A good friend of mine, after more than 20 years as a single mom raising two girls, has decided to take the plunge and give marriage a second chance. In all the years I’ve known her, she’s never been happier. I have confidence that both she and her beau, who’ve I’ve also know for a long time, will have many happy years ahead.
Just don’t ask a woman who’s been married for a long time if they would ever marry again, you might be surprised at the answer.
As a longtime married couple, we’ve had this conversation with our friends, many of whom have also been married for a long time. Maybe I’m being naive, but I was surprised that most, if not all the wives, agreed they would never get married again. Never, as in no possible way.
That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t welcome male companionship, they just wouldn’t want them living with them. Rumor has it that senior men, who can drive at night, are considered quite an asset.
Don’t get me wrong, I think they still love us, otherwise we wouldn’t have lasted this long. They just don’t seem to want another one once we’re gone. Statistically speaking, they usually outlive us, so they are willing to put up with us while we’re still around. Maybe they are taking this “’til death do us part” thing way too seriously.
In a very informal survey of my male counterparts, most said just the opposite. They would absolutely marry again. Why is there such a disconnect between male and female views of married life after the death of a spouse?
Most wives just don’t want to take care of anyone anymore. All their lives, they’ve shouldered most of the load in child rearing and, later in life, taking care of elderly parents. In between, there was us.
Men seem to want a special citation for clearing the dinner dishes or loading the dishwasher. If we complete a load of laundry all the way through folding and putting it away, we expect a parade in our honor. As for cleaning the bathroom, well, where is my Congressional Medal of Honor?
I get it. It may be 2019, but most long-term marriages are still following the blueprint from the ’50s. Daddy works and fixes things around the house and Mommy takes care of everything else. Except somewhere along the line, Mommy also went to work and took care of everything else while Daddy never really picked up the slack.
Only now with the kids grown and Mommy and Daddy retired (or close to it), Mommy is still taking care of Daddy. It’s no wonder they wouldn’t sign up for that gig again.
For more than 60 years, I’ve always had someone to take care of me. Without my wife, I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house in the morning. I’d turn into one of those guys who smells his clothes to see if he could wear them. I don’t see any reason to ever make the bed again. There would be a lot of take out and plastic utensils. I’d have multiple Roombas patrolling the floors to avoid vacuuming myself. And my bathroom? Sheesh.
My house would look like Ralph Kramden’s apartment after Alice left him for calling her mother a “Blabbermouth.” Even though Neil Young sang about a man needing a maid, I would need the companionship and the company.
Both my friends have been alone for a long time. After finding each other, I’m sure they’ll work out the small details of household chores and take care of each other.
As far as our wives are concerned, they’ve already decided that life without us would not require a replacement husband. In a way, I know they’ve earned it. I just wish they weren’t looking so forward to it.
Hey, honey, where are my reading glasses?
Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.