Tuesday, January 25, 2005

In the long run....

I decided to write about something that I think of when I'm listening to a particularly meaningful romantic song.

I've been happily married for three years now and love Noddy dearly. Often I ask myself - what keeps the marriage going. More importantly, what will keep it going 25 years from now. Or even more importantly, what can I do to make sure it's going good 25 years from now!

Initially I started out with, "You better always love her". That was okay for a while but then something else was working that wasn't just love. Something more than that was going on and I struggled to find out what it was. Now, I'm one of those morons who like to figure things out on their own. So if you already know this, I am not a bit surprised.

Anyway, not to digress, love is definitely a core element in a marriage. But it does not help keep the marriage afloat all by itself. I see couples around me going through divorce and saying, "We just couldn't get along but still love each other". These aren't celebrity couples I'm talking about - whom I wouldn't trust with my $3.49 pet fish, let alone my heart. These are real people in our real world.

Thus comes in a term called "committed companionship". Once you've got love and you've got committed companionship, you're set for life. Love refers to the feeling of loving and being loved and the joy that it brings. Committed companionship refers to putting up with annoyances, the good, the bad and the really really bad and still wanting to be together as "companions". You look at couples in their eighties and you wonder - that's so good, what kept them together. And the truth seems to be - they just want to be with each other. Period. There's nothing more to it. The companionship holds them together so strongly that they do not want to give up on each other and are willing to put up with irritating habits and traits no matter how persistent those are.

That's what a marriage needs. That's what a committed relationship needs - the willingness to not just love the good, but also work through what is bad. I know exactly the reasons why I fell in love with Noddy. However, very few of those reasons are on the top 10 list of why I am still in love with her. Anyone can easily adjust to what is good about someone else. We did that with roommates when in college. The fights started when I had to tell my roommate to wash the dishes so that we could all see what a kitchen sink looks like. Perhaps one of my top reasons for wanting to stay married to Noddy is knowing that she will give me a hand if I'm sinking fast and deep, even if that might sink her. That's what it takes in addition to love - a willingness and a dedication to give it all, go through it all and still survive as a pair. You let go of those hands when things are going wrong, and you've basically taken a giant step backwards. A step that is reversible but takes a lot of effort. I'm not talking about putting up with absolutely everything absurd. If you're a wife-beater you deserve to not only be deserted, but also to be left naked in Alaska with a very large polar bear (that will straighten you up quicker than stupid anger management sessions). It's not that black and white. Realize what is reasonable for sustaining the relationship and make that adjustment. It's worth it.

Truth be told, it isn't that hard to be in a committed companionship. It just takes getting used to. You will sometimes feel like saying, "Argh !! Why don't you just stop doing this and we can BOTH be happy". But on the same token, are you willing to give up one of your own extremely annoying pet peeves? Maybe not. And rightly so. Giving up these things takes away a lot of your individualism and may change you into a person you dislike. That's why a better approach is to shake hands and stick together as a team - a team that will need to play together for many many years regardless of how many matches you win or lose and how mad you get at each other on occasions. Just like the old saying, it's not about the battles, it's about the war. If you win the war, it's immaterial how many mini-battles you lost.


Blogger Jack said...

Wow. I think you and I were thinking along the same thought line yesterday.

I remember talking with a friends mom and she was going through a divorce. She made a comment about there being something better out there. Maybe, or maybe not, but it's sad if she acted on whim.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Sheeshers said...

Whoa!! Very BAD idea to divorce thinking there's someone better out there. That's a big mistake. That's like selling your house to buy a lottery ticket for a trillion dollars. One in a trillion might win and be happy but the rest of the billions just sold out their life. Try and convince her that "better" is really what she has today minus the fresh new car smell that came the day she got married.

by the way, Jack, I can't get to your blog, nor can I access your profile. What's up with your blog. I'd love to read your posts - but can't get to that.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Sheeshers, I agree, but she feels at the age of 40, she's wasting away with her husband. I don't know all the details but her husband seems like he's a real nice guy.

Anyway, you should be able to access the new blog, but the old one I accidently deleted (although you can still view it). If not, it's sanelyfoolish.blogspot.com. Looking forward to seeing you there again.

3:35 PM  
Blogger jody said...

your a nut. I can't seem to get alone with just 1 man. how am i going to juggle 3???

someday i'll find my partner in life, all i know, i refuse to settle.

9:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home