20 Ways Married Women Betray Our Single Girlfriends

I found this article on Huffington Post.  I know I’m guilty of at least three of them…

I got to chatting online with a friend this week, a single, child-free woman in her mid-thirties who I think — and you would too, if you met her — is extraordinary. She’s wicked smart, super attractive and she is dedicating her career to helping make the world a better place. She’s a total catch.

But here’s the catch: She’s single. And worried, or at least feeling a gentle yet persistent tug, as if she’s missing out on something because of her relationship status. My conversation with her affirmed something I’ve known for a while, which many of us married ladies will probably never willingly admit: We are betraying our single female friends in a really big way.

“Oh no, not me!” you declare. You love your single friends. You value the diversity they bring to your life. Who cares if they’re married? Not you. You are a loving, empathic, supportive and non-judgmental woman who wants your friends to find happiness and fulfillment in life and that’s it. If marriage is not in the cards for them, well, who the heck cares?

Ok, I believe you. And despite the fact that I believe you, I still think many of us, myself included, are betraying (or being less than forthright with) our single gal pals. To prove my point, I now present the top 20 ways married women suck when it comes to our single girlfriends:

1. We ask you if you’ve met “someone special” too often.

2. We tell our hubbies way too much about your relationship troubles.

3. We use your breakups to feel relief that no matter how bad our marriage gets, at least we’re not dating anymore.

4. We don’t share with you that some of our loneliest life moments have taken place during marriage.

5. We think you’re better in bed than we are.

6. We’re jealous of your freedom.

7. We secretly think you’d be more flexible if you had a partner.

8. We envy that you don’t have to compromise all the time.

9. We wish we had time, like you do, to do whatever the heck we want.

10. We tell you awful things about our partners and then expect you to forget them once we’ve moved on.

11. We worry about you being alone. And lonely.

12. We put pressure on you to get married and have kids.

13. We’re embarrassed that you see how we launder our husbands’ underwear, give up our careers and take on other traditional gender roles.

14. We expect you to understand and immediately forgive us when we don’t call, email or text you back.

15. We sometimes make you feel, intentionally or not, that your life is not complete until you find a spouse and have a family.

16. We think you’re too picky.

17. We don’t tell you that you should be exactly who you are when you meet someone, because he will see every good and bad thing about you eventually, so you might as well get it out now.

18. We don’t tell you we notice that you keep making the same mistakes with the people you date.

19. We give you relationship advice even though we have no idea what we’re talking about and haven’t had sex with our husbands in months.

20. We don’t tell you that getting hitched will not solve your problems or make you feel better about yourself.

If you’re like me, you figured out pretty quickly that marriage is not a magic bullet. It does not take away your problems or improve your self-esteem. If you’re like me, you know that attempting to blend your bumps and bruises with another person’s is a lifelong project that requires infinite amounts of care, patience and forgiveness. So, why do we subtly pressure our friends to join us? And why do we encourage them to buy into the notion that we are not complete as women until we find a life partner and have kids?

To all the single gals in my life, I apologize for asking you too often if you’ve met someone special or for telling hubby about your relationship woes. I’m sorry I haven’t shared with you that I think the guys you date have serious intimacy issues and will probably never give you what you want. I hope you will always tell me about your latest adventure in some far-off land, the awesome gig you just landed or a new, sexy move that I can try out with my honey. Our marital status might be different, but I can promise you this: We’re far more alike than you’ll ever know.

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A French Connection

In 1999, France legalized civil unions called  pacte civil de solidarité, known as Pacs. The Pacs is essentially a contract drawn up by a couple and registered by a county clerk. The couple is granted some, but not all, of the joint tax benefits and financial privileges of marriage. At the same time, they do not have the same inheritance rights or adoption rights as a married couple does. However, the individuals are no longer considered “single”. They file their taxes accordingly, the women are addressed as Madame, (the title equivalent to Mrs.) and their paper work reflects them as pacsé.

