Is Marriage Really the End of Freedom?

The LuvemOrLeavem blog took an unexpected hiatus last week, as my family and I headed out for a last minute vacation while our sons were on school break.  This spontaneous trip got me thinking about freedom and relationships, because so many people are under the impression that marriage means the end of fun and freedom.  Now I won’t try to say that a last minute getaway for an entire family is as spontaneous as a dating couple who doesn’t have to worry about kids being entertained in the car or having enough snacks for those kids, but compared to the days when traveling involved baby seats and a two ton diaper bag, we felt very spontaneous.

So just how much does it impact your freedom if you’re married or living together versus those bachelors and bachelorettes who claim they have the freedom to do whatever they want?  After taking a look at the people that I know who aren’t married (or living together) I would argue that I don’t see that they have any extra freedom.  In fact, depending on who they are dating at the time, I would argue that many of them have less freedom than those who are in solid, trusting relationships.  Here are some facts that poke holes in the theory that being unattached brings more freedom.

With Age Comes Responsibility- Whether you’re single or married, as you get older you will take on more responsibility.  I know people who argue that they have the freedom to hop in the car and head to Vegas because they have no one waiting at home to tell them that they can’t go.  Of course these same people have jobs and other commitments that keep them from being able to just jump in the car and head out of town when the mood strikes them, but that little fact often goes unnoticed as they talk about all the extra freedom that they have because they are unattached.

It All Depends on Who You’re Seeing- When my husband wants to go out with the guys, the conversation is short.  He checks to see if we have plans or if I’m counting on him to pick up the kids, and if not, he’s all set to head out.  I don’t ask questions about why he wants to go out, I already know that he needs some guy time and if an emergency crops up I know how to reach him.  Of course if I want to head out with my friends, I also know that after that quick courtesy phone call, I’m all set to go.

Now I know many couples, some married, but most just dating, where this quick conversation develops into a full blown discussion.  There are questions about who is going, why they are going and maybe even a guilt trip about why they want to spend time with their friends rather than heading straight home.  Even worse, the kind of person that requires their partner to be granted “permission” to head out without them is often the same person that will maintain constant sell phone contact with their partner while they are out with their friends.

This sure doesn’t sound like freedom, yet I know many people who have to go through this ritual with a person that they are dating.  Yes, some married couples also make their spouse play 20 questions before they go out, but most either outgrown this need to micromanage their spouse’s time without them, or they don’t stay married very long.  So when it comes to freedom, I would say that if your partner is insecure or controlling, then you have no freedom whether you are single or married.

To Have Trust You Need to Earn Trust- In defense of those people who micromanage their partner’s time away from them, there are some that have good reason to worry.  Some men and women have already had their partner’s prove that they are not trustworthy by staying out until all hours, driving home drunk or maybe even cheating on them while they were out on their own.  It’s not surprising that these people want to try to keep tabs on their partner because they have shown that they can’t be trusted.  People that are trustworthy, whether married or dating, tend to have more freedom than those that have been dishonest in the past.  Of course, trying to keep tabs on a dishonest partner is never going to make that partner trustworthy, but I can appreciate why these people feel the need to try to reign their partner in whenever they are out of their sight.

So, on the surface it may seem that people who are single have more freedom than those who are married or living together, but I have found that it is usually the people with the least freedom that feel the need to constantly brag about how much freedom they have.  Marriage is only the end of your freedom if you let it become that way, and this can just as easily happen even if you are dating someone.  Now it’s true that once you add children to the mix, you will not have the same level of spontaneity as you did before kids.  Of course with a little extra planning you can have the freedom to enjoy traveling or whatever you enjoy most in life, with the added bonus of sharing these “freedoms” with the people you love most.

What do you think? Has being married or living together taken away your freedom?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Comments

  1. Trapped says:

    I’ve been married for 10 years to a great husband and have two young kids. I definitely feel trapped in my marriage! I’d love to be able to go away for the weekend by myself and do whatever I want – get a little crazy maybe – possibly even have a one-night stand with someone else. I’ve been thinking about proposing the idea of a “free pass” to my husband – we could each have one “free pass” weekend a year to do whatever we want. Unfortunately, he’s very conservative and I don’t think he’d go for it. Not sure what to do. Divorce is not what I want, but definitely more freedom to let loose once in a while would be awesome!

    • Editor@Luvem says:

      We’ve heard from quite a few women who agreed to this type of arrangement to keep their husbands happy, but most of them felt that it was the beginning of the end once a third party entered the picture (even for a brief fling.) it sounds like this would very likely be the way your husband would view this too.

      Every now and then we hear from a couple that has some form of an open relationship that says that they are happy, but it is always a situation where both parties were very interested in trying something like this. The fact that you’re the only one in your marriage who wants to try this spells an impending disaster to me if you were to do this.

