status? (If you are married, please tell me how long you've been married.)
Married since March 2010

3. Growing up, what was your view of marriage?
I remember for my 8th grade graduation, we had to make these large poster board portraits of ourselves. It had our silhouette and around the head were all the things that our future held. I asked a classmate who was a great artist to draw a little bride wearing what I imagined my dress to look like one day (it didn't look like that at all...too 90's). No groom. Just me in my dress. That sort of defines how I've viewed marriage my whole life actually. Truth be told, for a long, long time it got to be hard to imagine ever getting married.

Because I had so few boyfriends when I was young and because I thought boys never really liked me, I really saw myself as not getting married until I was much older (mid- to late-30's/early 40's). I now realize that's because I didn't have people living the norm in terms of marriage surrounding me. I also had a warped self-image. Some of that was my family's fault, some my own fault. Plus, I also dated a lot of jerks. It took me a while to learn what I really wanted, how to be more okay with myself, and what a good relationship should be before I ever thought marriage with anyone was a possibility.

4. Do you feel like you have strong role models for marriage in your life?
Not particularly. My parents divorced when I was really young. I remember some good times, but I also remember a lot of fighting. But more so than bad marriages surrounding me, I really had people who didn't marry surrounding me. My two oldest brothers are still single and in their early 40's. Neither one seems to have any intention of marrying, though one is currently living with a girlfriend. They were never really into marriage or having kids. I was always closest to my oldest brother and a lot of his friends either aren't/have never been married or were divorced. It warped what marriage meant in my head. I thought marriage was a bad thing. I still struggle with that, too. I don't think marriage is a bad thing, but I do struggle with whether or not it is me. I love A.P. and I love our life, so each day I think more and more that I am the marrying kind. But when for so long you didn't and then your mother told you that you weren't, well, sometimes stuff like that sticks a bit.

4a. If yes, how do you feel like they affect your marriage?

4b. If no, is/was this a concern for you? Do you wish you had better marriage role models?
It was a concern for me because, for me anyway, I felt inept. I am the kind of person that feels like I can do most things. Some things I do better than others, but if you show me how, I can handle most tasks. Being in a successful marriage wasn't something I was shown, so I didn't feel like I could handle the challenges that being in that kind of a committed relationship bring up.

I really do wish I'd had better role models. But I try to pick up on the positive ones that I do have around me, even if they are few and far between. I think that my friends Southern K(elle) and B-Mac, both of whom have been in long-term relationships are inspirational and great role models. I also think about my godmother and grandmother, who were both married for 50 and 40 years respectively. To me, that is amazing. I love having conversations with my godmother about marriage. I also try to learn from the mistakes I've seen people make.

5. Do you think having positive marriage role models is important to a successful marriage? Why or why not?
I think that having positive role models is important, but not necessary. The older I get the more I realize that people are strange. And behind closed doors, you never know what makes a marriage last and work. I recently heard about a friend having an open marriage. I was discussing this with some other friends and we were all in shock, not to mention that we don't really get it. But that couple has been married for a long time. So who knows what makes a marriage last or work or tick? I'm not saying A.P. and I are going to start having an open marriage AT ALL (soooo not my bag, baby), but I do think it's important to sometimes buck the trend and do what works for you.

Still, I like having relationships that I aspire to mimic around me. It keeps me on my toes and makes me realize when perhaps I am being too nuts about things in my own marriage. I also think I learn a lot from my friends in long-term relationships. You learn that people aren't that different and that we all struggle with the same issues: feeling loved, feeling supported, feeling like you are building a successful future together as partners. Having positive role models who show you how to do those things definitely make figuring some steps out along the way a bit easier.

Thank you so much for reading today! I hope you enjoyed this series. Please feel free to share it with your friend or share your own responses in the comments. I also hope to see your submissions soon!

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(Photo by Theresa Scarbrough)

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