Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holding On

Every marriage has its ups and downs. This cannot be news  to anyone, married, single, or otherwise. In fact, I doubt that anyone gets to the altar (so to speak) without first experiencing what is at the time considered to be life altering trauma. This is probably the major advantage the royal marriages of the past held over modern customs. Often they never even saw the spouse-to-be until hours or days after the party arrived from a far away land, and in some circumstances walked down the aisle with a person that gave them shivers of disgust. Yet this is how they were raised, how their customs evolved through necessity and perhaps convenience. And, in most cases, the obligation of begetting offspring was carried out in good order. We hear, usually in Historical Romance, but sometimes from supposed genuine historical chronicles, that there were marriages of great love and passion. But one of my favorite fiction authors who specializes in enjoyable retellings of the sundry machinations of various ancient monarchies, recently published a book about a not too well known real queen who was terribly in love with her prearranged partner. In fact, it was widely reported that he, in turn, adored her which led her to a lifetime (well in this case the marriage lasted about six years) of wondering about and being hurt by the fact that he refused to give up his string of mistresses. I am not choosing to read this one.  Cluelessness can only take a person so far.
For myself, I am of the opinion that today romantic ideals about marriage are not dead but in fact are held in such esteem that people go into marriage expecting doves to fly out of the bathroom every morning to herald another day of blissful union. This could be, I assert, the very reason that so many marriages do not last. Pure disillusionment. And perhaps more than that, disappointment.
Every couple has to hold on through the rough patches and, if and when they do so, they do it not knowing if it is going to be worth their while. There is, of course,  all this stuff about the integrity and commitment that put the real value on the married state. Too bad nobody bothers to talk about how much fun it is. Sometimes.
So hold on to what you’ve got and try to keep that song from running through your head now. You probably shouldn’t probe too deeply into why you are holding on. That will become apparent when you realize you have lost your grip and cannot hold on any longer. But I am pretty sure the best thing to hold onto is the cluelessness. If you are considering ending a disappointing marriage, realize that any other version of marriage that you may look forward to or seek or fall into is going to have just as many rough spots. They come in all sizes and shapes.

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