Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who woo'd in haste and means to wed at leisure.

Of course, all the buzz is about the big nuptials next week. Every move of the royal couple is being scrutinized—and compared to William’s parents. Which is utterly ridiculous. The two couples are completely different. They’ve been friends for about 8 years—starting as friends is a really good foundation. They’ve seen each other’s warts. Kate isn’t a wide-eyed 19 year-old—and they’ve been living together for quite some time. They had their breakups and make-ups, so they know that it isn’t always hearts and flowers. Too many of us go into the whole thing all starry eyed—and then want to call the divorce lawyer after the first fight. The big adjustment for Kate (excuse me, Catherine) will be the whole “Royal” thing. Good luck with that….

Anyway, all of this naturally got me thinking about my own marriage in 1973….. a lifetime ago. I was barely out of my teens, and thought I knew what it was all about. Looking back, I think I had a pretty decent image of the whole thing—having grown up with a wonderful example.

I knew it wasn’t about the day—the flowers and the photos and the dress. A wedding is just 6 hours out of a lifetime.

It’s the partnership that follows that really matters. Even at 20, I understood that—as best as someone so young could. I wanted to be my husband’s equal, his associate, in the business that was our new family. In retrospect, I don’t think he really saw me as such. Not on purpose. It just wasn’t in his brain. But then his parent’s marriage sucked big time.

But, believe me, he was a way better man than his father was. He loved his kids and enjoyed doing things with them (he just didn’t get the whole consistency with discipline thing unfortunately). He did a lot around the house—his mother felt I should kiss his feet for that. I told her “We both work and we both live here, he’s only doing his fair share.” Maybe if we had gotten away from her things would have been better…. Who knows…

Now I look at my own kids—both are in their mid 30s and neither one seems to be in any hurry to make the big commitment. In fact, they aren’t too good at keeping relationships going for any length of time. I worry that that’s my fault—the issues that developed over the last 8 years of the 26 their father and I were together have damaged them in some way. I don’t know.

I’ve tried to be a sounding board for them when they’ve decided to let me into things. (I don’t push—my MIL was such a total yenta, it’s made me go completely in the opposite direction.) When we are having a frank discussion, I have pointed out that relationships ebb and flow. Sometimes you will look at the person you are living with and just want to strangle them, But that passes. And it makes the times when you want to hug them to death so much better. People need to be taught that they aren’t always going to agree with each other—just never stop respecting each other. That’s the key as far as I’m concerned. It’s about equality.

One of the few couples I know in my age range that have managed to hold it together for almost 4 decades are my older brother and his “husband.” I wish I knew what their secret is….

1 comment:

  1. My, respect and solid marriage is going strong and it will be 37 years this July! Woot!!
    He is my best friend first and foremost!! He encourages me every day to be all that I can be and I do the same for him. We still enjoy each others' company after all these years.
    It has been a blast!! And I look forward to many more.