“Courtship is to marriage as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.” ~ William Congreve 1670-1729
*If you are happily married— check in with me tomorrow, when I’ll be ranting about Donald Trump, take today off.
To everyone else— Don’t get married. This is the single most valuable piece of advice I offer anyone interested in the opinion of a compulsive over-thinker.
*Disclaimer— I am not a licensed therapist. These are my opinions…today.
When you get divorced, unhappily married people come out of the woodwork to tell you their tales of woe and beg advice from someone who came out on the other side.
“How did you do it?” “You’re my hero.” “I’m afraid of dying alone.” (I hear the faint sound of a tiny 🎻 violin playing in the distance.) I hate to tell you this, but we all die alone.
I know very few happily married couples. “Hey Siri, what’s the divorce rate in America is now?” Holy Hell, that statistic has gone up since I last checked… 50%. I hope my post dissolution euphoria had nothing to do with the spike in numbers.
The anniversary of my divorce just passed. Ah yes, I remember it well… the feeling I had when I walked out of the courthouse on that crisp sunny autumn day… an ethereal lightness of being, my soul ascending to another plane… (“Free Bird” playing in background)
“Why shouldn’t I get married Lydia? We’re in love and I need health insurance.” (That may be me someday- I hate Trump)
Live together. The medical insurance problem is fluid, so don’t be hasty. I have a few questions worthy of consideration for you. Why do you feel the need to involve the government in your relationship? Are you really so insecure in love that you need legal participation? Are you afraid your partner will notice that long chin hair and disappear in the night? Is the charade of your perfection too exhausting to maintain? Are you eager to let yourself go? Blenders and toasters are quite affordable these days.
“I neeeeeed to be in a relationship.” These people try to hang onto the relationship that’s over until they can find the replacement part. If they somehow mistimed the exchange, and are between victims, they are desperately searching and boring everyone to death with their tales of despair. — Don’t be this person.
“But we want a long term commitment.” Buy real estate in both your names, and set up a 30 year mortgage— bam, long term binding legal commitment. You might walk away with a profit.
“I want to claim ownership.” With this statement I sense an imminent power struggle. Marriage does not guarantee monogamy. If a person is going to cheat, a piece of paper won’t prevent it. You can vow to be faithful without the help of the court system, and if you discover your lover isn’t loyal it’s easier to kick’em to the curb without the encumbrance of a marriage licence.
“The sound of my biological clock clanging gets louder every day, it’s deafening.” It is a proven scientific fact, and has been since the dawn of man, you do not need to be married to procreate. Additionally, you should not consider having a child unless you have the financial means to support one alone. Children are a lifelong responsibility. You can not count on someone else sharing the responsibility or the expense, married or not— That’s a fact Jack, and here’s another— the species will not die out without your contribution— just an observation.
50% failure rate, or is it a success rate— is that cup half empty or half full? How many of those who stay married are happy doing so?
Marriage is called an institution for a reason. It can be suffocatingly oppressive, and an unequal division of labor is impossible to avoid— which leads to resentment. With marriage you can’t just walk away without going through an (often) expensive lengthy legal process involving a third party. What is romantic about that?
So with that final happy thought in mind, I am thoroughly enjoying my solitude today…but, if you happen upon a single version of Colin Firth, who happens to have a good health insurance plan, liberal political leanings, and isn’t opposed to a vegan lifestyle, leave a comment, à tout à l’heure. 😜 (Okay, cue the circus music.)