CONDITIONAL MATRIMONY

Despite the lip service paid to the endurance of the institution, marriage is largely a conditional arrangement.  If the conditions are not met, or the spouse is inconvenienced, the bond is forfeit.

It’s hard to let go of romantic idealism.  We grow up reading fairy tales and watching sitcoms; they describe a life that bears little to no resemblance to the real thing.  When confronted with the gritty reality of sharing life with another person, disappointment is unavoidable.

If we took the time to examine ourselves, we’d learn that this dissatisfaction usually stems from the unfulfillment of fanciful expectations, not from the behavior of our partner.   However, who bothers with self-contemplation?  It’s too difficult and distracts us from fingerpointing.  Besides, the fallout from self-discovery might torpedo an otherwise stable relationship.  Who wants to listen to a weepy wife as she hashes through the minefield of her life? 

Ironically, a solid partnership provides the anchoring necessary when things get rough.  But choppy seas test the mettle of the sailor.  Will he curse the sky and blame the weather for his misfortune?  Or will he acknowledge that he willingly boarded and accepted the risk? 

It is not an inanimate object that we marry.  Human beings are subject to natural law and will change.  If the metamorphosis causes confusion and anger, it is because the partner is not ready or cannot accept the inevitable. 

Whether by choice or not, all people change.  It is curious then that ideas of marriage have not.

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