The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

I really don’t feel as though I fit in anywhere, even among singles. I am single and have never been married but would like to be married. Then there are times I’m fine with being single.

A problem I have experienced is that most people fall into strictly one side or the other, or some married people handle singlness strictly one way or another; there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground, but I’m in the middle.

There are occasions I’d like to be married, but I resent being overlooked, hounded about, or mistreated by churches and society while I am single, or for being single.

I’d like to be married because it would be great to share life with someone. It would be nice to have companionship.

However, I don’t think I should fall into the codependent habit of thinking I require a man to be whole, happy, or to have an identity.

I also reject Christian sexism (which sneaks into churches under the guise of “gender complementarianism”) which teaches all manner of obnoxious garbage, such as, women need a “male priest” (a.k.a. a husband) to access God on their behalf (yes, they really do teach this crud), or, women need a “male covering.” No, we don’t need either one of those. Those ideas are foreign to the Bible.

Yes, I hope to marry eventually, but while I am single, I want to be treated with respect by secular and Christian culture. I want to be noticed and acknowledged while I am single.

Churches, preachers, and most married Christians typically ignore singles over the age of 30.

If they aren’t ignoring us, churches, pastors, and married Christians are treating us singles over 30 as though we are slaves meant to do nothing but church menial work. Or, they insultingly assuming we’re all fornicating, or, they assume we are still single because we are weird, fat, ugly, socially retarded. Or, they wrongly assume, we singles past 30 must be blazing homosexuals, or stalwart, liberals and feminists.

For singles such as myself who want marriage, it’s frustrating and insulting to hear from preachers and churches that I should just accept singleness, I should “be content,” or I should “make the most of my singleness” and to hear other platitudes.

I abhor the books and blogs by older Christian singles such as myself who have thrown in the towel on their own hopes of marriage to lecture singles like me to just give in too, and they write we should remember God doesn’t care about our earthly happiness (supposedly), and we should remember eternity, where we’ll all be single anyhow.

I want to be respected while I am single and have my needs met by churches as a single. I want to be met where I am. I don’t want my singleness brushed aside, overlooked, or treated like it’s a disease that needs to be cured.

At the same time, though, I want my goal and hope of getting married one day to be RESPECTED and ENCOURAGED, not as is the usual case: shamed, insulted, ignored, or put down, and don’t tell me it’s a sin to be single, or that I am at fault in any way for being single, or that I failed because I was supposed to be married by my mid-20s.

I also don’t want to be given guilt trips or have it implied I am being selfish or ungodly for wanting to be married.

I don’t want pastors, Christian dating and relationship advice authors, and older Christian singles telling me to lay down my hope of being married.

I don’t want or need any more stupid, condescending, rude advice or cliches such as “just grow your hair long,” “Jesus is all you need,” or, “try eHarmony.”

Singles who are happy being single, who don’t want marriage at all, should be respected for remaining single if they so choose.

Some first marriages today in the USA aren’t taking place until one or both partners are in their late 20s or older. I have started collecting news stories of people who don’t get married for the first time until age 35, 40, 50, or older.

I’m afraid a lot of older married couples (as in ones who have been married for decades now) haven’t caught on that culture has changed, and people are delaying marriage until they are older – and contrary to the Al Mohlers and Debbie Makens of the world (the few Christians who do bother to notice that people are marrying later in life), that is not necessarily bad, sinful, or wrong. You just might get married for the first time in your late 30s, age 45, age 55, or who knows when.

Nobody should be pressured into marriage. Singlehood needs to be accepted and respected as a valid life choice for Non Christians and Christians. But often, it’s not. Here’s an example from an “Ask Amy” column:

DEAR AMY: My daughter, 40, was married to a man who was mentally abusive. He estranged her from her brother and friends and tried to end her relationship with her father and me. When she divorced him about five years ago, we were very happy. Fortunately there were no children.

A few years after the divorce she went to therapy, but I don’t know how much progress was made. Now she has no desire to date or to have a committed relationship with a man (or woman, for that matter).

