The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen

Translator: Nadine Hennig
Reviewer: Ilze Garda When I was growing up, there was this song
we used to sing on the playground, and it went like this, “Tracy and so and so,
sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.” And I’m like, “OK, that’s it! That’s how you do life.
That’s how you do a relationship. Love, marriage, baby carriage. OK, got it! (Laughter) Then I grew up, and this is
what my life turned out to be. (Laughter) Slightly more complicated, right?
(Laughter) Love, marriage, divorce,
dry spells, love, marriage, co-parenting, another marriage,
another divorce; you got the picture. (Laughter) (Applause) So if you’re good at math and/or
a fast reader, what you’ve got there is that I’ve been married three times. Yep, three, and divorced. What that is supposed to mean is
that I’m a total failure at relationships. And that is one way
to look at it, but not the only way. Because what I think really happened
is that I kept marrying the wrong person. No, it’s not that I didn’t–
it’s not that I chose bad guys. My first two husbands were amazing men who are now married
to wonderful women who aren’t me. (Laughter) And my third husband, well,
we’re friends on Facebook now. So, all is well that ends well, right? After the collapse of
my third marriage in 2005, I realized that I’ve been marrying
everyone in sight, except the one person
that I really needed to marry in order to have a great relationship and that once I married that person, all of my relationships would be
successes, even the failures. The so-called failures, actually. Since we’re talking today
about women inventing, I’m going to talk about
inventing relationships. What I’ve found through a lot of trial
and obviously, many, many, many errors, to be the thing that has
transformed my life and love, and that is this idea
of marrying yourself. So what does it mean to marry yourself? It’s a big idea. It is as big as marriage itself
except, if I could just summarize it, it would be that you enter
into a relationship with yourself and then you put a ring on it. (Laughter) In other words,
you commit to yourself fully. And then you build
a relationship with yourself to the point where you realize
that you’re whole right now, that there is no man, woman, job,
circumstance that can happen to you that is going to make you more whole
because you already are. And this changes your life. By now, I’m sure at least
some of you are wondering why you should be listening
to a three-time divorcee talk about marriage? (Laughter) Even to herself. And I understand that. Here’s what I have to say about that: what I’ve learned and my experience is that the places where you have
the biggest challenges in your life become the places where you
have the most to give if you do your inner work. I kind of want to say that again: the places where you have
the biggest challenges are the places where you
have the most to give. So let me tell you a little bit
about the person I truly needed to marry: myself. I am from Minneapolis. Wooh! (Laughter) My mom was a prostitute and an alcoholic. She put me in foster care
when I was three months old. My dad was a criminal; he was a drug dealer and a pimp
with a heart of gold – actually, they both had hearts of gold – and he spent more or less
my whole life in prison. He just got out of prison
after his most recent sentence which was 20 years. Until the age of nine, I was probably
in two dozen foster homes. The thing you need to know
about this story – there are a lot of details, obviously –
but the thing you need to know is that I came out of that childhood
with one goal: to never be left. The way I was going to do that
is that I was going to get married. That was the way I was going
to accomplish that goal. So I got married the first time
to a guy I met when I was 17. We got married a couple
of years later, when I was 19. He was a really good guy
from a great family, he had an MBA. I mean, it was like,
you know, marriage material. You know, I was thrilled. I was like, “I have a family.
I belong somewhere. This is wonderful.” And then after five years I left him. Then ten years later, I got married again
to another wonderful guy, who is the father of my
now 16-years-old son. We still have a wonderful relationship.
He is a really good guy. But after four years I left him, too. And I am not proud to say that I did that,
but in order to really marry yourself, you have to get sometimes
very painfully honest with yourself about what it is that you’ve done. So I’m not proud of that. Then eight years later,
I got married again, when I was 40, and I was like, “OK, this feels right!” Let me tell you what felt right
to a girl who was in 24 foster homes: a guy who started to date
after nine months of marriage; essentially, he started dating
a 21-year-old girl. OK, I mean, it would be funny,
if it weren’t so tragic. You have to have a sense of…
that is why we’re Facebook friends. So, here I am looking
at this person that I just described with a terrible track record
of relationships, and I’m like, “I’m supposed to marry her? This is the woman
you want me to marry?” And the answer is yes. Because here is the deal: the thing about marrying yourself
is not just like cohabitating. You’re not just going to date
for a while and see how it turns out. You are going to do this
till death do you part. You are going to take vows. So here are the vows. Number 1: you are going to marry yourself
