I know lots of married people that are not happy. They look at one another with contempt. They say, verbally or non-verbally, that they wish they had never gotten married. The mutter the “d” word..divorce, that is. They fight over the most mundane things–what brand of dish soap is next to the sink, food shopping. I see a lot of jealousy in marriages which leads to control over phone calls, girls/guys nights out, myspace accounts.
Of course, I also know a lot of people who are so happily married that it should give even the most cynical person hope. My next-door neighbors, for example. They have been married for a very long time. He’s over 10 years older than she is. I’ve seen her really heavy and looking really good, and there are times that they way he looks at her makes me absolutely blush. My parents are another example. No matter how beat up my father becomes (he works harder than any man I’ve ever met) or how testy my mom is (menopause) their love overcomes everything.
Lest I present myself in too cynical a light, I have to make some comments on the unhappy marriages I’ve witnessed. Many of the unhappily married people I know got married because of expectations, because of convenience. I truly believe that there are some people who are just “right” together. You look at them, and on some intuitive level, you just know that they will work together. It’s in the body language, the eye contact, the communication between the people. I am pretty good at this…for better or for worse. It’s a God-given talent or curse, depending on the situation.
It has been said that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. Would I rather to continue to be single, knowing the challenges, or would I rather be married and risk a level of unhappiness that may or may not come from marriage? Or will I one day find the one person with whom I am compatable and beat the odds, being like my neighbors and my parents? Only time will tell!