blueollie

Why marriage agrees with me (sans kids)

This won’t be a post about family and kids. I love my daughter and am glad that she is in this world. But she’ll be the only one; I’ll have no more kids. I am not a “kid person”.

I am talking mostly about my individual situation at my stage in life (mid 50’s; daughter 2/3 of the way through college).

I have single friends and follow many others on social media and have seen memes like these:

getdivorce

whymarriage2

whymarry1

I’ll admit that there are downsides to marriage and to the type of marriage that I am in (with blended families). I won’t belabor those though.

And no, this won’t be one of those “well, my wife is the MOST WONDERFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD” bull**it posts either; we’d all know that would be insincere. She, like me, has strengths and weaknesses. I admit that she has many traits that appeal to me (mental, emotional, physical).

But this post is not about repeating the stuff everyone knows is false.

I do my share of that, but won’t do that here. I intend this post to be a bit more universal than that.

Here are some practical things that being married that I like and that don’t depend upon my spouse’s particular personality and other traits.

1. Companionship. Having someone at home when I am off work is nice (most of the time), and, aside from sex…I do like a warm bed.

2. Financial. If I had just my own salary (and choose to work only 10 months of the year, as I do now), our household income would be 60’th percentile. That is ok, given that child support is almost in the rear view mirror. But that would require making more choices than I do now. Together, we are 80-90’th percentile and that is much nicer. Example: if we don’t feel like doing dishes, we can afford to eat out. If I want to go to a nearby game I can, so long as I am realistic about my seat choices (no luxury box for this guy…or even club seats unless the team really stinks and they can be purchased at a steep discount). Modest vacations are not mere fantasy (emphasis on “modest”).

3. Experiences. I try other things that I wouldn’t ordinarily try (yes, that includes family gatherings) and, often I find myself happy that I tried them. I find that I have good memories doing stuff that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

And this will sound hard to believe: my ex wife suggested that we go hiking at Lost Pines (Bastrop, TX). That got me hooked on trail hiking. In 2009, my current wife took me to my first NFL game since 1988 (seriously) and that got me hooked, again! She also took me to a couple of minor league baseball games and that eventually got me going to those.

4. Expansion of the social circle. Some of my wife’s friends became my friends, and I grew to enjoy the company of her grown up kids. We’ve even done some activities together (swimming, running).

5. Relationships with female friends (this is counterintuitive). Oddly enough, I do more things with other females than I ever did when I was single. I’ve spoken in more detail about the upside and downside to female friendship in another post. But this is what I think is going on: when I am single, most outings with a female friend has what I call “potential to become a date”. Hence, I felt some sort of tension in that, even if it were a “just friends” outing; I wanted her to be attracted to me on some level. After all, if she doesn’t find me to be attractive, there must be something wrong with me. THAT is the reason I think that men dread the “friend zone”; it isn’t as much about not getting sex as it is being rejected. Now, as a married man, the “friend zone” is exactly where I want to be with a non-spousal female friend! I can relax and enjoy the mutual activity, be it a bike ride, hike, yoga workshop, run or sporting event.

Were I to become single, my female “do stuff with” friends list would probably shrink to…zero? And that leads to ..

6. NO MORE DATING! Yes, the best part of being married is to not have to worry about dating. My goodness, I hated dating and am glad that is in my past. I might enjoy the results but I hated the process and do not miss it. But were I to become single again…sigh…I’d probably force myself to endure it.

January 4, 2016 - Posted by | Friends, human sexuality | ,

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