As a survivor of domestic violence far be it from me to make light of serious marital difficulties, but seriously, did everyone not get what they wanted for Christmas? Today is apparantly the busiest day of the year for divorce lawyers. How scary is that? Despite reading this I do however still have faith in the institution and Sacrament of Matrimony, that’s why I’m still single.
I know that might sound somewhat oxymoronic, but although singledom isn’t always enjoyable and my impatience resists it, it truly is a gift and not a burden. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I embrace it, but I know that this is a time of growth and not just in the spiritual arena, but throughout the whole spectrum of my life.
I actually got a bit upset a few weeks ago, not about being single, but because for the umpteenth time a friend jokily commented that I should think myself ‘lucky’ not to have a man to concern myself with. HUH. She didn’t mean to be insensitive, I’m sure….and I didn’t let her know that her comment had bothered me. But this is fairly typical of the banter that I believe many singletons have to contend with. For the most part I am not offended, but sometimes it does wear a bit thin.
What bugs me is that for the most part, my single status was not a choice. If I’d had my way I would still be with my daughters Dad, never for a moment did I evisage him dying after our only sharing a couple of years together….the second time around the investment of my heart was severeley mistreated by another and despite my turning a blind eye to all manner of abuses I was forced to leave the marriage. Am I really so lucky? Am I lucky to be single? I don’t see it that way.
I love to love and I would like nothing more than to find that someone special to love for the rest of my life, but I am coming to appreciate that these things can’t be forced. I’ve had all too many flirtations and experiences with men before the children came along, but it seems like another person lived that life, it’s so far remote from who I am now.
I am still human.
I still have desires.
I am still tempted.
But I can (or at least, so far I’ve been able to) attest that while I have at times been plagued by impure thoughts (which I blame on the evil one) I have thus far been able to overcome those desires and temptations without succumbing. It’s not easy. But how is sex outside the context of spousal love, going to fulfill me? What is self gratification, other than a bit sad? I can wait. However long it takes. And if I never have sex again? Then what loss is that to me? For sex without love, without sacramental union, is as nothing.
There’s more to a relationship than sex though isn’t there (though there was a time I when I wouldn’t have believed it). Couples don’t spend their whole lives making love do they? They have to eat, work, sleep, empty the trash, go to the loo, take the kids to school etc?
Of course, I’m fortunate to have the freedom to look like crap in the privacy of my own home, to slob around, to drool on my pillow (For any prospectives out there….I don’t actually do that, just kidding 😉 to wear my p’j’s until midday if I want, because I can.
But how lucky does that make me? In the context of a loving relatinship, I could argue that I should be totally able to be myself….or then I might oppose that self proffered argument and say that if I really love someone I should want to make every effort to look my best….hmmm, just as well I AM single if I’m still conflicted about that don’t you think! Just foolin’.
I’m not lucky because I don’t have the companionship of a husband. I’m fortunate because God is giving me time to grow in ways I never thought possible.
I’m approaching 40 and maybe something is wrong with me, I’m just not worried about it….and I’m just so not worried about being a wife..I’m not even worried that I may never be called to marry again. I would like to, but what I like and what I want don’t come into it. Look where my meddling has got me so far!
I used to have a fairly obscure mental tick list about the kind of men I would date or ‘be with’.
- Must be male
- must be tall
- must be manly
- must adore me
Seriously, I wasn’t picky!
What’s really funny is that a while back there was a man at church showing an interest in me and I thought, well, we’ll see. Now I look at him and I am so grateful that I have not encourgaed him….I hate that he talks to his friend during the consecration. Little things like that just bug me so MUCH! I suppose if I’m fair I could say that he may be poorly catechised, after all at least he goes to Mass every Sunday! But still. The bar has been raised. With Jesus for a role model who stands a chance? It’s not as though I’m even a great catch myself and I’m raising the bar….what about that!
Seriously though, I’m not looking for perfect, I’m not even looking really, I only want the one who is perfect for me. I’m being faithful to the Lord in this because this is what I feel called to do. I have often wondered if it may be that the Lord will provide a man for me who not only is my brand of perfect, but who could be to Primadonna the father that she never had…and the father to Wonderboy that could offer consistancy and be an example of how a man should love his wife…but it wasn’t to be (though it’s not always easy to accept) and y’know, I’ve not done that bad a job of raising my kids alone. They’re not delinquents. They go to Mass, they are loving, compasisonate individuals. Perhaps the Lord has helped me to learn that I have had strengths even amidst my weakness. Even when I cried that I could not go on alone, even when I’ve been a rotten mum?
Anyway, my current mental tick list, if I had one, which I don’t really, would have to have at it’s core just one simple wish, that God give me the man who best suits me, because God alone knows all the desires of my heart. I don’t have physical preferences, I don’t want to be adored (well just a little) but I do want a man who loves the Lord as much as I do (or more than me)…and that if there’s any adoration to be done, that it will be him taking me by the hand and leading me to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to spend some time with Jesus. What a turn on! No, I’d better rephrase that, I don’t mean to imply that it would be a sexual turn on….rather that I can’t think of anything more romantic. If I had a list of ways a man could make me love him that’d be pretty close to the top.
I really feel for anyone who does not have Jesus at the centre of their relationship. Marriages can and do work even between atheists, I’m not suggesting that all happy marriages are to be found only between Christian couples, but perhaps what is missing is that those failed marriages are thos where the spouses fail to love like Christ loves. In my marriage I wasn’t loved with a Christ-like love and I was not always able to offer it in return. Christ’s love is selfless. I may have a long wait. But that’s okay.
It’s funny, but I can hardly believe that I actually signed up for those online catholic singles agencies a couple of years or so ago. I don’t know what God had in mind to teach me when I joined them, maybe it was to clarify in my mind that I can not search for love, I have to wait for it to come to me? I have no more interest in pursuing that course in the quest for love. The awfully big adventure isn’t in finding the man, it’s in the journey to our first meeting and in the subsequent life that we may share togetether. Did I relaly think I could force God’s hand and win? Where’s that got me so far?
Am I lucky?
No I’m not lucky.
Am I content being the way I am right now?
God pour down your grace on me, I’ve lot’s more growing to do!