Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I just like being single

Addendum to my previous post (Not the marrying kind): this comes from a woman who did not initiate her divorce and who would have stayed married for years yet. I liked being married, but I think I simply prefer being single. From the many years I spent as a spinster before I married at the age of 41, I remember how convenient and freeing it was to be in charge of my own money, vacations, mealtimes and electric bill. I remember the cozy feeling of returning to my own apartment, free of someone who might be affected by my moods. I remember how important it felt to be able to spend my time on music, friends, reading, writing, exercising, cooking and napping. I remember truly needing my own space in which I could cry, sing, scream and walk around naked.

That last bit might make me sound like a lunatic and so I am. If that paragraph also makes me sound like someone who it would be hard to be married to, that's also correct apparently. 

It all comes down to weighing the pros and cons of being married as opposed to being single. For many, many people the advantages and benefits of marriage far outweigh the price. I suspect I'm not the marrying kind because, looking back on my experiences in both states, the price of being married doesn't feel worth its benefits for me (I'm not talking about anyone else's marriage). I adored my husband and treasured my time with him. He made me laugh, one of the most valuable gifts it's possible to give me. I learned and stretched myself emotionally while with him and for that I'll always be grateful. The years I spent with him were precious and I miss them and I wish those years could have gone on forever. But we all change and when a relationship dies a natural death, you have to move on. 

I also remember how hard it was to accept that I had a husband, that I was a wife. The concept that I was married was always just a little beyond my grasp. Maybe the words "wife" and "husband" always sound strange and new when one first gets married, but the shine never came off them for me. Being married never stopped feeling a bit like a costume I was wearing. 

Throughout my marriage my focus stayed oddly unmarried. Most of my friends were and are women who have never been wives because those are the people I'm drawn to. Rather than nurture new friendships with other couples, I acted independently as someone who was still on her own. Even as a wife, when I'd meet someone who seemed like she might be a good friend, or at least someone I wanted to get to know better, she was almost always single. The never-married just felt like my people and they're now my support as I go through the process of detaching from my husband, establishing a new home and facing divorce. My ever-single friends are like family to me and I have the most in common with them. If this indicates that I never completely entered the world of the married, that just supports my assertion that I'm not the marrying kind.

Now that my marriage is over, people ask if I want to get married again one day. I suspect not because I relish my time spent alone, and singlehood simply feels like my natural state. I don't predict the future and I know that anything can change at any time, but for now I do not have my sights set on a new relationship. After my marital adventure, I fall back into the community of the single and I feel like I'm home.

No comments: