Last night was my first night settling in front of The tv back in my hometown Adelaide Australia after leaving the amazing warmth and beauty of Bali.
I’m here for a week and the first thing that jumps up on the tv is a news story promo on a catholic priest who is saying women in their 30’s should just settle if they want to be married.
The F word sprang to mind.
Then I laughed.
To be fair the priest is quite right … if all one aspires to in life is to be married then yes that is exactly what we need to do as massive personal sacrifices need to be made to engage in the institution of marriage and make it work.
I did it once.
It didn’t work.
I became his ‘wife’ and he stopped calling me by my name.
I was miserable.
He was angry.
We weren’t right together.
I had settled because I wanted to get married.
It ended in very little love and LOTS of tears and self loathing.
I’m so glad I’m over that part of my life.
Now I am free.
Now I am happy … because I choose to be.
Now I am making a difference to the world.
But yes I do get lonely.
So I got a dog and some new friends who are available with their time and started a great business.
Sometimes I am still a bit lonely.
But then again I was extremely lonely when I was in some of my longer term relationships.
I was definitely lonely after I got married.
So why do we want to get married?
Or why do people including major news networks and catholic priests think we need to be married?
And do we in fact want to be married?
I don’t know too many women pining about wanting to be married.
They/I just want to feel the connection with another human being and be loved and accepted and to give love and trust and intimacy to another human. Love.
I don’t want to be referred to as a ball and chain.
I want to share an amazing life with someone.
So it got me thinking about the institution of marriage.
I don’t generally like institutions of any kind!
Is it even relevant any more?
Living in Bali has given me an interesting perspective on marriage.
Marriage is a must based on their society working and supporting the masses.
There is no welfare system.
They live in villages.
The wife leaves her family and comes to live with the husband and his parents.
They join his families temple.
If she wants to leave she has no rights to the children.
So she doesn’t leave.
She stays and has affairs of the heart.
As does the husband in most cases.
Marriage is not about love.
Marriage is about a social structure.
So many divorces.
So much abuse.
It can build a sense of community.
It can help in raising a family and managing finances.
But what really goes on behind closed doors?
To be honest I think the single women in their 30’s issue in the western world is not about marriage it is about connection. And this is for people of any age.
When as humanity we start working out how to reconnect with ourselves and the people around us is when we delete loneliness.
Whatever our circumstances happiness is a choice. If we are unhappy and blame it on not being married. Then we marry anybody just because they are available. Then this WILL NOT bring happiness.
If we are unhappy and look within ourselves and make a decision to be happy and change our circumstances and start living a life of service (not martyrdom but giving back in some way) then we will find happiness. Once we are happy it is a lot easier to connect.
The Modern Family is no longer a man, a woman, 2.4 children, a dog all living in one house with 2 cars.
Marriage doesn’t create a family or define one any more.
Marriage doesn’t define our individual identities.
So I must admit I struggle to understand how marriage impacts on us positively as a society anymore… unless you’re a wedding planner, a florist, hire out luxury cars, or run a function centre.
I certainly don’t see it as a negative being a single in my 30’s.
But I do still aspire to connect with somebody who wants to share their life with me.
But through love, not marriage.