Two books I'd like to put up for discussion; Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence, and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

In both novels, marriage is portrayed as a means for sustaining or climbing the social ladder for the female protagonists. Considering the social-historical and gender roles of the time, marriage to a man of higher class was the only way a woman could improve her standard of living. It's sole purpose then becomes a sort of placeholder in the societal caste system; ones own happiness or quest for legitimate love is an excess. You would think, as one rises in class and stature and gain respect through the increase of their net worth, happiness would come easily.

What one takes away from these two cautionary tales is that marriage, when in the pursuit of satiating the standards of the society, always fails to satiate one's heart. Our heroines find that they cannot thrive on materialism alone, nor can it compensate for the lack of passion and intellectual stimulation.

I promise to never lower my expectations, nor compromise my own happiness in order to conform with the status quo.