Ever think about why some people stay married (or in relationships) and others don’t?
Well, I do.
I’ve been married for almost 19 years to a not particularly romantic guy. We’ve actually been together for what will be 22 years come May. That’s a loooooooooooooong time.
Before I started dating the young fella who was lucky enough to marry me, I’d never had a relationship longer than 3 months. I used to go for the BAD BOYS. You know the type. The ones who’d say things like:
‘I’m breaking up with you. Its not you, its me.’
‘I know its two weeks before your prom, but I just need a break, ya know, to find myself.’
or, howabout, ‘I need the freedom to follow The Dead. I can’t be worrying if I need to call you or something.’
This was the last one before I met my husband, and the reason I went for a ‘NICE GUY’ finally: ‘Its not that my boss necessarily wants to date me, but its more that my friend says I shouldn’t be so tied down by a girlfriend right now.’
Its evident that I had great taste. In jerks. I could spot them a mile away by their asshole attitude and carefully ripped jeans.
I was having a chat with my manicurist today (I have fake nails and I’m not gonna lie, they’re awesome). She is this absolutely STUNNING Italian woman, who is, at 34, still single. She’s been through the rounds of dating and refuses to settle just to get that white picket fence. She’s not overly picky, and in fact, can’t understand women who are looking, fruitlessly, for the imaginary trifecta comprising the perfect man: money, personality and great abs.
She just wants a fair, respectful, and equal relationship, along with a little love magic, and hasn’t found it yet. Anyways, we were talking about marriage and relationships and why people split up, and why people stay.
‘I think people mistake lust for something that’s permanent,’ she pointed out. ‘That fades, and when its gone, they want to leave. Lust doesn’t last 30 years, but companionship, friendship-those do.’
I agreed. ‘The grass isn’t always greener. What happens when you find a new lust and then in a few years that burns out too. What do you do? Keep leaving?’
We commiserated. Then, I told her what my husband had done for me just that day.
‘This morning, I went to turn my automatic starter on to warm up the car so I wouldn’t have to scrape all the snow off, and you know what the Man did? He cleaned all the snow off the car and moved it into the garage.’
She laughed. ‘That’s amazing. What I’d like to say is Why shouldn’t he? But I know that most men would never have thought to do that.’
‘You’re absolutely right’, I replied. ‘That’s the reason I married him. No matter how annoying he is 43% of the time, he always thinks of me. It’s the small things that remind me why I fell in love with him the first time he kissed me.’
We both sighed.
So, back to the beginning, here’s my take on why people stay and why people leave. Marriage is hard work. Really, its all about being around one person for a long time, and having to make decisions together and raise people, and handle money, and go through ups and downs and love handles and muffin tops and temptation and the green grass on the other side. That stuff is not sexy. And, a lot of sex but no talking, and only caring about yourself and your own happiness just isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Marriage is about compromise, and a lot of thinking about the other person before yourself. When you both do that, everybody is taken care of just fine.
Personally, I think people have got to get a little boring sometimes. Be happy laying in bed together watching TV (I’ve been with this man for 22 years and we have a TV in our bedroom and we’re STILL together). Be happy just hanging out. Be comfortable in your own skins and each others. Don’t hold a grudge, and understand that there is no way in hell you can ever like someone all the time.
Lastly, I’d like to point out to all the men that moving the car into the garage during a snowstorm, that right there turns you into a sex machine more than any abs could ever do. Besides, abs only last as long as you keep doing sit-ups. But, being a Mensch is forever.