for richer or for poorer. This means you are going
to love yourself right where you are. You don’t say to yourself, “When you get
to the corner of Hollywood and Vine, then I will marry you.” You don’t say, “When you lose
ten pounds, then I will love you.” And you don’t say, “If you hadn’t
married that loser, I would love you, but since you did,
I’m sorry, I think it’s over.” When you marry yourself,
you walk yourself down that aisle exactly where you are. And paradoxically, I found
that loving myself exactly where I am is the only way to get where I am going. Number 2: you are going to marry yourself
for better or for worse. What this means is that most of us
are willing to love ourselves for better, I mean, sure, I am having
a great hair day today. I love me. (Laughter) That’s not what I am talking about. I’m talking about for worse,
you know, the big life disappointments. Maybe you don’t own a home,
you didn’t get the career you wanted, maybe you didn’t graduate from college,
or get the relationship you wanted. Maybe it hasn’t turned out–
maybe you fight with your mum, maybe you watch too much reality TV, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter anymore. Because when you marry yourself,
you agree to stay with you no matter what. Third, you marry yourself
in sickness and in health. What this means is that you forgive
yourself for your mistakes. A mistake isn’t actually a failure
unless you don’t learn from it and unless you don’t grow. There is a saying, “You ask for patience,
and what you get is a line at the bank.” (Laughter) What that means is that life
does not give you what you’ve asked for, it gives you the people,
places, and situations that allow you to develop
what you ask for. And the thing is if you don’t get it
right the first time, life will give it to you again. (Laughter) Because life is very generous that way. It’s like I didn’t get it the first time,
in the first marriage, and I didn’t get it the second time,
maybe the third time I’ll get it. So inside that terrible experience
of that third marriage, I learned something
about “in sickness and in health”. What I learned is how to sit
by my own bedside, and how to hold my own hand,
and how to nurse myself, and how to comfort myself. What I learned is that I am
a person that I can count on. Last but not least, you marry yourself– when you marry yourself,
it’s to have and to hold yourself. What does it mean to have and to hold? Well, I think it means
that you love yourself the way you want
someone else to love you. I had always been going
through life with this sense of lack. I felt like I was kind of half a person,
and that I was missing something. I went into my relationships hoping to solve this feeling
that I had my entire life: that I was not whole
unless someone loved me. The truth was that I wasn’t ever going to feel whole
until I learned to love myself. So this business of marrying yourself
transforms every area of your life: your business, family relationships,
kids, social relationships, friends. Because when you marry yourself,
this huge thing happens: you become able to love
in this whole new way. You become able to love other people
right where they are, for who they are, the same way you’re already
loving yourself. And of course, this is
what the world needs more of. So when I married myself, and I realized
that I already had everything I needed, I started seeing it as my job to basically just light up
my little corner of the world. That’s my new job. Because I don’t need anything,
I already have it. So when I take meetings, it’s all about how can I help
this person achieve her goal? When I’m in my social communities, it is like what can I bring
to this that only I can bring? When I go on dates, it is like how can I just discover
another person maybe for just one hour which, of course, brings me a full circle. Because people always asked me
about my love life; they want to know. (Laughter) You know, the answer is,
I am still working on it. Aren’t we all? So this is where I am right now. About three months ago,
I went on a first date. About 30 minutes into the date,
I found myself paying attention not to whether he liked me,
but how I felt in his presence. I noticed that I was light, happy, joking. As I reflected on the date afterwards,
I was like, “Wow, I got really excited! Look, this is how committed
I am to myself.” I am not even on this date
trying to get someone to like me. I am more interested in how I feel
about me than how he feels about me, not because I am selfish,
but because the only relationship I am ever going to have
with another person is the one that I am
already having with myself – just going to have it with them now. So it turned out he liked me,
and we are still together. It’s cool and amazing,
but I’ve been married three times, so slow down! (Laughter) The thing is that I am not trying
to get security from him through marriage, and, God forbid, a baby carriage. I am only here to
just be in a relationship. I am not dying to hear the words,
“Will you marry me?” Because even though
those words are very powerful – and very powerful to a person like me – I don’t need them to hear it from him because I have already
heard them from myself. The way I see it is like I took myself
to the top of a mountain, or maybe to the bottom of the ocean, and I got down on one knee,
and I said, “I’ll never leave you.” And now I am married to the one person
I really wanted to be with all along, myself. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

