So what is it? I've done it twice myself. The first time, I didn't care for it .... lol. Believe me I knew - really KNEW - my first marriage was not going to last. I married because it was 'time' - it was what I 'should' do - it was what a woman of that era was expected to do. I'll admit it, I felt the pressure of societies expectations. What I learned from those 5 years was invaluable. I learned I would rather be alone than be in an unhappy marriage. I learned some of what I wanted and a lot of what I needed. I learned what I did NOT want in a partner. All of these epiphanies were very clear to me the day following the big wedding! I had obviously lied to myself about the entire relationship. I literally felt ill. It took me 5 years to muster up the guts to leave.
"Love", the north american concept, is actually a very new way of thinking in the overall scheme of things. Traditionally, marriages were organized to bring more prosperity into a family, expand it's holdings, or in some way make it more powerful. Marriages were carefully planned and orchestrated, and served a particular purpose. In many countries it is still expected marriages will be arranged. Love was never considered.
Well, it is here! Everyone wants to fall in love and get married. Is it realistic? Will it happen to every single person? Will it last a lifetime. Is it even a little realistic to EXPECT 'love' to last a life time in this day and age. What is love anyway? What's your definition? We are better educated, have more freedom of choice, are extremely mobile, are capable of thinking for ourselves, have strong opinions, want what we want, have high expectations in regard to just about everything .... so how can we dreamily believe in a fairytale marriage which will surely last a 'lifetime'? Is it wishful thinking? Is it hope? Is it family of origin conditioning? Does our society still expect it to a large degree? Is it the human need for companionship? Is it our need to procreate? Is it a basic need for family? We are very good at ignoring the facts indicating all odds are against it. "Oh, it will never happen to me." ... Are we in complete denial?
So when we figure that one out, my next question is .... why do so few couples make it for an entire lifetime? Do we expect too much? Do we expect the love we have in the beginning to remain unchanged? Do we not realize relationships change and evolve - we grow together for awhile - then apart for awhile - we need to constantly 'tweek' a relationship. When times get tough - do we simply cut and run? Does the 'work' scare us to death? Are we not willing to do the work to get through the hard times so we can move forward to the good times again? Why aren't we taught to deal with the ebb and flow of love? We're told, "We just want you to be happy!" .... no one teaches us how! What is 'happy' anyway???? I don't have the answers, however, I seem to have the questions today!
Today, I questioned how two people could treat each other with such disrespect? How they could hurt each other at that level and not seem to 'feel' anything. They didn't seem to be aware it was happening. Are they numb? Are they conditioned? Do they treat each other this way all the time? Have they become so used to it, it seems normal to them? Questions, and more questions. My big question .... Is life worth living if it has to be that way? In my mind the answer is a definite NO!
When I married the second time, it was for all the right reasons. We were the love of each others lives. I am so very privileged to have experienced that depth of love with another human being. It still didn't last beyond 19 years, and we had so much going for us. Who knows what it's all about. Life is complicated.
What do I know for sure? I know I will not marry again. When I choose to be in a relationship it will be very different. I will never give 100% of myself. I'm too independent now. Two residences would be perfect. I like my space. We would, no doubt have mutual interests. Exploring those together would be fun. I love to share. Oh, and I don't do laundry!
WHAT MAKES MY HEART SING“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always
with the same person.”