Thanks Mom…For Nothing

Sorry mom. You get the Dexter WTF face.
Sorry mom. You get the Dexter WTF face.

Sorry mom. You get the Dexter WTF face.

So I finished work last night and decided to give my dear mom a call on the drive home. I hadn’t told her about my recent breakup, and I thought she should probably know.

I expected to get a pep-talk or some concern, but instead I was treated to a bucket of cold water to the face – nice on a hot day but not so nice when delivered by your mom after a hard days work.

So here’s a paraphrased version of events.

GC: Hey mom. I just wanted to let you know that I broke up with {insert fake name here}

Mom: Oh…why?

GC: Basically it boils down to her wanting to get married and me not wanting too. I didn’t feel that it was the right decision for me at this time. It’s amicable. Neither one of us is mad with the other and we’re working together to make it a clean break.

Mom: *shocked silence*

GC: Mom?

Mom: Are you going to be moving out?

GC: Yes. I just put last months rent down on a new place. It has a big yard and Dexter will be coming with me. It’s all inclusive and I’ll be sharing a house with another guy.

Mom: Well it’s your life and I’m not going to tell you what to do. If that’s what you want, then that’s your decision.

GC: I don’t mind if you tell me your opinion.

Mom: Well…you’re creeping up to 40. I hope you’re not alone till you die. Most women want to be married. You’re going to have a hard time finding someone that doesn’t want to get married at your age.

GC: {WTF moment of silence}

And after that I didn’t know what to say, besides to assure her that I didn’t say I’d never get married.

What’s the big deal with marriage anyways? If I were religious and wanted to say my vows to God or something, I’d get it. The whole idea that I have to spend at least 3 months salary on a rock is ridiculous to me.

She also went on about marriage being right for her and that it meant my dad was devoted only to her and that he was willing to put in work to make the relationship work.

Well…yeah. I think I’m loyal. I don’t mess around on my partner. I work hard on my relationships. I try to take into account their wishes. I don’t drink or do drugs. I work hard and I work full-time. I support them when they’re sick or need help.

I’m not perfect, but a marriage licence is hardly going to change that, and since I’m an atheist, I don’t need a God to witness my vows. It just seems like a large, flamboyant waste of resources and a bunch of added stress to go along with it.

Anyhow, the conversation didn’t go anywhere near as expected. Maybe I am making the wrong decision, but it’s too late to go back and I still feel as if it’s the right decision for me.

Even if it means dying alone.



  1. You may be loyal and a great guy to your girl, but unfortunately lack of willingness to make the life long commitment to that one girl is sometimes, even if it’s incorrect, interpreted as wasting her Time and yours. Even if that is the furthest thing from your mind. Especially as the age creeps up to 40 and the woman has even the glimmer of hope for kids. Women often think ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unwilling to commit’ whether your stance on marriage as an institution is well founded or not. Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

  2. Mothers can blind side you, can’t they. Sometimes they have a hard time connecting someone else’s dots,. and there’s not a lot you can do with it. It is your life, not hers. She’s happy the way hers turned out, and if you never marry it doesnt mean you will (ominous voice here) “die alone”, my god you’re not a leper, you’re not an indigent about to die in a gutter…

    Mothers also want the best for their kids, but sometimes what they think is best is what works or worked for them. And as I said yesterday, marriage is not for everyone. No blame, no shame.

    We’ve all seen couples who lived together for years, finally got married and within a year they were divorced. Sometimes the whole relationship changes when the vows are said, I dont know why.

      • Societal norms have changed a LOT since your mother was first married, as it has for me (47 years and holding on for dear life)–when I dated mine gave me ‘rules for dating” that originated in the 30s, when SHE was dating. They had little to do with the 60s.
        Each generation lives by its own standards, and those can change dramatically from decade to decade.

        You’ll be fine. So will she. And look at it this way. you have given her a new topic of conversation (complete with the shrug and the Raised Eyebrows of Despair) to share with her friends…

  3. Ouch, mom’s can dish out some harsh reality sometimes. Things happen for a reason, I wouldn’t let it get you down at all, it’s just a parent worried about her child. (Secretly hoping for grandchildren)

  4. I don’t know about the laws in Canada, but in America, people get married for reasons other than it being recognized by their god of choice. For example — see the legal benefits.

