Why do married people read Tom’s newsletter? Some because they are Partially-married people.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Why, over the past six months, have more than the usual number of married people subscribed to this newsletter?
It surprises me how many married people read it in the first place. There's no way to estimate the number, but from the comments and email I've received over the last five years of writing it, I estimate 20 percent of our subscribers are married.
Why do married people read a column originally intended for singles? For lots of reasons. But a new reason may be emerging: the economy.
Yesterday, on AOL news (2008), there was an article by Amanda Lee Myers and Christine Armario titled "Economy Forces couples to stay together." The article talked about couples who remain living under the same roof because in today's economy, they can't afford to live in separate households.
For people who want or would like to date, but are still married or still living with their ex's, I call them, for lack of a better term, partially-married.
Frances, a teacher, is one of them. She e-mailed: "I'm married, my life could be better. I'll read anything."
Anything? Yikes, I hope this e-letter goes beyond the "anything" category. Frances admits she reads it in anticipation of becoming single and considers herself to be married only by law.
Another woman recently subscribed who falls under the partially-married category. She lives in California while her husband lives with his girlfriend on the East Coast. She said, "We've been separated for 14 years. We even have a separation agreement. He's been wonderful to me. I have a serious illness and we've stayed married so I can continue receiving his health insurance. I've even met his girlfriend. I don't know what I would do if he divorced me."
Married people who cheat on their spouses don't fall into the partially-married category. They'd come under the "low-life" category. We're only including ones who are being forced to remain together due to financial reasons.
Partially-married people may have a hard time finding someone willing to date them. Can you imagine going to a woman's home on a date and having her introduce you to her husband? And him saying, "Make yourself at home. There are some cold ones in the refrigerator."
Many married people tell me the newsletter encourages them to appreciate their spouses more. They aren't in the partially-married category.
Don, married for 27 years, said, "My wife and I read your column because it reminds us to appreciate each other, and how good we have it as a couple. Dating today would be difficult."
Teri, said: "I'm a happily married long-time reader of your column-it's interesting and good advice for us married folks, too. The column reminds all of us to cherish those we love and to not take them for granted."
Anne, 62, married, said: "The personal experiences shared by your readers help me feel connected to other seniors. Your column reminds me of tactful ways to keep my own identity and boundaries."
Other married people read the column "in case life changes for them."
Elaine suggested some married people read it "Just in case they may find themselves divorced or widowed and on their own."
Steve said, "I married late and dated a lot beforehand. So, I'm interested in what singles are up against now."
Teresa, a married women attending graduate school, wrote, "With women living as long as they do, I could end up single again, and need good advice."
Some married people read it because their marriages are on shaky ground.
Joyce, a widow, living in the Midwest, met a man online. When they married a few months later, she felt they were compatible in every way.
She said, "We talked, or so I thought, about everything, but failed to discuss one important area: Finances!"
Joyce said the initial years' chemistry and magic are starting to fade. She is questioning the wisdom of her marriage as she watches her assets dwindle, not only from the sagging economy, but more importantly to her, because she pays for most everything while he contributes little.
Among other reasons, Joyce reads the column for guidance as she ponders her future.
And some married people, just maybe, read the column because it's entertaining and riveting. While no one has told me that yet, my married friend John, who frequents my Dana Point, California, deli, took a stab at it, but came up a little short: "In your early years you wrote with pathos and were a bit whiny; my wife Cory and I almost felt sorry for you."
Perhaps now that I've been in a relationship with Greta for 18 years, he'll tell me I've matured and the newsletter is now entertaining and informative. I see him in the deli often, but I'm still waiting to hear him say so.
Married people read this column for a variety of reasons. What's yours? Send a return email and let us know.