Did You Marry the Wrong Guy??!!
With both humor and insight, Sascha Rothchild, author of How to Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage, discusses her own marriage and why some women knowingly marry the wrong guy!
CommitmentNow.com: How to Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage is your hilarious memoir about the ending of a marriage that should have lasted forever-or at least for five years. How were you able to make a story of divorce so funny?
Sascha Rothchild: I think the first step was not to feel hostile towards my ex and instead to question my own decisions. That way I could dissect my foibles and not take myself too seriously. Also because I don’t have children my divorce had room for much more comedy than drama.
CommitmentNow.com: You came from an untraditional family. Your parents are advocates of a “get divorced by thirty” philosophy and your mother is unable to utter the words “I love you”. How do you think your upbringing has influenced your relationships?
Sascha: Because of my non-sentimental parents I was quick to pick men who were also emotionally guarded. By choosing distant men, I never had to do the work to really allow anyone in. And because I knew my parents advocated starter marriages I didn’t feel any pressure to stay in an unhappy marriage rather then get a divorce and try to learn a thing or two.
CommitmentNow.com: One of the reasons you married Jeff was because you had certain timetables you wanted to adhere to; i.e. date for two years, then move in together - get engaged at three years, and then get married. Do you think many women have similar timetables?
Sascha: I think most women have some sort of timetable even if they never admit it. We often confuse goals with love and the two should be unrelated. Getting a promotion is a great goal. Buying a house is a great goal. Getting married should not be a goal. If you have that goal then you lose sight of the day to day of the relationship. You forget to question why you love the person in the first place. You forget to enjoy being together and instead just wait for the end game. Then you nag your boyfriend to propose. Then he gives you what you thought you wanted. And then 3 years later you realize getting married didn’t solve anything and wasn’t such a great goal.
CommitmentNow.com: You describe yourself as being “about control, order and neatness,” and Jeff as being about “soda, cars, beach, towels, candy wrappers, tobacco remnants and rolling papers.” You are an extrovert and he is an introvert. Was yours a case of “opposites attract”? How did your opposing traits play out in your marriage?
Sascha: We were the poster couple for opposites attracting. And then instead of meeting in the middle, or changing together, we both remained the same and then became exaggerated versions of ourselves, feeding off the other’s drastic differences. He was so messy so I cleaned even more allowing him to be even more messy fueling my need to clean. Vicious cycle. So we ended up married with nothing in common. And the worst part was neither of us made any effort to change this.
CommitmentNow.com: You were thinking of divorce while you were engaged! Do you think deep down you knew it wouldn’t last?
Sascha: I am still very conflicted about this. Deep down I wanted it to last. I kept thinking our love “was just crazy enough to work.” But deep down I didn’t trust it would last.
CommitmentNow.com: Why do you think so many women enter marriages that, they instinctively know won’t make them happy?
Sascha: No matter how educated we are, or how career driven, or seemingly independent, many women still buy in to the princess getting saved by the prince fairy tales. We want to get married, feel settled, feel like we have accomplished something that is so prevalent and accepted in society. Planning a wedding feels good. Trying on that iconic dress feels special. Having your friends and family surround you is a comfort. These are all the trappings of that special day and the wedding often overshadows the actual marriage. It isn’t until the next morning, when you are all alone with your husband, that you realize that gnawing feeling that this isn’t right won’t go away.
CommitmentNow.com: Based on yours own experiences, what advice do you have for women?
Sascha: For me getting married at 27 was too young. I thought I knew what I wanted and I didn’t even know who I was yet. Every woman is different but I think the most important thing is to look yourself in the mirror and really ask, “Why do I want to get married?” If the first thing that pops in your head is the ring, or the cake, or the fact that your best friend will be jealous, or your 3-year ultimatum, then don’t do it. Even good marriages are hard. So if you aren’t sure that the only reason you want to get married is to spend the rest of your life with that one person, then don’t do it.
Sascha Rothchild graduated from Boston College with a concentration in playwriting. She has created, sold, and worked on reality and game shows for major television networks. Her articles have been featured in LA Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Women's Health Magazine and the political pop culture website DipDive.com. Visit Sascha at www.sascharothchild.com.