In September of 2016, I decided to remain optimistic about marriage.
I realized I was ready for marriage, in February of that year. Shortly after that realization friends and strangers, on their own, told me their negative experiences with marriage. Each experience and story was a counter to the narrative that we all know and reinforce to each other.
I know marriage is work, but never before had I heard such honesty.
Marriage and universe you just got me on your side regarding marriage and partnership. What are you trying to tell me? I thought to myself.
While I made a choice to stay quiet about those people and told no one of their stories and experiences, each story and experience weighed on my openness to and readiness for marriage.
In September, I attended a class called Conscious Dating and Relating. I learned about the 5 Levels of Anima and Animus for men and women, which I wrote about last week. The second part of class stuck with me, had a great impact and it alone is part of this marriage meditation.
In class we paired off. We were asked to independently draw our family at the dinner table and later talk about it with our partner. My partner drew a basic picture with shapes that represented him, his older brother, father and mother. All the men in the image were represented by a solid shape except for his mother. He drew her like a spiral.
- To move in the shape of a spiral, or to make something do this
- To continuously become worse, more, or less
Spiraled out of control. Downward spiral. Crazy or Frantic.
As a volunteer for an arts therapy non-profit I am trained to look into images, symbols/ shapes and colors that are drawn to see what the image indicates beyond the drawn image.
All the men in his family had a hobby that they were good at and it was represented by a symbol.
His mom was simply a spiral. I asked him what his mother’s hobby was and he said she didn’t have one.
My instinct was to ask deeper questions, but I was simply a participant of the exercise and not a facilitator. I kept quiet.
Once the class was done I kept thinking of that spiral and the underlying meaning of spiral. I felt bad for his mother and women of her generation. I also felt bad for the current generation of mothers who may also be summed up as a spiral, with no hobby of her own or anything that shows her individuality.
I don’t want to be a spiral. I don’t know if I want to be married?
This question and uncertainty closed out the remainder of my year, and the honest conversations did not stop. A conversation that followed which I will write about next week is a memory that I often revisit.
Love – Stephanie XO