February 10, 2008


Amanda comments on a truly mind-boggling article urging women to settle for marrying someone they find repulsive and run a household as though it were a loveless business arrangement. She and the commenters (and do read the comments) take it apart pretty well.

The main arguments against this sort of stupidity, that it's in bad faith and can completely frak your life up, along with the fact that you never find men being urged to follow this course of action, are pretty compelling. But look, and I bring it up because it's far down the page, having been in an hellaciously unsuitable marriage, you can take this bit of wisdom to the bank.*

Lady, you cannot imagine the depth of loneliness of being married to someone who is all wrong for you. ...

When you're single, you can always hope against hope that someone will come along. It may get lonely. Find friends, roommates, pets or witty coworkers. It's even possible to have a crazy good time and be happy. See where your career can take you. If you're willing to take your complaining self the frak outside and meet some new people, you can embark on some grand adventures, whatever that means for you.

When you're married to someone you don't love, can't bring yourself to love, are disgusted by, or whom you thought you loved before you realized that love shouldn't feel like being embalmed alive, it's the end of hope. If you are not to go completely mad, and if you have the option given a spouse you don't love who doesn't also block every other path to personal fulfillment, you will still have to go looking for friends, roommates, pets, witty coworkers, career development, etc. Or, as a general rule, and I repeat this because it's important, you will indubitably go mad.

Not in a funny, cute sort of way, either. No. In some form of the way that the author of the quoted comment above went mad (though gladly, she got better,) and may wind "up being 5150ed at Langley Porter after a suicide attempt."

Be a person, not a machine part. The world needs all the awake and lively people it can get. If you allow yourself to become one, the necessities are self-explanatory.

* - Though maybe, considering the current financial crisis, you should just stuff it under your mattress, instead.

Update: And why the hell shouldn't a guy totally resent being talked about as if he were a babysitter who chips in on rent?

Also, good partner==someone you are attracted to and who adds to your happiness, which should go both ways, end of story. No amount of checking off traits from some idealized menu you dreamed up when you were 12 will make up for those lacks, just as no deviation from your youthful, romantic ideals will be a serious turn off when you really click with someone. And even then, not guaranteed to work.

It's hard to be happy. There is no formula. It's hard to be secure; emotionally or financially. There is no formula for that, either.

But it's easy to be miserable. When you substitute unrealistic envy for reflection, when you believe that there really is a formula for happiness, when you don't know and aren't happy with yourself, when you wait for someone else to start the steps that would improve your life, you'll be guaranteed a life of misery. Guaranteed.

Posted by natasha at February 10, 2008 11:30 AM | Women | Technorati links |

Most people get a divorce once they realize it's bad. That is the only good thing about "no fault".

The bad side of "no fault" is that misery is not always a two way street. Moreover, it makes dumping the wife for the trophy pretty simple.

Posted by: Scorpio at February 11, 2008 12:47 PM

Anna Quindlen once wrote:

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.

Only you can make you happy.

Posted by: joel hanes at February 11, 2008 03:11 PM