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Moment Of Clarity

I Don’t: Marrying Yourself Won’t Help

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Well, 40-year-old Yasmin Elby kept her promise to herself: if she didn’t find a mate by the time she turned 40, she would marry herself.

And now, her “marriage” has sparked a firestorm of both support and condemnation, but the truth is: she isn’t the first woman to marry herself. Several women around the world have married themselves including women in Britain, North Dakota, and even Taiwan.

A lot of people have been asking me to give a “clinical opinion” about whether marrying yourself is healthy or an indicator of some underlying issue.

My answer: Yes, there is something else going on when you decided to “marry yourself”.

The use of the term marriage refers to a deep or committed union between two separate people (real or spiritual), things, or places (e.g. partner, career, God, home). So, if you are marrying yourself that instinctively poses a problem unless you are two distinctly different people co-existing in the world at the same time.   Now, if that’s the case, maybe your life should inspire a Syfy movie.

But look, all kidding aside, I get it. People aren’t really marrying themselves. The marriage ceremony is simply a way for them to say, “I love me with or without a spouse”. For other women who have done this, it serves as a way to solidify that they are good enough to be loved and wanted even if they haven’t found Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now.

Nonetheless, there are several problems with these types of marriages, of which I will name my top three:

Has it ever occurred to you that you might be unrealistic? Life doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen, when you want it to happen. I mean, grow up already. So you’re not married at 30, 40 or 50 or by the time you die; that just may be your lot in life. Some people ridiculously expect other people to accommodate their needs but never does it occur to them that they are not the center of the universe – especially in a marriage. If that is your expectation, a marriage wouldn’t work for you. Why? Because marriages are about two people not one.

If you need a marriage or relationship to validate that you are good enough or lovable, marrying yourself isn’t going to change that. Why? Because you still wake up alone, you still dine alone, and you still buy yourself your own presents. So you see, the situation of being alone has not changed. The good news is the way you think about your situation can change the way you feel and that’s where the healing begins.

 Once you marry yourself, there is no reason for you to address what is really wrong or what is really missing inside of you. You have just implicitly stated, “I am perfect, it’s everyone else in the world who is the problem! The biggest issue here is that it’s statistically impossible for everyone else in the world to be the problem and you are the lone sane person.

The rule is, “Water meets its level”; which means that we attract people who are where we are. If you want to attract a different type of person, you have to become the type of person you want to attract. And, that will only happen if you take a good look in the mirror.

This is probably one of my harshest posts about love and marriage; and for that I am unapologetic. At some point, a line has to be drawn and conversations have to be had about what are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, and being unlovable.

With that, I wish you love, light, and pleasant journeys.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!