Happily Ever After?

I think every parent who isn’t married to their child(ren)’s other parent has had to dodge questions about marriage plans.  I know I’ve gotten this question at least every 2 months since my daughter was born.  For the record: her father and I are not married, and I’m fine with that.   I’ve realized I’m in much too selfish of a phase in my life to want to commit to another person for the rest. of. my. life. Maybe my thoughts will change in a few years, but right now, the idea of such a commitment makes me scrunch up my face. Do you have any idea how long the rest of your natural life is? I don’t (because who can see the future).

Anyway, I’m always really offended and bothered that people are so consumed with the marriage plans of people they aren’t involved with. Meaning, why are you being so nosey? I’m generally really private with my relationships, and even when I let people know I’m in one, the details I offer or reveal upon inquiry are limited.

Since me and COM’s father have tried rekindling things, I get cornered by the people I wouldn’t expect it from — my friends! The people who should understand the most that I’m not pushing ANYTHING or letting it be anything more than it is. It’s so frustrating. It’s as if they expect us to pick up where we left off when things were last going well. This is the real world, and that’s absolutely NOT going to happen.  There’s a lot of damage control to be done, and … why won’t they let me be great?!

It bothers me that society has this obsession with the “happily ever after” story. I mean, sure it would be great if quasi-high school sweethearts “made it.” I can admit that. But more of me is a realist and has a stuck face for anyone who thinks it’s OK to force that.  Frankly, I don’t believe in being/staying together for the sake of kids.  I think that’s really belittling and all-around selfish. It’s belittling to the kids because it presumes they’re too dense to notice that their parents hate each other. If anything, it would breed guilt.  Who wants to know they’re the reason their parents are unhappy. Sure it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s what it boils down to.  Then there’s the selfish side of it. Are you so consumed with outside expectations that you’re willing to live a life unfulfilled just because you want the kids to grow up with both parents? Guess what? Divorced/separated/never married people can be amazing parents, too! (Shocking, I know).  It’s not fair to two people who stay in an unhappy situation just because it’s what’s expected of them. Ugh, who wants to live like that? Not I.

I’m of the school of thought that believes in order to be the best parent you can, you have to be happy first.  Maybe not ecstatic with every aspect of your life, but you can’t allow yourself to wallow in a terrible relationship because the stability is better for kids.  There are ways to make the so-called nontraditional family arrangement work, if one would only try. For some, marriage is what makes them whole and happy. For others, they may want that, but not with the person they procreated with.  It’s a bit ridiculous to expect them to make it work when they’d rather torch themselves than face their partner.

Life isn’t Disney. I wish people would stop acting like just because a situation would make sense, that it has to be the only right way. It’s probably that line of thinking that resulted in the divorce rates we have!

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