Married people are weird (for the most part).

by mssinglemama on February 13, 2008

marriedcoupleshadow.jpgMaybe it’s because I already have the child, the job and the house – minus the husband – but married people mystify me. And why do so many single women want to get married so badly? I can understand why us single moms want to get married – it might be easier. I stress, the might. But single, childless women. Seriously. What gives? Am I missing something? Why do they want to find a man so badly? I look at young single women and all I think is god – you have the world in front of you. You could do everything…and be with someone – but do you have to marry him? Why this crazy desire for a ring?

Maybe it’s because my marriage was a bust. Maybe it’s because I haven’t found that person who I could truly be happy with…forever. Maybe it’s my generation (us gen-xers are marrying at later ages than ever). But married people just seem weird to me. But I know I seem weird to them. I am a single mom…a dating single mom at that. In reality, I’m the alien, the one breaking the mold of what society tells me I am supposed to do.

The first thing married people say to me when I tell them my status is, “oh my gosh, I don’t know how you do it.” And I think to myself, “no, I don’t know how you do it.” After all, in my experience – marriage is a hell of a lot harder than being a single mom. Obviously a happy marriage would be easier – but how many happily married couples do you know?

Maybe it’s because I’m already a mom. The kid is here. First comes love, then marriage, then…oops. Hmmm…is it because I already have a child that marriage seems like an after thought? It’s hard enough to manage my mini-relationship with my boyfriend. I can’t imagine a marriage on top of being a mom.

I do see happily married couples every once in a while. It’s like spotting a UFO. I stare, I smile, I try to spark a conversation. They are like unearthly beings. Why do I see them so rarely? I imagine they all hide out in their happy homes like my parents did. No need for many outside friends because they have each other. But most of the married people I have daily contact with seem dead inside. Is it because they’re married to the wrong person? Maybe. Or would they be sad anyway?

If you’re one of the happily married couples … please enlighten me.

And marriage stories from both sides of the spectrum:

Here’s an inspiring story I found. In China, a man falls in love with a widowed single mother and they allope to the mountains (see, they hid) where he spent his entire life carving her a 6,000 stair path down the mountain. Wow. Now, that’s a marriage I can dream about.

And another one about a couple in Bosnia, caught cheating online – with each other! Uhhh…that would suck.

For any married couples who may have stumbled across this post:

7 Ways to Re-Kindle Your Relationship

How to Let Go of an Unfulling Relationship

[photo credit: www.lawrencecheok.com]

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

euphonos February 13, 2008 at 3:52 am

Y’know – I think a lot of married ppl do feel dead inside. I don’t know all the answers but I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘happy’ marriage – it may be committed, strong, passionate, etc…..but I don’t know a lot of truly happy married people. Marriage doesn’t make people happy!!! I think a lot of women think they will feel better about themselves once they get married but the truth is, you bring your baggage with you into the relationship and combine it with your partners. And it’s rarely a matching set :).

I’ve been married 10 years and I love my husband tonnes, still think he’s drop dead sexy and like having him around. Having said that, the past 10 years has been hell on wheels at times – I’ve often thought about how nice it would be to just be dating again and have our own places, etc. Life is rough on a marriage, no matter who you are and seeing a person every day, when they have a cold, are grumpy or leaving their socks everywhere is not sexy or inspiring, not to mention more serious issues.

I think ppl expect their partners to solve their problems and they hold them to impossible standards that no one could live up to (I”m not talking about domestic violence, substance abuse – that is a different kettle of fish altogether).

Being an independent, balanced person who does not feel they must have another person in their lives to feel worthwhile is a good way to ensure that you might just end up meeting someone that you could marry and not want to strangle. Well, not too often anway. 🙂

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Lawrence Cheok | A Long Long Road February 13, 2008 at 5:16 am

Hi Miss Single Mama,

Nice to meet you, and I like the theme of your blog. Love to hear more about your journey and I wish you all the best in the future ahead.

Keep in touch.

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mssinglemama February 13, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Euphonos … yep, marriage takes a lot of work and right now I have my hands full. Being single is easier…but I totally recognize that the sacrifices one makes for a marriage can be worth it in the long run. Thanks for your honest comment and insight into your marriage!

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Ramsey Sinclair February 13, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Have you read Princess Bubble? She is an independent princess who is prince-less. Great book for us single moms and our kids.

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7aki Fadi February 13, 2008 at 5:24 pm

See I’ve been married for 7 years now and it hasn’t been happy all the time but the problems always are worked out at the end if you are with the right person.

I can’t deny that being single has a lot of advantages, but also being happily married has a lot of advantages too!

You son is soooooooooo cute. God bless him!

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mssinglemama February 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

No, I haven’t! Sounds right up my alley. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks Ramsey.

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mommypie February 13, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I am so with you on this. I can’t say that I know one couple I would want to model a marriage after. I’m sure they are out there, but, at least in my experience, it seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Having never been married myself, I can only speak for the single side. After watching ALL my friends go through the “I have to find a man” thing, it seems clear to me a big reason they feel the NEED to be married springs from pure fear. When you begin closing in on 40, are childless and want children, it can trigger some pretty serious panic attacks. Because of the way our society is, the only acceptable (safe) solution in most women’s minds is marriage. I completely understand this – I was lucky to have my daughter at 36. I was single, and although it took me awhile to realize it, that was a blessing. Personally, I think marriage is a great concept … just not for me.

