Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Alone at last

Awhile ago I talked about how Wendy and I had plans for what we would do if the other one of us died.  We both had a particular person in mind we would hit up and no hesitation about the idea of marrying somebody else.  Both of us, I think, are really far more comfortable in a relationship than alone.  Physical touch being a big thing for both of us is likely a part of this; I need the closeness that a relationships provides to get all of my feelin' loved time.  It should go without saying that both of us supported the other person moving on in whatever way they needed to.

Today I was talking with some folks who felt exactly the opposite.  I was actually stunned at the vehemence with which they denied any impulse to remarry if their current relationship broke down.  The attitude seemed to be that dating itself was a torturous thing to go through and that single life was the way to go.  This sort of thing wouldn't surprise me from people who were single for life, say, or people in the middle of a divorce, but it kind of took me aback from a group of folks who make family so much a focus of their lives.  I expected them to be of the mind that marriage is the place to be and they really weren't.

It makes me wonder if there is something obvious that causes that feeling.  Clearly it could be based on the particulars of the relationships we are involved in, the sorts of people we find attractive, or our love languages as I mentioned above.  We had all been married for comparable amounts of time so it isn't the age of the relationship that is the key.  There are very few things that I could do single that I can't do now so for me a relationship feels like pure win; I wish I could fathom exactly why others see the whole thing so differently.


  1. I can tell you why.
    For some of us that have made family all of our focus, we've given up a huge part of ourselves. We spend our days filling everyone else's needs. I love my family and my partner, but frankly, I look forward to the day I'm no longer picking up after other (usually, ungrateful or unnoticing) people. I look forward to an end date for washing other people's undies as well.
    Being a stay at home parent has some wonderful benefits, I'm so grateful to have the time with my kids.
    But, I find that stay at home parents get less respect in society than working parents do, and sometimes even from their partners.
    And that's really the crux of it, a good marriage makes you feel safe and respected. Both partners hold up their end. Both are committed equally, and fairly.
    A lot of us don't feel that we have that. Our marriages have become about "making it work". We stay because we have kids to feed and educate. We stay because we still love our partners enough to "put up with it." Even when it sucks.
    But don't ask us to do it twice.

  2. That situation is a hard one - while movies and books tend to make us think that there is always some correct decision, some way to get to 'happily ever after' sometimes compromises are required. This is especially true when children are involved of course as doing the right thing for them can mean doing the wrong thing for much of the rest of our lives.

    That said, I think the way I see it is pretty different because I hold a fairly optimistic viewpoint on people. Lots of people are really terrible and I wouldn't want to be involved with them but there are truly amazing people out there who will enrich my life and make me very happy. Finding them isn't necessarily going to be easy of course but I have confidence that I would eventually succeed. Fundamentally I believe that I could and would find someone new that would take my breath away every day for the rest of my life.