Author Topic: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming  (Read 13374 times)

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Tia

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No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« on: March 09, 2011, 01:42:15 PM »
What a fun site! i love these topics, I wish there were more recent ones!

I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry. Of course enjoy one man deeply in love. I've just seen too many marriages to consider myself the exception. Of course others assume the first regardless. In that I am also backed by a disinterest in having children, so there is no practical reason for me to marry from a parental standpoint.

But just as how I can't see the joy in having children and husband in tow, I know that those in that lifestyle cannot see why I would not choose it. It is a double blind from both sides, and a double edged sword. I find many many people take personal interest in what I do in my spare time and ask "when will you..." assuming I haven't reached that blessed state yet. No one seems to like the answer "I don't choose to" and take offense no matter how politely I say it. It sometimes even turns to a matter of maturity "when you get older" or something equally offensive.

Over the years though I've found the perfect response to the "when will you..." bomb. I gently pat them on the arm and laugh heartily saying "Oh honey, I never touch the stuff!" as if I were offered a cigar. Most laugh and move on without asking further.

Does anyone else choose not to marry or have kids and get that negative reaction? Does anyone have any ideas why someone might take offense when someone simply chooses not to?


The Wild One, Forever

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 09:59:36 PM »
Isn't it annoying when other people think they have a right to comment on your choices?

You don't owe tham any explanations, and I really like the way you deflect the comments/questions with humor.  If someone persists, all you have to do is tell them, politely but firmly, that your life is not up for discussion.

As to the "why" someone might take offense at your life choices?  Being charitible, I could say it's perhaps a genuine but misguided attempt to show they care about you.  On the other hand, it could be someone looking to validate their own choices, which, maybe, thay have had second thoughts about from time to time. 

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Only me

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 10:57:08 PM »
Hi Elise,

I get the same thing all the time.

I have never wanted marriage or kids and get the standard responses:
1) Oh you'll change your mind
2) You just haven't met the right person yet.

Well I choose to be single and child free. I just let it role off my back now, or ask people not to try and argue my opinion with me.

Onlyme

SamiHami

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 10:45:55 AM »
Oh, you don't know what you're saying-when the right man comes along you'll change your mind!

I'm just kidding!!!!!! ::)

I have no children by choice.  My DH and I have been married 22 years and for the first 10-15 or so we got the "why don't you have kids," "when are you going to have kids," etc. intrusive questions a lot.  I've had plenty of people tell me I'm selfish (for not wanting children?  Wouldn't it be worse to have them when I don't want them????).  I always thought it was particularly insensitive, since they had no way of knowing if we were having fertility issues or just chose not to have kids-and I never felt compelled to tell people my personal business.

I think that other people take offense/get defensive when people make choices like ours because they somehow view it as a condemnation of their choices in life, which is ridiculous, of course.  I think it is absolutely wonderful if someone who wants a baby has one!  I think they are cute and cuddly and I'll even babysit (occasionally) if you want me to.  I just want to be able to give the baby back.  And I don't mean to speak for you, but I imagine that you are probably very happy for your friends when they get married. 

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 12:08:47 PM »
I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry.

I've been proposed to a couple of times (okay, three times) but I know in my heart I am better off single. I don't even date anymore; as a similarly single friend of mine says, "I'm approaching my sell-by date!"

So now when people ask me when I'm getting married, I cheerfully reply, "Never!!"

They've stopped asking why not. Because I reply, "Because!!!"  >:D


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Tia

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 12:51:36 PM »
Wow! There are more like me than I thought,
I always feel so alone in that. For me I've played as a mentor to a lot of children being involved with the schools, and my friends kids, nieces, nephews and so on. And I'm in Big Brothers Big Sisters. But I just cant imagine having one that "doesn't go away". I get impatient with any child after 3 hours.

Barnesir - THANK YOU! Not only do you hit then nail on the head for me, but you prove that the scenario I hope for happens. I hear that I am selfish or immature for not wanting children pretty often, but my grandpa always told me to "consider the source" and it is hard to not be offended when someone, who clearly had an accident at a young age, would accuse me of those things. The truth is, I couldn't even commit in a relationship knowing pregnancy was possible, between accidents and the fool I become when in love I was so scared I would get talked into one. I got "fixed" 4 years ago and to me, I can't imagine a more responsible or mature approach.

T'Mar of Vulcan - 3 times! that is a lot! I've never been proposed to lol! But I think they know

Perfect Circle

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 02:21:37 PM »
I think it's wonderful that people are different. It's a richness in our world that we should embrace, not make everyone else conform to it.

I also don't think there are any reasons to try to force someone into conforming to your own standards - I am married and have a kid, but I do know that this will not work for everyone. There are some people who simply do not want what I have and I can fully understand it. I don't envy anyone who is in an opposite situation to mine, because I made my decision comfortably and knowing what I wanted.

But because my decision was made after careful consideration, I also fully appreciate that someone who has decided to stay single and/or not have children will have given the same consideration to their decision and therefore it is just as valuable as mine.

As for those who doubt you know what you are talking about - well, they are definitely showing their own inability to understand how someone might possibly choose a life different to theirs.

