I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf
Hunh, but growing up, and even now, my fellow conservatives (some secular, some Christian) keep promoting the notion that married people are happier!, healthier! and just doing better! than single adults. But this woman’s editorial says, nah.
Not that I am in total agreement with all of this woman’s choices.
When my husband died, I vowed to stay single in my after-life. Not because I was grieving, but because domestic partnership was something I had no interest in doing again.
My marriage was traumatic in a way that I wasn’t fully cognizant of until it ended abruptly and my need to raise my four children in a household free of toxicity became my first priority.
My vow to stay a single mother would not mean limiting myself sexually and emotionally. I decided I would keep lovers — non-committal but satisfying short-term pairings.
What I came to find was that this decision, which steered me away from the kind of relationships I was conditioned to accept as status quo, would lead to the least toxic and most beneficial relationships I have ever been in.
…It is often expected of women, especially single mothers with children, to yearn for stability — “get off the apps” and “find your person.” But often, conventional relationships don’t benefit women. I have watched many heteronormative marriages dissolve in quarantine for this reason.
…The patriarchy has conditioned us to feel incomplete without permanent partnership, coercing us into presumed stability, even when it proves unreliable, insecure. And when a woman refuses to conform to this expected ideology, she is often deemed broken or fickle, a commitment-phobe or a whore.
… This happily every after narrative does more harm than almost any other I can think of. It whispers in the ears of miserable wives: Stick it out. It insists that leaving means failure and sacrifice is a sacrament.
…At almost 40, I am finally able to recognize what it is I truly want and how much it differs from what has been expected of me.
You can read the rest of that (Link): here.