    I was widowed at age 27 with an infant. Being married afforded me benefits I would have never had, had my partner and I been living together. Common Law marriages is only recognized in 9 states here.

    But I completely understand where you are coming from. You are not ready, and may never be ready for marriage, and that’s your absolute right, which I whole-heartily support. I think you are right about your ex- Common Law wife wanting to get married for security reasons beyond a love commitment.

    Also, those who think that a marriage license will make people more committed, and not as likely to stray from the nest (so to speak), are living in la la land. They might not stray for fear of the legal and financial ramifications, but it certainly is not representative of authentic commitment to a lover.

    Follow your bliss, my friend.

  5. “Well…you’re creeping up to 40. I hope you’re not alone till you die.”

    Because if you reach the ripe old age of 40 you will be alone for the rest of your life. ::eye roll:: Ah moms, aren’t they great? Ha.

    I’m sorry to hear about your break-up. How long were you together?

      • Ah, 3 years is a long time. I can’t see the other comments on my phone right now to reference but I agree with another commenter who said (and I’m totally paraphrasing) that if you were not ready to commit to marriage w your ex (and this was a deal breaker for her) then she is probably not the one for you. Not that saying that makes it any easier, but probably more helpful than parents criticizing you and saying you’ll end up alone. You know, I’m sorta thinking at this point that NO ONE is really cut out to be with anyone. I think I might just be skeptical in the relationship department at the moment though. Have you ever been married before? I can’t remember but I think I read that you have kids? Not that the two always go hand in hand. 😊 I’m just asking for clarification because I have all these new bloggers I’m following and trying to keep track of.😀

  6. I have some mixed feelings on this. When I started dating my hubby neither of us wanted to get married, but then after 4 years together, I decided I did. It wasn’t about children, it was about “being together for a lifetime.” This is difficult to explain, but the commitment was *very* important to me. If my husband had not married me I would have walked.

    Now that I’m an atheist and older (42y), I see marriage in a slightly different light…it’s not as important to me as it was when I was younger. I guess ideas about marriage can be fluid as we age and change.

    If marriage is not right for you were smart to not do it. If you’d done it when you didn’t want to it would have been a massive problem for both of you. Perhaps as you get older you might find a woman who isn’t so hung up on the commitment part.

    I must say though, I don’t understand why some men are so upset about buying a ring. Think of it as a gift…it doesn’t have to be three months salary or expensive at all, it’s just a token of a promise. I also bought my husband a ring as a token of my promise. We had money at the time so my engagement ring was fancy, but I would have been happy with a $50 gold band.

    Sorry it’s been a tough break-up, and I’m sorry your mom was a bit off-key in her response. While I do see her response as a very typical mom reaction, I can understand how you might have been looking for some love and empathy, and not a “you’re getting old and will die alone” lecture. Yikes. Your life IS yours to live as you see fit, whether alone or as a couple. It is wonderful to have a say in these decisions, as in days past many people didn’t have any say at all.

  7. Hey GC,

    I had a conversation with my older brother a while ago, and it got onto the topic of whether or not he should marry his partner. He’s been in a relationship with her for a while, but he was just wanting a different perspective.

    Marriage isn’t just hopping into a place, saying some stuff, and then eating cake (although, to be fair, cake is a legitimate reason to get married. Who doesn’t like cake?). It also protects some important interests. If you’re in a committed relationship, that person eventually comes to know you the best. They’re in the best position to advocate for your interests if you can’t advocate them yourself.

    Protection from outside interference, letting people who know you the best make decisions for you, and cake – those are good, practical reasons to get a marriage license. Everything else is just window dressing.

    It doesn’t mean you have to run into it, either. But I think it helps looking at it from a different perspective than what people portray it on TV and in cinema.

  8. Well, I’m getting married but it’s not infront of god or anything.. For us it’s just to confirm we’re in it for the long run.. Legas benefits are.. not so important but if anything happened to either of us, the other won’t be out on the street. I don’t think marriage is so important either. If you’re more comfortable staying unmarried, that should be ok as well.

