When marriage doesn’t work

Georgia Gavala was 24 when she gave birth to Philippos, now 9. She had not planned to be an unwed mother, but became pregnant in her final year of university. «I did not worry too much about whether his father and I suited each other. We were planning to get married, but a crisis in our relationship made me change my mind. I realized that a marriage wouldn’t work,» she said. Gavala said her parents supported her, but when Philippos was 40 days old, her mother had to go back to the family home in Santorini. Some time later she met another man with whom she had a relationship for seven years and whom Philippos considers his second father. He spends weekends with his biological father. «When I sent Philippos to school, I realized he was not in a minority, so there were no reactions that could have caused problems.» The only condescension she herself has encountered has been from civil servants. «But I have learnt to deal with that,» said Gavala, who says the exhaustion of doing everything herself is the worst problem. «Although I know now that I don’t fit into the marriage mold, I haven’t decided whether I have done the right thing, whether to be proud of myself or whether I have wasted my life.»