I must admit this question is most difficult. As difficult as "which came first the chicken or the egg?" I asked a lot of women about their happiness status and found no clear answer. Happily married women of course said married women are happier than single women are. Happily single women said they were happier. But there’s a lot of unhappy out there too. If you’ve got a great guy and you’re happy then more power to ya but let’s concentrate on those of us who don’t.
Single and Looking?
First let’s consider the women who are hungry to check off that box labeled married. Will marriage make them happy? I don’t know but getting married just to check off a box is crazy. It’s sad. But it’s a reality.
There’s something inside us that fuels the desire to be married. If we are not married then we’re missing something. There’s something wrong with us. So, goal oriented girls are striving to achieve this status. Why isn’t miss "over achiever" married? She’s too demanding. She’s unrealistic. She’s self-centered. The list goes on and on.
If she’s 30ish and not married yet then she’s really looking for Mr. Right. Chances are she won’t find him or she’ll settle. She’ll marry someone just to get that ring and have her special day but she’ll be with someone who will not satisfy her in the long run and the chances of divorce are very high.
Unhappy and Married?
On the flip side we have the unhappy but married group of women. These women are people pleasers. They are very likely married to a man that is a narcissist and a control freak. He is likely a sociopath that has no empathy for her feelings, their children’s' feeling or for that matter anyone’s feelings. He probably seduced her with his charm and before she knew what was really going on, she was so wrapped up in the excitement of getting married and starting a family that she overlooked his many faults.
As the honeymoon phase ended she was feeling trapped. But, being the nice girl that she is, she’s stuck it out. If she does find the nerve to end the marriage she will very likely fall prey to another man with the same qualities. I don’t know why but it’s in our wiring. After three failed marriages I can admit I am in this category. And I’m damn happy to be free.
Divorced and Happy?
It’s been over a year since my separation and my divorce was final. I actually went out on a date a few weeks ago. It was great. It was fun and romantic and I agreed to another date. But at this stage my narcissist radar is on high alert. On the second date he started to explain to me how he was and how he liked things and when I protested he informed me that I’d learn. Raise the red flag. There won’t be a third date. I’m older and wiser and not crazy hormonal. My kids are adults and I’ve gotten quite comfortable without a man.
I am without a man but I still have PTSD. The other day I had to work late and I started to have a panic attack. I had to remind myself that I could control it. No one was waiting for me. No one was freaking out because I was late. No one was making me feel guilty. No one was ever going to control me again.
So, MY answer to the question is yes single women are happier than married women. It’s sad really because I consider myself a great catch. Thinking back I was caught. I was seduced. I was lied to. I was taken advantage of. I was treated badly. I got out. I got right back in. I got out again and now I’m done. I finally get it. After 30 years with three men I get it.
I’ve had several people tell me that I’ll meet a nice man. Unfortunately at 51 the man pool is polluted. Guys my age that are divorced or never married are not what I am looking for. I’ve learned that when they tell me how bad they had it and how crazy their ex’s were they are lying or they have an unrealistic opinion of what really happened. Either way, I’m at the point where I assume they are divorced because they were crappy husbands or never married because they are too self-centered and I’m not buying whatever it is they’re selling.
Men my age just want to have sex. Honestly it comes up on the first date. I know you know I’m not a virgin but jeez can we get to know each other first? Not only that they aren’t that great looking. Their peak body is long gone and I don’t need or want to settle for something that I’m not attracted to.
I think a solid marriage is one where the couple knew each other when they were young and formed a love and a bond that enabled them to grow old together with the understanding and respect of what marriage is and what forever means. They want it, they work at it and I wish that for every married couple. Men my age that think like that are married and have been for 30 years. I’m not going to find one. I have to be okay with that. I didn’t get happily married and I don’t want to be unhappily married. So for me and for many like me, single is happier.