I’m a marriage veteran. I’ve been married 29 years, and have survived it. It sometimes feels like I’m a POW but I usually make it through those feelings of entrapment. I have been awarded the purple heart and re-up every year. (I mean no disrespect in my analogy, to all the brave and dedicated men and women who faithfully serve our great country. In fact, I thank you for your service). Not because it’s easy…it’s not. Who said it was suppose to be easy, anyway?
One of the greatest life-lessons I have learned is: life is difficult. I didn’t know that for many years. Once I found that out, life became a little less difficult because I stopped striving for the perfect, problem-free life. I think the same thing can be said for marriage.
It is very interesting to me to note the many marriages that I have always thought were rock solid, begin to crumble and oftentimes deteriorate. Sadly interesting. It also seems that many marriages fall apart at around the 25 year anniversary milestone. I’m not sure why this is. I have theories but no hard evidence. You begin to realize life is short and you only get one chance. The kids are grown or almost and life changes from family unit to couple hood once again and you find you don’t really know each other. All the unresolved, sometimes dysfunctional issues have surfaced or continue to rear their ugly heads and it’s suddenly too much to take.
The interesting thing about this 25 year mark that I have noticed is that it’s usually the woman who wants out. Contrary to popular belief, and once again I’m theorizing here, but it’s not the mid-life crisis man who has found a younger woman. It’s the woman. I also think menopause makes a woman have some crazy times and just like they tell you right after you have surgery…don’t make any major decisions for 24 hours post-opt. I’m thinking you gotta give the menopause thing a little longer than 24 hours, but it definitely applies.
Yesterday I was told about the marital problems of a couple I have known since they were dating. They have been married 27 years. I was stunned. In fact I was in such shock that I thought we were talking about another couple that I don’t know so well. It caused me grief and sadness. I wanted to shout, “I get it, I understand. It’s okay.”
I know in my heart of hearts that they will find their way through this storm and they will be better and stronger because of it. Even amidst the troubles and issues, in fact because of them, comes growth and learning.
And after all, isn’t that what life’s all about?