Sunday, June 28, 2009

Can't our marriage succeed in peace?

OK, I'm starting to get a bit annoyed. There seems to be a very widely held notion that married life is, at best, an uncomfortable compromise, and more likely one big rolling conflict.

I'm amazed at the number of people who will ask how married life is, and when I tell them it's terrific, they give me to understand, either by implication or assertion, that it might be easy for now because we're newlyweds, but just wait -- we'll suffer like everyone else.

And this sort of article is only too common.

It's choose your pathology -- fight, fight fiercely, or avoid conflict at all costs. Nowhere but nowhere is it suggested that a loving couple can communicate effectively, reach reasonable conclusions, share goodwill, give to each other, see eye to eye on most things, and constructively work through such differences of opinion as might exist.

Look, we get that we're lucky, and I think it's fair to assume that we're not in the majority. But please believe me when I tell you that we do exist as a genuinely happy couple, without suppressing feelings, bickering, glaring, or hollering.

It doesn't hurt that we both came to this marriage having been through very difficult relationships. It doesn't hurt that we were both well into our 40s, and didn't incur any scar tissue resulting from immaturity and early mistakes. It doesn't hurt that we're both pretty responsible financially, and fairly well employed, and not especially acquisitive, so that money isn't an issue. It doesn't hurt that we don't have children to worry about and potentially disagree about. It doesn't hurt that we're both in fine health.

And it really, really helps that we fit together so well -- that we complement each other in some helpful ways, and think alike in many other important ways.

Yeah, yeah, it's early yet. But we've already built up a huge reservoir of good will. We're cloyingly affectionate, strike a healthy balance between time together and time apart, and truly enjoy each other's company. There are no danger signs. (And we had plenty in previous relationships.)

So maybe it's unlikely. But it's possible. And it's great, whether other people like it or not.


  1. well said, jim! cherish every moment ... you both waited a long time to find happiness with each other and you deserve to revel in your happiness! and, trust me when i say that some things, including fine wine AND a good marriage, definitely get better with age.

  2. It's not just us. Thanks are due this guy, who's had a bumpier ride than we have, but is still pleased with the results: