Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Take on Marriage

What do I think of marriage?  It's great.  That is my opinion today.  What I think most days, is it's a lot of work.  My husband will say the same.  Thankfully, it's work we both enjoy.  We had both been around enough to know that going in. It's compromises, concessions, and work to share your life with someone. It's a choice, and a privilege that not everyone gets to enjoy.  I think it takes 2, maybe more, to make it work- only 1 to make it not work.  I won't say fail, because I think if people look back on a marriage that didn't last till "death do us part",  there are still a lot of good and fun memories, and maybe even kids- so, in my opinion that's hardly failing.  That's a choice as well that yields its own compromises, concessions and rewards.
     I like my husband as well as love him.  
We have a lot of similarities, and quite a bit 
of differences.  The big one, politics.  For those
that James Carville's and Mary Matalin's marriage
befuddles them- I can say that it does cause some 
debates, but we know we're never gonna change 
each other, (nor do we wish to) and for the most
part get why the other votes the way they do and
enjoy the enlightening each of us bring.  We've 
been together for nearly 16 years, and I can 
honestly say, he still makes me smile and usually
laugh almost every day.  Most the time it's even 
intentional.







     I know better, than to say "we will never  divorce."  I hold the belief of "never say never" unless you are prepared for fate to bite you in the bum.  Still, I am very sure of "us".  We both are dreamers and get that about each other, and support each other in it.  That's a BIG thing. It's not always easy trying for the dreams; but if not now, when?  We both are of the mindset that we didn't want ever think, "what if?"  Thankfully we both also understand what has to be done in the mean time; lots of work, lots of bills.  We communicate, and muddle through.  So far, so good.  Sharing your life with a dreamer, when you  are not one, I think would prove to be challenging and probably a lot of rolling your eyes.  On the opposite side of the boat, sharing your life with someone who is practical and entirely rational doesn't sound like much fun to me. So, as the saying goes, "to each his/her own."

                   

     I have seen many different types of marriage.  The Bodeans have a song entitled "The Strangest Kind."  I think it kinda encapsulates my thoughts, at least on my parents' marriage.  They were married for close to 38 years.  They were oil and water, on a lot of things.  At one point, I begged Mom to divorce Dad.  She would never hear of it.  I just didn't get their reasons for staying married.   A lot of yelling, and they knew how to get each other riled up, which it seemed to me they both relished in.  To be honest, I never really aimed to get married.  However, when I met my husband, things changed.  He was fun, funny, and the smartest man I ever met.  After all, he asked me to marry him.  Nevertheless I remember at my wedding, looking at my parents and thinking how glad I was they were still together.  After Mom died and I began to go through her things, I came across old letters from Dad when they were dating, along with cards they exchanged during their marriage.  It wasn't till then I realized how much they loved each other.  Yea, they yelled and argued, but I know now, that nothing went unsaid, nothing got bottled up, and for them, that worked.

      As for the option of divorce, I am naive, but I view that as a choice as well.  Other than extreme cases of abuse, where it is a necessity,  as I said before, one that will yield its own consequences and concessions.  As far as we know, we only live once, and I believe that everyone needs to work to be happy.  I have several friends that have gone through divorce for about as many different reasons, as friends have for remaining married.  "For the kids" is a reason I have heard for both; staying married and getting divorced.  Frankly, I think your kids will blame you for messing up their lives either way.  Hopefully though, they'll also thank you for a few things along the way.  After all, just as our parents, for the most part, we do the best we can.

      My daughters are young, so hopefully it will be several years before they entertain the idea of marriage; although there are days they tell me their latest prospects.  Hopefully, when the time comes, I will be able to impart much more motherly wisdom.  For now, I would share this tip, that I figured out several years ago.
     Focus on what you need in a partner for life, rather than what you want.  When we're young, we all hope to marry the prince, or the maiden.  We get a little older and we cling to these hopes and add a touch of spice to the ideal for excitement.  Then after kissing a few frogs so to speak, we figure out a few things.  Money comes and goes; youthful good looks fade, or require a heck of a lot of maintenance, and that spice, well that sometimes leads to, good stories to tell our friends, after the clean up.  You figure out that a good sense of humor and fun goes a lot further than, well it goes a long way.  It's great for the "better", and helps you get through the "worse".
      In the words of the prophet James William Buffett, here's hoping you find your way to "live happily ever after, every now and then."
       


If you liked this, you'll probably get a kick out of Marriage: Take 2.