With almost half of marriages ending in divorce, why bother?
I came close to getting married once. He was a paparazzi photographer in London, I was the ambitious young reporter. He took me away on safari in Kenya and one night, under the sparkly stars while watching elephants drink at the water hole, he got down on one knee.
“Will you marry….”
“Ask me again in six months!” I interrupted.
Cue awkward silence and back to watching Dumbo.
Predictably the relationship ended before six months was up. Not only did I dodge that bullet, but many more and I am pretty sure my exes think the same thing about me.
Then at 37, I walked out of my nine-to-five (and a relationship) and became Samantha X, a high-class escort. While I wasn’t good at long-term relationships, I was very good at short ones. Very short ones.
Escorting is not for the faint-hearted. You need to be mentally strong, command the room at all times and accept that personal romantic relationships can be tricky. Ha! No change there for me then – I’d always struggled in that department.
Marriage isn’t the happily-ever-after fairytale it’s sold as. Think about how many marriages end. Rugby league icon Wally Lewis recently left his wife after 36 years of marriage. Imagine giving someone the best 36 years of your life and then for them to walk out. Thing is, I always did imagine it, which is why I’ve never done it. Quite frankly, it makes my blood run cold.
I spent years thinking there had to be something wrong with me for not wanting to get married. I would look at married couples quizzically – how on earth do they do it? These days, I look at them and think WHY on earth do they do it?
Now, having heard and seen endless stories of misery from sexually frustrated, trapped husbands (and bored, unhappy, trapped wives), I realise that my decision in refusing to say ‘I do’ wasn’t so dumb after all. Perhaps me, and all the others like me, aren’t the ones to pity, but the smart ones.
Here are three reasons why I believe marriage is outdated: Disclaimer – not all marriages, just most of them…
1. Most people cheat
Not all, but an awful lot do. And it’s not just the guys.
All this ‘till death do us part’ is bullshit. Men will look elsewhere if they’re not getting it at home, regardless of how much they love you and women will look elsewhere if they are craving emotional connection.
This whole notion of ‘I’ll divorce if you ever cheat on me,’ is unrealistic and shows a lack of understanding of our primal instincts and human nature. It probably should read ‘I’ll divorce you if I ever find out.’ If you can accept that, great. If you are deluded enough to think ‘not MY partner’ then good luck to you.
2. We change
The person you were at 21 is not the person you are at 41. While I believe inherently our characters don’t change, our needs and desires do.
At 21, I needed to know I was on the guest list at every club in London. Now I need to know I have zero plans after 8.30 pm so I can go to bed.
The person you are attracted to and attract will be very different in those decades too. I am in total awe of those who marry their high school sweethearts and stay married – happily – without wondering what other life/person they could have been or had.
3. We want more from life – especially women
With so many women being financially independent and not wanting to have kids, exactly what is the reason to marry these days? Oh yes, that little thing called love.
I make my own money, I’ve had kids, I can get sex and companionship when I want – most women can, this isn’t exclusive to escorts – and for cuddles at night, I have a dog.
I recently bumped into a woman I used to know, a school mum. We exchanged pleasantries but she was close to tears. She wants to leave her marriage but isn’t in a place financially to do it. She’s trapped, like so many other men and women out there who are staying for money and the kids. I gave her the name of a very good divorce lawyer. I’ve actually lost count of all the married friends I’ve given his name to.
So while I understand that what I choose to do for work may be hard for you to comprehend, it’s where I feel safe.
A ‘happily married’ client asked me the other day when I was going to “stop all this nonsense and settle down.”
“Like you?” I snipped back.
“Ooh, but don’t you want to grow old with someone?”
Who’s saying you will grow old with them anyway? They might die, or leave you for your best friend after 36 years of marriage.
Call it fear, realism or being smart, but I’ve come to the conclusion that a man can pay for my time these days, not waste it.