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 thoughts on “The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen”

  1. I've watched Tracy's talk before, not sure how many yrs ago, today however ITS a MUST. I'm trying something new.

  2. What a beautiful person. Her message is very Buddhist in nature- identifying how nature keeps providing you with the same experiences repeatedly until the lesson has been learned. From a moment of pause where she learned this lesson, she discovered her inner beauty and has now shared or created beauty in kind to share with us. If that's not alchemy, I'm not sure what is. I admire her inner strength and courage so much. I yearn for that myself.

  3. This is some heavy eat&pray&love BS Telling women that failed in relationships what they want to hear-you are all special snowflakes and just need to learn to "love yourself" lmfao.

  4. Carl Jung warned that what is not made conscious will be lived out as destiny. I need to think through this.

  5. Sorry for your bad childhood. It has set you up for failure.

    So many kids grow up without fathers and it affects them for the rest of their life.

    This is why their is so much homosexuality among the younger generation. Boys don't know what it is to be a real man and girls don't know what a real man looks like.

    There is a void in the children's life when their father is not there.

    Being raised by mom is not the same thing.

    Feminism and the family court system has destroyed the relationships between men and women and the children are being destroyed because of it.

  6. This made realize why I’ve been attracted to men and their potential instead of who they were in the present time- because I have a lot of potential that I haven’t acted upon yet. I’m in love with who I can turn out to be, but spend my days daydreaming about her instead of taking action and becoming her.

    I think I’m scared and I don’t know how to get over the fear.

  7. Self love is basically, the transitioning journey from ' Am I good enough for this' to 'Is this good enough for me'

  8. Marry yourself? How delusional can it get?
    What this woman tries to say is: If you've got serious issues, deal with them before you marry!
    How narcicistic do you have to be to call this marrying yourself?
    And how serious can she be if she calls her parents who dumped her in 24 foster homes having hearts of gold?

  9. Men need to watch this video. Women will (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally) use you to work through their issues. Just because they “say yes” doesn’t mean that you’ve found what you both need.

  10. I have had relationships where I never loved my partners and ended up broke up with them because I didn't feel right . now it comes to the point where I don't see myself being with anyone. The thing is i Iove myself everything is going great. I love my parents, I love my friends I'm a loving person it's just that no man has ever touched my soul lol I found that very weird

  11. I want a God loving man that loves me as unconditionally, funly, deeply, maturely and beautifully as I love myself and that viceversa.

  12. This is not a lecture, it's mantra! we must incorporate this teaching into our lives. I just loved it

  13. This is some of the worst and most selfish advice I've ever heard. 11million people are now a worse partner because of you, so nice work

  14. Hi people. We have been taught in school about how to earn money, math, biology, geography and all sort of things but never human relations. Whereas this is the drive in our life – other people. We do things out of love or hate all the times. Therefore, started my blog @t dedicated to relationships and focused on the women side. Watching his videos I realized it is an issue among us, we often do not know how to deal with people we love. I urge women to go check it out and let's build a strong community there, where women are not only loving caring mothers and wives but also respectful leaders in an organization.

  15. Unfortunately, too many people look for someone ELSE to make them happy. That is putting an unfair expectation on a mere mortal, each with their own insecurities and weaknesses. If you're not happy with yourself, you never will be and will continue to blame someone else for something which was not their problem.

  16. I really wanted to like this – but I just thought it was super cheesy. Glad she's happy and not rushing to get married again though.

  17. Why are you framing it around marriage when clearly you have a horrendous track record? So how is it going to be different if you marry your self? After a few years you’re gonna divorce yourself. Why not just say, it’s time to get real, we’re all losers and why are we trying so hard to own it, them, ourselves, this, that, etc. Marriage is a constitution bound to fail and fail hard, and completely.

  18. "The person you really have to marry" … adviced from a woman who got divorced 3-times. Is she kidding me?

    If you marry, you should marry only one time; not multiple times. But maybe she didn't understand the concept of marriage. Nowadays the 'marriage' is transformed into consumption. Like junk food from your local drive-in: Stop by, order, pay, eat, finished.

    The divorce has become so easy, and therefore the decision for a marriage has become same easy. Means, that whole concept is nomore taken for serious.

  19. U r a beautiful young lady who has learned thru her experiences..kudos to u forever..🐙🐞❤💜😘

  20. Oh my god!! She's amazing honestlyy, loved her energy and her vibe and confidence and how she was so strong throughoutt!! Loveloveloveloveee❤❤ She's amazing and beautiful inside out honestly.

