I attended a party over the weekend at which there was some discussion of a person’s third marriage. Since I had just met the people having the conversation and didn’t know those involved, I mostly listened with intrigue. It didn’t take long for me to ascertain I was among people who saw it as natural that a goal to be married at almost any cost is normal and even desirable.
I simply don’t have that mindset and don’t live in that world. For whatever reason, it made me think of this sad bit — courtesy of The Writer’s Almanac — from the writings of Virginia Woolf prior to marrying her husband Leonard:
“You want to know of course whether it will ever make me want to marry you. How can I say? I think it will, because there seems to be no reason why it shouldn’t — But I don’t know what the future will bring. I’m half afraid of myself. I sometimes feel that no one ever has or ever shall feel something — It’s the thing that makes you call me like a hill, or a rock. Again, I want everything — love, children, adventure, intimacy, work. (Can you make any sense out of this ramble? I am putting down one thing after another.) So I go from being half in love with you, and wanting you to be with me always, and know everything about me, to the extremes of wildness and aloofness. I sometimes think that if I married you, I could have everything — and then — is it the sexual side of it that comes between us? As I told you brutally the other day, I feel no physical attraction in you. There are moments — when you kissed me the other day was one — when I feel no more than a rock. And yet your caring for me as you do almost overwhelms me. It is so real, and so strange.”