Long before I married, my mother looked at me and said, "I have no doubt you're going to have a good life whether or not you marry."
The other night I was on the phone with my husband. It was late and I was returning from an evening of volunteering at the local rescue squad. The road home was a misty county road out of my response area. As I came over a hill, I nearly hit a vehicle. It was sideways in the dark with a person clutching the side. I saw another vehicle in a field, and a third surrounded by people. Startled I said to my husband, "Oh no! I have to go." Without further ado I hung up on him.
Once I had determined that fire, EMS, and police had all been called, I did the basic things that any first responder is trained to do, and then I waited. Once the emergency services personnel showed up and I handed off patient care and stepped back. Standing on the side of the road, bathed in engine flood lights and the blue of police lights, I chatted with members of the engine company.
Out of the darkness (and I would swear the night parted for him) strode my husband. He moved with a militaristic sense of purpose. When he got across the road to me, he said simply, "Are YOU okay?" His finger pointed at my chest. I nodded. He then pointed to where my car was blocked by the ambulance. "Is your car okay?" Again I nodded. "Okay", he said satisfied, "I'm going home."
While I did apologize for hanging up the way I did, I have been glowing for a week. When I couldn't answer my phone, my husband came, found me, and made certain I was safe. There is no doubt in my mind that, as long as he is able, he will make my life secure in ways I would not be able to do for myself.
My mother is right: I would have had an interesting life even if I was unmarried. However she was also correct that marriage, when thoughtfully entered into, has its own set of dynamic blessings.
I pray for women to have the bravery to wait for someone who will be willing to come out of the darkness just to verify that they are okay.
Or, as you say… swim through shark infested waters.
It is worth the wait.