I do not want to have children, and I do not want to get married again. Both are personal choices, yet the most common response I receive is: “just wait, you’ll change your mind when you meet the right person.”
That response has always confused me. Because both personal choices have zero to do with anyone other than me and what I choose. They have absolutely nothing to do with another person. So why would anyone else change my mind? It just makes no sense to me and never has.
Even with friends, they’ve assumed legal marriage is equivalent to a relationship. To me, the two are completely different. The legal institution of marriage has nothing to do with the quality of a relationship. The two are not related.
What I know to be true for myself is that there is no man that could ever change these two very personal choices of mine; no to having children, and no to being legally married.
In fact, a recent conversation with a man covered this topic and it was fascinating to hear his perspective. We both arrived at similar personal choices through different pathways. Mine included divorce, his has not ever included legal marriage.
He shared his opinion that relationships not involving legal marriage can actually be stronger and more deeply committed. Rather than some legal arrangement, they are purely the choice of two people who commit to one another because they each choose to do so. I really love that perspective.
I’m not anti-children (though a neighbor’s obnoxious kids regularly threaten my sanity) and I’m not anti-marriage. I simply know that I don’t want to be a parent or a wife.
Would I consider a committed relationship? Yes. It would have to be with someone truly extraordinary and while I’m open to the possibility, I don’t require it to enjoy my life.
In today’s “no such thing as coincidence” experience, after writing about this earlier, an email conversation brought another opportunity to have conversation about different choices related to children. Which is certainly one that I’ll happily show up for and share my personal choices.
We’re all free to make our own personal choices, whether that’s related to marriage and children, or any other aspect of our lives. We are all free to embrace such personal choices without apology and also without judgment for anyone who makes different choices.
Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Personal Choices: Marriage and Children”
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