The truth is, I’ve spent most of my adult life married (from age 19 – yes, I know it was too young, but there was a baby on the way – to 38), and it’s been less than a year since I reclaimed that status. Even so, some points in Leslie’s “On Balance” commentary reviewing the new book Now and Not Yet by Jennifer Marshall, which examines single life from a conservative Christian perspective, struck a chord.

One issue raised by the book is that single women can feel out of place in family-oriented churches, and that was very true for me – one of the reasons I stopped going to church regularly after my divorce was that I just didn’t feel like I fit. The fact that the churches I’ve attended were in family-centric suburban communities, where I was also out of place in other ways, probably complicated that, as did being a divorced Catholic. I haven’t resumed churchgoing since my second marriage, though – that’s partly due to becoming OK with not having it as part of my life for a few years, and partly due to my marrying a heathen whose Catholicism is way more lapsed than mine.

I gather that the overall premise of the book is that singlehood is fine in the relatively short term, but not a good place to be for an extended period, and I think it depends. I didn’t ask to be single and basically on my own for the first time at 38 – my ex-husband initiated the divorce, and for quite awhile during and after I resented the fact he couldn’t just suck it up and accept not-entirely-happy-ever-after couplehood. (Thank heaven I eventually worked my way out of that mindset!) But once I was single, it wasn’t hard to imagine staying that way for a long time, and there were elements about that time I really enjoyed. I could support myself financially and didn’t have to explain or defend my choices to anyone, and I didn’t have to answer for my time to anyone except my dog. I lost weight and found new interests, and learned a lot about myself. There were also plenty of things I didn’t enjoy at all, but therapy was a lot of help with that.
And once I decided I was ready to try dating again, I was pretty focused about it, but the last thing I expected was to find a “keeper” so quickly (I had joined eHarmony for a year, and was “introduced” to TallGuy during my first week). But one great thing about my relationship with him is that I’m not losing the “me” I developed into during those single years.

Singlehood did turn out to be an in-between time for me, but odds are it will happen again – life expectancies and all – and my perspective now is that I wouldn’t trade it at all for a few more less-than-happy years with First Husband.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,318 other subscribers