Between the two us, the husband and I have grandparents who (collectively) have been married for over 240 years.
The two of us do not take our marriage vows lightly, nor do we consider this union to be one of convenience that can be tossed aside when someone gets an itch, a hurt feeling or a sense of boredom.
We have many examples laid out before us through family members who have tread the martial waters and we strive to meet these examples (and expectations) laid out before us. From the very beginning of our marriage (and even before), we have looked at our relationship in very realistic terms. What do we want to accomplish? How are we going to reach our goals? What if the other person commits such crimes as leaving dishes in the sink or letting the bathroom drawer be a mess 99.3% of the time? How are we going to walk side-by-side through life together, navigating the waters of romance, disappointment, parenting, financial issues and life in general?
Not only are we very realistic about our relationship, we are also very realistic about the relationship examples we aspire to. Sure all our grandparents are still married to the same person, still trudging through life with their original spouse (only one is a widow, losing her husband after 59.7 years of marriage). Yet, within those collective 240 years of marital bliss (which there was plenty of) lie a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of arguments, a bit of heartache and a enormous dash of reality. The key is that they kept (keep) on fighting, kept on working towards the goal, despite their issues.
Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, released her second memoir titled Committed in which she sheds a realistic light on marriage. I am eagerly anticipating getting my hands on this book (after the 8 people before me on the hold list at the library finish it) and seeing what insights Ms. Gilbert has to share.
In the meantime, Tobe recently drew my attention to this link. It is an interview CNN had with Elizabeth Gilbert in which she discusses her views on marriage. I found it to be very interesting and quite true in places.
What do you think? How do you perceive marriage?