100 Replies to “The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen”

  1. Wow This Whole Time I'm 29 Going On 30 This Month Of Sept. & I Have Had A Few Unsuccessful Relationships College& Post But After Hearing This I Now See I Can Love& Committ To Myself. Instead Of Waiting& Looking To See Myself Reflected In Another. I Am The Other For Now. ? Thank You From A Fellow , Former Foster Kid Too!!

  2. I lost myself a long time ago. Depression has changed me totally. I’ve had so many heart breaks, from men, family, and friends. Allowing people to walk all over me became accustomed. I’m still trying to find myself and don’t want to leave this world unhappy. I just turned 40 years old and I’m still lost. Im binge watching TED videos hoping to find myself. I realize I been hurt for too long and In the mist of it all I been hurting others.

  3. men do everything for women. women create men they shape them. they are "the force"so to speak. if the world is one way its because you ladies want it this way.

  4. Hello my friends?
    Do not worry much i can help you. Contact Dr NaNa on WhatsApp now he can help you bring back your ex & restore your relationship back <- – – -> ?????
    WhatsApp No: + 2 3 4 8 1 3 2 4 9 4 8 0 2.

  5. She married three time but she still beautifull and cute. She has terrble childhood and that effect on her realtionship with poeple around her .the point she made is right about learn how to love yourslef

  6. 11:50 Judges, watch these women, their decisions are based on moment's emotional, wimsical, children like. MGTOW Men independence/freedom creates the world; Women independence/freedom, they destroy love/relationship, confused, conflicted, melodrama, lies, bluffing etc Toxic-Drama..Mens' resources, wealth should not be allowed to be dragged in to devorce courts, if this is how IMATURE, CHILDISH women act, that means their decisions are CHILDISH.. This video lady is meant for devorces, just the way she acts, its says a whole lot, she doesn't take marriage seriuosly, she is incapable of..

  7. Nice BS slogans which just touched a surface of psychology. For a person who doesn’t like him/herself takes even years to overcome that through therapy sessions with absolutely professional consolers.

  8. Her conclusion form three divorces is "I kept marrying the wrong person". So the failure of her marriages was not because she didn't do the right things in her marriages, but because the other person was wrong. Her only fault is being a bad picker. Umm. I have some real doubts about the value of her insight.

  9. In switzerland we have: verliebt, verlobt, verhärtet, gschede (a Game, wehre you jumprope until you Fall, there your Social Status (in Love, Engaged, Maries, divorced) Howe Mann children you have and the House you live in etc, so that Sems to be a global phenomenon)

  10. Guilt makes you not to love yourself. It is such a challenge .marriages fail because of the pressure to please and the pressure to change. I did not see those signs i just lived life thinking its normal. Marriage is the hardest challenge in life. Glad you are doing well.

  11. Wow, I love this! This is so true. Another person does not complete you. If you are not a happy person and you get in a relationship you will still be unhappy. If you are a happy person and you get into a relationship, you will be happy.

  12. She seem to be anorexic. By the way thats right. I am 40 too. Childhood without real family love, mother narcisstic. Learned now: dont need men to fullfill my holes. I can fullfill alone completely.

  13. I'm so glad that I got to hear your heart felt story. After numerous failed relationships I came to realize that I was seeking something that I could provide for myself. Now I live alone but not lonely. If I meet the person that harmonizes with me I would consider a relationship but it's not something that I need to find to live a full life.

  14. When your dating you want that person to like you that sometimes your not your true self but hey they like me…we all do that it's cheating I guess but we are not showing our truer sides…i did a lot of bending in some of my relationships to like someone…it bit me in the end I ignored my gut feelings and everyone ended getting hurt..i know me now better than ever before …try it trust yourself you can be happy

  15. 7:00… I was thinking… "when I lose weight, then I'll marry myself"….. ?
    20 seconds later, she says "u don't say, 'when I lose 10 lbs, then I'll marry u' "
    ??‍♀️ How did she know women think like that??? Lol.
    btw, I'm 35 & I've NEVER been married before. A lot of very bad relationships with bad men, abusive & cheating, etc. So Def none of the wonderful guys she described. But I'll gt there one day.

  16. So…..will you have an audience watching you on your honeymoon with yourself to prove that the marriage was consummated.
    So…… if you divorce yourself who will get half of your stuff
    What are your fights with yourself like and how do you share your feeling with yourself and when do you start talking to yourself again.
    Bla, bla, bla.

  17. Thank you……Thank you……..Thank you…..I needed to hear this,……so well put, you are an amazing soul, you took your pain and used it to share and help others……..Thanks again !!

  18. The reason is when we love someone we doesn’t show our actual feelings or our real nature. We think if he finds out our real FACE” he will not like it. This is our big mistake. You should find someone who will enjoy being with REAL YOU.

  19. POWERFUL POWERFUL POWERFUL!!! Thank you Tracy for sharing your story. People pay lots of money for professional therapy that doesn't help. Your story helped me soooooo much!!!

  20. Thé first two years of any relationship usually begins with romance, dedication etc.. Soon afterwards, the masks came off, disappointments on the rise and this is also when family lawyers make money lol. I learned now to take my time and love me most.

  21. Such a moving story that must have taken great courage to share! Thank you Tracy Macmillan for choosing to be transparent, allowing others to see your imperfections, history and scars in order to bring much healing to so many. It's important that we learn to love and embrace ourselves and our story before we can expect someone else to.

