Saturday, January 24, 2009

love and marriage and the bright young things

On Dawn Eden's blog there's a discussion about love and marriage. As I read the comments I was inclined to wonder if any of these earnest youngsters have ever loved deeply or if any of them is married. Besides Holy Orders, marriage is one of the greatest adventures a human being could ever go on. You take two people with all their warts, quirks and sins and God willing, they become a functioning unit. It's amazing.

I've heard many people talk about how hard marriage is. I've never found it so, mainly because Rocky is a good guy. When he and I went to St. Ignatius and knelt before Fr. Werner (RIP) and heard him say the vows and we repeated them I knew this was forever.

When there is no other option you adapt, improvise and overcome obstacles on the road you're traveling. You realize that he's a big guy and expecting him to live with the dollhouse furniture you had when you were single is silly. So you buy a recliner and a big ugly sofa.

You learn that okay, so he leaves his socks everywhere-- he's not a selfish pig, he's just forgetful and you get over it. Pick the damn socks up, go on strike until he picks them up (warning: men can wait a long, long time) or spray a lot of air freshener until he gets the hint.

He learns that women need stuff. Your goose collection or that pink crystal chicken shaped candy dish is important to you so he lives with them. Besides the candy is good and it's kinda nice that it's in a dish instead of hidden in the sofa cushions. He not only puts up with your doll collection he goes down to the basement and builds you a doll case.

You learn that while your old lifestyle may've been fun and your family are what they are, the most important thing in the world after God is your husband and if those other things harm your marriage they have to be ruthlesslessly dealt with. And if you're a grown woman you do it.

He discovers much to his delight and amazement that he'd rather watch TV with you than go dirt bike racing every weekend with his single friends. You discover that you really never wanted to go to Paris and eat snails and fish eyes with Jeanne Claude. Meatloaf with your husband is far better. You both grow up like two trees that have wrapped around each other and are stronger together than you ever would've been apart.

The bright young things on Dawn Eden wonder if romantic love is even needed for a successful marriage. No, its not. And if you are a working class or poor girl who is lucky enough to have a choice between a good, kind man who loves you and has a job or a smokin' hot guy who's living the thug life you'd better run as fast as you can to the nice guy. Run!

I know a man who no longer feels passion for his difficult wife but stays because he made a promise. In hindsight they weren't suited to one another and should not have married in the first place. He's never going to look at his wife the way he used to but she's the mother of his kids, the queen of his house and the center of the pretty decent life he has. They are not Brad and Angie. The husband is no saint--yet but I think Sts. Monica, Rita, and Blessed Elizabeth LeSeur would understand him and are on his side. Not bad company at all.

But romantic love is not to be totally scorned as the kids in the Dawn Eden post seem to be doing. To feel like steel wool touched to a battery about your own dear spouse and have it be blessed by God is a lovely gift.


elena maria vidal said...


Athos said...

A friend once said that lifelong, faithful marriage is like a ladder. Those who succumb to the allure for one infatuation after another are constantly climbing only the first rung again and again.

But those who stay, as you wisely say, embark on one of life's greatest adventures. I hope mine to Lady Athos continues far past its 30 years and counting. Cheers

Lynne said...

You should/could write a book about this subject!

a thorn in the pew said...


Lola said...

This was delightful to read!

Think about being in pre-marriage counceling down at the parish?

Smiley said...

YOu what i love about being married. The daily challenge. Remembering that you took a vow before god and the whole heavenly court, and no matter what or how hard or crazy things get its a vow that is forever. I have always believed that love is not an emotion, it is a choice a conscious rational choice. you every day make a choice to love your spouse and do what is best for them spiritually, materially and emotionally. I look back and wonder how I managed to live for 25 years without my spouse, she is something that was missing from my life and I thank God for the most beautiful gift he has ever give me namely my wife.
Romantic love does have a place, in the start of a relationship it is kind of what makes you like that person and from time to time it comes back and in those moments you stop seeing the flaws and the little irranats, it makes you feel young all over again and you see your partner in the same way. I see romantic love as the consolation phase of a relationship and the cerebral love (the kind when you want to smash your head into the wall but decide not too becasue you love him/her) as the desolation pahse. both phases as they are important in spiritual life and equally important in married life.

the Mom said...

I've never found it that difficult either. My sweet Computer Guy is a joy to be married to. Not every day, somedays he is crabby or disgusting, but those days have a funniness to them when you look back and are not to be missed. I think these kids are like the man standing knee deep in a river and drowning from thirst because they are afraid to take a drink.