To dissolve the union, the couple has to write a letter to their court. “If they want to break up, however, they don’t need expensive lawyers or lengthy divorce proceedings. All they have to do is state their desire to call things off in an official letter to their locally competent legal court.”

While the union was originally created to legally acknowledge same-sex couples, heterosexual couples wanted in. Apparently, in an effort to grant rights to the homosexual community, France was ironically fulfilling a need in the heterosexual one: to be acknowledged as a couple and granted financial privileges without the hefty legal costs of divorce. According to bonjourparis.com, in 2009, ten years after the Pacs was established, a majority of the couples entering it were heterosexual. “94 percent of the newly Pacséd couples were of different sexes just as they would be in a classical marriage.”

When the Pacs dissolves it doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is terminated, in some cases the couple decides to marry. (The statistic for those couples vary because it only applied to heterosexuals.) “Sociologists studying the institution interpret this as a strong sign that, in today’s modern society, a young French couple wants to use the PACS not to avoid a long-term commitment but to give it a trial period to be sure it will last, particularly if the long-term goal is to have children and found a family.”

What I find to be the most interesting out of all of this is, when the civil union was originally put into place it was for the benefit of same-sex couples, yet it has become a vehicle for opposite-sex couples–even though it grants them only a portion of the rights that marriage does. So, even given the opportunity to have “marital rights”, heterosexual couples were still choosing to have a limited version.

In 2010 there were 196,000 heterosexual couples who chose to enter a Pacs to 252,000 couples who chose to marry.  Why? Is it to lessen the severity of divorce? Is it to avoid commitment? to play house? If it’s as trivial as the last two then would there be such a high outcome? Perhaps it has become a marriage lite: a way of side-stepping the marital pressures of society, while still maintaining a committed relationship.

As of Tuesday, April 23, France legalized gay marriage. I’m curious to learn, now that gay marriage is legal, what will become of the Pacs? Will France do away with it or will it now be a buffer for both heterosexual and homosexual marriages?

Our society is evolving, with gay marriage on the rise, civil unions will become a thing of the past. Will this one-time anomaly of the pacte civil de solidarité ever be repeated? Even if couples are somehow benefiting from it? How or why they are benefiting we may not know right now, but, its popularity among straight couples could shed light on a better future for marriage.

The Single Files

Singled Out

It seems like everywhere you look, people are getting married. Media is inundating us with rom-coms, commercials and television shows: Say Yes to the Dress (should that dress really be white?), Four Weddings (you don’t need to invite three strangers to judge your wedding, the mothers and other wives are already doing it), or good ‘ol  Bridezilla (your makeup is running).

In case you choose not to watch the shows on t.v, there’s always social media where we can see couples who post everything from the day they got engaged to the hairstyle the soon-to-be bride wants. (The Sock Bun Curls are a smash this year.) With Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook, you don’t even need to be invited to be able to see the wedding pics. And those who aren’t in relationships, whether they choose it or not, watch it all unfold from the front row.

Our culture puts so much emphasis on “coupledom” it overshadows those who are single, as though they just haven’t found their happiness yet. And the sad part is that some people will never get to know how liberating being single really is. It’s the only time they’ll get to experience the world however they wish; without compromise. I have friends who have never gone longer than a few months being alone.They are the most perplexed about my choosing not to be married. I do not judge them, nor do they judge me, we just have different views–or perhaps, different fears.

I learned to appreciate my independence when I was in college. I didn’t want to be single, but I didn’t have a choice. I was forced to be my own companion. (And I’m not talking about Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself either, get your mind out of the gutter.) I was lonely and I hated it. However, after a while, I learned to become comfortable with my own thoughts and I faced my fears of being alone.

The reason my relationship with Mike has lasted as long as it has is because we both enjoy our independence and we both allow each other to have it. If I had never been single during those years that I had, I would never have realized that I’m okay on my own which adds a little security and removes a certain dependence in my relationship.