  22. The old love yourself idea… Guess I'm screwed since always hated myself which hasn't changed no matter how much professional help I got. Sometimes I wonder if I come to help sites to make myself feel worse, cause they certainly do achieve that goal.

  23. You and so and so sitting in a tree k i s s i n g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes an abrupted tragic miscarriage, then comes blame, then comes despair, two hearts damaged beyond repair. You leave so and so and take the tree. D I V O R C E

  24. need to say that again.. but to say what you left out than what you left in.. 3:35.. If you do your inner work.. left that out when saying it twice.. the misleading reality is.. women never do the inner work when thwi

  25. Loving yourself the way you want someone else to love you…..hmmm ?. Is this the new way forward because people no longer want to give to others?
    If I could love myself in every way that I needed to be loved, I would be God surely.
    I strongly believe that the issue is that mankind is selfish and most aren’t selfless but selfish.
    No human being can give themselves everything that they need that’s why partnership is the intertwinement of two people with different attributes coming together to make a new whole.
    I believe the problem arises when during the relationship people stop wanting to become a little bit more like their partner and want to remain exactly like themselves. Perhaps the real question or challenge before entering a relationship should be – find someone that you want to become more like them. By all means know and love yourself but recognise that you are incomplete hence why humanity lives in a world full of other weird and wonderful people.

  26. Brilliant. Her light does shine. Incredibly powerful. The penny finally dropped on the expression truly "loving yourself". Thank you

  27. Yes I needed to hear this ?? learn how to love ?yourself instead of trying to find someone to make you feel that way …. I need to marry ?myself

  28. She spent her entire life learning what the word of God could have told her before 4 marriages. Why do we have to end our lives realizing the lessons we could have learned in youth.

  29. guys only tell me that they love me, im beautiful and would marry me only when they are really very drunk

  30. Maybe I'm not married but your words remembered me of how I was, I liked my coworker and I felt he got the same feelings for almost a year I tried to make him sees me more and notice my advantages all that time long I wasnot able to see myself or noticing it I was not able to feel myself i left work and I hoped that he might still think of me, but I realized that the only one I need right now is myself and to be confident and sure about whatI want we all took choices by time we know it Was quick step time is revealer

  31. Remember men. So long as the family court continues to exist as a tool of your enslavement, NEVER MERRY! NEVER HAVE CHILDREN! MGTOW!

  32. Very great speech! You should love yourself, then you will meet the person love you like the way you did to yourself.

  33. Yeah, why are people taking marriage advice from someone who has been divorced 3 times? That is equivalent to asking your uncle who has lived his whole making minimum wage and living in a trailer park for financial or investment advice. The idea that there is only that "right" or "one" person you need to marry is a myth.

    Marriage is about 2 imperfect people choosing to work together through the good and bad times to have a stable and healthy relationship, period. It is truly that simple. Yes, I am married and have been for 16 years to the same woman and we are still going strong. Why? Because we choose to work through life together and rely upon each other for support and encouragement.

  34. "Life doesn't give you what you ask for. It gives you the people, places and situations that will help you develop what you've asked for." So true. Nothing meaningful ever comes easily.

  35. A friend told her husband,,I dont need you,I want you.
    He didnt get it.
    Many dont,
    It is a compliment of the highest degree.
    She was saying,,,I am self contained and Can be happy by myself.
    I chose You because I can be even happier with you.

    Sounds selfish and self centred?
    We all are,we marry hoping we get some one who gives us what WE WANT!!!

  36. Great way to wash over all the failed relationships – just distill it to "marrying yourself". Should have done that earlier instead of putting so many through the torture of your company & partnership.

  37. Where ya goin? When ya commin back?,whats for din?, when you taste true freedom nothing matters unless you say it matters.

  38. This is a little shallow… but I used to wonder why all the “weird” kids (by societies standards) ended up in well suited marriages and relationships. I realize that these people have learned to love themselves and aren’t seeking anything from anyone else… ultimately making them more attractive, and better people to be partnered with.


  40. to marry, for a women, it means to SURRENDER, to him, no matter how powerfull you are outside, in the house, you must bow to the king ?

  41. There is no way you'll be fully 'whole'. That's putting such enormous pressure on yourself in an individualistic culture. The message is great, love yourself first. But know that you won't always love yourself. And that's fine. Also, some people will help you love yourself and others won't. Also, very normal. Life is a mix of you and the environment. Never just one of the two.
    That's what I've understood from my social psychology and personality classes at uni.

  42. So, two great guys and she left them for a third guy who left her. The guys she left are wonderful but the guy who left her is a Facebook friend. What???

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