So, after surviving a , the near-death of a child, the vagaries of 4 teenagers, the drama of the Bill & Hil Show, making out on the stage of the Democratic convention—and SNL—in 2000 and the heartache of losing the disputed 2000 presidential election, Al and Tipper have “grown apart.” Okay…...
This was one couple that seemed pretty solid—and there are so few these days. My boomer generation seems to be having a real problem with sticking it out til the whole “death do us part” thing.
Why do you think that is? Did we have unrealistic expectations of what marriage is?
Is it because we are living longer and can’t sustain a relationship for that long??
A few years back, a friend took me to see Edward Albee’s The Goat—or Who is Sylvia at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. The play deals with a genuinely happily married man, a celebrated author, who finds himself in love with a goat. This creature fills a void he didn’t even know he had. I was describing the conversation my friend and I had after the performance to another friend:
“Once you get past the bestiality—“
“Wait—you got PAST the bestiality?”
Yes—that was Albee’s tool to shock the viewer into the thought path he wanted to pursue: Can we realistically expect one person to fulfill all of our needs all of our adult life?
I don’t know—my friend and I had a very lively discussion, believe me. Both of us in our 50s, with long-term marriages [although mine was ending at that point]. Both of our parents had made it for the long haul: his were just sort of going through the motions in some ways, but mine were madly in love until the day my dad died [they had recently celebrated their 48th Anniversary].
I hope we don’t take divorce lightly, cause it’s not a fun experience. Marriage takes work—you really do have to keep trying to maintain that connection as a couple. It’s hard, but so is divorce.
At least it was for me… My marriage lasted 26 years—the last 8 of which I struggled to keep things going. I begged my late ex-husband to go for counseling, but he refused. I finally reached a breaking point where I had to get out because it was starting to impact negatively on my own well being.
But I hated having to do that; I hated admitting defeat—and failure. Cause that’s what it felt like—I had failed at one of the most important things you do in your life. And, coming from the whole Catholic background, that really stung.
But it was what I had to do—God knows what I’d be like now if I had stayed…. Yet, it is always a little, stinging reminder when I hear of other couples calling it quits. I know what a painful process it can all be.
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On another note—I’m coming up on the one-year anniversary of this blog!!! I posted my first piece on Sunday, June 7, 2009. It doesn’t seem like an entire year has gone by.
But it has been an awesome year of sharing—and gaining so many new friends thru the blogosphere. I feel like I know you all so well. Thanks for taking time out of your busy lives to read my ramblings… Can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.