I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this morning. Sometimes I get an idea the evening before- ususally while I'm watering the flowers. Sometimes, for some unknown reason, I wake up with an idea. Other days, I drink coffee and read my email until an idea forms in my little brain. This morning my topic was boldly printed on the MSN homepage:"Go to Bed Angry- 5 New Rules for Wedded Bliss". Wedded bliss? Isn't that an oxymoron?
I read the article and it offers some sound advice about marriage myths and the realities of long-term marriage. However, I think the media usually contributes more to the myths than to the realities. And the biggest myth of all is that marriage will be "bliss" or "happy ever-after". Don't get me wrong- I'm happily married. But every moment of my marriage hasn't been happy. Therein lies the difference. As the article pointed out, most people are happy to be married. We enjoy the companionship and the security and the intimacy. But being with another person for hours each day takes compromise and negotiation. Being with another person for decades takes work! It takes commitment.
It's interesting to me that most young people think their marriage relationship will be easier than their other relationships because they are "in love". Love is a feeling. Love is what helps us choose another person as our companion. But love doesn't make us agree on how to raise our children or buy a house or even choose a movie. Marriage is a daily exploration of who we are and what we believe. Most couples never discuss a fraction of the issues that will arise during their marriage.
I've been married for 36 years. I know couples who have been married for 60 years and I've seen couples on the news who are still married after 80 years, so my number isn't impressive. However, the fact that I'm still looking forward to more years with the same man says something about our relationship. We have a good partnership. We are close, but independent. We have some similarities and some glaring differences. That's what keeps marriage interesting.