Someone recently asked me if I ever plan on getting married again and the answer was a resounding NO! Not that I’m against marriage but I’ve been there and done that. And in all fairness to my ex, he’s not some bad, lying and cheating man who was the consummate evil. We just drifted in different directions but we’re still great friends. I’ve found that for me, marriage doesn’t agree with my personality nor my temperament. I’ve never been a woman who needed a ring, a piece of paper and a kid to validate me. I’m lucky, I grew up with parents who never pressured me to conform. My mom always said that my life was my life and no one else’s. I needed to do what felt right to me and if that meant never getting married and having kids or any combination thereof, so be it.
I’ve heard all the formulaic cautionary tales and musings about being single and childless and I say suck it. Being married and having kids guarantees nothing. Just look at the people dumped in nursing homes because those lovely children of theirs no longer want to be bothered. Well, that is unless there’s money involved but that’s another topic of conversation. Oh and there’s Peter and Polly Perfect. The ones you just want to smack, droning on and on about their perfect marriage, their perfect kids, their perfect dogs, their perfect home, their perfect car, their perfect job….just perfect…perfect…perfect!!!! Ugh!
I’m always very leery of anyone singing the praises of their perfect marriages and lives. It brings to mind, “doth protest too much, methinks”. Many times, sad to say, those marriages are the ones in the most trouble. It isn’t impossible to have a happy marriage and yes there are many people who’ve been married for decades. My parents for one. But society, family and friends need to pull their foot off the gas pedal and stop making the assumption that marriage is what everyone wants. Some people aren’t marriage or parent material. It doesn’t make them bad people, it just means they had common sense enough to know themselves. I believe fully, if you are unhappy in your marriage and you’ve done all you can do to salvage it, then leave. You can’t make someone want to be with you if they’ve emotionally or physically checked out. Far too many times people live on fantasy island and believe in fairytales. Fairytales only exist in films and books. Life is a different ball of wax.
I think the divorce rate would plummet if people started being real with themselves about what it is they truly want before they get married and have children. I also think society should back way off with indoctrinating people with the idea that the only way they will find true happiness and fulfillment is through marriage and children. That may be true for some, but not all. Marriage can be a wonderful joining of two mature people who know what they want and are working toward that goal. But life can also be a beautiful thing when people work towards their goals going solo. Not everyone does well land-locked and guess what…that’s okay too. You owe no one any explanations on how you conduct your life…it’s yours, so now go out there and enjoy it.