Friday, July 31, 2009
Love and Marriage
I spent last Sunday at a Central Park concert with three of my cousins. We danced, sang, took pictures and generally had a wonderful time - the kind of fun that makes you say "We need to do this again SOON!" But the best part of the day was undoubtedly the spirited and brutally honest conversation we had in the car on the way down to NYC and at the restaurant after the concert was done. Guess what we chatted about? Relationships.
We all kind of came to the conclusion that the examples of everyday love and marriage in action that our immediate families set for us pretty much doomed us to relationship failure. I mean, I always thought my parents had a great marriage until it dawned on me that my mom did most of the compromising and bending in their relationship. Dad's job was to have a job and provide for his family. My mom's job was damn-near everything else. That may have worked for them, but it made me say "NO WAY!!" as theirs was not a relationship I sought to emulate in the slightest. My cousins all saw similar things in the relationships that surrounded their lives as well. "Why are these two people even together?!?" is the question we all found ourselves asking at one time or another about our dear relatives. We couldn't imagine putting up with so much and getting so little in return.
Part of it is, perhaps, that our relatives grew up in a time where marriage really did mean "'til death do us part." Being miserably unhappy was not a reason to toss in the towel and call it a relationship in their books. With divorce rates currently hovering around 50 percent, it's not hard to figure out that my generation doesn't feel quite the same way. Not quite sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing - it just is, I guess.
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