Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Is The Grass Really Greener?

I've read and heard many times that on average, married people are happier. As a married man, I hope it is true. I want to believe it. But like many things I've written about before, what is the correlation? Is it that being married makes someone happier, or is it that the kind of people who are more likely to be happy are also the kind of people who are more likely to marry?

We should not forget that there are unhappy married people, and people who are married and shouldn't be can be miserable, and can do a lot to make other people, especially their spouse, miserable. Also, there are happy people who aren't married.

"L." wrote a letter to Dr. Laura to say that she's unmarried (long divorced), unhappy about that fact, and isn't happy with women who complain about their husbands.

What drives me insane are the women who won't quit complaining about their
husbands/boyfriends. I would give anything to trade places. I've lost count of
the number of times that one of these twits has told me how "lucky" I am to be
on my own. How great it is I can do whatever I like. How wonderful I don't have
to answer to anyone.

Perhaps they are trying to get you to look at the bright side? There is a lot to be said for being able to do what you want, when you want, how you want.

This is not lucky or wonderful. This is hell. Sure I can do whatever I want - but I am missing out on intimacy, companionship and accountability.

While I do believe that such things are best contained or most strongly expressed in marriage, it is possible to have intimacy without marriage, even easier to have companionship without marriage, and have some accountability. Also, bad marriages can be hell.

It's a disappointment there is no one who cares what I will be doing today

If you don't have friends who care, then that could explain why you don't have a husband.

and tonight I will, once again, sleep alone.

That is by choice - a choice I support, by the way, but a choice still.

I don't understand what part of this is even remotely appealing.

Some people greatly value alone time and autonomy. You aren't one of them.

I feel sorry for their men as they complain non-stop about everything from the last dumb thing he said to next stupid thing he's planning to do - and the only thought that runs thru my pea brain is "There is a man who thought enough of you to stand at an altar in front of God and family and put a ring on your finger and this is the way you treat him?"

Yeah, it is can be infuriating. If life was fair, you’d have a husband and they wouldn’t. Same goes for those jerks who don’t appreciate their wives, while some man out there would make a great husband but is unmarried and not happy about it.

I have a friend who is aging into a spinster. She's great with her sister's kids and I think she could make a good wife and mother. She says she wants to be. Yet she spent her optimal husband-finding years devoted to a guy who wasn't devoted to her. She should have been dating other men. Also, I have no idea how she is handling her dates. My wife points to one of her own friends, who I agree is physically attractive, has a great personality, and could possibly be a good wife. My wife can't understand why her friend is single, to which I ask my wife, "Have you ever dated her?" My point is – we don't really know how these people are in private, in a romantic or courting situation. They may be great. But they may not be.

Although there are times I imagine how my life would be more enjoyable if I'd remained unmarried and childless, I can also imagine that it is possible I'd be miserable or into all kinds of trouble and making other people miserable. I am someone who does better with that intimacy and, frankly, the sex (this even manifested with a couple of my relationships before marriage). That is one reason the current infrequency of our marital lovemaking is painful for me. I am holding to the obligations of marriage in being a husband, and I want to enjoy the perks more. In general, though, I think people are best off making the best of the life they have, even while working towards a different life. Don't neglect to smell the roses while heading for what looks like (and may indeed be) greener grass.

1 comment:

  1. curiepoint2:45 PM

    As someone who has been in the deepest, most committed places in this trench warfare called Love, I can sympathize with this woman, and perhaps even more so for the woman you know.

    The bottom line is, when you truly love someone, you are committing everything you are to them. It matters not that they do not equally commit; you just love them. It's a bitter, shocking thing when you gamble this big, the slightest loss devastates one's spirit, it is an irreplaceable loss, and it taints virtually every facet of your life.

    I have become all to aware of this in recent days.

    There is nothing logical about it, and Love stands impervious to critical thought. It's a good thing that it is this way, but it is also horrendously bad.

    Speaking for myself, it will take years to re-build and re-acquire the means by which I can love someone else in that same way...if it all.

    I would not have it any other way.


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