Why I’m Not Married — Right Now

Bride and groom, California
Image via Wikipedia

Why get married? Some people have decided it’s just not worth it, prompting a national frenzy of hand-wringing.

This very long, statistics-laden piece from Time examines who still marries and who, increasingly, does not.

The conclusion, for those in a hurry, are that those with higher educations and incomes stand a better chance of marrying and staying married, partly because they’ve learned how to compromise and negotiate.

I was married for two miserable years, ages 35 to 37. I didn’t even get to my second anniversary because my ex-husband walked out and re-married a colleague from his office within a year. But, to be factual — and which echoes the statistics on who initiates most divorces — it was my unwillingness to limp along inside a dead shell of  a relationship that also propelled him out the door and into her waiting arms.

I’ve been living with my fiance for 11 years, engaged for — can’t remember! — six or seven of those years. He is more eager to marry than I, partly because his first marriage ended a decade before mine started. I’m getting there, slowly.

How, if at all, would a legally recognized union change us? Not clear. We own a home together, have signed all our assets over to one another in case of death and have no kids.

Just because someone takes vows with you wearing fancy clothes in front of a lot of people doesn’t mean they will live them.

I think many people are hungry for love, for attention, for some sort of financial and emotional security. And marriage holds out that tantalizing promise.

But promises are broken every day, as the divorce rate makes clear. I wonder, truly, how well many couples know one another before booking a hall and cooing over dresses and cakes. After eleven years, I am still learning about my sweetie, and vice versa.

Despite our pretty clear and long-standing commitments to one another, we’re often asked: ” So, when are you getting married?”

Which I find odd and, however well-meant, intrusive.

Are you married?

Do you wish you were?

Do you think everyone should marry?

Lock Up Your Man, Ladies — Poachers Are Circling!

The Hunter album cover
Image via Wikipedia

Lock up your man! Single women poach.

A recent study has found that women, told a guy is already in a committed relationship, suddenly considered him a whole lot juicier target than a single guy — 90 percent of women surveyed said, hell yeah, they’d poach someone else’s catch versus 59 percent who find a singleton appealing.

As someone whose husband of less than two years, (seven years together), was poached — having left friends, family and a thriving career behind in Canada for him, tolerated 18 months of boring/sexist/no jobs rural New Hampshire for him and dealing with his broke-exhausted-never-home ass during his medical residency — (moi, bitter?) I’ve got a little expertise in this area. His second wife locked onto him at his first full-time job as a doctor, where he was finally making lots of money, feeling his oats and relishing the hard-won fruits of his labors. Poaching at work, honestly, is for amateurs — men always look, smell and sound their most appealing there. Three years after attending my first wedding, she had her third wedding — to him. Nice work, babe!

So why exactly are attached guys so alluring?

1) You know they can commit because they already have. Who knows what it took to get that ring on his finger or move his boxes into your closet? But there he is, a man who’s proved through action, not words, that he loves a woman enough to relinquish some of his independence. Hey, if he can love her, he can love you!

2) What a challenge! You can stab another chick through the heart — really, how much powerful (in a 1950’s kind of way), can you get? Depriving some undeserving gal of a man you’re persuaded she undervalues shows a decisiveness and dedication that makes a stalking lion look shy. I knew my marital days were numbered, even before we took vows, when J, with my man already fixed firmly in her sights, cooed her warning: “You just don’t appreciate what you have.” Indeed.

3) If you’re maybe just a teeny, tiny bit shaky in your self-confidence, and you can poach a guy away from a woman who’s actually thinner and prettier than you — baboom! Direct hit!

4) He’s relaxed. He’s getting lucky, sighed over, being fully appreciated. That tends to bring out the calm, happy best in all of us. He is not, as the worst single guys are, being creepily predatory or sloppily desperate or playing hard-to-get. He’s not even playing. Damn!

5) Some other woman has probably already smoothed your trajectory, having done most of the heavy lifting of domesticating him. Bargain! An attached guy already knows the meaning and importance of a honey-do list and probably has a bunch of stuff on his. He knows how and where to buy tampons, clean the bathroom, change a diaper and/or suck up to his woman’s insanely annoying friends, co-workers and relatives.

Admit it, dating a single guy ups the wearying odds of having to face — again — a black leather sofa, a 60-inch flat-screen tuned to the NBA/NFL/Golf Channel, a nagging addiction to online porn and the insane fantasies it fosters, cuffed pleat-front khakis, argyle socks and tasseled loafers, a lone scratched frying pan and a fridge filled with pizza boxes and Blue Ribbon. Not to mention chronic or terminal ambivalence, which is one good reason why he’s single. Anyone who poaches my current sweetie gets a guy who was pretty wonderful when we met a decade ago, and today is an even better cook, does laundry (happily), took me to Paris and buys extremely good jewelry.

Don’t even think about it…

Thanks to fellow T/S’er PJ Tobia, for sending me this link! (Don’t swoon over those gorgeous blue eyes. He’s attached.)