In the early days of realizing my marriage was over, I'd say to friends, "This is it. I'm not getting married again." I'd get responses like, "Don't say that," and "Don't give up on marriage." People would genuinely try to convince me that I should keep an open mind about getting married again. These people were usually married.
Why would they react that way? What is it to them how I feel about marriage? Is there some critical mass of people that have to believe in marriage for it to exist? Do my doubts about the institution threaten their marriages?
From my never-married and divorced friends I didn't tend to get such responses. They were more taciturn. Maybe they figured I was just blowing off steam. Maybe they also had doubts about marriage and saw my statement as reasonable.
But what is it that makes someone react with such concern when a divorcing person says she doesn't want to get married again? Is it purely ideological? Or do they hear my statement as a sign of discouragement and they want to stop me from sliding into depression? Or is it just a knee-jerk pep talk?