She just says she is not interested. Her brother, who is married, has tried multiple times to encourage her to have a relationship with someone. The way he approached the subject was somewhat harsh, and she is more adamant than ever about meeting or dating.

She is a beautiful and intelligent woman and a very successful lawyer with her own practice. She and I are close. We are able to speak openly with each other, but this is a delicate subject. We are a very small family, and my husband and I won’t be around forever. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.— Worried Mother

DEAR WORRIED: My advice is that you (and her brother, especially) should stop urging your daughter to believe that there is something wrong with her.

You don’t say that she is angry, depressed or friendless, only that she is a successful survivor and a very successful professional and a beautiful, intelligent and lovely daughter.

Marriage and intimate emotional partnerships are not the answer for everyone. If your daughter says she is not interested in having this sort of relationship in her life, I think it would be great (and honest, true and supportive) for her family members to believe her. And then stop bothering her about it.

Amy’s advice is good on this letter. People should not be pushed or hounded into getting married. Singleness should be respected. Singles should be respected.

At the same time, though, remember:

If you are an un-married person who is desiring marriage, that’s acceptable too, regardles of you age.

Don’t let anyone, not famous preachers or older Christian singles in books, blogs, or forums, make you feel ashamed, selfish, or guilty for wanting to get married or for actively pursuing marriage (if you are using dating sites, asking friends to fix you up on dates, using churches to meet other singles, etc).

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Related Posts:

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

(Link):  Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships

(Link):  ‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

Glad to Be Single – Husband Married to Woman Now Says He’s Homosexual And Wants Out

Glad to Be Single – Husband Married to Woman Now Says He’s Homosexual And Wants Out

I’m not the type who is always thrilled to be single all the time (see this post for more), but, there are some occasions where I do okay with singleness, or I laugh and feel relieved to never having been married when I see things like this… (I have additional comments below this letter):

May 20, 2103 letter to nationally syndicated “Ask Amy” advice colum:

    DEAR AMY: I have been married for more than 15 years and have two great kids (14 and 9) with my wife. My life is seemingly perfect from the outside. No one would suspect there was a problem, but I’ve been living with the knowledge that I am gay for more than five years.

    I didn’t figure out my sexuality until after I was married. I became very depressed. My life would be so much easier if I were straight. I do love my wife and my kids, but I’m not attracted to her and have not been for quite a while.

    Now I’ve met someone in a similar predicament. We have become best friends and share a lot of the same interests and values. We have developed very strong feelings for each other, and I could imagine a life in which the two of us were together.

    Should this other man and I continue to live a lie with our families and fake being happy, or should we tell our wives and kids the truth and have a potentially hurtful situation for everyone involved?

    Sometimes I think it would be easier to just not say anything and sacrifice my own personal happiness for my family, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that. What are your thoughts? — Confused

I wonder. He says he just happened to meet a dude like him – oh really? I bet he went trolling online for sites for homosexual guys is how he “happened to meet” the other guy.

This gets back to a previous post of mine: older, never married guys are often suspected of being homosexual or as being child raping perverts by some Christians (sadly, though, some Christians are too trusting and too naive, and child molesters find churches easy places of prey because of this), but there is a stigma to being a male past age 25 / 35 / 40 and not being married.

This post goes to show that even if a guy is MARRIED and WITH KIDS no less, that he might be homosexual or has homosexual attractions. It’s wrong for churches to assume that all single males are homosexual and that married men (ones married to women) don’t act out in a homosexual manner or have SSA (same sex attraction).
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Related post this blog:

(Link): Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Never Married Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles

(Link): Older Single Males are Pedophiles says nationally syndicated columnist Ask Amy

Glad I’m Not Married – ‘Help! My Husband Caught Me Cheating and Now Wants an Open Marriage.’

Glad I’m Not Married – ‘Help! My Husband Caught Me Cheating and Now Wants an Open Marriage.’

This is also another example of married couples who are engaging in sexual sin. That’s right, the old trope about all un-marrieds being sleazy, randy, horn dogs who hump everything in sight isn’t true. Some married couples are into that. Here’s another example.

From Dear Prudence:

    In a live chat, Prudie counsels a woman whose husband caught her cheating and now wants an open marriage.

