Saturday, May 26, 2012

Carole Blake - One Thing I've Learnt


Is that I have to live alone.
I moved straight from my parents house to my first 13 year marriage. I left my first husband for my second: another 13 year marriage.  The first few years of each were happy: the last many of each were definitely not.
Ending that second marriage was terrifying. For the first 24 hours, every minute was panic-filled with the phrase in my head: ‘I’ve never done this before, I can’t manage alone.’  On the 2nd morning I awoke smiling: for a moment I thought it was my birthday, or Christmas. Then I remembered: now I live alone.
That was 16 years ago and the joy has not diminished, but increased.
I’ve not gone off men: far from it.  I’m in a relationship where the extreme happiness has lasted longer than the happy years of my 2 marriages put together. The secret?  He visits, but we don’t live together. He wants to: I won’t.
Perhaps my job is so social that I need time alone.  I have friends to stay, I give parties. But I’ve never been happier than in the years I’ve lived alone.  And I’m going to keep it that way.



14 comments:

D.J. Kirkby said...

What a special, powerful, happy post. I have always wondered Carole (but never thought it appropriate to ask for detail), so thank you for sharing.

Tricia said...

I have lived on my own most of my life. I am not lonely, and I suspect, happier than some living with others.

Emma Lee-Potter said...

Brilliant post, Carole. My DH is away loads so sometimes it feels as though I live on my own - and there's lots to be said for it. I think if you have a demanding job and action-packed social life it can be the perfect combination!

Rebecca Leith said...

I can't say I live alone, I have my teenage daughter who is great company. However, I have been single for several years and am the happiest I've ever been. I know I couldn't live with a man again. It would drive me nuts, so I understand exactly how you feel.
Great post, thanks for sharing it.

Maryanne said...

wow! I now live alone too - and I love the freedom and independence. We have similar stories, I have also been married twice, but scared to cut the knot the second time around, so currently 'separated' by 6000 or so miles. I enjoy company but preferably on my own terms. Thank you for sharing.

JO said...

I agree completely - I think everyone should learn to live alone, then living with someone becomes something you really want to do and not a flight from alone-ness.

I was widowed 16 years ago, and many people expected me to rush into another relationship. But I've found an unexpected contentment in being alone. And just because I don't want to pick up someone else's socks from the bathroom floor doesn't mean I live like a nun!

Louise said...

Sometimes I wish I lived alone - I was a single parent for a year or two after separation/divorce, and enjoyed the autonomy and independence. Then I met a very special man who I couldn't bear to live without. Now I live in a household of seven, so time alone is rare and precious. I'm biding my time until the children are all grown!

Cally said...

I lived alone in my little one bed flat in Brighton for 8 years (I was in a relationship for 4 of those years but we didn't live together) and loved it. I'm very comfortable with my own company. Now I live with my partner and our 8 month old son and only get 'me time' when partner is at work and baby is napping but I wouldn't change a thing. It's nice to be part of a family after years of just me! :)

Rebecca Alexander said...

I've done both, and I'm in a relationship with the love of my life, but I still wish we lived in separate houses, like we did at the beginning of our relationhip. Step-parenting might be more fun, too. We're looking into it for the future. Thank you, Carole, for saying what quite a few women are thinking.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I've been in the same marriage since 1978 and it works because we give each other space and freedom to do our own things within the relationship. I can have time to be alone with my own thoughts and never have to feel guilty that I'm neglecting him or us. I do so understand the joy and even the necessity of being solitary. Alone but not lonely as the song says.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I loved living alone and can understand why you choose to do so. I really had to consider carefully before moving in with the man who is now my second husband. Thankfully we enjoy each others company very much so I'm relieved that I've never regretted my decision.

catdownunder said...

I live with my father - he is 89 and needs someone a little more domesticated than he is! We get on well together but it is because we give one another space. We are also content with our own company.
I suspect that is part of the secret to married relationships as well. My father loved my mother very much but he is more relaxed since she died and his friendships and interests have deepened.

Liz Harris said...

My comment is identical to that of Elizabeth Chadwick, down to the year of our wedding, so I need not repeat it.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for (unwittingly) saving me from having to write for myself.

Liz X

Laura Marcus said...

Fascinating stuff! I've been in the same relationship for 23 years and we're very happily unmarried. We have our own places and it works very well. Friends say they envy us. We even book two bedrooms when we go on holiday because we like our space there too.

However... this is much easier if you don't have kids. There's another kind of freedom for another post.