I recently wrote about my Uncle’s decision to wed his long time girlfriend as she reached the end of her battle fair with cancer. I received many different responses to this post, which made me think…

The first thing I realized was that, as always, my friends proved to be an interesting starting point. I’ve reached the age where I have a fair amount of divorced friends (including myself) While I was slightly younger and childless when I divorced, I have noticed an odd pattern of  many of my friends who divorced after they had children…

Though some found new significant others, they often choose to monogamously date someone without moving in together or getting married…

Hmmm…

  1. Why choose to date someone yet not make the next step or steps?

Which led me to wonder:

2) Are people in their forties/fifties/sixties more reluctant to give up their independence?

or

3) Are people who have had contentious divorces less likely to want to walk the aisle again?

or

4) Are people with adult or older children less likely to want someone to interfere with that relationship?

5) What is the driving force behind an adult couple not cohabitating or marrying?

This of course spring boarded me to my next thought:

6) How often are both halves of a couple in agreement over the not marrying/not cohabitating thing?

This sort of coincided with my post about my Uncle- some thought that my Uncle was driving the no marriage bus…that his girlfriend wanted to get married the whole twenty years…

7)In 2020- do we assume that women still want to make marriage one of their bucket list items?

8)If we see an unmarried couple, do we think it is the man’s refusal to get down on one knee that stops them from saying “I do”?

9)Do we still look at unmarried couples and say “Too bad they didn’t get married. Look at all the great things they missed?”

I know- I know…

It’s Monday morning and I threw out about a thousand questions at you…

Choose one of the above questions, or all, and write me a short answer paragraph…

or choose your own to marry or not to marry example and explain…

Discuss…

 

 

64 thoughts on “Live Together?

    1. I totally get that. I was thinking about my friends who own their own homes….do you really want to sell the home you e lovingly taken care of? And give up closet space?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My mom remarried after daddy died, and it ended in divorce. She was smart enough to make him sign a prenup, so the actual divorce wasn’t the messy part, just his alcoholism and it’s consequences. She has now lived alone for so long that she doesn’t WANT anyone else in the house with her. She tolerates her kids when they visit overnight, barely. Sunshine and I were both against the idea of marriage, because we had both been divorced twice (now 3 times each). I have learned that women can be just as unwilling as men to remarry, for a myriad of reasons. I don’t see myself getting married again; Sunshine is a good man, but we had different dreams for our futures. Part of me misses his quiet, solid presence and the emotional security it provided; yet another part of me still needs the freedom to pursue my dreams, and those dreams are, for the moment, incompatible with giving so much of myself to another person. There is something in me that is still very broken, and Sunshine paid the price for my failure to heal. I suppose I am paying a price for it, too; I can’t even look at an attractive person for more than a few disinterested seconds right now, because something in me knows that won’t work any better this time than it did with Sunshine.
    I don’t know if any of this actually answers any of your questions, yet I feel it’s still relevant to the discussion at hand🤔

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s completely relevant, and a really good part of this particular conversation. We can love, but that doesn’t mean we need to unite to show the love…being with someone is complicated, and multi faceted. We should treat it as such