      Maybe you could schedule a girls getaway weekend and go have fun with your friends so you can remember what it’s like to be carefree without doing anything that would jeopardize your marriage. I would focus on doing what you can to add excitement to your life both in your personal life and within your marriage. A fling isn’t something that can be taken back if you decide to do it and then discover that you made the wrong decision.

      Best of luck to you.
      Editor@Luvem´s last blog ..Help – He’s Fantasizing About a ThreesomeMy ComLuv Profile

  2. kamagra says:

    I think it’s not totally end of freedom but somehow marriage affects our freedom. I am still a bachelor and want to remain bachelor upto 40.

  3. Gutschein says:

    I do not think that a marriage must restrict the freedom, once you’ve found the right partner.

    It comes out just to show understanding to each other, and respecting the needs of the partner.

    Then the marriage may even be something miraculous.
    Gutschein´s last blog ..Gutschein "VideoBuster.de – DVD-Verleih & Video on Demand VOD" My ComLuv Profile

  4. No, marriage is no ball and chain, and no my freedom has not been jeopardized in any way. My wife and I do not enjoy boys nights or girls nights out. We enjoy going out together, and we mostly take the kids with. I feel that with age comes wisdom and commitment and once that happens you wanna settle down and relax with your loved ones.

    Colin.
    sexy legs and body´s last blog ..FASHION AND SEXY LEGS. My ComLuv Profile

  5. Terez says:

    I personally don’t think being married or in a relationship means limited freedom. If you and your partner trust each other, then it is a moot point.

    However, I also believe many people confuse the concept of freedom with spontaneity. Having time to be spontaneous is a different issue entirely. The ability to be spontaneous depends on various factors(i.e., type of career, finances, social obligations) that are different for each person or couple.
    Terez´s last blog ..What To Do When Your Best Friend Hates Your New Girlfriend My ComLuv Profile

  6. Jude says:

    The last time I was single and not in a relationship was very boring. I may have had lots of freedom to come and go and do what I wanted without considering anyone else, but it was very lonely doing things by myself. I love being where I am now and have all the freedom I want.
    Jude´s last blog ..My Burnt Milk Test On The Orgreenic Ceramic Pan My ComLuv Profile

  7. Brandy says:

    When I was married I had a lot of freedom. I wasn’t asked where I was going or who I was going to be with, usually I would say and I too had the respect to double check that nothing else was going on but it got to a point where my ex just didn’t want to go out on his own ever and I felt bad always going out. He had no interest in socializing and I have a high need to socialize.

    I think marriage is what you make of it and I believe that even though you are married you should still be able to have your own time, we all need it!

    I hope your vacation was a blast!

  8. Bingkee says:

    Being married to wonderful, Godfearing, Godloving man hasn’t taken away my freedom…in fact we do enjoy doing things together so much, rather than being on our own. I don’t think marriage ends anything….it is just a rearranging your priorities or setting up new ones and tossing that don’t work anymore with marriage.
    When I make decisions now, I have the confidence and trust that I can rely also on my husband’s input—because I know he wants the best for me.
    Probably , if you’re married with the person you’re not supposed to be with, then maybe your freedom is taken away.

  9. It is all about trust. My wife and I have that same type of relationship you’re describing. I don’t have to jump through hoops to be able to go out. I just check the schedule, tell her, and I’m off. Same for her.

    When trust isn’t there this can be a problem. And I would argue, or I should say, agree with you, that once you’re married you are often in a more solid place as a couple, which leads to more freedom.

    Having freedom is different from having time. That’s an important distinction to make.

  10. BK says:

    To me, I think it is a individual perspective and view on marriage itself. If one views marriage as a tied down with another person, then often he/she will view marriage as the ‘grave of love’ and end of freedom. However, if one views marriage in a positive light, there are many possibilities. No doubt that marriage is tied to responsibility to another person and to the family, more responsibility come anyway as one grows older. More responsibility don’t equate to less freedom. As long as we know who we are see and what we shouldn’t be doing as when we were single, we can very much work it out with our partner.
    BK´s last blog ..A Beginner’s Mind My ComLuv Profile

  11. Kelly says:

    This is a very inspiring post! I’ve never been married, but am now in a serious relationship. I worried about the freedom thing before, which is partly why I’ve waited to get married. My partner now is very understanding and encourages me to go out with my friends. I think in the end your relationship shouldn’t feel like a jail sentence, but should make you feel free to go out and happy to come home.

  12. Anne says:

    I think the people who complain about losing freedom when they get married are really concerned about losing the opportunity to pursue others. It is less a fear of losing freedom and more a fear of commitment.

  13. askcherlock says:

    I’m not sure why people think they have to give up freedoms if they get married, unless they have the wrong partner. Never have I felt so liberated to just be me as when I married my husband. Spouses who encourage one another to expand their horizons and to be “the best they can be” are a treasure.

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