“We don’t need stories of how to become couples. They are legion. We need stories about how to be single. We need them whether we are gay or straight. We need them whether we are single by choice, through separation, divorce, or bereavement or because this, for you, is how life has turned out.”- Jim Friel, Is It Really a Sin to be Single?

If you are single, you’ve got company…

All the single ladies.

According to the United States Census Bureau:

In year 2011, there were 102 Million unmarried people in the United States. ‘Unmarried people’ include those who were never married, widowed or divorced.

  • This group comprised 44.1% of all U.S residents 18 years or older.
  • 53% were women, 47% were men.
  • For every 100 unmarried women, there were 89 unmarried men.
  • 62% had never been married, 24% were divorced and 14% were widowed.
  • 55 Million households were maintained by unmarried men and women, 46% of households nation wide.
  • 33 Million people lived alone in 2011, 28% of all households. Up 17% from 1970.

…and my favorite fact:

Single Origin Middle English : via Old French from Latin singulus, related to simplussimple.’

Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is he your daddy?

In medicalnewstoday.com, psychologist Dr Lynda Boothroyd of Durham University, says the quality of the relationship between a woman and her father has an impact on whom she finds attractive.

In an article titled “Are You Dating Your Father?” from Life Script, women who don’t have a healthy relationship with their dads either do one of two things:

a) They choose a man similar to him in order to have a chance to fix the problems they have with their dads in the relationship with man they are dating.

b) They choose someone with completely opposite traits.

While I love my dad very much, there is only room for one of him in this world, let alone in my family. Whenever I was dating somebody and they had a mannerism similar to my dad, it wasn’t as much a red flag that slowly waived from a distance, but more a demolition wrecking ball that would come charging through wherever we happen to be: a bar, museum, doing charity, training for a marathon, helping at the soup kitchen, volunteering to clean up the city (okay, I really meant when we’re at the bar.)

As soon as I’d meet someone who seemed like I could really like him, he’d have me pull his finger or tell a corny joke. My dad loves telling corny jokes, mostly about his wallet being empty. (Probably, because he’s always helping out one of his four children in some way.)

Now, it’s not the schmaltzy joke that would get me, it’s the telling it and laughing at it the hardest and the re-telling it for the rest of my life.  There’s only room in my heart for such antics to come from one man.

I’m not saying I’m above fart jokes either, but my boyfriend does not have me pull his finger every time. He throws in a few new ones, keeps it fresh (not the gas, just the jokes.)

So, there we were having what I thought was a good conversation up until that point and then out it would come, the demolition wrecking ball. It would come right on through as if it were already drawn back, waiting to be let loose. There was no way to stop it.

Demolition wrecking ball aka “red flag”.

This happened time and time again. Sometimes we’d be dating for months, having a typical “couples debate”and then something would come out of their mouths as though it had come straight from my dad, “Kari, what you don’t understand is….” and I wouldn’t even be able to hear what they were saying next. It was just a loud noise of nothing. I’d see their lips moving but I knew it was coming. The unlucky guy at the time, would just look at me and wait for me to respond to whatever he just said. I would just stare. First, with a look of fear and then sympathy because I knew he was about to be pummeled.

After the wreck, I would just walk away. There’s no explanation to save the situation.

Now, here’s the catch…

My boyfriend, Mike, and my dad do share similar features; blue eyes and curly blond hair. I wasn’t even the first to notice it. I mean, I knew that Mike had these traits but, I didn’t realize they were so similar to my dads. It was my oldest sister, Val, who pointed it out and when she did, I just about spit out my beer. I thought, “No way! That’s just crazy talk!” I was sure she could see how cute Mike was and needed to make up excuses so she wasn’t smitten to her little sister’s boyfriend.

Then, I saw it… there they were, standing together with their almost transparent eyes and light, ringlety hair. My dad happens to have a few grays but nonetheless!

After following Mike around for several days, I realized he was going to be okay.  No demolition wrecking ball had come. And if he happen to share a few similar traits with my dad, I knew he wouldn’t be stealing any of his jokes.

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