This used to be in chapter 7, in the section about how difficult it is to be in a relationship. I'm not sure why I cut it but it's too late now.
This is the deep, dark, terrible secret that nobody ever tells you about being married:
It isn’t all that much better than being single.
I mean, yes, there are certain advantages. You’re relatively certain of having a date for Saturday night. You can get a back rub every once in a while if you ask the right way at the right time. You can stop worrying that you’ll die alone.
But there are corresponding disadvantages. Of course every time you see somebody really hot you think, “Oh, my God, I totally want to have sex with him right now.” If you’re an anxious person, given to doubting yourself, you may add, “Wait, what if he’s the person I’m supposed to be with and I’ve actually made a terrible mistake?”
So there’s that, the element of regret. But it’s not that difficult to reason with yourself: when I’m at a terrific restaurant I can’t order the steak and the fish, so I have to pick one. Whichever one I pick will mean I can’t have the other one, and that’ll be sad, but I’ll enjoy what I have and know that I’d be longing for it it if I’d picked the other one.
(I am a Philistine when it comes to food and prefer Taco Bell to pretty much everything else, so it is the rare occasion on which I find myself in this dilemma, but I can imagine.)
What nobody ever says is that getting married doesn’t reduce the likelihood of rejection. It just means you can’t move on to the next possibility; you’re stuck in a hideous Groundhog Day of rejection. Furthermore, the rejections you face are much more subtle than “No, I don’t want to date you,” so you can pretend they didn’t happen, because everybody knows that people in successful relationships feel totally secure in each other, that though there may be fights every now and then the tendency of a good relationship is toward harmony.
The problem is that the tendency of the human condition is toward not harmony but self-gratification. We all know this, and most of us have gotten relatively good at overpowering that tendency as far as the big things are concerned (career choice, apartment location, where to spend Thanksgiving). But agreeing to repress the nausea you feel when gazing upon your spouse’s parents’ upholstery takes so much will power that you don’t have any left when it comes to who washes the dishes if you cooked.
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