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99ppp February 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm

There are happily unmarried couples as well. I am in such relationship.

My lover (for over 10 years) and I have tossed around the idea early in our relationship, and then rejected it altogether: http://99ppp.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/a-case-against-marriage/

If one’s union is based on love, all’s well. Unfortunately, many in society give some added credibility to a union solely due to marital status. My rant above gives each “reason” to get married some serious scrutiny.

@mssinglemama: “So the burning question – do I even want to get married again? I think at this point – the answer is – yes, but not anytime soon.” (‘out of style’ post)

I’m a little unclear on your position on marriage, have you changed your mind since then?

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mommypie February 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm

So after reading my comment yesterday, I realized I was having a teeny tiny bit of a pessimistic moment. I should’ve added to my last sentence, “right now.” I should know by now, never say never!

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mssinglemama February 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm

99ppp – like Mommy Pie – I never want to say never. I’m just saying that at this point in my life marriage is not in the picture. And I don’t know if it ever will be again. Having been through a rotten marriage and a divorce the idea of getting married makes me a bit queasy … and it’s something I am not “looking for” by any means.

Hope that helps. Guess, I don’t have any straight answers. I’ll tell you what though – anytime any one of my friends even suggests she wants to marry her boyfriend I go on and on about why she shouldn’t. I just ask – why? Why the paperwork? Why? Because of societal pressures, like you’ve written so eloquently about 999.

One thing you wrote that really stuck out is this: that happily married people reading these posts will just smile and keep moving – b/c they are bonded by love – not the paperwork or society. That’s the best point of all. Love exists with or without marriage.

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99ppp February 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Ah… so you hope to be the exception to the “weirdness”? 😉

Some get married for practical reasons, and that’s fine. But I find it has little or no bearing on “how in love” one is with the other.

If two people love one another, more power to them, regardless of marital status.

Peace

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mssinglemama February 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Exactly…the exception! You nailed it. But I still don’t want to get married. I am only 28 … so who knows. I just want what my parents had – with or without the paperwork.

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99ppp February 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm

LOL.. you posted the crux of my argument as I was responding to your last post pointing that out. Wonderful. 🙂

Best wishes for you and your hunny, regardless what you opt.

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Lauren February 14, 2008 at 7:59 pm

For me, it’s all about the pressure from family. Almost everyone from both sides of my family is religious, and you must have marriage before you can have sex and children. Well, I’ve already “messed up,” but sometimes it makes me feel like I NEED to be married before I can have more children. Truthfully, I would still be content without getting married; I’ll just have to live with all the criticism from my family.

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Jose February 3, 2015 at 6:32 am

Begun, the great internet edcaituon has.

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mssinglemama February 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Hi Lauren! That sucks. Well…when you do meet that person who you might consider marrying you can cross that bridge when you come to it – and hopefully your family will understand you wanting to wait to tie the knot.

Then there’s another pressure no one has mentioned yet – pressure from your significant other to take the plunge. This is the scariest of all …

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Jenny February 15, 2008 at 7:54 pm

In response to mommypie’s statement about “the only acceptable (safe) solution in most women’s minds is marriage,” I just wanted to add:

The Alternatives to Marriage Project at unmarried.org is a nonprofit org advocating for people who choose to remain single (with or without children).

It’s a really good resource, not only for learning about the myriad issues that readily affect singles (e.g., taxes, healthcare, etc.), but also for learning about how other people manage to have healthy, stable, loving long-term relationships without tying them up in government paper.

That said, I agree with mommypie: marriage is still the only “safe” option in our current society. Still, doing your own thing relationship-wise can work, too, and I think that’s important to know. Definitely softens the harshness of the landscape created by cultural messages of “marry or die pitifully.”

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Felicia Kidd February 27, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Well I don’t think that all married people are weird. I just think that being married to the right person, having that partner in life is a good thing. Being married to your best friend, lover and companion can make life actually sweet and content. I am single parent age 36 and never been married and if I could find that right man for me and get married, I think I would be more happier. I don’t believe in sleeping around so being married and getting that intimacy from my partner would be wonderful.

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puppatoons April 20, 2008 at 10:49 am

I think I’m the alien here.:)
My goal was never to “get married”. I was fine with going through life maybe dating someone occasionally, but “the ring”couldn’t have been farther from my thoughts.I just had too many other things taking up my time. All my friends got married before I did, and I was okay with that. But I thought, “if the right guy does come along, I’m going to try my best to get things right and not rush into anything.” My parents had both been married four times each, so I was determined not to repeat their mistakes.Sex was not part of my dating regime, to keep my head clearer about it all, and I didn’t want to have to worry about “the morning after” etc.My friends thought, again, athat I was some sort of alien,LOL..but hey, it paid off.
I met my husband at work and dated him for a year. He proposed, and I said, “Just to make sure were are the right ones for each other, let’s have a long engagement”. He agreed. We were engaged a year and a half.We have been married ten years and people compliment us on how romantic we still are with each other. Our interests are almost parallel.We’ve had small disagreements, but never a fight. Never raised our voices to each other. We’ve been married ten years. We decided that we wanted to keep things the way they are and so children are not in the picture.I understand that my plan certainly would have worked for very few people out there, but it really did land me with the right person. So yes, I know I’m an oddball, but I’m a happy little oddball.:)

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mssinglemama April 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Pappatoons…and you two are definitely one of those rare and truly blissfully married couples. I know a handful and spot them every now and again…and that is exactly what I’m looking for – which is why I’m not married yet. : ) And just like you said, if one comes along – wonderful but I won’t settle. One divorce is plenty.

