We are all so conditioned to believe that no one wants to be alone. That ending up alone is the most terrible fate to await a person. This may very well be true. I can’t know for sure, because the extent of the time I have spent alone is next to nil.
I know how terrifying it is to be alone after a rape. I know how alone I felt when I was sick and my friends didn’t call anymore. I know when you’re holding someone’s hand, and they pass away, even when your parents are in the room, you feel utterly alone. I know those kinds of alone. I do not know what it would be like to spend the rest of my adult life alone, or lonely for that matter. However, I am cognizant of the fact that lonely and alone are two very different animals.
I know some people can’t be alone. I think we all know people who have one relationship after another, or people that choose someone anyone because it’s better than no one. I have never considered myself one of them.
I realize that by leaving my husband, I may be choosing to be alone forever. I don’t know what lies ahead of me. I would love to tell you that I had faith, or hope, that everything will somehow work out for the best, but I can’t do that right now.
I love that I have a wealth of opinions thanks to my inability to censor myself. A good number of people have shared the idea that “something is better than nothing” when it comes to my husband. That at least I have a husband. At least. Yes, I have a good man who shares his life with me. On the surface, I see where that looks appealing.
Please keep in mind, that he picks and chooses which parts of his life to share with me. We share finances, a place to live, things.
He doesn’t share with me his feelings, his affection, his thoughts. There’s no shared intimacy, passion or closeness.
The thought of “at least you aren’t alone” is no comfort when I crawl into bed and he moves so close to the edge he might fall. (Although, sleeping alone night after night would bother me. Once you are accustomed to another warm body, sleeping alone would probably take some getting used to)
“You have someone” doesn’t make me feel better when I’m crying with no one to comfort me, or frustrated with no one to encourage me, or aroused with no one to satiate me.
I know there are a lot of jerks and assholes out there. I know women who are married to worse men. I know divorcing means I may end up in a situation with one of those men. Should I stay with my husband because if I divorce I may find an unsuitable suitor? I may never find anyone better. Perhaps better isn’t exactly what I would look for. Do I stay because there isn’t anything else available?
If I had an oven that didn’t heat up, would you tell me to keep it? Because who knows when I could afford one. Because, even if it can’t be fixed, I did purchase the warranty. Because I might never find an oven that got hot enough for my taste. Because the restaurant version is out of my league anyway.
Yeah, comparing men to ovens is terrible, so forgive me; but you get the general idea.
Is a marriage, even an unfulfilling marriage, better than being alone? That’s a question, the question, I have been asking myself for months. Apparently, I’m not the only one pondering it. Hours browsing books on marriage have shown me that (excuse the snicker) I’m not alone. But those books can’t answer that for me. Thousands of dollars to therapists and thousands of words here can’t tell me either.
Is the idea of being alone so frightening that people stay for that reason? If so, I can’t fault them. I just don’t think I can join them.