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Published: Sunday August 3, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday August 6, 2014 MYT 2:30:54 PM

Dear Thelma: I'm divorced with kids; should I get married again?

Is it a must for divorcées to get married again? One divorced mum of two teens wants to know.   

Dear Thelma, 

I’ve been divorced for almost 10 years and am now in my late 40s. I have two children in their teens. I’ve had several relationships, but for some reason, they have not worked out. I am thinking of getting married again, but it seems like the men my age are only interested in women half their age! I don’t really want to date someone younger; I’ve tried it and he was very immature and needy. I don’t need another son – I already have one. 

My friends try to set me up, but it’s always with strange men they wouldn’t date if they were single, so I don’t know why they think I should settle for less. I’m financially stable and independent, and don’t want more children. Do you think I should even bother marrying again? I’m not really sure if I should, but everyone keeps asking why I haven’t remarried. 

Independent Woman

Dear Independent Woman, 

Thus is the plight of divorced women. While men their age have “plenty of fish in the sea”, women find the opposite is true. The pickings become slim – there are the “weirdos” – and, sometimes, the younger men. Although it is becoming less of a stigma for older women to date younger men, many women find it difficult to deal with the immaturity.

Depending on how one looks at it, these relationships – even if it looks like it’s against the odds – can work out. But, then again, there are the factors which you have mentioned. While dating younger men has its share of fun, you are a mother of a young man and you do not need another son.

Add to the complications of the “helpful” people in your life who “want you to be happy”, and pester you to get married, telling you it is time you move on. And, some go even further by introducing you to eligible men. There is a lot of pressure for single women – no matter the age and experience – to get married. And, there is a lot of incentive to conform.

The thing is though, what is this ideal of the “married woman” that so many people think is beyond reproach? And, can anyone really say what is wrong with a woman of a certain age, or any age for that matter, being unmarried? There are so many other rules that everyone, women especially, work so hard to conform to. Who made up those rules anyway?

Even if you do get married, there are also rules as to who you should be married to. There is the age question. While it is totally acceptable for men to marry women half their age, women who do that are considered desperate. Then, there is the issue of social status. Of course, the man has to earn more money than you and be more educated then you. And so on and so forth – the rules just keep on coming.

You call yourself an independent woman. Are you fulfilled with that moniker? Are you happy? And, does being independent make you happy? Do you live a full life being a mother to your children while dating men?

You have been married before. You don’t allude to the reason for your divorce, but few people describe it as pleasant. So, here is the question you need to ask yourself: would you want to put yourself through that again? When you ask yourself why you are not married yet, that should be the only consideration that matters.

If you do want to get married again, it should be because you want to be with this person for the foreseeable future. It shouldn’t matter how old he is, or how rich. All that should matter is that you and this person see a future together.

Never mind that your past relationships didn’t work. The focus should be you finding happiness and fulfil-ment in the life you have now. Focus on that instead of finding a husband. If you are happy with your life, the right person will find his way into your life.

You will know the right person when you are happy, and that person will only add to your happiness. Perhaps, the key to your happiness is breaking away from the stereotyped expectations of a woman. Liberate yourself from that, and you would be liberated in other areas of your life. And, that is where happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment can be found.

Thelma.

> Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/o Star2, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor or e-mail star2.thelma@thestar.com.my. Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

Tags / Keywords: independent, divorced, Thelma

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