Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Here is a dialogue that is as hypothetical as it is real and as often said as it is left unsaid. Take it as you wish...

"You don't love me anymore," said he.

She looked at him long and hard
in what he interpreted to be her calculating gaze.
Finally, she said...
"I cannot lie. Indeed what you say is true.
But I don't hate you, either."


"Do you love me?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, too quickly for it to be true.

"Liar!" she snapped.
"If you really loved me you would want to make me happy
and happy is something I am not."

He contemplated this for a moment.
"Hmmm," he thought.
"'Happy' is not something I or anyone else can give you.
It is a gift that nobody but you can give yourself.
A state of mind."

He had a point.

As they say in chess - Checkmate!

Being married myself I know how hard it is to make it work. And one of the greatest difficulties and barriers is the institution of matrimony itself that is burdened by so many lofty expectations. But if we look at WHY marriages were created we would find that they were originally intended as nothing more than social institutions locked by families after a lengthy bargaining process. They had little to do with happiness. Back then, people weren't interested in finding soulmates. When they wanted something more emotional they took on lovers. The idea that we should be joyful in wedlock is just a relatively new and highly unrealistic notion.

The examples of happy marriages around me are the exceptions rather than the rule and even the joyful ones aren't perfect. Indeed, there's no such thing as a "perfect" marriage. Since realising this I no longer concern myself that much with dialogues such as the one above. But there's always hope...hope that I'm wrong and that it isn't futile to expect so much more.

Feel free to comment. Anyone's 5 cents worth is welcome.

Click here for a song about a PERFECT GOD-LIKE RELATIONSHIP...


Ro Magnolia said...

Before I got married, I had such a jaded attitude towards marriage. So full of fears about how we could possibly make it work when so many others around us couldn't.

Then when we married, I got all focused and determined and read a ton of books and did everything exact to the letter of the law to make sure I would do my best to make this thing WORK!

And then around 8 months into the marriage, I woke up one day (figuratively, not literally) and realized that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill.

This probably sounds really strange because it's sort of the opposite of what everyone tells you, but really I've found that a good marriage is NOT about hard work. I think it's more about choices. Choosing to remember every day that I love this person and that I'm going to choose to keep loving him. The love chapter in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) has been a template for me.

The part that has been hardest for me is "love keeps no record of wrong" and "love always trusts, always hopes". I've had to really work on reconditioning my mind because I would very often falsely interpret something my husband was doing through the filter of my childhood - assuming he was going to do the same things as my father when he is so extremely different than my father. I have to remember to trust my husband and have hope - because he is not like my father and is truly trustworthy.

So I found the working part of marriage for me wasn't actually working on our marriage, but working on myself and my own attitudes. And then the rest just kind of flowed out of that.

But I take nothing for granted - we've only been married for 8 1/2 years now. I still consider us "green" and unproven so I try to watch those people around me who have been happily married for many years and sort of "spy on them" to try and figure out what it is they are doing that makes it so successful. I didn't have a good model of marriage in my home growing up so I constantly am looking for good role models to learn from.

I have actually been known to stop an elderly couple and ask them right out how they have so much love for each other and how long they have been married. You would be surprised how delighted they all are that someone is asking them! And they are so pleased when I tell them that they stood out in a crowd to me because it is so beautiful to see the love they have for each other written on their faces. So I'm constantly on the hunt, looking for people like that, hoping that some of their secret will rub off on me. :)

Purple Cow said...

it is interesting that your husband is not like your father, neither is mine (unfortunately for me)...they say however that we reproduce in our minds a situation we have been used to since childhood. my husband is a bit like my mother...does your husband reproduce a situation you grew up with?

truth is, before having kids married life was easier. once we had kids, suddenly two became six in the bedroom... his parents and all the things he expected from a family and my parents and everything I had been exposed to suddenly entered the picture. SABOTAGE!

You say marriage is not "hard work" but reading tomes of books and interviewing "happy marrieds" and all the thinking is strenuous. The toughest part for me is the loving someone who is real bit...(you know, someone who burps, farts and leaves his wet towel on the freshly made bed)...

I find that the happily married people I know are totally unrealistic. But you are right - they CHOOSE not to see the towel, hear the ugly noises etc etc). Requires so much imagination, don't you think?

PS You are so lucky to have a POOL! Does it come with a pool boy? ;) (joking)

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi Mary, Any "good" marriage has a lot of dents. Lots of forgiveness, not judging, just being. I struggled with forgiveness, but I realized that I couldn't give anything worthy without it. I was too busy protecting myself, hurting more people than I realized. I got over it and been married to Dave for 31 years and still having a good time. It's a choice. Sandy:O)

Ro Magnolia said...

Interesting thought - I'd have to say that my husband is to some degree a melding of my 3 brothers. If I had married younger, I think I probably would have ended up with someone more like my father. My sister married young and found a very similar man - controlling, mentally and verbally abusive, just wrapped up in a much more modern package than my father.

Just for the record, I love my father very much, but I have had to accept him for the way he is, imperfect and flawed and I suppose a product of his own very crazy Italian family that was driven by a ultra controlling mother who used heavily-laden guilt and extreme temper tantrums to get her 14 children to behave the way she wanted them to, even to picking their mates for them, their jobs for them, etc. It's no wonder my father is a mysogynist.

P.S. LOL at the pool boy remark! :D

Robin said...

I am only commenting to let you know that I have read this and I think it is good that you are asking the questions. I also agree with Ro ~ I do think that it is a daily choice. She posted a thoughtful response. Since I have had no success with relationships, I don't have any good answers.

Kaber Vasuki said...

This happens with my girlfriend sometimes.. We've this system of acceptance however so if one of us has no mood to talk or listen, we just let it be. A few weeks back college got over and now we're both at our respective homes and long distance is so difficult.. !!!