Does happiness = Marriage + kids?

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.36.50In my last post I posed these questions:

Do I really want to meet someone? Do I want to have children? Do you have to get married and have children to be happy? Will I regret it if I don’t? Is the fact that it hasn’t happened by now a sign that actually that’s not my path? Or is my independence just a symptom of my fear?

At the end of the post Kara made this comment:

Can I ask, who do you hang around with? Are you getting a real cross section of views in your life? I ask because you are wondering things like, Can you be happy without children, Will you regret not getting married/ having kids etc. It feels like you’re stuck in this groove that happiness = husband and children. That’s not the only way!

Maybe find and talk to a good range of people who have done all different things (eg older and childless, in thirties and single, with children, thought having them but didn’t, and so on). I bet some will have regrets but most of them will have just made the most of life and are happy.

This really made me think. Kara’s right; almost all of my friends are married with children and the few that are single are very much looking for marriage and kids. I feel odd for being so ambivalent about it all, like I must really want those things but am just in denial.

After all we live in a world that believes true love is the path to true happiness and that marriage + kids is the only formula for emotional success.  Being single, on the other hand, is some sort of purgatory that has to be endured before finding The One.

Friends are so keen to reassure me that ‘You’ll meet someone….’ that I almost feel brainwashed into believing I have to and that it would be a great disaster if I didn’t. There is still, even today, a stigma attached to being single, the idea that we are ‘on the shelf’.

But maybe I don’t have to meet The One? Maybe I can meet lots of Ones in the years ahead, and have lovely moments that don’t have to get tied up into a neat marriage and kids and house scenario? What do you think? Or does this just sound like fear and defensiveness talking?

I would really love some alternative points of view, if you can spare the time.

Do you have any thoughts on the basic question of Does Happiness = Marriage + kids? 

Do you think that people can be happy and fulfilled on their own – or is love, partnership and sharing the point of life? Do you have to find The One or can you meet lots of great people along the way? Are you older and single? Are you happy that way or lonely? 

And what about children? Are your children the best thing in your life? Do you regret not having children?  Did you think that you didn’t want children but then woke up in your forties and regretted that? How have you made peace with that? Or has it been a great source of pain? 

Do you have any other thoughts about either my situation or your own? 

These are personal questions but I’d so appreciate your input and I’m sure it would help others too. If you don’t want to share publically, feel free to drop me an email at marianne@helpmeblog.net

 

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