Santa Barbara
81° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
78° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
79° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
74° F
Clear
Clear

Women find they don't need, want marriage

By Darlene Dunn
Published On: Dec 07 2011 08:54:31 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 08:13:43 AM CST
Woman listening to headphones on beach

iStock/michaeljung

First comes love, then comes marriage and then comes a woman with a baby carriage.

The belief that that's what women want has long been held by many. But many women are choosing to embrace love without marriage.

Bonnie Eslinger is one of those women.

"There's no piece of paper that is necessary if you have it in your head and heart to spend the rest of your lives together," Eslinger says. "Marriage is not necessary for emotional or intelligent commitment."

She apparently is part of an altar-avoiding trend. According to U.S. Census data, in 2000, 44 percent of American adults were unmarried. In 1970 the number was 36 percent, in 1980 it was 39 percent and in 1990 it was 41 percent.

Eslinger says that the wedding industry is a billion-dollar business of happily-ever-after that is "almost mythical."

"I don't need to change my name, and the whole giving away (the bride) -- what is the point of it?" Eslinger asks.

Although Eslinger does not plan to marry her partner of four years, Jeff, they had a ceremony in July to reaffirm their love for each other.

They also have purchased a home together, and the financial responsibilities are a 50/50 split. She says they have also had frank conversations about the responsibilities of owning a home without being married.

Destructive Myths

In their book "Why Women Shouldn't Marry: Being Single By Choice," Cynthia and Hillary Smith, a mother-daughter duo, discuss several reasons women are choosing to remain unmarried.

The book deals with young women who no longer need the prestige of a "good marriage" because of their own fulfilling careers; widows who say never again to laundering dirty socks and the possibility of becoming a nurse to a husband; and divorced women who don't want to deal with potential problems of remarrying with kids.

Cynthia Smith says her book is also a tool to empower women to know that they can be happy no matter what their status.

In one chapter, the book deals with the soul mate checklist.

The list says that some women are looking for a man to be a companion, a best friend, someone to talk to and support her, someone who is always there and ready to commit to her, someone who always puts the woman first and who loves her for who she is.

Smith said many women buy into the impossible quest of finding someone perfect who matches those traits.

"The soul mate myth is destructive because it will keep you from forming authentic relationships that have a chance to thrive instead of fail," the Smiths write. "Don't marry because you think you have found your soul mate; it is bound to buckle under the unbearable weight of expected perfection."

Smith, who was married for 35 years before her husband died, said many women want their spouses to be everything to them. She says women should depend more on their network of friends and family members.

That way, if her partner does not want to go to the ballet, she can take a friend, she said.

"It seems to me that people are looking for a clone," she said. "'He supports me. He believes in me.' Marriage can't be me, me, me. What does he get out of it?"

Smith said she and her daughter are not against marrying. They are against marrying for the wrong reasons.

"Nowadays, it doesn't have to be that (women) want to marry a doctor ? because she is the doctor," Smith said.

What Is Key To Happiness?

Zandria Marcuson of Alexandria, Va., says many women believe that marriage will lead to happiness because people see it as the logical next step.

"Have fun in your 20s, get a good job, get married, have a family. That path will make some women happy, but for others it won't," she says.

The executive assistant to the president of a D.C.-based nonprofit organization also believes people get married for the wrong reasons. She does not want to fall into that category. She remains undecided about marriage.

"Some people get married too quickly, without really knowing each other well enough. Some people get married because of tax(es) or health insurance and other financial benefits," she says. "Some people get married because they feel like it's the expected thing to do, or they don't want to be alone, or because they're ready to start a family."

Marcuson's parents are divorced, but she said she does not have a negative view of marriage. However, some people get married for the wrong reasons.

"(Getting married) is not the only life choice available for a happy life," she says.

Meanwhile, Marcuson says she is busy dealing with everything else her life offers.

"The most important thing is that I continue to grow as a person. I want to be the happiest person I can possibly be," she said. "If that means I end up staying single for the rest of my life because I haven't found the right mate, that's perfectly all right with me. I'm fine with taking on the role of the hip spinster aunt to my siblings' kids."

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Body of Isaiah Sanchez Recovered at Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Ellwood Fire

    Explosion at Goleta Apartment Complex Leaves One Man Hospitalized

    Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to an explosion and fire at an apartment complex on 447 Ellwood Drive in Goleta.   Fire officials received the call at around 7:00 p.m. One person was injured and taken to the hospital with severe burns.  The apartment manager helped put out a small fire that broke out after the blast. The explosion and fire are still under investigation.  The fire did not spread to any adjoining apartments.

  • Santa Paula Reserve Police Officer Resigns After Posting Video About Bicyclists

    Volunteer posted a YouTube video joking about running over bicyclists.

  • dangerous dogs

    Orcutt Family Starts Petition to Change County Ordinance

    An Orcutt family is fighting to keep their dogs from being euthanized, and is now trying to change a county ordinance on aggressive dogs. The family has an online petition spreading their message on the internet in an effort to get the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisor's attention.

    Peggy Henning remembers the day her family welcomed Daisy and Duke into their family like it was yesterday.

    "They immediately just became part of the family," said Henning. "They were very friendly with all the guests we had coming over."

    But things changed when Daisy and Duke got loose. They liked chasing cats.

    "Dogs are pack animals and that is their default instinct," said Henning. "If they are bonded or litter mates, it intensifies that. They would get out of the confines of our house or yard and this instinct would come to the surface."

  • Juvenile Hall Court to Host Gang-related Murder Trial

    The so-called "U-Haul murder trial" is expected to be another high security, gang-related trial that requires extra time and money to make it work at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall courtroom which is seen as the most practical venue.

  • inspection_report_public_health_notice

    Health Inspectors Look Into Restaurant Bug

    Old Town Mexican Café in Old Orcutt has never failed an inspection in the past according to the Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services Department. On satruday several diners spotted bugs at the restaurant

  • Roundbout Giving Drivers in the Santa Ynez Valley a New Way Around

    An intersection that's become very busy because of its location near wine country and the Chumash Casino is now expected to be much safer.  The final phases of work on the roundabout in the Santa Ynez Valley are taking place.

  • New Family Friendly Tasting Room Opens in Solvang

     A new winery in Solvang recently opened their doors, and they are making their tasting room open to everyone.

  • Slideshow: Rescue Crews Find Body In Cachuma Lake

    Santa Barbara County sheriff rescue crews have found a body near the place where Isaiah Sanchez went missing.

  • Slideshow: Blondes VS Brunettes Charity Football Game

    A charity football game at the Polo fields in Carpinteria pits the Blondes vs Brunettes. The all-women football teams duked it out on Saturday to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Both teams fought fiercely but in the end, only one came out the victor.

    Photography by Oscar Flores.