If you grew up wanting to get married, you may be struggling to cope with sadness and grief now – especially if you believe you’ll never get married. My three tips for dealing with sadness as a single woman are inspired by a She Blossoms reader.
“For appearance’s sake I wish I could say I was divorced rather than never married,” says a She Blossoms reader on How to Get Over a Love Affair With a Married Man. “It’s very hard not feeling like something is different or wrong with me. The rest of society pairs up between the ages of 28 and 33. I had an affair with a married man. It reinforced the insecurities and doubts I have about the fact that I’ve never been married.”
Many never-married women find themselves grieving the loss of their hopes, dreams, and goals for marriage. It’s normal to feel sad about not experiencing the companionship and security of marriage…and it’s healthy but hard to go through the grieving process that helps you heal.
Many years ago, I grieved the loss of my dream of getting married and having kids. I spent a lot of time learning how to be happy single when I wished I was married. Even though I adjusted to the idea of never getting married, I never gave up hope. I didn’t expect to find someone to spend my life with, but I never stopped dating or meeting new people. It did get tiring, and I often felt hopeless. But I knew my happiness couldn’t depend on a man.
3 Ways to Cope With the Sadness of Never Getting Married
I eventually got married when I was 35 years old. But now, looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have wasted my time and energy being sad that I was single. I wish I would’ve used my time, energy, creativity and resources to do pursue joy and peace, instead of grieving my single status. Then I would’ve had no time to be sad because I never married. I’d be too busy enjoying my life.
And that, my friend, is my hope for you.
1. Grieve, but refuse to let sadness darken your life
You lost something important to you: your dreams of building a marriage, home and family with a man you love. It’s normal and healthy to be sad! It’s also important to work through your grief by going beyond the vague “I’m sad because I never got married” feelings.
Get specific about your grief. What are you missing out on by not getting married? What would your marriage be like, your children, your home? Who would your husband be, what kind of life would you live together?
You can’t answer those questions because you have no idea what marriage would’ve been like for you. So, you’re grieving something you aren’t even fully aware of. It’s an odd place to be, isn’t it? It’s like me grieving the loss of a father. I never had a dad, but I did grieve the pain of not having him in my life. Grieve — but try to remember that you aren’t grieving a perfect marriage or flawless husband. You’re grieving what you wish could have been.
2. Know that marriage won’t make you happier than you are right now
When you’re not married it’s so easy to assume that marriage will make you happy. It’s easy to yearn for a husband and daydream about the bliss of married life. It’s even easier to fantasize about a big wedding and romantic honeymoon, and to picture the beautiful home and children you’ll have together.
If you’re not happy as a single woman, then you won’t be happy married. Marriage isn’t the source of joy, peace, fulfillment, or emotional freedom. In fact, marriage can bring more pain, grief, problems and struggles than you’re prepared for. It’s hard to imagine, but the truth is that some women are better off thinking “I wish I was married” than “How do I live with a man I wish I had never married?”
It’s easy to think marriage will make you happy, but it’s a lie. Marriage won’t make you happier than you already are. Accept your sadness. Grieve the loss of your dreams. You lost something really important to you, something that you were literally created to be part of. But never forget that you don’t know how your marriage would’ve turned out.
3. Know that being married is not “better” than being single
When I finally got married at 35, I thought we’d live happily ever after. But you know what? We discovered we couldn’t have children. We didn’t want to adopt or foster kids, and the fertility treatments we tried didn’t work. So then I had to learn how to be happy without children. And that’s a whole different type of grief!
No matter what life you’re given – whether you’re married, divorced, single, widowed – there is always, always a thorn in the rose. If you get married, you’ll find stuff to be sad about. If you have children, you’ll have problems to deal with. If you get divorced, you’ll have to start over. If you’re widowed, you may one day grieve the death of your husband.
If you’re not happy as a single woman, you won’t be happy married. True joy, peace and emotional freedom comes from a deep, life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. A husband is a wonderful gift, but no man can make you happy. Only God can fill the yearning in your heart. You may think you’re yearning for marriage, but the truth is you’re yearning for God. He created you, He is calling you, and you won’t find joy or peace anywhere else but in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let go of the past
If you’re sad not just because you never got married but also because of a breakup, read How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart. In it I share valuable insights and comfort for women who are alone after a breakup or divorce.
It’s an ebook, so it’s immediately available. It’s about much more than dealing with “I’m sad because I never got married” grief. How to Let Go of Someone You Love will help you move forward in your life.
What do you think? Your comments – big and little – are welcome below! Feel free to share what you think and how you feel below.
In peace and passion,