To Marry or Not to Marry?

A dear student called me to discuss The Big M.  A handsome man, he has been chased by women his whole life yet he resists marrying.  Some would say he is commitment phobic, but I disagree.

Society and religious institutions - followed by psychology - have propagated the notion that one should marry.  (The should already alerts me to a hidden standard of what society expects of me.) There is nothing better about marriage than not being married. There is nothing pathological about not wanting to be married. Some prefer to be footloose and fancy free, others to “settle down” with one or multiple person (via polygamy or multiple affairs – again, no judgment).  

Now if you wish to marry, there are two aspects to marriage – love and practicality.  My teacher of blessed memory, Colette Aboulker-Muscat, would often advise women to marry for practicality and the love would grow over time.   Of course, for Colette, practicality entailed more than mere finances and extended to include character, family line, gene pool, shared interests, education, shared worldviews, same socioeconomic class, etc.  All these make for a smoother union.You may ask where do looks and sexuality fit in? They are the “cover” not the “book” and often fade with time.  I put them on the love side of the scale; for some, it is difficult to proceed without these, but for others, they are not as essential. 

My student was in a quandary – a whirlwind of doubt – as a young woman had appeared whose qualities outshone all others.  She was the only woman who had ever offered to assist him in various aspects of his life (making a meal, helping organize his home, or assist him with a business task). She was a true helpmate. 

I told him that only an action resolves doubt and gave him an ultimatum: Either propose to her or never bring her up to me again.  More talk was not going to bring clarity of action to him.  He laughed. 

To learn more about Doubt, read Healing Into Immortality, chapter 6.