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Decidedly Single January 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy.
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What is it that makes us want to be on our own or to couple?  Is it a trait in our DNA, or societal pressures?  Is it ever-lasting love?  Whatever it is that drives most women to marry…..or at the least co-habitate…..I don’t seem to have it.

 Some girlfriends and I were having a discussion a few days ago, and we were all doling out advice on love and men and marriage, when one of the girls made the comment about how much our advice is colored by our own experiences and whatever baggage we’ve gained along the way in our relationships.  And it hit me just how true that is.  And while each of us would only ever give advice that we thought would help the others, our point of views are so vastly different that we all have varied answers to the questions at hand. 

Now I’ve been married.  I’m not anymore, so obviously I wasn’t very good at it.  I got married at 23, on the spur of the moment….on a lark….ran off and eloped with a man I’d only dated for four months, while my parents were in Florida celebrating New Years Eve!  Any strangers reading this won’t realize what a shocking statement that is….but anyone who knows me now has trouble believing that I would EVER do anything that impulsive.  Let alone anything that life-altering.  But I too was young, naive, and in serious heat once, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  At least it fit into that whole “I’ll try anything once” ideal that I had going on in the eighties.

I was lucky in that I married a decent, hard-working man who was NOT a sociopath in any sense of the word.  But after having lived on my own for a while, just sharing my space with another person was a big change.  Couple that with having my new step-daughter on the weekends, and my own son being born two years later, and I no longer recognized the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent single gal I’d once been.  And neither did my husband.  I was now, and forevermore, that person called, “MOM”.  Not a bad trade by any means, and certainly not one I regret.  But I buckled down, and tried my best to become what I thought that word meant.  Mom= homecooked meals, pta, scouts, clean house, playdates, birthday parties, and made-from-scratch baked goods at least twice a week!  And all of this on top of working another full-time job outside the home.  For my husband, Dad=life as usual.  Somehow, that didn’t exactly seem like a fair trade.

So after 10 years of marriage, and neither of us knowing what happened to that carefree girl he’d married, we decided to call it quits.  It was a very amicable divorce, and I’m happy to say that 10 years post-divorce, we’re still the best of friends, and are quite comfortable co-parenting our now 18 year old son.  I’m also happy to report that the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent, single-gal Angie is back with a vengeance.  I like not having to work around anyone else’s schedule.  I like making plans to do what I want, when I want to do it.  I like having two closets and not having to share a bathroom with a hairy man.  I like reading as long as I want at night without having to worry if the light bothers someone else.  I like being able to eat cold cereal for supper three nights in a row and not having to feel guilty because I didn’t cook.  I like not having to clean up someone else’s mess.  I like always being in control of the remote.  I miss regular sex, and the intimacy that comes from that connection present when you’re part of a couple.  So its a trade-off.

But I did have to stop and think about some of the advice that I’d been so freely dispensing to some of my girlfriends when they were complaining or venting about their husbands and boyfriends, and not let my personal choices temper my responses to them.  Because while I like being single, not everyone does.  And don’t get me wrong…..I still have great respect for the institution of marriage, and more admiration for couples who make it work long-term than you can imagine.  Its work.  HARD work.  And a successful marriage is a rare thing in this day and time, and all the more special because of its rarity.  But its still not a project I’m interested in taking on again anytime soon! 

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Comments»

1. Julz - February 4, 2008

Sometimes, I sooo crave being single, for all the same reasons- especially just not having to deal with anyone else’s messes. But I think I like my DH just more than enough to compensate for that-it’s been 22 years together, and we still choose to spend the most time with each other.

Of course, we did have to deal with our baggage from past relationships, and we all know that colors how we approach each successive one. Baggage/Experience is what helps us try to make the right decisions when we face new challenges. Not sharing those experiences with others in similar situations might seem a bit selfish, don’t you think?

XOXO


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