According to a short Google search I just conducted, the best historic evidence suggests that marriage as a formal institution has existed for nearly 5,000 years.
In all that time, there has likely never been one single wife who, at some point or other, didn’t blurt out these words of frustration to her husband, “You don’t listen to me!”
Soon after my book was published, I attended a community luncheon. Several couples were seated at my table, and we introduced ourselves. After watching me for a few minutes, one wife suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, I saw your picture in Sunday’s newspaper. You wrote that guidebook for widows!”
This year, my husband of 34 years and I both turned 64. We got cards for each other with the iconic Beatles song that said, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?” I could not help but reflect on how we both survived.
Have you ever noticed that everyone seems to have marriage advice for newlyweds, even if they haven’t had a successful marriage themselves?
It’s a well-known fact that I’m a big proponent of “seconds.” All sorts of seconds, from second helpings (that’s where the “big” comes from) to second chances.
“If I’m so fabulous, then why am I single?”
This question came to me and I realized I have to write about it. I often ask it of myself. I see my friends with their various backstories, neuroses and impossibilities, in relationships. High maintenance types, neurotics, just plain crazies, you name it, they have a partner.
What is the key to a meaningful relationship? Not just the one you have with your husband, lover, or partner, but any relationship. As we get older, our life journey becomes shorter and time becomes more precious. The answer to that question becomes more urgent. It is more sought after, and often more difficult to achieve.
It takes more than love and determination to make a marriage work. People in successful marriages know that they have to compromise, accept a certain loss of independence, sacrifice some of their goals and, more often than not, put the other person first.
“Play is an antidote to the mundane responsibilities of adulthood.” – Perel