Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Say it Ain't So!

Last week I wrote a blog about love and marriage and the ending of some of those marriages. It was sort of depressing for a day or two as I realized how fragile relationships can sometimes be.

Take J.Lo, for instance. I just read the not-surprising news that her marriage of 7 years to Marc Anthony is over. Probably because he hasn’t had a major hit since “I Need to Know” came out in’99. She is, after all, a big-time important judge on American Idol and has veto rights. Maybe she told him, “You’re Fired!” (Oh wait, I’m mixing up reality shows…)

I don’t think celebrity marriages are shining examples to follow, anyway. I mean, would anyone want to place a bet on how long the Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo marriage will last? That’s cynical, I know, but Nick’s track record so far is not impressive. But perhaps it’ll last longer than his marriage to Jessica Simpson, which was celebrated ad nauseam in Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. The show, of course, ended before their 3-year marriage did. Not too inspiring, was it?

Oh well. Their marriage may not have lasted, but I suppose they did increase their fame and fortune. Especially Jessica – she has since become a little mogul with her shoe and handbag line. Plus, she’s engaged again, too.

It’s all about priorities, I guess.

Sure, some Hollywood marriages stood the test of time. Like, um…hmmm. Can’t think of anyone righ…oh, wait – I’ve got one! Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. They were married a LONG time and the marriage only ended because Paul passed away in 2008. And, no, I’m sure it wasn’t intentional on his part to escape his marriage vows.

There surely are others, but I’m not in the mood to do more Google research right now. Yes, I’m bein’ lazy.

But for us everyday sort of folk, I think we should take a look at some of our own personal examples. My aunt and uncle, for instance, just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Sadly, I don’t believe my aunt recognized the milestone as she is in a facility suffering from Alzheimer’s. But it’s inspiring to realize that my uncle goes to that nursing home day after day to visit his wife of 60 years, even though she can’t communicate with him and may not even recognize him any longer. We should all have partners who will perform this loving act should we find ourselves incapacitated in our later years.

My own parents are in their 59th year of wedded bliss. And, please. I’m not a total wacko…I DO realize that every single moment of those 59 years could not have been utterly blissful. That’d be pretty far-fetched given that they have four children – so probably life was a little less blissful during the years we freeloaders were hangin’ around.

Except for me. I was an angel so they l-o-v-e-d raising me. I’m sure of it. Just ask them. (Okay, maybe you shouldn’t.) But, hey, it IS my blog and I can write what I want. There are no fact-checkers here.

No but seriously. My own marriage hasn’t even reached the two year mark – so I realize that I’m no expert on the subject. Probably I’m an expert on failed relationships, though. So I’m pretty good at comparing what didn’t work before with what is working great now. For one thing, my relationship with Vince has been predominantly easy. I couldn’t say that about one single former relationship I had. Oh sure, they’d start off that way. Romance is wonderful when you think every little quirky thing your partner does is adorable. Years – or, heck, sometimes only months – later, that quirk could drive a person bonkers. And I’m sure I’m not completely innocent in the quirk department, either. Aw heck, let’s just spell it out. Can you say PMS? (Yeah, I know. We don't literally have to spell it out!)

I’ve heard that from other couples who have long-lasting, stable relationships that “easy” describes their relationships, too. They say that their lives are not filled with strife or drama. Maybe that’s key. I mean, it’s not to say that there are absolutely no disagreements in these long-term relationships, but that any disagreements are brought out into the open and are discussed and ultimately resolved.

On the other hand, I suppose some people thrive on drama and strife. Perhaps their marriages are like wild rollercoaster rides and they wouldn’t trade for our more boring, placid lifestyles for anything. But I’m afraid I’d probably develop motion sickness. And upchucking is not a pastime I partake in willingly.

Fortunately, as we get older and wiser (hopefully), we learn who we are – and what our life is all about. Some people may have gotten married as young adults only to discover they’d made a mistake. Maybe they even tried again at another point – and when that didn’t work out, learned that they were probably better off single. In this case, I say kudos to the person who knows himself so well. Besides, “single” is not a dirty word!

However, I also know quite a few engaged couples and newly married couples and couples anticipating their imminent nuptials – and I have hope for all of them. I pray that they’ve met their life partner who makes life together “easy.” And I hope we all are able to look back on those radiant smiles in the photos from our wedding days – and we always remember the love we have for our partners and the reason we said “I do” back then.

Because there are enough J.Lo and Marc Anthony stories out there.

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