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Worldwide Onelers: China’s Taiko–Nots. August 3, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Look What Google Barfed Up, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, solo travel.
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According to this BBC news article, Chinese taikonauts have to meet a series of criteria in order to go into space, including:

No Bad Breath!

No Body Odor!

No Scars That May Burst Open!

I understand the close confines of the spacecraft and fully support these criteria, having dated a guy with halitosis (though not, thank god, with exploding scars). But wait, there’s another requirement for taikonauts:

Your Spouse Must Approve!

Yes. According to the article,

If a would-be astronaut’s spouse does not like the idea of them going into space they must remain on earth.

So to all you Onely, Singlutionary, Quirkyalone singles out there–whenever anyone asks you why you’re not married, just tell them, “Because I might want to go into space one day.”

Unfortunately, this pithy retort will not work if you are not Chinese. Also, it may not work if you are a woman. The article says,

. . . aspiring ‘taikonauts’ will get nowhere without marital approval. Wives get the final say under the new rules.

Looks as if only the husbands are going into space. But at least they will enjoy each others’ breath.

Copious Readers, if you were a taikonaut and your spouse (read: wife) did not allow you to go into space, would that sound the death knell for the marriage? Have you ever been in a CREAPY (committed romantic ever-after partnery) relationship where your significant other forbid you to do something? How did you handle it?



1. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles - August 3, 2009

Well, I’m a woman, but if the situation were reversed, no, it probably wouldn’t end my marriage if my husband didn’t want me to go into space, but I suspect it would cause major anger and resentment if it was a lifelong dream.

I’ve never had a partner “forbid” me from doing something. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. I’d probably tell him in no uncertain terms that when I gave him my commitment as a partner, I didn’t also give him my free will.

onely - August 3, 2009

That’s kind of what I meant. . . the marriage is effectively over if there’s resentment, right? = )

Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles - August 11, 2009

Well, for me, no. In long-term relationships, there’s bound to be resentment over different things over the years. If I made the commitment of marriage, I would also feel committed to trying to find a way to forgive and move past that resentment. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to in the end, but I would certainly try.

To be honest, this particular scenario is hard for me to imagine because I’ve never had a lifelong dream that involved putting myself in physical danger. I think that makes this kind of pursuit qualitatively different than wanting to be a rock star or an Olympic champion or something else that might inconvenience the spouse but wouldn’t result in him or her becoming a young widow(er). So in this particular scenario, I’d probably find it a lot easier to empathize with and forgive my spouse than I would if he didn’t want me to pursue something for shallow or materialistic reasons such as financial costs, an unwanted move, or something similar. It probably would take awhile to move past it, though, and I know we’d both have to be committed to working at it.

2. Sixty and Single in Seattle - August 3, 2009

Wait a minute, now, do we know how long these guys are going to be gone? Because what about when it’s their turn to do dishes? Would you want to stay home without sex for 20 years raising the kids and doing the housework? Whether you’re a man OR a woman? Me neither. (Unless the halitosis is REALLY bad….)

onely - August 3, 2009

Oh, hey, good point…… though you’re pretty much guaranteed not to get caught cheating if your spouse is out in space… not like he’s going to come home from work early one day!

3. Singlutionary - August 3, 2009

huh. well, I might want to go to space one day! (I laughed out loud at that —thanks Christina)

So yes. It always wise to check in with the folks who are closest to you before making a major life decision. Its always good to take that into consideration. But, I figure that if these guys (and I guess they ARE all guys) are good people, they’ve already thought of that. And if they are thoughtful, they found a spouse who might even enjoy the separation. If you’re in the military, you’re gonna marry someone who can handle the separation. And if you marry someone in the military, you better consider what you’re signing up for.

If only spouses had to give permission for their partner’s deployment. Ha!

Still, if I were in a relationship and the other party said “No, you may not go out into the desert and build adobe houses by hand”, I might have to just build an adobe house over the place where I burried that relationship.

Of course, marriage is different. Its harder to walk away from. I don’t think I would ever marry someone (if i even ever marry) who wouldn’t support my dreams. Ideally, we’d go build adobe houses by hand together. Or he would stay in the city and raise the funds for me to raise the rafters.

4. autonomous - August 4, 2009

I’m curious as to why permission is required when this seems to be the point of the career choice all along….I would think that it would be a deal-breaker going in if the future spouse didn’t fully support the career or dream. Unless it’s the classic scenario of someone marrying potential and then demanding change.
This is so annoying to me; because like a military spouse, you kind of know what you’re getting into when you marry someone specialized in a career field like an astronaut, taikonaut, soldier, doctor, restaurateur etc..

Courtship: “Ooh how fascinating, you want to go to space!”
Marriage: “You want to do what? You’re going to leave me with the house and kids and all alone for how long?…I don’t think so!”

Like wife didn’t know this was a possibility? Who wants to be an astronaut who doesn’t go to space? Or a surgeon who doesn’t spend long long hours in the ER?

I’ve never been forbidden to do anything that I can remember, but at the first whiff of a controlling man, I’m out. In my experience it leads to some form of abuse and misery later on and I simply won’t take that chance.

Anecdotally: I have a friend who is often asked when her husband is going to “settle down” and how she can possibly be happy with so much change all the time or how can she “let him” do what he does- her answer is simple: she knew exactly who the man was when she married- not some potential ideal version, and so she willingly chose to share the life they lead.

5. Lauri - August 4, 2009

Why is it only the spouse’s opinion that matters? What if one of your friends or family members forbids you to go to space? Once again, the spouse trumps all other relationships…

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