Marriage and why being in it for the long game has it's rewards!
So my wife and I just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We dated for over 13 years so that makes it about 26 years together. Which means we have both now been in each others lives longer than we had been apart. Meaning, that we have been with each other for more years than we have been with anyone else or even by ourselves while navigating this complex world. To add to that we have been in the business of organizing Wedding Shows for over 20 years at TopWeddingShows.com
After being together for that amount of time and in the industry for so many years I found myself this week reflecting on the institution of marriage. I wondered, why do people stay together after the honeymoon fades? What are the personal and societal benefits of sticking it out through all the highs and lows of marriage? What do you gain by staying with one person for so long and what do you give up?
These are hard and very personal questions to ask, never mind answer. I’m sure if you surveyed 100 married couples you would get 200 different answers. However, I do think there would be a common thread that would run through the various answers you would get from your survey.
What would that common thread be? Well I’m going to go out on the limb here and predict that the reasons for longevity in a relationship transcend what one would read in a Harlequin Romance. Not saying that they are not all important and certainly key components to a great and long lasting relationship but I don’t think they are the pillars. My guess would be that the there are maybe three common threads in all long lasting relationships that look more like:
You know what you both have or don’t have. You have more or less made peace with each others little idiosyncrasies or shortcomings. Not that they still don’t drive you crazy sometimes or most or the time. But basically, you have stopped trying to change each other and find a level of comfort in the predictability of your day to day interactions.
You have created a natural flow to your relationship which only comes with time. Sure it will get disrupted now and then but you have survived many years together on the rollercoaster of life, so you are better at managing the flow of each other's emotions.
We will all go through very personal and emotional self evaluations. Whether it be self doubt, depression, job dissatisfaction, sickness, become disillusioned with the world etc. After time in a relationship you begin to realize that you are not what is causing or making your loved one feel that way. You stop taking their personal turmoil personally. Instead, you understand that you need to support your partner and patiently hold on until they get out out of their funk. You know that good things come “back” to those who wait. So you don’t give up on each other very easily.