As a romance author, I keep an eye on the trends for relationship/marriage advice. Most of it comes from Christian sources.
I once listened into a social audio conversation that was ostensibly about secular marriage, but the general consensus of the group was that, if you truly loved someone, you would go away so they could focus on their career. If I had a smarmy salesperson personality, I would have taken the opportunity to pitch my novels to them as romantic escapism, because that is some hardcore dedication to loneliness.
I have a unique perspective, because while I grew up Christian, I married as a Pagan.
The overwhelming impression that I get from Christian sources is that the women are too picky when it comes to men. I guess they aren’t getting hitched because no one is good enough.
Once upon a time, during my early days of marriage, someone pulled out his Bible and read a lot of verses about the sort of wife I was supposed to be. Heck if I can remember much about it, but by the time he started reading about how I was supposed to earn extra money to help with the household finances, I knew beyond a doubt that I would have to develop a serious cocaine habit in order to have that much energy. I have never come close to being a perfect biblical wife.
Thank god I don’t believe in the Bible. (har har)
But lets go back even farther, to when I was a Christian teenager. This was when I really began to shine as a misfit, because when my church leaders advised me to date around a lot and aim to marry as close to perfect as I could, but I was more like, “Husbands are human beings, and marriage isn’t like buying a car.”
Yeah, I was bullied rather badly in church. Can’t imagine why /sarcasm.
But apparently, plenty of other women took that sort of advice to heart, and now the Christians are moaning that they aren’t getting married at all.
I think my husband is pretty great. I won’t go into slathering specifics, but he’s wickedly smart, he helps take care of me, and he plays with the kids — I can’t imagine wanting to be married to anyone else. He also doesn’t fit any of those bullet point lists that I was given in church during my teen years.
He cusses, he loves a good whisky, and he doesn’t believe in God.
But I fall short, too.
I go to bed with dirty dishes still in the sink. 😀
So we’re a couple of heathens who take our children to the park on Sunday instead of church. We’re happy.
Marriage isn’t shopping for a car, and you shouldn’t go out with a list of requirements, make comparisons, then pick the one with the most cup holders. Marriage is building a deep bond with another human being. A connection between souls.
And stop blaming women for being what you raised them to be.