As landmark wedding anniversaries arise, the husbands’ thoughts may turn nostalgically to the amount of hair they had in their wedding photos, the lovingly polished shotgun in the bride’s father’s hands during the vows or how high the Chicken Cordon Bleu at the reception bounced if you threw it really hard at the floor.
My wife often asked me, after we were first engaged, “How can I be sure you’re the one?” I showed her my driver’s license but that didn’t seem to do the trick. So I just responded, “Well, we can always get divorced.” For some reason, that had just the opposite effect I’d intended.
Are we wired for marriage or is it an unnatural state…like Alaska? For human beings, the drive for survival is primary though the the drive for sex (which is a part of that) is not only nearly as powerful on it’s own, it is also a drive that sometimes needs to be made late at night after a drunken “booty call”.
Women are often described as having a nesting instinct while men are often described as being hunter-gatherers. That does explain why guys often come home with a look of pride and victory when carrying in a bucket of KFC. The question is, might marriage necessarily present a conflict between the basic instincts of men and women? Or does conflict simply stem from two individuals trying to merge their distinct sensibilities and lives…or maybe just their furniture (geting rid of a husband’s worn out La-Z-Boy is listed as one of the most frequent causes of divorce)?
Sex for men is an external thing that can be devoid of any feeling. Especially when using a condom. For women, sex is literally an internal thing…at least for a few minutes. So there is a physiological argument that could be made as to why, in some instances, men may not feel emotion towards the one with whom they’re having sex…but guys, using that as an excuse for suggesting to your wife that you have a ménage à trois with her sister would still be a major miscalculation.
What would be the typical woman’s ideal marriage and would it be possible to have it without the man having a heart attack? What would be the typical man’s ideal marriage and aside from violating polygamy laws, would it be realistic or considerate to expect one’s wife to cook bacon naked?
In the end, I am very happy to be married to my wife and for all the years we’ve spent together…and all the adventures we have ahead of us.
Just don’t tell her sister.
Quite frankly, I get tired of the Conderella-esque subject of “the one”.
Yeah, I have heard the whole soul-mate thing. It is especially hilarious coming from the mouth of a devout atheist, believe me.
The whole concept of “the one” is a set-up. It provides an easy out for people who don’t want to commit time and energy to creating a real relationship.
The other catch-phrase I see being abused these days is “I want someone to share my life with”. Every person I have heard spout this in the last two months doesn’t mean it. What they really mean, going by their behavior and self-centered attitudes, is “I want somebody to be interested in what I am interested in – and then shut up about their own irrelevant stuff.”
Relationships are about relating to and with another person. If a person can’t do that, or comprehend it, or commit time and energy to it, then I predict a lot of 6 hour marriages in their future.
I haven’t had time to read this post until now – thanks Adlib and congrats to the bride and groom. What wonderful comments from everyone. I had to get my Kleenex out. I wish I knew at twenty what I know now but I guess that would take all the mystery out of life…
As usual, I’m late to the party!
I have no words of wisdom as to how to survive or thrive in a marriage. I had a disastrous 1st marriage that lasted all of 10 months at the age of 19 – and now delight in a wonderful marriage of close to 40 years and counting. You either meet the right person or spend a lifetime trying to find them. Kindness, tolerance of each others foibles, counting to 10 before losing your cool and hopefully realizing that there was nothing to fight over anyway and laughter – lots of it.
Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. AdLib and may you have many, many more anniversaries together
Hope this ‘date’ is as exciting as your first!
Happy anniversary to you and yours, and many, many happy returns!!
Wow! After reading all these comments, I am sort of speechless, but I feel compelled to respond.
First of all, to AdLib, Happiest of Celebrations to you and your bride.
Secondly, wow, again. Reading these comments, I realize after a 40 year marriage of my own, I know little. I was with my husband since we were 14. We married at 18, and I divorced him at the age of 58. Never even kissed another man. My husband was one of the nicest alcoholic, drug addicts you would ever want to meet. I waited patiently almost 40 years for him to get tired of his lifestyle, but even after he survived a ruptured thoraco-abdomino aortic aneurysm, he still didn’t get the message the universe was so miraculously sending him. I literally stood over his bed in the hospital for 10 days, the physicians kept him in a drug induced coma because he was going through withdrawals so bad. I nursed him at my house for two weeks after the surgery. Within that recovery I realized that even with the drastic wake up call for him, he still barely noticed me. That’s when I got my wake up call. I get it. I take full responsibility for my choices in life, I blame no one, I owe no one. Life is so good. My former husband follows me where ever I move, and notices me now, for all the wrong reasons. Because he won’t take responsibility for his choices, he tells everyone “my wife divorced me after 40 years, and I don’t know why”. Now anyone who believes that, well, there’s this bridge in Brooklyn………..
moongal, your ex had several episodes of spectacularly good fortune. Including surviving a ruptured aneurysm and having a wife who stood by him through it all. And still he casts himself as the victim. Unbelievable.
