Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ways to Tell if Your Marriage is Going to Last


I have been married for 13 years. Today, the average person's life expectancy is near 80 when just 100 years ago it was only 49.  So when you got married back in the olden days,  you could assume you would only need to deal with your partner's annoying habit of leaving his socks everywhere for another 10 years and then you would both be dead.  Well, today if you got married in your 20's  and live until you are 90, I have news for you.  You may be with that same person for three and a half times longer than you were alive when you met them. That could mean 65 years of socks, are you ready to make that commitment?

There are a few common experiences that will test your marriage to see if you are going to make it the long haul or if you should consider an exit strategy. 

Move with your Partner

And by move, I mean furniture.   When we lived in Los Angeles I put a overstuffed (and overpriced) couch on lay-away. By the time it arrived, we had already moved twice.  I mentioned it was overstuffed right?  When they dropped it off, it was very clear that it was not going to make it up our stairway to our apartment.  But I didn't accept that.  After three hours,  we got it stuck in the stairway which trapped our neighbors in their apartment.  We then proceeded to say some things to each other that would make Reservoir Dogs look G rated.  At one point I thought he may just let the couch go to kill me and get it over with, but he didn't.  Eventually, a saw, a lift and some homeless people willing to work for $20 allowed us to finally get it in our apartment to watch Sex in the City on a 2 legged beat up new couch which now smelled like hoboes. 

Lesson:  that despite yelling threats and obscenities to each other, in the end we could forgive and forget…until we moved again.

Bachelor/ Bachelorette Parties

Getting married is contagious amongst the 20's crowd. So for at least a decade we were in numerous weddings and this always includes bachelor and bachelorette parties.   This is a way of life people.  If you can handle the fact that your husband spent your hard earned money and placed it in the g string of someone named Krystal you can bet her bottom dollar that are going to last.   This is a risky scenario and one must proceed with caution. Honesty is a noble thing. I was glad my husband told me he went to a poor lit topless bar.  However, when I asked him if the girl was attractive, he could have opted to lie, or at least withhold information. I still wonder if Krystal could do that trick with her who-ha. Note: that was 10 years ago.  I still remember. 

Lesson: Honesty is best, but a little discretion is advised. 

Bring a Baby Home

Of course once you have reached this point, I hope you have good intentions to stick it out with your partner. Having a baby is a monumental reality check.  I'm talking about the actual birth. My husband always said he loved me inside and out. Now he really knows the depths of my insides.   If that doesn't send them running, you are in luck. But making it through the first week is the real test. By the second day of being a family of 3, my husband and I found ourselves sitting on the kitchen floor crying. All three of us.  We couldn't figure out who in their right mind would have let two clueless adults leave the hospital with no prior knowledge of how to care for a baby. We were suddenly awarded tenure into parenthood with absolutely no credentials.  But eventually we figured it out. It was a team effort though. 

Lesson: If sleep deprivation and a sudden realization that you are a parent doesn't break you, it is a good chance nothing will. 

Travel 

If you can travel together with kids and not leave one another along side the road, or parachuting out the plane window, you are destined to live in marital bliss for all eternity.  One time, my husband and I thought it would be fun to take all four of our sons on an airplane.  That is all you need to know.  Since flying is no longer an option ( yes, we may be prohibited for a year… or five.) Driving across the country together, stopping at truck stops, staying at hotels will no doubt test even the most solid couples. 

Lesson: If a child vomiting in your hands while speeding down the interstate because your spouse got lost doesn't steer you off your marital track absolutely nothing and I mean NOTHING will. 



The common thread with all of these situations is that they took a fantastic amount of will, patience and a tremendous amount of love. Not the first dating kind of love. Ugly, resistant, dirty, exhausted love that has evolved with time. But had we thrown in the towel  the first time we got a couch stuck in a stairway, we would have never experienced the humor in it the next four times we did it.  If you can make it through extremely hard times then your marriage is worth fighting for.  

2 comments:

  1. Yep needed to hear this at this very minute. God is funny that way. Cause just when you think "Yep I'm gonna let this couch go." God says "Yeah whatever pay the homeless folk, saw the leg of the couch and hurry up before Sex in the City comes on." Well maybe not Sex in the City, but you get the point. Great post.

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  2. MSMistress. I never thought of it that way. Thanks!

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