Posts Tagged: marriage Results 27
Editor’s Note: This is the concluding post in Simi Lichtman’s blog exploring her first year of married life as a young Modern Orthodox woman. Simi will still be writing for the Sisterhood blog and for the Forward. You’ll be able to find Just Married in Forward.com’s archives.
As I’m sure you know — or maybe you overheard some girls weeping recently and weren’t sure why — Andy Samberg got married to his girlfriend songwriter Joanna Newsom in California last weekend. But he’s not the only Jewish star to get married recently; a somewhat less-famous member of the tribe, Cornelia Griggs, was married the same day, on the other side of the country. Don’t recognize the name? Maybe you’ll recognize her mother’s: Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times.
Even if you hadn’t heard of Griggs, or read about her marriage in — you guessed it — the New York Times, you’re probably mildly interested in learning more. Let me fill you in on the scoop: Basically, she and her equally good-looking husband were both educated at Ivy League universities, went to top-tier medical schools and are currently surgical residents.
I spent years learning how to be happy and healthy — to take care of myself, pay attention to my own needs, see a therapist and take anti-anxiety meds — before I met Jeremy. By the time we got married, I was two years out of my eating disorder with no relapses. It seemed I had finally figured out how to live a balanced, healthy life, and I was able to enter our marriage with relative confidence that life would continue in that positive direction. So when I ran out of refills on my anti-anxiety prescription and no longer had access to my college’s free psychiatry service, I figured I would be fine. It had been such a low dose, anyway, the lowest possible, and I was much better at handling difficult situations. Plus, I was in a happy marriage and loved my job. I had nothing to be stressed or anxious about, so I pronounced myself graduated from medication.
I was terminating therapy after three years — my therapist and I both agreed I was ready — and didn’t want to mess that up, so I didn’t tell my psychologist that I had stopped taking my meds as well. I didn’t want to be questioned for my choice, so I didn’t tell anyone else either. Including Jeremy.
Despite my oath to myself to not write another blog post about babies, the recent TIME article about women and couples who have made the conscious decision not to have children struck a chord with me, too.
A running theme in the article is the constant expectation these people come up against that eventually all women will want children. I’ve always known I want to be a mother, and whether that’s because of a societal dictate or not, the desire hasn’t wavered. Jeremy, too, has always wanted kids. Yet since I’ve been married I’ve noticed just how consistent the expectation to have children is within the Orthodox community. Each time I encounter this expectation, I wonder, “How much would this annoy me if I didn’t plan on having kids?”
Usually, when gender equality is discussed, it’s often in the context of how women can obtain equal rights and opportunities in society and in the workforce as men.
I’m married to a man who wants that, sure, but his objections to gender inequality go further: Jeremy wants a world where men get the same opportunities as women. Where men are not held to a standard of masculinity, where they hold equal sway in the home and in child-rearing.