A Husband Isn’t Lady Gaga’s Answer
Lady Gaga has talent, fame, fortune, an Oscar, a new love and a new album. There’s just one thing she doesn’t have — a husband, and she wants one.
When asked what she wants after all that, the singer told InStyle, “Marriage.”
She doesn’t explain why, but is clear that she wants to have children and those sometimes, not always go together.
No one needs to be married or even have a romantic partner nowadays to have children — more women are becoming single mothers by choice, or are co-parenting with someone they are not romantically involve with, or are cohabiting with their romantic partner. No one’s going to fault anyone for wanting to follow the traditional script: meet, date, fall in love, marry, have kids. It’s how it’s been done, for the most part, for a long time.
Still, Lady Gaga’s proclamation of a desire to be a wife to a husband and a mother to his children brings up a few questions — who is marriage material (a complicated issue) and who is parent material, and whether we should require would-be parents to be licensed to be sure they are.
Lady Gaga recently shared the trauma she experienced early in life — being raped at age 19, which led to a “psychotic breakdown” — as well as dealing with fibromyalgia. These often create barriers to intimacy for years, even decades after.
There are many ways to address that trauma, and she shared with Oprah earlier this year how she’s dealing with it:
“This happened for a reason. All the things I’ve been through. I was supposed to go through this. Even the rape — all of it. I radically accepted they happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m gonna show you pain. And then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it.’”
I have a hard time accepting that things happen “for a reason,” especially rape. And it’s hard not to see how that belief, as well as dealing with PTSD around trauma, could impact anyone’s love life.
Lady Gaga has been engaged twice before — to Taylor Kinney, which ended in 2016 after five years together, and Christian Carino, which ended in 2019 after two years together. There’s nothing wrong or weird about that — people get engaged and break engagements all the time.
What matters is what’s behind those engagements, broken or not.
In describing her split from Kinney, Lady Gaga said:
“I think women love very hard. We love men. We just love with everything we have. And sometimes I don’t know that that love is met with the type of dignity that we wish it would be met with. You know, we’re not trying to make you less of a man. We just want you to love us as deeply and as wholesomely and as fully as we love you.”
I had to pause when I read that. It’s a dangerous thing to believe everything “happens for a reason” while also believing that women love men in a different way — “with everything we have” — than men love women. Some research indicates men are much more romantic than women are, but being a romantic isn’t the same as being in love.
We all want a romantic partner to offer love, respect, kindness and appreciation, and if you end up with someone who doesn’t give you the type of dignity and deep love that you are offering, that did not “happen for a reason” to teach you something. It means you aren’t giving yourself the dignity and love you must have before you can fully love and respect another person and have them meet you the same way.
As Demi Moore’s three marriages show us, why we marry is a multilayered and somewhat complicated thing. It’s more than just about love, companionship, sex and money — it has a lot to do about our family of origin issues, how we feel about ourselves, and our expectations for ourselves and our partner.
I, of course, want Lady Gaga and all people to live their most authentic life. If having spouse and children would offer that, go for it.
Just give yourself the love, dignity and respect you deserve first.