- 6 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012
this is wonderful.
this is wonderful.
I don’t see what’s so revolutionary about this article. It seems like it should be a no-brainer for anyone who’s been in a relationship for longer than a few years.
Marrying for love is a pretty new idea– we’ve only been doing it for a couple hundred years. Historically, people married for social and economic reasons; if they grew to love their spouse over time, that was great, but that wasn’t the whole point of getting married. Back then, people pretty much only got a divorce if they couldn’t have kids together and people only started pushing for more divorces *after* romantic marriage gained a foothold. There’s a reason for that!
I think it is – and isn’t – a choice. I’d lean more toward a ‘choice’ at least later on in the pairing. You have your initial draw, the Honeymoon high, and so on. Seems that starts to dip around the two-year mark for many couples…sometimes sooner.
I’ll never forget a friend of mine gushing about his boyfriend. Everything was so exciting! So fun! So grand! I’d been with my now-husband longer, and we never really had that phase in our relationship…basically hit the ground running with the practicality.
My friend was enjoying endless vacations with a boyfriend who had been on medical leave from the army for a few years, and he was still drawing a full salary while sitting around at home. New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco – they saw a lot in less than 2 years together.
Every month, they were going somewhere (sometimes two or three trips a month, with maybe half being local). And I still remember when the boyfriend was officially discharged from the army. The money started sinking and the vacations stopped. My friend started bitching about the daily monotony – washing dishes, “getting nothing” for it.
His boyfriend’s affinity for all things alcohol soon became a burden in light of less money. Then he was convinced that the boyfriend was an alcoholic.
Our friendship ended, but I wasn’t surprised to hear recently that my old pal was heading off across the country, apparently leaving the old boyfriend behind.
Few of us can really absorb the gravity of decades of our lives spent in marriage. That between the euphoric highs – the wedding day, the birth of children, the birth of grandchildren and so on – that it is a lot of lows or baselines in between. Scrubbing floors, washing dishes, managing difficult bosses, working out finances, disagreeing over how to handle the kids.
I remember looking out the window, waiting for my husband to come pick me up for dates when we first started going out. It was a lot of fun and talking. Then we got married. Do I still love my husband? Yes. But there are more disagreements now. There’s more work for both of us now. It’s a bigger political game, navigating the needs and wishes of both sides of our families.
Do I long for the ‘simpler’ times we had? Where it was, frankly, mostly just fun? Yeah, I do. It was an easier love, certainly. I still love my husband – but certainly it’s tempered by the practicalities I’ve talked about. It’s more of a choice now.
Because it’s basically going to end up the same way if I hop ship and marry someone else. Sooner or later, that burning fire gradually wanes to warm embers. We’ll still have bills to pay; families to handle, and so on.
I’m happy enough with my husband. I love him – but I choose to stay with him and choose to love him going forward. It’s not easy. It’s never easy, of course. Those disagreements where you’re gritting your teeth and you’d sooner be off by yourself going on an amazing vacation.
You take the good with the bad. That’s what “love is a choice” is about. You stay realistic about it.
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