And how terribly boring life would be if we were all the same!
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Talk is fine
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Why can't we pantomime, just close our eyes
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Cricket

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011, 09:08:39 AM »
I'd be tempted to turn it around and ask them why they want to get married or have kids. People are sheep, for the most part, and do things because that's what's considered "normal". Divorce is normal these days, so ask if they plan on doing that, too   >:D
 
I've experienced a similar situation with my work. When I was young, I always had high paying, prestigious positions (well, perceived by society as prestigious). I did them because I enjoyed the work - the big money was nice, but not why I was doing the work. Now, after a 10 year break for family reasons, I have found myself employed in a very satifying job with significantly lower pay and much less prestige. You would not believe the questions I get asked about it. But my reply is, "this suits my lifestyle at the moment and I find it very rewarding." I think because I am confident with my choice, people  tend to leave it there, although I know they don't get it!

AuntyT

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2011, 11:16:16 AM »
My mother used to hound me all the time about getting married and having kids.  My standard reply was "I'd rather be content alone then miserable with someone else."  It took a few years before she finally gave up.  (Or was that she finally got grandchildren that made her give up on me?  ;D)

QueenofAllThings

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 06:56:21 AM »
I think it's very important that you respond with humour or bean dip (and I LOVE your response) rather than "I don't choose to". Whether you mean to or not, "I don't choose to" will imply judgement of others' choices (which is, of course, what they may be doing to you) and invite a discussion of the subject.

Live and let live, I say.

And as to not having children being a 'selfish' act, I couldn't disagree more. Why on earth should someone who doesn't want them have them? Aren't there enough unwanted children in the world?

Ginya

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 05:46:23 PM »
I feel for you, I know a few people who choose either to not have children or not to date/get married. They get hassled a lot, and it drives them bonkers. My husband and I have been married for a little over a year and eventually we will have kids but not right now. However, everyone and their dog keeps asking when I'm due, as if I'm already pregnant! I am very thin and active so it's not like they might mistake my waist line for something else. I like your response, it seems like it would work nicely without getting people upset. People take things far too personally when it comes to other peoples choices, when I can I just avoid the situation all together.  :)

Fi

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 08:36:45 PM »
What a fun site! i love these topics, I wish there were more recent ones!

I don't think myself cynical, but practical in that I don't intend to marry. Of course enjoy one man deeply in love. I've just seen too many marriages to consider myself the exception. Of course others assume the first regardless. In that I am also backed by a disinterest in having children, so there is no practical reason for me to marry from a parental standpoint.

You're completely right. The only situation in which I would query such a situation would be to make sure that you were aware that there is no such thing as common-law marriage in my country of residence (it horrifies me how many of my contemporaries do not know this and rely on this when it does not exist).

But you'd have to be a good friend or have explicitly stated "we've lived together x years, the law regards us as married" within a conversation for me to point that out.

My DH and I got married because we wanted to. We wanted to celebrate our relationship, make a commitment to each other and, yes, make sure we were a legal unit.

We spent the next few years spitting out bad tastes in our mouths because of the number of people who assumed we got married because we were planning on having kids. And worse, people who would say "but why did you get married then?" (Because "we love each other" is apparently not a valid enough reason.)

But as I said, the only way I would call you out in any way (or rather, provide you with information) would be if I either knew you very well indeed and knew you were confused on the legal side, or if you'd said something that said you had the wrong idea - and in both cases it would be a brief summary of the law and an earnest injunction to check it out for yourself.

And I'd hope I was doing it appropriately enough that no-one would take offence. I might offer that there are certain things you can do to ensure that property in common defaults to the other, but my next breath would be "and if it's an issue, take legal advice on it, don't rely on my word, I am not a lawyer..."

Ms_Shell

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 12:10:35 AM »
I'd be tempted to turn it around and ask them why they want to get married or have kids. People are sheep, for the most part, and do things because that's what's considered "normal". Divorce is normal these days, so ask if they plan on doing that, too   >:D

Wow, I find this statement to be truly snarky.  There's no need to insult people who want to be married and have families. 
"I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it." - Dorothy Parker

irish1

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 06:21:38 AM »
I don't think there is any judgement on all people who marry, but merely a questioning of their reasons for doing so. I agree that many people probably do marry just because it's the right time for them to do it, perhaps they marry someone who is not the love of their life, but is just there at the right time, and they don't consider whether marriage is really for them. I don't think there is anything wrong with this - self-examination is painful and certainly not all people engage in it. But it is definitely ironic that the people who made their choices unthinkingly would judge the person who knows herself and decides to skirt the status quo.

irish1

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Re: No I won't be getting married but thank you for assuming
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 06:55:30 AM »
I know I certainly don't question - as a married mother of two I can definitely see why some people would prefer to stay single or childless. More sleep, less stress, freedom.  ;)

I had a person I know who was is married but childless. She asked after my kids, then started defending her choice not to have any. I hadn't even asked! I think she had people ask her to justify her choices so many times she just did it automatically. I just said 'If you and your husband are happy then that's all that matters.'


Good for you!