  9. I am also creeping up on 40, and many of my friends are in committed relationships without marriage or children (weird, I know). As long as they are both happy with this arrangement it works. The commitment thing is irrelevant to marriage; if I need you to marry me to feel secure in your commitment to me? Then this isn’t working.

    Something tells me that if this was someone you could not live without, you would be announcing your engagement right now. If it were me, my personal views on marriage would be insignificant compared with giving up someone I needed in my life. Financial benefits and a celebration of our commitment are not terrible things, so I would compromise and go for the inexpensive ring and ceremony.

    The fact that you have not come to this conclusion means something important- and it isn’t that you are a jerk 🙂 And she is probably wise enough to know that the fact that you are not willing is a sign that there is something better out there for both of you.

    • You are super perceptive LAD.

      Without going into detail, there were a few reasons why I said no. It wasn’t just a stubborn thing on my part. I probably would marry if I felt secure with that person and thought it was the best thing. I told her this, and explained my reasons but she didn’t want to wait.

      I get that. It’s her decision and I respect it.

      I can be a jerk though. LOL

  10. Oy vey. I’m sorry that’s the reaction you got. What’s right for you is something only you can know. Making any life choice outside of the norm is going to get bad reactions from people, no matter how ridiculous the reasoning.

    As others have said, I got married more for the legal benefits than anything. We went to the county courthouse and I neither of us wears a ring. If people are getting married for the bling and the party, there is something wrong.

  11. I think you should go back to your ex and say “ok, I’ll marry you cause my mom told me to.”
    You’re the one who has to be convinced it’s a good idea.

    You asked for her opinion, so she gave it. Her initial response seems to indicate that she respects your decision. I hope that’s really the case.

    Reflective listening and empathy would be nice from parents. Ok. Now my finger is pointing back at me! Not sure my kids would say I respond to them that way.

  12. Sorry to hear your mom wasn’t supportive of your decision GC. I think it also comes down to beliefs in this case. Your mom believes that people should get married, have children and settle down. It’s not your belief, and you should do what feels right. Not one of my sons are married and the oldest is 29. It doesn’t bother me and I definitely don’t want grandchildren. Especially not in this economy. So, I will support them if they don’t want to get married and just live with someone they love and they know that.

    I’ve knew a couple who lived together for years and they were happy. Then society and their parents pushed them into marriage. They divorced a year after that. You made the right decision. As tough as it’s going to be to settle down, you will make it and you will be glad. Hang in there. 😀

    • I also wish WordPress could make an ‘edit’ function in the comments section so we can come back and edit our comments after posting it. The second paragraph: It should read: I knew a couple… Sorry. I originally typed ‘I’ve known a couple’ but it sounded strange and I then changed it. Sometimes it’s a struggle. When I can’t find an English word, I would think of it in Afrikaans. Sometimes I think in Afrikaans and translate it into English. Boggles the mind. 😆

  13. Pingback: Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Drowning | Godless Cranium

  14. I am with you on this GC. I have friends who keep yapping I should get married and ask them why.
    There are moments you will second guess yourself, think you made the wrong decision, but such is life.
    And I think the people who have so far spoken here have been quite supportive.

  15. I didn’t get engaged. I think it’s pointless. We got married two months after we decided to. A total four months after we met, I think. We invited two witnesses but we got three gatecrashers too. We paid for the witnesses meal, and let the gatecrashers sort it out themselves. We left the dinner first anyway. I don’t know why we got married but it has been useful in terms of bureaucracy and tax breaks etc. Neither of us was pushing to get married so it wasn’t a pressure thing. And as we met on the other side of the world our UK families had no say in it 🙂 I didn’t change my name, we don’t wear our rings, and we didn’t want children. My mother couldn’t understand why we got married and sadly I couldn’t enlighten her, we just did. But if anyone has reservations, or someone else wants it as a sign of commitment, and wants the ring and the party, I’d be running a mile.

  16. Call it what you will, but I believe “putting the squeeze” on someone to marry OR become a parent, is nothing short of bullying..regardless of the motive. IMO..marriage AND most certainly parenthood is not all it’s cracked up to be. Admittedly my sons are in still in early adulthood but I sincerely hope that if they reach 40 unmarried and with no children, I will support their choices 100%. GOOD on you for asserting your boundaries, despite pressure to conform. You have my respect. 🙂

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