Marriage, Mortality, Relationships, and Work

I went to a friend’s wedding today.  She married, for the first time, in her early fifties.  I was in my very early twenties when I married (if I knew then what I know now… and all).  But that’s the point – I didn’t know anything and, being a guy, still don’t.  It just made me wonder if I would be interested in marrying for the first time at fifty.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so in love with my wife that sometimes even I can’t stand me.

Thoughts on mortality kick in here…

My wife and I used to spend each Valentine’s day with several other couples.  Unfortunately, two of the women in our group passed away two years ago (about four months apart).  One was kind of expected (kidney failure), but the other was a total surprise (outpatient surgery complications).  The husband of the first has still not recovered and is struggling through life.  The husband of the second is getting remarried next week to a college friend and widow of another life-long friend.

And, the work involved in relationships…

I get so set in my ways.  After twenty-six years of marriage, I can’t imagine not being married.  Yet, when my wife asked me recently if I would remarry if she were to die, I said no.  She asked me why and my first and only thought was that relationships are too much work.  She seemed kind of offended (after 26 years I’m beginning to notice some of the signs).  I explained that although love is work, she makes it easy (nice out).  However, the work involved in a relationship (at least for me) is about making the changes in myself to make me a better person to be around.  With me, that’s a lot of work.

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6 responses to “Marriage, Mortality, Relationships, and Work

  1. That’s interesting. When I asked my first husband if he would remarry, he said “yes” without even pausing to let me at least think he would be devastated. Of course, he was 28 at the time and as he explained to me – life can be too long to live alone. I told him I didn’t know if I could remarry. He replied that I would be married again within a year (it was 16 months actually) which goes to show that our spouses sometimes know us much too well. He was upset about that though. He thought that it was a good thing. His own mother was widowed at 33 and never married again. He remarked that her life was lonely and past focused. He wouldn’t want that for me.

    Thanks for checking out my blog by the way and leaving a comment.

    Thanks for coming by.
    My wife and I love spending time together but equally love spending time alone. I don’t think either of us would be lonely and I think our sense of independence might be an issue for someone else. We are thankful that we found each other.
    Again, thanks for your comment.

  2. Wow. Good insight into marriage, from a man’s point of view. I like the honesty you showed here.

    Yes… honest. A jerk much of the time, but honest. Thanks.

  3. Funny, my wife and I were just discussing the topic this week. We both concluded that we might consider re-marrying, but that it would be a kind of miserable experience because the effort of developing a long and lasting and loving relationship is so much work! I cannot imagine getting to the point we are in our relationship (12 years and 3 kids) again. So maybe a re-marriage would just have to set out being different with different expectations.

    Hi Dave. I agree with your comment. As I have observed people who have gone through remarriage, it seems that those who truly look at it as a fresh start are much better equipped for success. It seems, however, that most of the people I have observed are either desperately trying to recreate their first marriage (with a totally different person) or are so afraid of being alone that they marry the first person who will have anything to do with them (kind of a rebound thing). I hope to not have to find out if I would do any of these things. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Interesting, though I wonder if you’re correct in your assumptions of wanting to get remarried, because men who are happily married generally get married quicker after their wife dies. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying it’s interesting to think about.

    My wife tells me the same thing. I hope I never find myself in a position to find out who is right.

  5. I think I would get remarried, because I could imagine feeling very lonely after being so used to being married. I welcome the idea of working on a new relationship in a way. But hopefully, it would never have to come to that. I’m just now learning how to be a better husband, and learning to love my life unconditionally as the bible says. and I would miss my wife terribly!

    I can’t imagine what life without my wife would be like, which is why I try my best to let her know how much I love her whenever I can… life is so fleeting. I just really don’t think I have it in me to start again (and, again, hoping to never have to find out). After 26 years (our anniversary was this last weekend), you would think I would have this “good husband” thing down pat, but I’m still learning not to be selfish (still a lot of learning to do). Thanks for the comment.

  6. Very interesting conversation. I married my high school sweetheart at 19 and here we are 32 years later still together. It hasn’t been an easy journey but it’s surely been interesting. 🙂

    Great to hear. As I say about my wife and me – “Who would have thought…”

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