Browsing through the DivorcedMoms site, I found an article asking, Are Single Women Happier than Married Women? Curiosity raised….
The answer, as I hoped, is based on personal perception. There are women who are happy being married. There are women who are happy being single. And on the flip side, there are unhappy married and single women. It’s nice to know that a lifestyle choice doesn’t dictate our happiness.
I like this quote by Leonardo da Vinci:
It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Even 550 years ago, da Vinci was giving us the precursor to Nike’s slogan, Just Do It.
Happiness comes down to a personal effort, regardless of marital status. Not every unhappy wife is married to a narcissistic, selfish SOB. Not every single woman is thrilled to come home to an empty house. It always seems that people want what they don’t have.
Why is that, do you think? Can it be true that familiarity breeds contempt?
As suggested by PsyBlog in Why Familiarity Really Does Breed Contempt, the more you find out about others, the more likely you’ll find a trait you dislike. To dig further, the article states we like others who are like us. Once we find a trait that highlights a difference, our negative reaction goes on to highlight more differences between you and the person you’re dealing with. “So, once we perceive a dissimilarity, it’s all downhill from there.”
While ambiguity gives us the illusion of a shared world view, living with someone, really getting to know them, brings out the “clay feet” we hope to never discover.
So maybe the single happy women are happy because they don’t have their balloons popped about the men in their lives. Or maybe happy married women are happy because they focus more on the similarities, not the differences, they have with their husbands.
It’s an interesting concept.
I’m separated, so I fall outside of the realm of being Married or Single. I’m in Limbo. So maybe it’s time for an experiment in personal growth? For now, I’ll focus on what Husband #2 and I have in common, to see our similarities and think about how we are alike.
That doesn’t mean I will glaze over our many differences. There are some fundamental things we have in our past that I don’t like about him and he doesn’t like about me. The nice thing is, while the past helps to shape who we are today, it’s not a hard and firm path to who we are in the future.
A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. ~ Ruth Bell Graham
To paraphrase Emery Allen, I don’t need another human being to make my life complete, but let’s be honest. Battling demons, building bridges, and carrying life’s burdens are all easier with a partner. And after being tumbled around by life’s ups and downs, having my wounds kissed by someone who sees me when I’m fragile, who doesn’t view my flaws as disasters in my soul, but cracks to put his love into, is the most comforting thing in the world.
We’re all fundamentally broken in some way. The myth is that if we work on ourselves enough, we’ll eventually get “fixed”. Not so. What we will get is “managed”. We’ll manage to be truthful about our own crazy and maybe, if we’re lucky, find a way to make it a little more bearable for those we live with on a daily basis.
So who is happier? Single women? Married women? Neither. It’s the Broken Woman who jumped the rails of her past to transform herself into something more beautiful than she originally thought she could be.