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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Aren't I Married? Heck If I Know



I've been sitting on this blog post by Tracy McMillan, 'Why You're Not Married," for weeks now, knowing I wanted to write a response, and wondering what it would be.

When I read her post I was perplexed - I'm not a bitch, slut, selfish (I'm the mother of three, it's pretty hard to be selfish and be a decent mom). I'm also not shallow, a liar nor do I think I'm not good enough. I don't think I have any of these (dis)attributes she mentions.

I've been married. Once. For twenty years. Hence the three children. I'm not bitter, angry, scared or still hung up on my ex. I just haven't married again.

So I wonder, (and you may too) why am I not married again? I think the bigger, million dollar question may be, do I want to be? The honest answer is, I don't know.

My friend KC might say it's because I'm a "bad chooser." She might be right. Or it may be that I haven't met the right guy at the right time.

Or, it could be that after having met my first husband at 17, marrying him at 20 and having my first child at 21 I needed to be on my own. But somehow, being on your own in our culture is code for defective.

When my marriage ended I had never been alone. When my last child left for college I was terrified to live alone. I compensated by going back to school, starting a novel, taking on a newspaper internship, joining a writing group and trying to rarely be home. Especially at dinner time. The thing I didn't do was glom on to a guy.

I needed my husband way too much. I never want to do that again. Maybe that's part of the reason I am still single. Perhaps like Liz Gilbert in "Eat Pray Love," there's a bit of a fear of losing that balance that I've found. I didn't venture to Italy, India and Indonesia to find it, but it's been hard-fought for.

Just because I haven't remarried doesn't mean I haven't been in love. I have been. Very much so. I'm just not sure if I need or want marriage to be the end game.

I may not know why I'm not married, or if I ever will be. But what I do know is it's not because there's anything inherently wrong with me. And I'm pretty sure the same could be said about many of the women who read that blog post.

What I do know is that during the time I haven't been married I've raised three kids who are now all amazing adults, I've created a career as a writer, written a novel and built a life that is mostly pretty happy.

Maybe someday a husband will be part of my equation, but I'd rather want that than need it. Of course I want love in my life, most people do. To love and be loved is wonderful. I don't know if I will ever marry again, though someone who can fix things and kill the scary bugs might be kind of nice...

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