Thanks for sharing your story! Very good advice…

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Cynthia April 29, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I LOVE this post.
I’m 25, single and I have no kids and I often think this!
I’m just not ready when everyone else (my family, friends) want me to be.

I want to live my life, first! Is that so wrong!

GREAT POST!

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Charles Rivers May 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

I would suggest to you that you too have a desire for marriage. But I would also seek to venture that you have a larger desire to avoid the pain of a coupling. The pain is not your coupling, but what you witnessed in your youthful past. I would also say that is what helped to end any close relationships you have with males. You may read this in my hard-back book, “Married without Baggage.”

Sincerely,
Charles Rivers
National Relationship Author

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Mia June 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Wow. Reading a lot of this stuff is rather depressing, negative, and just plain based on personal experience that lacks a lot of effort.

What many people need to realize is that love is a CHOICE. It is not automatic, it’s not ingrained, nor is it something that just pops out of the sky and falls into your lap. You CHOOSE to love your spouse, your children, your parents, etc. Heck, I don’t need to love anyone, and I could choose not to love anyone– but I make the conscious choice to love someone and to maintain that regardless of how bad things get. Granted there are going to be times where loving someone is hard as hell and you just wanna pop them one and snuff their lights out– but you continue to choose to love them and adjust and make yourself available and work at maintaining a reciprocal relationship happen.

You have to choose to want to be romantic and passionate with your partner. You have to choose to want to put the work into maintaining a healthy relationship.

I’m not saying getting married is for everyone, or being single is for everyone either. But honestly, if everyone else is keeping their nose out of your business, married or not, keep your nose out of their business too. I don’t care if married people mystify you or not– how they are working out their happiness or unhappiness is their business.

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Wendy Liu July 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Don’t forget about the stupid wedding industry. Unfortunately many women want to get married just as an excuse to have a lavish ceremony and a huge rock on their finger. Just check out all the celeb megazines.

I’m a happily married woman myself and I recognise that my life is not perfect and it’s my responsibility to make myself happy.

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Livingalmostlarge August 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I’m married and happily so. I’ve been living with my DH for almost 9 years (moved in together 2000) and we still don’t have kids. I am planning on having kids one day, but there is no rush.

So why get married? Because honestly it’s hard to be alone. It can be lonely, says MANY of my single friends including the single 31 year old guy that lives with us. He would love to meet someone but hasn’t yet.

As for females? Well according to my 2 best friends both single, they would like to be able to share parenting responsibilities. It’s tough being a single parent.

Remember you became a single parent after having a child, you didn’t concieve a child while single. I think that makes a huge difference.

Also I have many friends who are still single in their 30s, could be because of where I live, and most are young professionals. But they are desperately seeking someone. They would love to have someone to go to the movies, dinner, raise a family with. And they aren’t ready to pay a surrogate to have a child or adopt as a single man or single woman. Maybe if they aren’t married in another 10 years.

As a child of a single parent much like your son, I never knew my father. I have no pictures of him, NADA. I have meet him less than 5x in my life. I met him in January 2007 at my grandfather’s funeral for the first time I can actually remember. I did not recognize him at all. CLUELESS. I shook his hand and said hello.

I respect my mom’s choice, but she admits that remarrying and having help raise a child was a lot easier than being a single parent. You don’t realize the extra help, having someone to help bounce ideas off of. Having someone else rush your child to the doctorm, etc.

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Tricia Wanjala February 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Hey I think your blog is really interesting and I read it from time to time. I am happily married with a gorgeous little girl who is adorable like your little Ben. I know I may sound condescending but I do admire and appreciate you strong single sisters out there and I do believe that everyone deserves to be happy, single or married. Life is what you make it. When you have a belief system (my husband and I follow the Bible's principles of love and respect being the core of a happy marriage) that you both follow, it's easier to weather the storms and enjoy the sunny days. I wish you all the best.:) More information on happy family life for single parents or married couples can be found on my favorite web site <http://www.watchtower.org&gt;

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Single Mama 2 February 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Your blog is really an inspiring one. We shared the common thoughts in many posts!!!!

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Single Mama 2 April 26, 2012 at 11:17 am

Well, single mama before you disagreed with those young gal who wish to get married desperately think about when did you got married in the first place. Aren’t we got married at the golden age? “Everyone seems to have to experience marriage AT LEAST ONCE in the life time.” I told all my gal/friends. “So you would know why you shouldn’t get married so early in the first place”. Haha.

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