    Q. Husband Wants an Open Marriage: A few months ago, my husband uncovered an affair I was having with an old flame. He moved out and initiated divorce proceedings, but in the time since, I was able to convince him that I am truly repentant and to give our marriage another chance for the sake of our children.

    The problem I have now is that he says that if we are to stay married, he wants it to be an open marriage.

    I’ve tried to tell him that I’ve gotten that out of my system and I don’t want to be with anybody other than him, but he says there just isn’t any way he can ever trust me again, he doesn’t feel an obligation to be faithful to me anymore, and at least this way we’re being honest about it.

    Prudie, it makes me ill to think about him being with another woman. I just want things to go back to how they used to be. How can I convince him that we need to be completely committed to each other in order for this to work?

More Schadenfreude – Glad Not To Be Married Series

More Schadenfreude – Glad Not To Be Married Series

((Link): See other posts in this series.)

From the Carolyn Hax advice column:

How Did this Idiot Get A Wife? – ‘They’re Married?!’ Series

How Did this Idiot Get A Wife? – ‘They’re Married?!’ Series

(Link): Things That Make You Go Hmmm …

Letter to an advice columnist, “Dear Prudence”:

I’d like to give my new love the hardly used vibrator of my deceased wife. That cool?

  • Dear Prudence,
    In the summer of 2011 my wife and I purchased a top-of-the-line Jopen vibrator. We used it a few times and were just beginning to really integrate it into our sex lives when my wife died suddenly of a heart attack. (The vibrator had nothing to do with that.)
  • Now, more than a year later, I’ve begun to date again. I’ve met a woman with an open mind, and I’m thinking she might be interested in using the vibrator.
  • But I’m not sure how, or whether, to suggest it. Is it creepy to offer a dead woman’s vibrator to someone else? And if so what else can I do with it? Sell it on Craigslist?

    It’s an expensive piece of equipment, barely used, and it should be employed (and loved) once again.

    All of my wife’s other major possessions found wonderful new homes with dear friends of hers. But then again, a vibrator’s got a different—well, vibe about it. Sell it, toss it, or share it?
    —Oscillating

What. The. Hell. Dude?

Ewww. Gross. And how is it that a moron like this gets a spouse, then a girlfriend… and meanwhile, I’m still single? Just wow.

Why Marriage Is Good for Your Health — Until You Get Sick (copy)

Why Marriage Is Good for Your Health — Until You Get Sick

(Link): Why Marriage Is Good for Your Health — Until You Get Sick

It’s supposed to last through sickness and in health, but it turns out that it’s a better idea to get married because you love someone, not because you think it’s going to keep you healthy for the long haul.

That’s the message from a study published this month in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, which contradicts previous research that extolled the health benefits of partnership. It turns out that marriage is all well and good — until a person’s health starts declining.

….But while “marriage is good for health, … its protective effect declines as people’s health declines,” says Zheng.

What’s going on? Does love fade as health fades? That’s hard to document from the studies analyzed, but part of the explanation may be more prosaic. Married people are not as quick to report declining health as unmarried people. So by the time a married person cops to having failing health, that person may already be in dire straits.

People Who Marry for the Wrong Reasons

There are times when I hate being single and wish I had been married, but there are times I’m glad that I’ve remained unmarried into my forties. One reason is that I see people who marry all the time – for the wrong reasons, and they are miserable.

There is a lot of societal pressure to marry, and to marry by the age of 35 at that, which is why so many women (and maybe some men) marry someone they are not truly happy with or in love with, and they get divorced years later.

Here’s another example, a letter sent to advice columnist Carolyn Hax with this heading:
“Quest for public approval pushed her into marriage and is keeping her there”

Here is what the letter writer said:

I don’t know why I got married. Probably a swirling mix of low self-esteem, anxiety and the desire to prove my mother wrong about my boyfriend caused me to pressure him to propose. What I’m left with is a husband who doesn’t really love me and the sinking feeling that I made a terrible mistake.

