THE SPRINGBOARD TO A NEW LIFESTYLE
By a "Pol" reporter
JOHN RAY, university lecturer. Married 29, separated nine months later; divorced 18 months ago; no children:
"My marriage was brief. The divorce was quick and easy. Essentially I'm the same person I was before I married. In one respect, however, my lifestyle has been irrevocably changed. My life will be spent as a bachelor and not as a family man.
If I hadn't been immunised by premature failure I think I would now be contemplating marriage with the woman I'm most involved with. The relationship I have with her is different from the one I had with my wife and I believe it would have survived marriage. We would have had children and I would have been reasonably ambitious in my career.
The immediate effect of my divorce was that I went off women for a few months. The long term effect is that I spend more time with women than I did when married. Marriage stopped me womanising to a certain extent. I read, I went for walks, and worked normal hours. Since the divorce I go out every night with groups or with individuals. I go to bed late and I wake up late. I see my ex-wife regularly and I'm involved with three other women. Since my work can be contracted to meet the demands of my social life I sometimes spend only an hour at my desk and can see my girlfriends in the afternoon as well as in the evenings and at weekends.
In the paper today there was an ad for a job in Townsville. If I'd been married I would have applied. It would have been a promotion. As a bachelor, however, I wouldn't dream of giving up the good time I'm having for the prospect of later
benefits. I live in the present and not in the future.
I'm more healthy and more comfortable than I was during my marriage. My hay fever has disappeared and I no longer have to live in a smoky atmosphere.
Some of the changes in my lifestyle are consequences of having been married. I never used to be much of a cuddler but marriage taught me new kinds of physical contact and my relationships with women have improved because of them.
The main reason for the break-up of the marriage was the continual arguments. Both my wife and I liked to dominate. The experience dulled my taste for confrontation. I still like to have discussions but there's not much ego involvement. I notice the same tendency in my friends and sometimes I miss being able to climb into someone. I used to like those exchanges that began "Christ, you're a shambles!" and calling someone the boss's man if he worked late.
Being married taught me the sort of things women like to hear and I've also learned to share some of their interests like clothes and not getting fat.
I associate only with intelligent people. All my women friends have good brains, but I've yet to meet a woman who
can keep off the subject of herself and her relationship with me. I would not put up with such lack of objectivity in a relationship with a man but I have to lower my standards where women are concerned, otherwise I'd have no one to make love to.
I have no plans for my life. All my energies and interests are committed to the present. I imagine that in about ten year's time I'll become a member of a commune where one can father children and be responsible for them without being answerable to one woman."
From "Pol" magazine, Sydney, Australia, Winter issue, 1975, p. 111-112.
NOTE: The above report is not totally accurate. I was NOT, for instance, divorced at the time. It is broadly representative of my thoughts at the time, however, so although I now see much of it as rather embarrassing, I am putting it on the net for the record's sake
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