- Gender and Relationships
Living Alone: Voluntary or due to a Lack Of Courage
Why are people living alone?
Do people live alone because they really want to be alone, or because they lack the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship?
Or maybe they are not willing to sacrifice anything. All relationships demand sacrifices – things we have to surrender in order to gain what we need/want.
"There's no such thing as a free lunch"
Everything, including companionship and love, has a price.
I’ve done some interviews with women to determine whether women are alone because they want to be alone, or because they don’t have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship.
I was happy alone, probably because I was not really alone, being part of a family and a circle of girlfriends. Nature forced me to replace my girlfriends with a boyfriend – my future husband. When I met him I was blinded by the urge to have a partner. Naturally I fell in love with him. I admired his good qualities and ignored his shortcomings with the hope that he would overcome them in time. During the nine years we were married I was actually deeply in love with him, complying all the way with his selfish and chauvinistic rules and demands. I trusted him with my whole heart and even bragged about him wanting everything his way or the highway. I had my free time when he was at work, raising our children and running my own cottage industry. I was contented in the conventional circumstances encouraged by Nature and enforced by Law.
And then he fell in love with another woman and dumped me and our children as if we were garbage.
So, I am NOT currently voluntary alone, and yes, I DO NOT have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship ever again. I will never be able to trust a man again. My ex was known for his sense of duty, and yet he had fallen in love with another woman. If he could do it, all men can.
So where am I now? Definitely NOT voluntary alone AND lacking the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship? I feel lost in the depths of despair!
My husband committed adultery during our 10th year of marriage. He came to his senses and begged for forgiveness. Depending financially and emotionally on him, I had to forgive him. I just could not see myself in the pathetic position of being a woman and mother of two children in need of alimony in the place of love and loyalty. We started a new life in another town. No longer naïve and willing to trust him, I had an urge to become financially and emotionally independent. While reaching my goals, my horizons expanded, while he stayed the complacent guy I originally met, the one who were under the impression that he was a born hero to be worshiped just the way he was. When my youngest child left home to provide for himself, I was also ready to leave ‘home’.
I left my husband to be VOLUNTARY alone for the rest of my life. If I was not also completely shocked by the behavior of fellow-Christians, and (arrogantly) disappointed in God who took - according to my perception – delight in my suffering, I would became a nun.
I am still voluntary alone. I would not say that I don’t have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship; I simply don’t have the desire to meet the demands of any man. I am happy alone. Thank you.
I was alone for three years. Originally voluntary. But anxiety became my lot, as I was facing all the human devils in the world of a divorced woman. A world completely different than the world of a married woman. Being divorced is like living in an open field, exposed to dangers of all sorts, e.g., crowds of men AND women hunting single women with weapons of love, lust, hate, and envy. (While in marriage the only danger a woman has to handle is her own husband and his moods, and, of course, whomever and whatever could damage and/or destroy her marriage.)
Anxiety, and, yes, the realization that I lack the courage to meet the demands of a relationship, dragged me into depression – a deep well where I had only myself, my memories and shattered dreams to take care of.
And then a so-called prince discovered me and literally kissed me back to life again. He was married, but encouraged by his wife to have a mistress. He was not a liar; his wife actually assured me of her indulgence before I even met her husband. (Oh, she had her reasons, which are beside the point.) But I often wondered if her indulgence really mattered. I was so sick and tired of being regarded as a threat by married women; I actually had no desire left to prove to them that I was not planning to steal anyone’s husband. I was in fact madly in need of love.
Between the devil and the deep-blue sea; according to my perception, between the torture chamber called marriage and the torture chamber called purdah, an affair with a married man was like heaven on earth. His family obligations suited me fine; he had no power over me; I owed him nothing but love and loyalty; I was still free and independent with more than enough time to do whatever I felt like doing.
But eventually I found myself lost in depression again, because slowly but surely I felt more and more like a bird in a cage, only ‘singing’ when my ‘master’ releases me. I was dying in the secrecy demanded by an extra-marital affair considered to be ‘sin’ in a Christian society. So, on the edge of suicide, I ended the affair.
I am voluntary alone now. But only until I meet Mr. Right. In spite of my first failure in marriage I am no longer afraid to meet the demands of a relationship. I believe that all my wounds were healed during my affair, and I will always be grateful for all the love I have received from a man who had danced to the tune of his wife. (It still boggles my mind that a woman allows her husband to have a mistress in order for her to dodge her responsibility to satisfy his physical needs.)
For me the result of being alone, even voluntary, was loneliness and eventually severe depression. I joined a support group for people suffering depression. The organizer was a widower. From the start we were apparently meant for each other. With him I thought I would try marriage again. But I was not sure. His son was a teenager, the two of them were a closed unit. I felt like an outsider supposed to be pleased. After I’ve spent many weekends and two holidays of 10 days each with them – all and all two years - I finally realized that I did not have enough love in my heart to spend another day with them.
So I am voluntary alone (again), completely healed from depression, and VOLUNTARY willing to be alone for the rest of my life. You may believe that I don’t have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship, I don’t care. I prefer to believe that I am not willing to pay the price of a relationship. I have the right to live without anything I need just because I am not willing to pay the price.
My husband of twenty five years was quite demanding. After he had died I was happy to be alone. But after a couple of months I was ready to socialize, though only on the Internet. After three online affairs, each with its own pros and cons, I was all of a sudden totally fed-up with online chats and of being addicted to words and of my idea of the man behind it. I came to the conclusion that I was NOT voluntary alone, but too scared to find myself a real, living partner. I feared embarrassment, failure and rejection. Finally I mustered up all my courage and ‘advertised’ myself on a new dating site, but demanded only eye-to-eye meetings. And so I’ve met my new husband. By the way, I don’t regret any one of the online relationships I’ve had – that was exactly what I needed at that time.
I was married for a long time and alone for a long time. I have had good and bad relationships. My life is a book of many chapters.
At present I am in a relationship, the most pleasant I have ever had. But I know that this, too, will come to an end. All relationships have a beginning and an ending. But I am not afraid; I don’t fear the unknown. By now I know that I am able to handle the surprises Life has in stock for me.
To answer your question - There were times I was voluntary alone, and there were times I were alone because I did not have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship. But reviewing my past I can clearly see that everything began and ended at the right time. I believe for some reason, maybe to be able to appreciate what we have, we have to experience everything that comes our way.
The stories of Agnes, Betty, Carol, Debbie, Yvonne and Freda left me with a clear conclusion: Every woman (and certainly also every man) knows whether they are voluntary alone, or alone because they don’t have the courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship.
The question is: What should be done?
Of course, when one is voluntary alone, one should enjoy being alone. When one is alone due to a lack of courage and strength to meet the demands of a relationship, one should find courage and strength.
Where do one find courage and strength?
Personally I always find this first of all in my own will, and then in my actions.
Some more views:
Victoria Lynn - I am on the other end of the spectrum from many women, because I've never lived with a man. I have a long-term relationship, but I doubt that we will ever marry. He lives a mile and a half up the road, and it's perfect that way. I can't even IMAGINE living with someone in the SAME HOUSE. I like my alone time, tons of it. I suspect that women long for what they were used to. If they have always been with someone, they tend to get lonely or depressed when they are alone.
sholland10 - I would be afraid to be alone because being married is all I know.
mary615 - I was happily married for over 20 years to a wonderful man who suddenly died in 1988. I have not been in a relationship since , nor do I care to. I'm just too independent and picky! I'll never find another man like he was. I don't even try.
© Martie Coetser
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Registered :: 2013-03-04 22:09:13
Title :: Living Alone: Voluntary or due to a Lack Of Courag
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