You did well. There are worse things than being alone.
Moongal: I had a 32 year marriage that ended in divorce and there are worse things than being alone. I hear you girl! My husband was a job changer and a drinker and when he wanted to move again and start over at age 50 I just said no. I never knew life could be so free of drama and I’ve never been more at peace. It’s not the life I thought I’d have but it’s the one I’ve got. We are good friends, as we always were, but he moved away and I’m in the same town with my children and grandchildren which is why I refused to move.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY AdLib, I raise my MB mug your way, and wish you both the very best for the rest of your lives together. Cheers Mr.& Mrs. AdLib!!
Getting married was the easiest part, staying together was the journey of my life with mountains and valleys left scattering the decades of emotional landscapes. I think we made it through in one piece.
Hope you have something great planned for tonight, you have my permission to take the night off. 😉
As many here know, I’m from the generation where women had 3 choices in life — get married, become a nurse, or become a teacher.
I always wanted to be a BSN, always; in fact, to this day, at my age, when I walk into a hospital, something comes over me. Goose bumps? Yes. Indescribable? Absolutely! To realize I screwed up in my early years, is beyond a slap in my face.
I’m beyond envious of our dear kes, yet also well aware my mother didn’t want me to be more than that which she achieved. Sad, very sad.
I was raised in an environment where girls/women were considered indentured servants, chattel. Sound familiar? Tea Party? GOP?
My younger brothers were treated differently; seriously, they were.
When I was eleven, the Mom realized she had completely fucked up and all she wanted to do was get out of the house. As a result, she got a part-time job, an escape from whatever she perceived as an encumbrance. She so wanted to escape, she chose me, the oldest @ 11, to be totally responsible for 2 younger siblings and an alcoholic Father, and this is just skimming the surface.
So…you, AdLib, came up in a different environment and family dynamic. That said, so were my daughters. All parents want for their kids that which they didn’t receive for themselves.
I admire your dedication and sensitivity; your parents “done good,” and your wife is truly blessed. 😉
boomer, it’s a brave thing to recognize what went wrong in your youth and resolve to do better, rather than repeat it!
And — as far as that envy thing goes — I’ll just c & p the comment I made to Cher below:
😉 I hear you girly, I hear you…
At first, I thought maybe this video might be inappropriate for this thread, but after watching it in it’s entirety, I think it absolutely belongs here;
Kind of o/t, but I was living in Indianapolis at that time; I will never forget that speech, or that night. It is burned into my brain- the fear, the grief, only to become grief piled on grief..what desperately sad times those were. Pieces of our hearts were murdered with each act.
I think I’m going to excuse myself from further commenting since I’m only 30 and I’ve never even been in a long term relationship let alone married.
OH adlib…After reading all the comments and your post…I’m still crying! I’m such a damn romantic.
Congrats ADLIB to you and your bride. 🙂
May the two of you have a wonderful life together.
Happy Anniversary, however many years. 🙂
My two cents. A good marriage takes work but where do ya get to F@#$ the boss and never get promoted for it.
Adlib I can see that you found one of the keys to a good marriage as well, a good sense of humor. The old saying is true a family that plays together does stay together.
I joke about marriage but anyone who knows me knows that my marriage to an incredible woman is the only reason I’m still alive quite literally and my main purpose in life.
I still believe in marriage. Even though I’ve been divorced for going on 10 years and now with a man who has been divorced 6 years.
I love the idea of two people WORKING together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of their progeny.
I love the concept of two people who compliment one another, helping one another through this thing called life.
I appreciate the work it takes from both parties to be successful and how both contribute to the success of their family.
21 years ago I had the privilege of watching two people, who had spent 40 years together as a married couple, say good-bye for the last time. She, had been very sick with cancer for quite a few years and HE, along with their children, had taken care of her; emotionally, financially and physically.
