Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Ideas On 25 Years of Marriage

Right away I want to clarify that I am genuinely impressed when two people can remain married for twenty five years. Consider that in the last twenty five years of my life I have been married twice and divorced twice, resulting in a net sum of six years of holy matrimony. I hardly had time to memorize my married name(s) before I was at the courthouse signing divorce papers. A quarter of a century is an overwhelming amount of time, relatively speaking. Is it natural for people to remain married that long? Is it even possible without some sort of coercion?

I have seen photographs of couples who have remained married for fifty or sixty years, sometimes much longer. Their anniversary picture is often shown beside their wedding photograph, so it is plain to see what decades of marriage do to people. I have also observed that people tend to resemble one another after years of marriage. Women need to seriously consider this.

Raising a family might be a good reason to remain under the same roof for more than a few years. Buying food in bulk saves a lot of money and there are the family discounts at popular tourist attractions. If one or more of your offspring begin exhibiting a number of your spouse's disagreeable traits, would those savings really be worth it?

I have known some couples who remained married apparently to continue tormenting each other. Now that is an excellent reason to stay married in my mind. It is a reason I can understand, one I can whole-heartedly embrace. Think of the satisfaction twenty five years of daily irritants like hogging the remote or being forced to hold her purse.

There may be some secret to remaining married for two and one half decades, something I have yet to consider. Maybe separate controls for the electric blanket and the solemn agreement to not hang wallpaper together. I once read about a woman murdering her husband after a dispute involving wallpaper. I passed that information on to my daughter when she married, but in reality, what woman needs a lame excuse like that? When the time comes for my son to marry, you can bet I will warn him about wallpapering.

There could be biological reasons why people remain married. Maybe after a certain number of family vacations taken together in the family car, a genetic mutation occurs and people are then biologically compelled to remain married. I believe that is what happened to my own parents. When I think back, it was probably the year all seven of us went on vacation to Arkansas in a Rambler station wagon.

It was the Sixties. No seat belts, no air conditioning, and 80 mph was the minimum traveling speed. One of my brothers dropped a beebee into my youngest brother's ear, sending him screaming over the front seat in a panic. All fathers have a sex related gene behavior that prevents them from stopping for any reason on vacation. Either my mom mutated or simply lost her will at that instant. No way to really know what happened but my parents are still married.

Originally written for friends celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

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