Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marriage------What Does it Mean Today?

Unfortunately I have been away from this forum for a few days, "my computer" decided it had had enough, and went on a technical vacation! A wonderful "Techie Guru Dr." who makes house calls, spent a few hours, checking up, cleaning up, and sprucing up. Hurrah, at last all is well once again!

I am sitting here with a wonderful, brisk, cup of coffee thinking about my next sentence, because this was not what I had in mind for today, and I am not sure why I even want to start this, except it has been part of a constant thought process since Monday.

Yesterday Mr. Dude and I traveled across the bridge and had lunch with my niece who has been visiting from NYC. We met at a local restaurant and were engaged in a discussion concerning someone we knew who has been having marital problems. I made the statement that without Trust and Respect for each respective partner, the marriage is barren. I have some knowledge in this department, as I have been married 53 years and my luncheon companion has been married 10 years or more.

Suddenly a man at the next table entered the conversation, and said "I couldn't help listening to you"  What about Love?  Then he told us we came from another generation and things are not the same today.  Of course this comment makes the hair on the back of my neck bristle, and a thought provoking conversation ensued.  What has changed the  state of the commitment of Marriage in this time frame? As the conversation moved forward we soon another person entering the discussion, a woman. Both were probably in their early to late 40's. Most of us recognized that the first blush of lust isn't the lasting warmth of love, but my answer to his question was this:  How can love flourish if there isn't Trust and respect?  Seems logical to me.

He blamed  most of the changes on the equal opportunities woman have to move forward in their lives.  On the surface this sounds outrageous, but what  he really meant, that the nuclear family had taken a "hit" because the dynamics are different. It is true that most families today have two working parents and family life is quite different than it was 40- 50 years ago. Have we become complacent, is there some component in our own personal identity that makes us unprepared for a lasting relationship? What is it we expect? Are we morally bankrupt?  I have heard over and over again, we don't need a piece of paper to strengthen our relationship!  Hmmm--now what does that really mean?  The statistics show the demise of marriages is astronomical but those who live in non -conventional relationships do not fare much better. What really has brought us to this state of affairs, and how many have been damaged in the wake of our decisions?

I do not know the answers, but I know this,  marriages are not made in heaven, they take sacrifice, compromise and work in order to work. That is much too simplistic, for sure, but this morning that is all I have to offer because my coffee cup is now empty. For our part in this discussion, 54 years comes up in December and God Willing we'll both be there to celebrate.I am still musing on all of  yesterday's discussion. If you have time, tell me what marriage means to you.

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