For forty years; they loved, they fought, had their differences and ‘she’ (often in anger) said she “was going to divorce that man”. He scoffed and made unsavory comments. They bickered, they laughed, they danced, they cried, they fretted over bills and the antics of their five children. They didn’t always see ‘eye to eye’. They took ‘naps’ in the afternoon. :). She sometimes slept on the couch. They punished children, started a few businesses and saw them collapse, took care of relatives, hosted weddings, took care of kids, grandkids and elderly parents, they were there for loved ones, made sacrifices, went bankrupt and dealt with cancer and STAYED together.
They loved each other and were partners in life. The day SHE died, he held her in his arms, and stroked her; placing little butterfly kisses on her forehead as she took her last breaths, all the while, he telling her “it’s ok…its time for you to go, I love you”. It was the most beautiful, poignant moment I have ever had the experience to witness. It was almost voyeuristic, as it was such an intimate moment, between two lovers, two life partners…their youngest daughter, who only 21 at the time, felt uncomfortable watching, as that moment should have been only theirs, so she left the room.
HE cried when she left him. I had NEVER seen HIM cry. HE, a big man, a truck driving teamster and veteran of World War II, cried like a baby when she left him forever. The funeral, his last gift to her, was top of the line. All her favorite flowers, gardenias, filled the funeral parlor with their strong aroma. The dress she wore(of which strangely SHE foretold) he had his daughters SEARCH all over town for and was bought from HER favorite dress shop, suited her to a tee, it was the perfect color for her…a soft pink. He made sure the wig, raven haired, which was purchased (As she had no hair left) to showcase the woman he married and which he still saw; even in her last days, was laid perfectly on her head (I, even, didn’t at first realize it was a wig).
The tombstone he ordered was shaped like a BIG tear drop…and as his real final gift for the lady he loved (who was ridiculously vain, and NEVER, EVER told anyone her REAL age) only showed her day of death and not her day of birth, so that no one would ever know her real age.
(BTW….I just learned her REAL age when my father died in 2003, WHEN I finally got to see her birth certificate…he always kept her secrets).
You almost made this grown man cry too. What a tender love story.
OH…KQaurk…I bawled like a baby writing it.
It really was a wonderful love story, and I was fortunate to have lived through it…THEY really spoiled me. 🙂
All I can say is it took until my second marriage to have that kind of marriage in the making.
AH…Congratulations KQUARK that you have it in the making! 🙂
Oh wow – this is beautiful! I’m so glad you had these parents and that you saw that. It’s what CAN be true when people marry someone the genuinely like as well as love.
My mother was an awful person, almost anyone would tell you that, but my father adored her. He was an atheist all his life, but after she died he asked me, “How will I FIND her when I die?” She ‘visited’ him in his nursing home – he saw her all the time and never felt a disconnect with his beliefs. He needed her. He and I had an amazing conversation about it all, I who am utterly agnostic about “after”, but it was profoundly important to him and led me to provide reassurances that he would not go on without her. It had nothing at all to do with religion, and everything to do with love. If he could love her, this mean-spirited woman, then love is so powerful. He was not stupid or self-deluded, he simply saw the best in her. I love that he loved her. He was happy in her presence, before and after her death, and that kind of love is simply too precious to deny. I hope he found her and she him. I want them both to be happy wherever and however that could be. And if nothing exists after death, then he at least died in peace believing he would find her again. That’s OK, too.
Don’t get me going on my mother. She had to divorce my father after 41 years of marriage because she couldn’t hold back the crazy any longer. Of course he’s never really got over it even though that was 14 years ago. I married someone closer to my mother than I realized the first time but I was lucky not to repeat that mistake with my second marriage.
Actually Choicelady, your father and mother’s story is beautiful too. The fact that HE loved her despite her faults is so beautiful and truly speaks to the power of love.
Reading your story brought tears to my eyes.
I know I was VERY lucky to have lived with parents that I had…although according to my MUCH older siblings…(I was a menopause baby…and the age differences are great, WHICH personally I think was a good thing…I was an ‘only child’ with ‘brothers and sisters’…I had the best of BOTH worlds 🙂 )but THEY SAY we had completely different parents and THEY never met the people I knew. 🙂
This song says it all. From my dear friend, Ms. Marcia Ball. “You say, ‘What are you making for dinner?’ I say: ‘Reservations'”. Every word true.