Last week I met a friend for a dinner. Every time we meet he illuminates me with some wisdom about man-woman relationships. Last year I was so illuminated by his clever observations that my marriage broke. This time I have nothing to break on my side but it was interesting to hear him breaking out the truth about his own marriage. He’s been married for 15 years out of which he has been faithful for maybe one and a half. The naked truth he discovered to me is that if he would have to make his choice of the life partner now, he would have never chosen his wife. Sounds brutal, but honest. I am sure that 15 years ago, on their wedding day he looked at her with the eyes full of whatever the eyes are full of in romance novels, and it all seemed extremely romantic and he was happy with the fact that he will soon be forever bounded with the best woman who has ever walked this Earth (after his mum of course). What the hell changed along the way? How did the best woman on the Earth, suddenly turned into the last possible choice? How probable is that the choice we make in our late 20ites or early 30ties will still be our choice in our mid-forties, fifties and till death do us apart? Should we even worry about that or just go with a flow and accept for the fact that humans are not made to be together for life and that every relationship has an expiry date and if we want to prolong it than we need to work really hard and that sometimes even in spite of all our efforts it is simply doomed to fail.
How would the world look like if we would take this “and they lived happily ever after” with a huge reserve (or just stick it right back into the brother Grimm’s fat ass)?
The stuff that is implemented in us since we were fetuses is that one day we would meet our significant other, get married and spend the whole life with this one person who will be our friend, guru, partner, mammy, daddy, whole psychiatric center, bitch…everything..and so dependent on this person we will live together in this symbiosis till our last breath . Isn’t that a bit too unrealistic to expect? A bit too freaky? Why do we want to be so dependent what is so romantic in that? First we lose ourselves, second we lose this other person. It’s lose-lose situation. Second , when we step into the institution called marriage we adopt the rules of this institution who were created by many others who have already walked this way in their own shoes, and although they were eaten by the lions we still blindly follow their way. Not ours. Theirs. We use templates. Another point that we tend to lose out of our sight is that we are not lab rats living in controlled environments isolated from all influences of the world. We are changing constantly, hopefully we are growing, some of us are degrading but this is also a change. Our attitudes, preferences, life circumstances, tastes, desires, dreams, visions, wishes, it all change over the time and that is good. We choose somebody in one point of our life equipped with a tools that we have available at that time. And this person is also what it is at that point of time. Then we jump together in a shaker and every now and then this shaker stops and we finally have a time to look at the person that we have next to us. Sometimes we are still holding hands and this crazy ride did not manage to break the bound between us, sometimes we are standing upside down from each other but still looking for the other one, but there are times, when the one is simply no longer there. Or the one was simply shook up to the point of being unrecognizable to us. If we were not taught that we should no matter what insist on sticking together and just pile up the frustration, if we were taught that this other option can happen and that it is also something normal and above all logical in our times, think how much pain, humiliation, violence, insults, tough divorces and child victims could be avoided. It all starts from unrealistic expectations and loss of individuality. Yes, it is possible that some people are really lucky and find a partner who will fit them like glow in every phase of their life. It is also possible that people go through this entire crazy ride together and end up always looking in to the same direction, but there is also the other possible scenario. In our society we still seem to be surprised by it. It’s like a dinosaur in our living room it’s obviously there but we do all to ignore it, and when it grows and starts devouring us than we panic. Maybe the solution would be to loosen up a bit and leave this “happily ever after” there where it belongs – in fairytales. In reality would be good to consider having this marriage contracts a bit modified, let’s say without this insane unlimited life long term, but on some 5 years term, and after every 5 years two people can decide will it be prolonged or terminated. Maybe this would put off the pressure of unrealistic expectations and bring the people to behave differently to their partners, not to take them for granted but to try more to keep up and even if it comes to an end after 5 years this decision might be taken more reasonably and less hurtful for all even for kids.
The goal is not the relationship/marriage that lasts a life time at any cost. The goal should be quality not quantity. The relationship that lasts for as long as it should last but it is designed by two people so that it fits exactly them, exactly these two individuals. No templates, it can not work like this…use your own brains, be yourself, create something yours be original. Dare to do it on your own terms. Go on… Recently, my Unintended, asked me if I would marry him (just for instance, just hypothetically, just in some other context, just out of the blue, just for joke). However, No I would not. Mostly because I happen to care about him a great deal and I certainly do not want to lose him, nor I want to lose myself nor I want him to lose himself.
I do believe that we are crazy and creative enough and that if we want to, we would be able find our own silver lining whatever this might be, but it would be on our own terms.