I have been married for a long time. So has my husband, cooincidentally.
Also, he's tall, so I married up.
Want to know how I feel about being married? Do you really?
I often have better appreciation for my spouse when he's not here. Because of him, I have three children whom I love with every molecule of my being. Because of him, we have a beautiful home to live in and because of his influence, we have much less junk around. Because of him, I drive a really great car that fits my needs perfectly.
Sometimes when he's home, his higher standards make me nervous and I start to question my competence.
This is not the way all marriages work.
But in marriage, you are tied to a person, who is, by definition, human--prone to error.
Before I continue, can I just say that, as a thirty something year old woman, I find myself quoting my parents waaaay more than I ever thought I would as a teenager?
My dad told me that "Marriage is the graduate school of life." Having never attended more than a single course's worth of graduate school, I can't say I understand this aphorism as well as my dad does, but it still speaks to me.
For the most part, married people choose their own fate, or.... their own adventure. Graduate students, I imagine, rarely end up in grad school without putting a good amount of effort into the endeavor.
And it's not a small thing!
Okay. Here's what I really think. I realize that people fall in love and that they want to be married to the person they love, but marriage is less about the love that sends chemicals around tweaking your brain, and more about the deep love that happens by choice. Marriage is where the tweaking, natural drug of love, becomes the kind of love you have for your parents. In other words, I don't think a person can expect to get a contact high off the person they marry for 80 years, but what grows instead is better.
You fall in love and you can't stop thinking about him? You feel like you will die if you don't get to see him (and kiss him) every day? Good!
But this is better: You can't stop thinking about him because he is part of you. Your home is his home. You know his imperfections intimately. He knows yours. You are not together because you forget to eat, just being around him; you are together because you choose to be. Because he holds your heart. Because you want to be there with him when he's an old man. Because just touching him lowers your blood pressure and makes you relax when you didn't realize you were tense.