There was a report yesterday that 1 in 3 who are married longer than twenty years said they would have married someone else if given the choice.
Mike and I were in the car when the news report came over the radio. He looked at me for an opinion and I said he should know, since I am the neglected wife. He probably forgot, but I posed him that question once in 2008. (https://vickychong.wordpress.com/2008/02/25/would-you-marry-your-spouse-again/)
So far, based on my own bias and unscientific judgement (not even a survey), I cannot think of a single person who would want to marry the same person they did twenty years ago…except perhaps my Aunt E and her hubby.
Most of my friends married longer than 20 years are bored, tired and feel trap in a union with no bliss in sight. Those who are married this long lead independent lives, engaging in activities individually rather than as a couple. Sadly, most have nothing good to say about their other halves, yet the situation is not so serious as to warrant leaving the marriage. The women who are not working have it worse. Their finances are at the mercy of their husbands and disagreement regarding money is often one of the sore points. At least those with income have the freedom to do whatever they please.
But the women surveyed are naive to think they are happier if married to someone else. Chances are, twenty years down the matrimonial road, they would still be feeling the same way.
Women married the man they thought was the best choice then – the one they felt were compatible in terms of finance, family background and education. Given the choice, they would have chosen the same person again. It’s only with hindsight now that they say they would rather marry someone else.
My friend and I were discussing a Korean drama episode where the daughter wanted to marry someone the parents disapproved of – someone they felt was totally incompatible. I asked what she would do if her daughter felt this way. She brushed my question aside. ‘No way,’ she said, ‘it would be quite impossible to meet someone outside our kind of circle.’
The snob that we are, what she said is true. The snob that we are, whom we choose to marry may also be who we regret marrying twenty years down the road.
Is there any wonder why the middle-age demographic is often grumpy and unhappy?