“If you think marriage is going to be perfect, you’re probably still at your reception.” – Martha Bolton
What is this thing about marriage and monogamy these days? It’s changing, that’s for sure.
About four and a half million years ago hominids mated with many females, then about three and a half million years ago they found that they had shifted toward more monogamy. Our lineage never evolved to be strictly monogamous, but even in polygamous relationships men and women formed long-term bonds. The reason is an interesting one; In a bonded relationship, the father tends to stick around and help care for the offspring, and protect the mother and infant from attacks from other males, and provide protein, which led to survival and increased brain size!
How does that play out today? Well, actually in some of the same ways.
To share goals and have an individual life and accomplishment also helps.
To set realistic expectations and learn to communicate feelings is a BIG plus.
Being free and sharing, a strong passionate life is the real savior of being together and keeping love alive.
Learning how to pleasure one another and having variety and ‘surprises’ keeps the spark going.
All this takes insight and learning. This generation is doing a better job in those areas.
What they are not doing is learning about romance, waiting, and nurturing love.
First marriages usually repeat the emotional life of the parents’ marriage and most of that learning is not beneficial. To be aware and know what to look out for and what to work on is great insurance. Unfortunately, there is no school for this, the most important of roles.
Most marriages find the passion that hopefully was there to start, diminished, after about two years. After about seven years, the relationship becomes routine and uneventful, with the business of running a household, and raising children taking predominance. Then the habits set in. BORING!!!
One way to avoid this is to renew the contract, so to speak, after a period of time, and set new goals, wishes, dreams… whatever.
New projects can inject life into a dull existence and new ways of relating as people grow and develop will assist. Having joint ventures helps, as well.
Once children are out of the house the relationship is in focus and a re-evaluation should take place.
What is especially interesting these days is the large number of divorces in couples over fifty. This is a result of the changing role of women, in and out of bed, and the realization on the part of men and women that it’s now or never, to be fulfilled.
By not taking each other for granted and knowing the pitfalls people can avoid hitting a land mine. The issues that once seemed important are dwarfed by the power to love and be loved.
Sex is necessary as a part of this whole equation and both men and women have learned that, and are willing to do what it takes to achieve complete happiness in mind, heart and body.
Having a ‘yummy’ partner is the height of what this life is about. All the rest is shallow, and superficial. Yes, necessary to get the job done, and the house paid for and the kids in college, BUT without the fire, forget it!
Of course that means being vulnerable and wishing you were dead at times but well worth the struggle. Love is the highest level of humanity and NOTHING replaces it.
So, can two people stay together for a lifetime? Maybe some. Are they happy? Maybe some. Have they looked at it? Maybe some.
We learn about ourselves through intimacy and that takes courage and a risk. Not everyone is capable. That is why many marriages endure, and that’s the word, endure, because they are uneventful and habit forming.
Those that continue with passion and love are the rare and wonderful ones that are truly alive.
So, go to it, embrace it, and do whatever it takes to achieve that end. You will never be sorry!!!
“So heavy is the chain of wedlock that it needs two to carry it, and sometimes three.” – Alexander Dumas