Thursday, November 27, 2014

Together Forever: The Ultimate Relationship Question

   The very foundation of human existence hinges on our ability to pair off and procreate. However, that which sits foremost in our minds is not the scientific fact of perpetuating the species…that’s going to happen anyway. No, the burning question remains “Is there anybody out there…for me?”
   The answer of course is yes (I’m an optimist) but the question isn’t as simple as previously stated. Anybody can find someone for themselves…for a night (at the very least), but how many can find someone that will be with them for a lifetime? Call it the perfect person or soul mate if you must, but the absolute truth of what it really is…is work. I say that with absolute conviction and many reading this already know it to be true, regardless of the length of time you are with someone…if you’re serious about it, it’s work.
   We all hear the stories of couples that are together for 20, 30, 40, and 50 (or more) years, and think to ourselves how great that is while wondering how the heck they did it. After 26 years of being with the same woman (19 years of marriage), I’m not wondering anymore…I’m being asked to shed some light on how it’s done. Before I get into it though, let’s all understand that every relationship site, forum, and show will give you the exact same answers when it comes to maintaining a healthy and productive marriage (well, maybe not exactly the same, but close enough)…and all of them true. So then what really separates a couple for life from everyone else?

   I don’t know…when I get there, I’ll write another post, for now all I can say that doesn’t seem to be highlighted anywhere is that I have no doubt that every couple to see so many years of marriage till death does them part…has been through every relationship problem-issue-situation under the sun.
   I chuckle when I see these shows and they talk about spouses like clothes on an assembly line. If one doesn’t work out, just go out and get another one. I chuckle because that simply makes no sense to me to have that kind of attitude, but still be wondering why you can’t have a marriage that lasts a lifetime. It’s not simple, but understanding that people will always defer to their humanity, and thus make mistakes, is (imo) the first step in the right direction of a lasting marriage. If you’re going out to the “spouse rack” to change up every time something happens then you’re going to have a lasting relationship with that rack…or yourself when you finally get tired of the fitting room.

   Now would be a great time for me to shed some light on having a lasting relationship based off my personal experience…except, my personal experience isn’t going to help you in the slightest. This is always my answer and advice because what has worked for me is absolutely unique to who I am, who my spouse is…and how we have grown together.
   If I said there weren’t times that we didn’t want to be together, I’d be lying (and I won’t do that to you). However, it was in those times (note the plurality) we realized that more than not wanting to be together, we didn’t want to be apart. It seems today that kind of bond is getting lost within a generation that wants perfection now (not realizing that it’s a journey, not a destination) and sees the strong emotional attachment that energizes this bond as nothing more than a “thirst” that should be frowned on and ridiculed. Ok…but now tell me how your tenth relationship (this month) is working out for you?

   “Together forever” isn’t candy out of the sky, but if it were, it would include black licorice…and you would have to eat it along with all the other candy. The ultimate relationship question doesn’t have an answer, it has a commitment from you to do better everyday while understanding everyday is not going to be better.
   Is there a line you need to recognize that shouldn’t be crossed? Sure…you need to accept and understand when the one your with isn’t going to be with you. It’s not always easy to do that, especially considering you might be turning away from the very thing you have been searching for. Kirk Douglas has just celebrated sixty years of marriage…to his second wife. When asked how he did it he replied "I just told my wife, if you ever leave me, I'm going with you!" That’s cute, but trust me when I say there was much more to it than that.

   Trust me when I also say that his abbreviated answer is absolutely on the money…hitting the nail on the head. Now…marinate on that!


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