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My oldest was only almost 3 when I got remarried and I couldn’t imagine not doing that at the time. Granted, I also like the concept and my current reality of marriage, but not everyone feels the same way. I can understand all kinds of reasons to choose not to get married. I think the one I struggle with the most is the dating for years on end to only end up getting married. Why wait so long or what changed your mind? Like in your uncle’s case, there was a tipping point that changed the status quo, but not all situations have something so specific. I had a friend when I was working that had dated her boyfriend for something like 20 years (yes, also had adult children) before they finally got married and moved in together. In her situation, I think she always wanted to be married, but he didn’t. I never really did get an idea of what specifically changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Married 50 years. I have nothing worthwhile to add to this. Except I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t jumped into marriage at 20. I’ve never had ‘alone’ time except when my husband went on an occasional business trip. I sort of unpleasantly independent now because my husband has dementia, and consequently is not company, and we never manage to produce off-spring. Fortunately, I do have some close friends to whom I can vent, so I don’t live in a void. All of which is completely off topic. Sorry.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nothing is ever off topic, because if you think it, it’s relevant and someone else has probably thought the same thing. But to your point,you were a unit and it’s an adjustment to not be in the unit anymore….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My friend I think your mind does wander, but all the paths are tempting! I will comment that a friend of mine dated a lovely lady for a long time without marrying, finally (in his words) she told him to crap or get off the pot, so he moved on. He really liked her but for some reason, didn’t think marrying her was right. Later he found a woman he liked and did marry and have three kids, but the marriage didn’t click. I think, in retrospect, that he is glad he married and loves his kids but I think he finds marriage stifling even though he isn’t a wanderer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Personally, I don’t think I’d marry again. Probably not even live together unless it were “the perfect guy” and I don’t know if there are any of those out there. As I see it, I’m too old to start training someone all over again.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’ve been married for 37 years (yes, I married REALLY young) so try not to do the math. I love being in a committed relationship, it’s not easy, but I believe that every rough patch we managed to overcome has taught us a lot about compassion, forgiveness, and compromise. I love my large and crazy family. Wouldn’t have it any other way, C

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think if someone has been alone for awhile and enjoyed their independence they might be less likely to give it up or maybe alimony would go away with a new husband/wife. I know my brother is a serial marrier (?) because he needs to be with someone and frankly needs someone to take care of him and all that entails. The reasons for marrying are as plentiful and different as the marriages themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This whole thing of caring for someone is part of it isn’t it. But when it becomes one-sided, or you lose some of the non-practical aspects (joy/energy/stimulation) then suddenly cohabitation and/or marriage becomes more of a chore than a desire fulfilled.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. There is such a big part of me now in midlife that feels like I’m drowning or suffocating. My “self” seems lost in the shuffle of family obligations. There is a yearning to be free…but maybe only part-time…

    If things were different and I was not cohabitation with their father, I don’t know if I would want to go down that route again. To live together with someone new. I’m fiercely independent, but could I be alone and not lonely? It’s a catch-22.

    There is something tantalizing about being on my own.

    Having said that, I know and read plenty about the extreme loneliness that can overwhelm people who are not partnered. We are social animals, we like being partnered. But does it have to mean cohabitation?

    I don’t know what the answer is for me right now. I suspect it will change and evolve as the kids get older and move out (eventually).

    There are some people who will suffer at the sudden loss of a partner. My parents had a challenging but not loveless marriage. Lots of stress, some joy. Now, mom is on her own and I’m a little surprised at how much she misses him. It is perplexing to me. Some of the stress is gone forever, which must be a relief on some level, but so is the joy, and the partnership, and the many good things that happened over 50 years of marriage. She is facing old age alone. Would the alternative have been better? (There was less stress as they aged, but new stress caused by illness…so it doesn’t really ever end.)

    It’s interesting isn’t it. Every situation is unique and fluid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. Each person, each couple has their own “thing”. I remember when my grandfather was nearing the end…my grandmother would sit there every day and just talk to him about their lives together with such joy. Yet if you’d seen their day to day marriage, you wouldn’t have thought there was that much love and passion….crazy

