I’m married to an entrepreneur. He cannot go a day without generating ideas on how to improve a business and it’s processes. He is always thinking about new business ventures and ways to diversify our careers. He is also a musician and can pick up any instrument and play it. Basically I married a genius. It took a little time to not be jealous of all of his talents. However, he sees my talents and he values them. He is always there encouraging me and working hard to make sure that I have a career that I love. His constant cheerleading makes up for any jealousy that I once had. You see, he and I both find the best in one another and we magnify the good so that any of our weird quirks are diminished.
I’ve written many times about the greatness of my marriage and every single time I wonder how I got so lucky. There are many friends of mine who got married with the same dream as mine: forever. For many of them forever didn’t last and I’ve watched marriage after marriage collapse under pressure. I’ve also been unlucky enough to have walked through a divorce but that didn’t change my outlook on monogamy. (Here is that story) The pressure comes in every form of bombardment of everyday life. Money, abuse, jealousy, infidelity, apathy, selfishness, and lack of real commitment are just a few reasons that marriages fail. It takes strength and commitment to one another every single day to make a marriage work.
Marriage is never 50/50.
Somedays you will do 90% and your spouse will do 10% of the work and other days you’ll do 10% while they give 90%. The sad thing is that our society has given us a free pass on commitment. We’ve fallen in love with the idea of being in love instead of realizing that love is something much deeper than the beginning butterflies of a new relationship. Real love is selfless, it’s work, it’s fighting to get through a rough patch and celebrating when you’ve come out of that rough patch. Love takes determination and a willingness to admit that your wrong when you are wrong. Love is not gloating when your spouse admits they’re wrong and you don’t keep those wrongs on a score sheet, you forgive them. Falling in love is something you do once and maintaining that love is something you should strive for every single day.
Monogamy isn’t treasured like it used to be.
That is obvious when you think about our wedding traditions. Think about the bachelor or bachelorette parties. You get together with a group of your friends. Ladies wear clothing that leaves little to any imagination and wear sashes stating that they are the bride to be but not married yet. Heading to the bar wearing a penis as a necklace, they get drunk and grind their bodies against people that they have no intention on ever seeing again. Men are treated to a night out getting hammered while having lap dances. These are sad customs and it is no wonder people have forgotten that marriage is something to be revered, cherished, and protected.
“To put in plainly, as divorce rates indicate, human beings haven’t been able to fully adapt to our skyrocketing life expectancy. Our biology and psychology aren’t set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades.”
Not long ago there was a story about another failed Hollywood marriage and the verbiage they use is “Consciously Uncoupling”. I read more about the therapists that coined that phrase and I am utterly amazed that so many people have bought into that idea. Basically the therapist says that we as humans are not meant to be monogamous. We’ve evolved to live much longer than our ancestors and we have the capability to have several healthy long term relationships throughout our lives. I can’t figure out why we’ve bought into the lie that we can’t have a lifetime relationship. Ironically the woman who coined the phrase “Conscious uncoupling” is also the author of a book called “The One” that teaches you how to find a relationship that will last a lifetime. Hmmm…It’s interesting how she puts down monogamy to those who want out of marriage while selling monogamy to those who desire a mate for life.
Temptation to live for ourselves is all around us.
I saw an Instagram post by someone last week that was a text conversation. She said “Well I have a nice view of a hipster and his wedding ring” The reply was “Eh. Wedding rings are just speed bumps.”
People viewing a wedding ring as a speed bump is nothing but selfishness. This woman in her mind would not care if she ruined a family in order to get laid. And let’s face it, that’s what our society thinks is important. “Sex sells” is shouted from every ad firm across this nation and we’ve bought it and now all we want is more. I for one do not want more meaningless sex. What I want more of is respect. How about we have respect for others and for ourselves? I want my girls to know that they can command respect but that they must also give it. That requires them to have value and self worth and our society isn’t interested in marketing those values. Therefore it is up to Daniel and I to give them roots to be grounded, wings to soar, and hearts that commit.
I had a great example of a loving lifetime relationship with my parents. They were married for 37 years when my dad died. At any point they could have called it quits (and had plenty of bumps in the road) but they had a deep affection for their commitment and most of all they loved one another as if they were only half a person who became whole when they said I do. The loss of my father took an immeasurable toll on my mom but she has persevered through the grief. They each mated for life and I have a such admiration for that love and commitment.
I don’t think marriage and monogamy has to be this elusive thing that only a very few people get to have. I do think it takes looking at your partner as a part of you. It takes hard work, commitment to love and trust, and it takes being selfless in a selfish world. I look at my man who I’ve had the privilege of spending the last 15 years with and I couldn’t be happier with our continued commitment to love, honor, and cherish each other for as long as we both shall live.