Today in USA Today there is an article in the Life section that talks about women who have never been married. It isn’t a very in depth look at the situation, but it’s interesting.
I’ve almost always been married. I got married in my late teens and now I’m in my late 40’s. I can say it feels like I’ve always been married! 🙂 Over the years marriage has meant a lot of different things to me. When I was a young married woman I have to tell you, it was tough being yoked to another person. It’s frightening. I actually felt like I was losing my own personal identity sometimes and I can imagine that that feeling could drive other marriages apart!
After my husband and I were married for a few years we accommodated one another. Isn’t that a terrible way to say it? We put up with each other. There were perks of course, like there was usually someone to talk to, or to help with the kids when we had them, but if anyone were to ask either of us I think we sometimes felt more like brother and sister than romantic partners!
As the children got older our relationship changed again. As we were more involved in our children’s activities there was less time for intimate conversations and we didn’t get much chance to think about time for the two of us. This was a particularly fragile time in my own marriage.
So we started out as young pups in love, we moved to living as brother and sister and then we became “super parents” living like the proverbial two ships passing one another in the night. This story isn’t a glowing account of a super marriage is it?
Last night, at a pizza parlor, my husband reached across the table, grabbed my hand and said he loved me. See, we had been talking about our 29 years together. My eyes were glazed and he saw what I was feeling and he scooped up my hands that were struggling to convey what I couldn’t say. And when he said ” I love you” I felt connected to him in a way that I can’t explain. In truth, I doubt most married couples could define it.
Love for me, is that bonded feeling. I could say that I have a list of requirements that are necessary for “true love” but that would be ridiculous. Love isn’t something that you own, or that you experience because someone else says to you ” I love you.” It isn’t that simple. You don’t love someone because of how they look, or who they are even! There is a bond that is inexplicable that melds two people together. They can hurt one another, and they can lose one another, and they can forget they love each other if they don’t actively work at it- but I think once you love someone, well, you just do.
Marriage isn’t an institution that makes love easy. There is no magic in having a ring on your finger. Filing taxes jointly doesn’t make life easier. And it isn’t any indicator of whether adults have a capacity for love. Instead I think it’s a life choice. It’s a really good idea to do it with someone you feel passionate about because it makes it easier sometimes…but I’m sure it would be easier to be married to someone you didn’t care about too sometimes!
I haven’t cleared up a darn thing.
I guess I’m trying to say that life is complicated. It’s both easier and a lot harder to go through it married. It’s a choice.
Personally, I’m in love with my significant other! He’s sort of cute!