Can Putting Others First Make Women Regret Their Decision To Marry

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Do women regret getting married, when their life undergoes a massive change once they tie the knot? These thoughts crossed my mind as I listened to Adele’s latest single Easy On Me, which came out last week.

Her first release after separating from her husband Simon Konecki in 2019, Easy On Me can be perceived as a request on Adele’s behalf to her ex and her son for kindness. Walking away from a marriage is not an easy decision, even in the most liberal societies. Women and men are expected to try as hard as possible to make things work, and provide a (socially) valid reason when all efforts fail. To walk away from a seemingly good marriage, especially when there are young kids involved often comes with a sense of guilt, even if you are a singing superstar.

There is this specific verse from Adele’s song that caught my attention:

There ain’t room for things to change

When we are both so deeply stuck in our ways

You can’t deny how hard I’ve tried

I changеd who I was to put you both first…

But now I give up

The last two lines will strike a chord with many married or separated women. Don’t we all go through exact same thing? Don’t women tend to put their loved ones first to a point that it becomes unbearable? When your identity, your routine, your lifestyle – everything begins revolving around your husband and kids, there might come a day when a she looks into a mirror and doesn’t recognise, or like, the person she sees in it.

This feeling of resentment can break a relationship irreparably. So why do women still resort to such behaviour? Simply because they don’t know any better. Did any of your aunts, moms or cousins tell you, before you got married, that a little selfishness goes a long way to keep a marriage healthy? No. In fact, they might have told you just the opposite – be selfless.

But after marriage, women see themselves being taken for granted and that’s when they realise that their priorities will not matter to anyone because they have trivialised them. Women can either raise their voice and try to course-correct their family and their attitude towards their needs, or choose to suffer in silence. Some, however, decide to step away from the marriage and start afresh and it makes sense. There are times when you simply do not have the energy to carry on.

Adele’s new song embodies the guilt women might feel in such situations, but that doesn’t mean their decision was wrong. Staying in a marriage from which you might have mentally checked out a long time ago would be unfair to your partner and other family members.

If only we stopped telling women to put others first and not feel guilty for having desires or seek individuality. Marriage is an important part of any person’s life, but it cannot be an event that defines our identity.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

Suggested Reading:

Extramarital Affairs: Can Happiness Lie In Escape?

Why Can’t Society Let Women Walk Away From Dysfunctional Marriages In Peace?

If Feminism Is Breaking Your Marriage, Then Perhaps It Is Better Off Broken