      Liked by 1 person

  9. LA,
    My marriage to David is the second for both of us. I like to think that we finally got it right the second time around. Even though we have a 23 year age difference and we have our ups and downs, I can’t imagine life without him. I’ve often told him that if he ever decides to shuffle off this mortal coil, he’d better damned well take me with him. It sounds like I’m joking, but am I, really? I know a woman who’s in her mid 80’s. She’s been widowed three times and she said that if the opportunity presented itself, she’d love to remarry. Me? I think that David’s my one and only and I’m not sure it would be fair to even try to have another relationship with anyone after him. The poor guy wouldn’t be able to measure up against David. P.S. Don’t tell David I said that, okay? He’s got a big enough head as it is. 😉 Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The ex-wife has to be an issue to some. We married two years ago, joint decision. It’s been mostly great!! One thing we did not count on was his ex-wife issues. Once we became engaged she started to send him Christmas presents (he sent them back unopened). Started to call, text on important days, send photos to him of their life together. Very odd considering she asked for the divorce. Thought it would stop after our marriage. Nope….Once we married she moved less than 2 miles from us. Started insisting she should be able to come over whenever their kids are here or come & hang with us. Feels it is her right. Sending irate texts/emails, trash talks us once she didn’t get her way. So, lawyer suggested hubby block her and have no contact.. which had been going great! .Then she (& boyfriend) started showing up at places she knew we would be such as game watches we always go to. Literally running after my husband & grabbing him to talk with him, in front of many people (he walked away). Anyway, she’s been quiet now for a few months after their son talked to her about her behavior. Now ever since our engagement/marriage we live in a “what’s next” state of mind. Not a fear but Just don’t want to deal with her. I guess my point in all this is had we not married would she have left us alone? Had I known about this I still would have married, I think. So I wonder how many people our age don’t marry because of the ex factor? Our marriage certainly escalated her. Tried not to go off subject, just thinking of another reason people may not marry later in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Remarrying is out for me. If the piece of paper meant nothing ( to him) with kids why would I retry without ? Interestingly, my youngest daughter in her 30’s always has issues with my men friends, but totally accepts my exes’ new wife – who was my best friend. I honestly believe my partner of 8 years is the love of my life but this is still an issue with said daughter. At this stage of the game I don’t give a rats.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. On a slightly related note, I’ve read that widowers generally rush to remarry while widows are more reluctant to do so. And apparently the happiness found with one’s first spouse plays a role in whether one chooses to remarry once one has been widowed.

    However, even though I love my husband very much, and we’ve been happy together, if something happened to him or we divorced, I would not choose to marry again. I think I’d enjoy not having to make constant compromises as I have since we married.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think we have a lot of romantic notions about marriage when we’re young. And we feel compelled toward that societal norm. When we’re older, we don’t feel the same pressures to conform our relationships to the ideals of others. We just do what feels right for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoyed hearing the story about your uncle. I’m married, and plan on staying that way.
    If that would change I think I really relate to option 4 though. My FIL remarried much later in life and it definitely changed how he interacted with his children and grandchildren, like his new wife was pulling some strings behind the scene.
    When kids are younger, or even young adults it seems like something is lost in the relationship when their parents move on to new partners. Just my observation, would not want my kids to be caught up in that or to have to experience drama.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ll apply a broad brushstroke rather than choose one question in particular.

    Every time I find myself in a new relationship, I ask myself if I would be good with me and this individual living together. I never come back with a yes on this front. That’s on me, I realize this.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Speaking as an over fifty year old lol, I think you’ve ‘hit the nail on the head ‘ so to speak….. people are reluctant to give up their independence. Adults get comfortable with living on their own, we do what we want, buy what we want, go where we want anytime the urge takes……….. all in all we middle aged folks enjoy our own space/place and hate change. (However not wanting change has dangers.)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. As I navigate the process of a midlife divorce and even remotely consider the possibility of ever tying the knot again, two things definitely give me pause to reconsider. One) Although I miss companionship, I GREATLY enjoy my independence. It would be very hard to give that up now.

    Two) My adult children and grandchildren are my world. The thought of someone infringing on that is unpleasant to think about. After all, would a new man be accepting of the fact they are everything to me? Or worse yet…would he not like them or vice versa, they don’t like him?

    I don’t want to be single. But it might not be worth the potential intrusion on my independence and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My son (now 40) has lived with a young woman almost 8 years. Noting their many disparities at the outset of the relationship I asked him what he liked about her. He said he liked coming home to someone and he felt at his age (then 32) he felt she was his ‘last chance’. So he settled. I have not asked why they don’t marry. I don’t want to accidentally push the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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