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It used to be that husbands and wives stayed together for the sake of the children. That may still be true for some, but given the current economic times, many couples are staying together because, simply put, they don’t have the money to divorce.

Money is huge.  People are judged for having it.  People are judged for not having enough of it.  We‘re so fickle.  Which way is it?  Money keeps us awake at night, causes us ulcers.  Money makes some of us drink , gamble and drug.  Money divides and sometimes money connects.

Back to these divorced couples who are suddenly finding ways to be able to live with one another.  Living in separate bedrooms.  Confusing the hell out of the kids.  But still, making it work.

I’ll be interested to see what happens to these couples.  How many of them will find that they can actually be married?  Taking away the pressure of the marriage may take away the expectations so many associate with marriage.

If you‘re married and you think about it, it’s insane to be married.  Really. Who drives you crazier than anyone else on the planet?  Who makes you fantasize about days, no weeks to just be left ALONE?  Who brings you to the brink of homicidal fantasies?   Uh huh.  Thought so... Think about it...the whole notion of living with someone day after day, year after year, on and on and on...crazy!

Chris Rock, the brilliant relationship expert disguised as a comedian, says it so well.  He says, “When you first meet someone, you don’t meet them, you meet their representative!”

How true!  Time goes on, and then we really “meet” the person.  Chris Rock goes on to talk about the repetitive nature of marriage.  Like how boring it gets.  Like you just want your spouse to have a different story for once, for christ’s sake, just bloody once!

“Hey, honey, did I tell you about the time I....”

“Yeah, you told me about that time you...!”

“Okay, well, then, honey, did I tell you about the time I....”

 “Yeah, you told me about that time you...”  

“Well, how about the time I.....”

“YEAH YOU TOLD ME ABOUT THAT TIME!  NOW, WHY DON‘T YOU GO OUT AND GET KIDNAPPED OR SOMETHING SO YOU HAVE A NEW STORY TO TELL ME!”  

I have a good friend who’s had a challenging marriage for over 30 years. She calls herself a “Widow Wannabee.”

Uh huh.  She said it.  She’s proud to say it.  Don’t act all surprised and shocked.  

How many truly happily married people do you know?  Uh huh, thought so.  

I met with a couple this morning.  Raising 4 children, tough economic times, wife waking up and wanting “more in life“,  husband looking beaten down.  I told them, “Isn’t it just nuts to be married!  I mean, really, who needs any of this?”

They nodded with relief and then  befuddlement.  “Well, then, what are we even doing here?”

“Well, because, relationship...marriage...intimacy...seems to be the way we do it, and the way, if we‘re open, we learn how to accept someone else and eventually accept ourselves.  Because there’s something amazing about being with someone who is a witness to our lives.  Because there’s something deep to learn when being disillusioned by the one who was supposed to be our everything“.

I love my husband.  We‘re in a “in love” stage right now.  A stage of discovery and learning and growing and connection.  Juicy melted butter love.  A month ago I was in the marital desert and water was nowhere to be found.

Feelings go up and down, in and out.  I never rely solely on  my feelings to direct me in my decision making.  

It takes a “grown up” to make one’s life work.  Takes two “grown-ups” to make marriage work.  It will be interesting to see what happens to these couples who couldn’t be married, but are now sharing a home because of the money.

The expectations will be gone...those marital expectations...and it makes me wonder if something new and better will emerge between these once legally bound couples...because when you really think about it, expectations are just pre-meditated resentments in disguise.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • What a fantastic post Mary.

      No one ever said that marriage was easy, but with hardships all around us, maybe ridicules divorce rate will drop, and not just because people can’t afford to get divorced, but because they figured out how to be married and expect “life to happen” and figure out how to deal with it, and not to file a dissolution of marriage every time a significant other is in a prissy mood.



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