  21. I am not getting married oh cause any relationship is pretty much a joke always has been cause again some people are so funny

  22. currently listening about relationship advice from someone who is claiming to have a decent hindsight ratio… idk how i feel about it. 3 minutes in

  23. Hi edagdwg thanks for sharing you need to know yourself what you really want from the men your looking for do I really love or want him or need him linda j ☮️ ❤️💯 💯💯 💯💯 💯💯 💯

  24. Hi edagdwg only God can teach you about real love the sun comes out your soul is shining joy peace God at work 🙏 Linda j. ☮️❤️ ❤️💯 💯❤️

  25. It's not enough to love yourself. You love some people and things but you won't marry them. It's not enough to love yourself, you need to marry yourself!

  26. I need a good hobbies no drinking and smoking and no inturstin other person and drugs. I like honest women.

  27. He is a good man and faithful we broke 5 months ago and until now its still hurt. He left me without saying goodbye then after 20 days of ghosting he finally chatted me saying that he's breaking up with me because of my nonstop fight with him. All i realize now is that i should really love myself first so i can love the person right next time. Then i told myself maybe its not okay to ask attention from him, time, caring, being sweet maybe i become the person wo always pleading to him.
    Im loving myself now evenmore

  28. “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”

  29. I live in Minneapolis so if you've moved please come back and I will be your 4th (and final) husband! LOL. Such a great speech…I'm thrilled with the information.

  30. Uhh lady, 4th times not the charm. You left a trail of heart break and forceful acceptance (from the other part) just to discover yourself. In otherwords you discarded other people to find yourself. Kudos to you but.. your full circle was full of selfishness and insecurity. Don't kid yourself.

  31. Amazing I hear you sista. Im walking the same path of self love, care, attention and never leaving myself. Thank you – inspirational and so valuable for women to hear and embrace. xx

  32. She is someone who does not trust anyone. Because she could never trust both her parents – mother and father both. Thus I doubt she actually trust herself.

  33. I'm willing to guess that all conflicts and arguements within her three marriage relationships involve her refusing to compromise. The disagreements are never resolved they are just dropped from conversation. And shes that as an acceptable resolution. I doubt most would agree with her on that point – but are too afraid of causing conflict with her to speak out. And that is why she could only see herself marrying herself – since you cannot actually disagree with yourself.

  34. I asked god/the universe to give me signs, & somehow ive been led to these life changing Ted Talks That hit right on the nose!!!!

  35. Hands down one of the best TedTalks I’ve listen to.. Thank you.. I needed this.. I will have it on replay so that I won’t forget.. 😊

  36. So… I am supposed I am supposed to listen to someone who can’t seem to stay married tell me who I should marry? Yeah, I don’t think so.

  37. I’m so disappointed with TEDx for the first time. This was a deceiving title and waste of time Video.

  38. "…I got out of childhood with the goal of never being left…". After so many years, this is the first time that someone who doesn't even know me, summarized my life in just one sentence and broke me down into tears. The more I watch this video again and again, the more I appreciate it. One of the best videos I came across in youtube.

  39. ركز على شعورك الداخلي أولا و ليس على "هل أُعجب بي هذا الشخص"

  40. When people say "just do you, just be yourself, just work on yourself" they make it sound like you have to pause your life and distance yourself from others to accomplish that. In reality, you never stop working on yourself. Even when you're unaware of it, you are always changing as a person. You're always "working on yourself." There won't be a time in your life that you wont be working on yourself.

  41. How many times have we seen this scenario? Three ex hubbies, stays with them a few years then takes them for half of everything . Typical shallow self centered simple minded Gold digger.

  42. Wonderful talk… She's beautiful too… you don't look like what you've been through and that conveys the message even more. I'm so inspired!

  43. It is funny how she still tries explain that it is the man`s problem whilst 3 times divorced (she said 'the right person').

  44. After I watched this and seriously thought about it, I realized that a some of what I have done in my life to hurt others and neglecting myself has made me very sad. I have a hard time completely accepting a person like that if I was outside looking in. I don't know how to accept all of me.

  45. thought experiment: replace this woman with a man, same resume. Do you still think you would feel positively about the message shared? If the answer is no, you're a sexist. :O This woman has no business being paid to speak on how to make relationships work. She's terrible at it.

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