If society dictates your life, Psychic Liam gives you permission to not listen. Society dictates that marriage is what we should all do with long term relationships, but it’s perfectly fine to not marry and enjoy single life. Feeling content and single is perfectly acceptable. Doing what you love is best.
The World Won’t Come to an End
Debbie from Albany, New York asks:
I was married for 13 years, and before that I was a single mother who never married my daughter’s father, but enjoyed casual relationships. I am single again and enjoying it. I felt that marriage wasn’t for me. My husband had two kids from another marriage. I stayed in the marriage even though I wasn’t happy for the last six years. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be able to do things as a family, marriage wasn’t all that bad, and we did have some great times. But now that my daughter is grown and I am in my mid 40s, I feel that I am free again and I’m enjoying it. I am certain I never want to get married again, and I don’t even know if I want a relationship. It’s tough financially, but I am enjoying my singledom. Is this a healthy way of thinking that I want to be single for the rest of my life, or did an unhappy marriage cause me to feel this way?
Greetings, Debbie, and thank you for writing. I very much enjoyed this illustration of a modern woman who has walked the sadly limited paths made available by our sadly limited grasp of the romantic relationship and found the courage to claim her own understanding of happiness apart from the bleating of the moral minority. The cult of “only monogamy is normal,” with its blatant puritanism and social hypocrisy, lives in horror of a woman like yourself. The last thing they want to see is a strong, independent lady who lives by the mandates of her own body and spirit, rather than those they would force upon her. And I’m certain they’ll be out there chomping at the bit with their shadowy references to pseudo-science and reams of traditional “wisdom,” just waiting to convert you back to the fold of one woman for one man forever and ever amen. But rest assured, no matter how vocal the conservative minority might be, there are many, many independent women like you in Western culture who prefer to have casual sexual relationships… And some who prefer polyamorous relationships… And some who dig material abstinence, only ever allowing spiritual lovers into their beds… And, let’s not forget that a good portion of them aren’t heterosexual at all. The point is that human relationships come in a dizzying variety of packages, and all of them are “right” for the people who are happy in them.
You ask me if your choice is “healthy,” and that indicates to me that somewhere along the way someone told you it’s not. My advice regarding that is if you have people in your life telling you that the way you choose to live… the way that makes you comfortable and content… is “unhealthy,” then you need to eliminate those people from your life or at least sharply curtail your exposure to them. Remember, those who want to control you love to utilize methods of singular thought, reductionism and rationale bias that favor whatever belief they happen to be pushing at the moment. By insisting that there is only “one truth” in any given situation, the underlying argument inevitably becomes that there is only “one truth” period, and thus a multitude of individual truths are invalidated.
Considering the question of your marriage experience, I would say that the idea that it was unhappy is totally relative. Ask certain women in certain situations and they would probably say that your marriage was a cake walk. In looking at it myself, I don’t see it as having been particularly “bad.” It was just a marriage, no more, no less. Complete with, as you so wisely stated, good times and bad. That’s how most marriages go. It just wasn’t the situation for you. Considering the current rate of divorce in this country, it isn’t the situation for a lot of people. They just aren’t honest enough to admit it like you have. I think the real problem isn’t the experience of your marriage, but the experience of looking around every day and seeing your friends, grown women, acting like fourteen year old girls, joining dating sites and monitoring Facebook looking for the “right one” and having relationships; most of which never work out. Nine times out of ten, the ones who are married are miserable, living in emotional squalor, one step away from having an affair out of sheer boredom, because the marriage they’re in doesn’t at all resemble the story book nonsense they are fed by magazines and Hollywood. The more a woman like you refuses to conform, the more abstract her erotic or romantic nature, the more they label her a mutation who must be annihilated. So they come to you, articles, studies and friendly advice in hand, feeling oh-so-badly for poor, lonely Debbie. Don’t you miss having a man? Aren’t you looking forward to marrying again one day? Yeah, right. True happiness often means learning how to live outside the cozy boundaries of social convention. So don’t fall for the illusions. You’re doing just fine.
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