I don’t know how much effort to put into making this work vs. cutting my losses. He isn’t a bad person, but we don’t make each other particularly happy and this isn’t a relationship where I feel treasured. I would get a divorce without thinking about it, but I’m embarrassed about the possible “I told you so’s.” I keep hoping the minister made a mistake and we’re not really married and I can just walk away.

On a similar note, here’s an article that says that married women are cheating just as much as married men these days:

(Link): The New Face of Infidelity: Research shows women may be cheating now almost as much as men; the toll of new temptations

Here are excerpts from “The New Face of Infidelity,” by Peggy Drexler, October 19, 2012

…Lately, however, researchers have been raising doubts about this view: They believe that the incidence of unfaithfulness among wives may be approaching that of husbands. The lasting costs of these betrayals will be familiar to the many Americans who have experienced divorce as spouses or children.

Among the most reliable studies on this issue is the General Social Survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, which has been asking Americans the same questions since 1972. In the 2010 survey, 19% of men said that they had been unfaithful at some point during their marriages, down from 21% in 1991. Women who reported having an affair increased from 11% in 1991 to 14% in 2010.

A 2011 study conducted by Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute and the University of Guelph found much less of a divide: 23% for men and 19% for women. Such numbers suggest the disappearance of the infidelity gender gap, but some caution is in order.

…And if you believe the General Social Survey’s finding that 14% of women are cheating, keep in mind that 86% aren’t.

Still, even though survey accuracy is difficult to achieve and experts are by no means unanimous, it would appear that women are, indeed, catching up. In my own work as a psychologist and in my social circle, I see more women not only having affairs but actively seeking them out. Their reasons are familiar: validation of their attractiveness, emotional connection, appreciation, ego—not to mention the thrill of a shiny new relationship, unburdened by the long slog through the realities of coupledom.
Continue reading “People Who Marry for the Wrong Reasons”

Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28

1 Corinthians 7:28:

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

Skimming over a list of recent secular advice columnist Carolyn Hax columns recently, I feel happy with never having been married, and that I am a life long celibate.

Sometimes, I feel upset at having arrived in my 40s without ever married, but then I see things online or on the TV that makes me feel glad I am still single and not having sex.

Here’s a selection of just a few of Hax’s recent column headlines:

  • Carolyn Hax: History of bad partners; adulterer in their midst – OCT 17
  • Carolyn Hax: When to disclose you have herpes – OCT 16
  • Carolyn Hax: Boyfriend has anger issues, but he won’t go to therapy on his own – OCT 15

“When to disclose you have herpes.” –When to disclose your herpes?! Good grief. I have never been in that situation and likely never will be.

It’s hard being a celibate Christian over the age of 40.

We’re mostly invisible to the American Christian church at large, and get no encouragement or support to remain celibate.

I’m constantly inundated with pro-sex (and pro-marriage) messages and images every time I turn on the television, go to a movie, look at a magazine – and that’s just from “Christian culture,” not counting the mountain of sex messages and imagery I get from secular culture, not just in regards to sex, but the secular culture keeps up this facade that a person cannot be validated unless one is in a romantic relationship.

Regarding my point that the current American Christian culture is just as obsessed with sex as is the secular culture, here are a few examples: everything from pastor Mark Driscoll’s frequent kinky, perverted, sex-filled sermons (he even sexualizes non-sexual content, such as the book of Esther), and pastor Ed Young’s stupid, immature, weird, tacky “Sexperiment.”

You can read more about those topics here (I am not necessarily in full agreement with all views on all topics on blogs and sites I link to):

Ed Young’s Sexperiment, from Church Marketing Sucks

The Trouble with Ed Young’s Rooftop Sexperiment

Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women

Profane Preachers Contribute to Killing the Conscience

This discusses how Driscoll and other pastors are obsessed with sex:

The Church of Sex

Older celibates get treated like weirdos or failures in and out of the church, by Christians and by secular people.

The hypocrisy from Christians is amazing on this point. They frequently lecture teen aged Christians, and the 20-something Christians, to refrain from sex outside of marriage, but when these Christians actually succeed in doing this, and remain unmarried and virgins into their 40s and beyond (such as yours truly), we get treated like second class citizens and freaks by the church. (click “more” to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28”