Monday, November 16, 2009

Mawwiage is what brings us together...

"Like so many contemporary philosophers, he particularly enjoyed giving helpful advice to people who were happier than he was." ~Tom Lehrer

I like being married. Oh, maybe not in general; I mean, I can picture quite a large number of situations in which being married would be inconvenient, annoying, or downright nightmarish. But I like being married to The Beautiful Woman... and I liked being married to my Supposed Former Wife well enough that I was willing to get married again after my first marriage imploded.

At one point, I had intended to spend some time on this blog talking about marriage: about what makes it work, about warning signs indicating that it isn't working, about mistakes that I see people making... and I can't. At least, not in general terms.

Marriage is different for everyone. Don't take my word for it; look around. Anyone who thinks that there's a single {formula/model/piece of advice} that will {help/work for} everyone is clearly delusional. (By extension, this means that probably a full third of all the self-help, new age, and Christian living books on the market are a complete waste of your time and money.) The best general marriage advice I can come up with is this: "Find something that works for you."

I can think of an addendum: "...and stick with it for as long as it works." I can also think of a couple of corrolaries: "Know yourself well enough to realize what you want and what you need, and how to tell the difference between the two." "Make sure your expectations are realistic." But, basically, it comes back to finding something that works for you.

I still have a few specific rants on the topic. (In fact, I wrote one on the topic of "It Just Happened" back before I even had the blog.) So I'll probably be coming back to the subject.

There is one other point I'd like to make, which is also a corrolary to the "find something that works for you" rule. It's this: Just because something doesn't or couldn't work for you, that does not mean that someone else is doing it wrong. I say this particularly in relation to the Homosexual (Etc.) marriage debate which is currently occupying a certain amount of our national politics, but it's good general advice, too. There's a natural Human tendency to think that the way I do something is clearly the best way, especially if it works so well for me. By extension, it's easy to think that anyone who doesn't do it that way must be ignorant, or insane, or possibly immoral.

But, well, people are different. And anything built from people - as marriage is - is naturally going to vary depending on which people it's built from. And that is, actually, the way it's supposed to be.


  1. Very well put. Thank you.


  2. Michael, what WONDERFUL advice -- I can tell I'm going to quote you on that to a whole lot of people!

    Laurie, married 27 years and still finding what works :)


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