Thank you, Shani! It is definitely overrated, particularly if you are not sure about kids. And, even if you want kids, there are options. I knew I did not want children and married anyway which led to me raising a man-child 8 years older than me. Definitely not a life goal of mine. You feel (or I did) stuck, especially when your husband’s family are Southern Baptists who think divorce is a lifetime commitment and you must live out your sentence. I don’t know why what they thought mattered to me but it did. I stayed 28 years. I was closer to his family than mine but when I finally left, everyone turned against me. He died following an operation so we were never divorced but I was still an outcast. If only I had known… The words of regret that come with age.

I am in a wonderful relationship now. We consider ourselves to be husband and wife and refer to one another as such but have no desire to make it official. What few benefits marriage may provide for the young are nonexistent when you are over 55. In fact, there are a slew of financial benefits you lose by remarrying. Besides, I like the freedom of defining who and what we are without societal labels. Very freeing.

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