Have you ever felt like married women or women in relationships have something you don’t just because they are married and you are single?
Well, this is exactly how one of my new clients, let’s call her Anchaal, feels.
She told me, “When I meet women who are my age and married, I get this pang in my gut. It’s like she is showing me up in some way. I get upset and feel hopeless around my love life, like I will never have what I want because I’m not where she is.
It triggers me, and I don’t want to react this way. I know I’m being triggered because I think married women are better than me, like they have something I don’t. And because I look at them this way, I almost always feel like they feel bad for me because I’m single.
Kavita, how do I stop letting this trigger with married women affect me? It sends me straight into a place of feeling pessimistic in my love life which dominos into me feeling like I don’t even want to date.”
I immediately said to her, “I am so proud of you for asking this question, because these feelings aren’t pretty, and yet you are letting me in on them and asking for help. So many women feel this way and are ashamed of admitting it.”
Then I launched into the assumptions she was unknowingly making:
1) That married women have a gene or characteristic that makes them more loveable that is missing for her.
2) That married women are more complete and that is why they are in a relationship and she’s not.
3) That married women are automatically more loveable because they are being loved.
4) That married women are looking down on you for being single simply because they have a man loving them.
Well the good news is that you being single and married women being married does not determine how loveable someone is or isn’t.
They are merely situations you are both in. That’s it.
It isn’t WHO YOU ARE.
When you have been single long enough, it feels like it is a part of your identity and it isn’t.
But you know that logically.
So, here are three misconceptions I shared with Anchaal that I want to share with you so you can start to see women in relationships differently.
In fact I want you to see them AS EQUALS:
1) She could be feeling just as alone.
I still remember days when Hemal and I were first married that I felt so alone.
I couldn’t understand why he didn’t get me, why we were fighting, and why I wasn’t happy.
I had gotten married, and I thought that meant my whole life would fall into place.
But I literally remember asking myself, “Would life be better if I were single?”
There is so much that goes on under the surface of a relationship that we can’t see. And often, as single women, we just see the married ones as having what we want and so we give them more power or weight than their situation really warrants.
Which leads me to my next point.
2) She has just as much to figure out as you
One of the biggest assumptions I see women make about relationships (that I totally disagree with) is that a when you meet the one and get married that it is happily ever after.
It simply doesn’t work that way.
The reality of all relationships is that anyone you have ever been or ever will be in a relationship with is going to bring things up for you.
Because that person is simply a mirror.
That is why I call Hemal my guru. He is there to show me all the ways I need to grow and evolve as a human being, which means facing all of my sh*t, and learning how to be a better, more compassionate, loving human being.
I am also serving that role for him.
So when you see a married woman, you feel like she has it all together, is perfect, and has figured out the secret to winning over a man and getting him to love her, that is simply not the case.
You’re moving through challenges in your life, just like the married woman is moving through challenges.
The only difference is that she’s married.
She, like you, is trying to figure out if she is lovable.
She, like you, is trying to understand why she can’t be understood or cared about the way she wants.
She, like you, yearns to be accepted for everything she is.
It is just that your journey for right now is working through that being single, and hers is working through that in a relationship.
Trust me when I say it isn’t necessarily better.
3) There is more to her story
Sometimes there’s pressure for married women or women in relationships to show up like everything is great because they have someone.
It is really only your closest and dearest friends that open up to you and tell you that it can be hard being married.
When you see happy images of couples on Facebook and pictures of your friends’ children and it looks like a perfect family picture, just know there is way more to the story.
Remember, the parts of someone’s life that they share (or display on Facebook) are the parts that they choose to share.
Just like the age old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” that is the same philosophy you want to use here.
You never know where this woman who’s making you feel inadequate could really be in her relationship.
Maybe you caught her on a good day when she and her husband are really getting along.
Or maybe you’re sitting here thinking, “Kavita I see her all the time. I know her husband. They have the most ridiculously great relationship I’ve ever seen.”
That’s actually even better. Because now you can view her relationship as an example to see that what you’re looking for actually IS out there.
It does exist.
So spend more time around those people, who have a relationship you never thought was possible.
Because honestly lady, the same people who truly have an outrageously happy relationship aren’t the kind of people that would look down on you for being single.
They know what it takes, and they’re willing to support you every step of the way.
So the next time you come across a married woman who makes you feel “less than” because you feel like she has something you don’t, remember that there are a lot of unexplained reasons that two people come together and a lot of possibilities going on under the surface.
Your Lovework this week is to tell me:
Based on these three perspective shifts I shared, how does that change how you see yourself and being single or what does it bring up for you?
Tell me in the comments below, I’d really love to hear from you.