Going the Distance

If you read Cosmo, they will divulge the secrets to a lasting marriage are sensual rose-scented candles and random sex rendezvous, Vogue will assure the need for a push-up bra and black stilettos, while Oprah will insist a solid relationship is measured by your depth in acknowledging your partner’s inner world and probably something about releasing your inner child all magically on that island retreat.
Having been partnered for two decades I will tell you it is quite possibly all of that and then some! You just might feel better about yourself with some added push-up as gravity starts its pull-down, and spontaneous anything is always a treat (like two coconut clusters waiting just for you at the end of a long day!) as is knowing your spouse’s inner world while remembering to care for your own self. Mix in having faith in something bigger than you two, with the good fortune of a lucky Buddha, taking the occasional get-a-way (even if it is to the local diner for pie!) and keeping your smile bright and your eyes twinkling when you greet each other, and then you just might go the distance.
But even with all of that in place you might find an occasional snag in your relationship; that is when your minister will remind you that you are joined by God, your mother will tell you the cost of all that fine china you acquired at the wedding, your school website will show stats on soaring GPA’s from the healthy, well-adjusted children of two parent families, and even your doctor will confirm that married folks live longer. Unfortunately, for many couples none of that will have the power to hold you together. So what will you ask?
You will. Only you will. Together. For the longest time, it might be about the dreams you hold for the future. The perfect kids you will have in that perfect house with the perfect careers. Imagine a Pottery Barn catalogue with people; that will be you, you think. Unfortunately many couples crumble when that impossible dream crumbles. When little Susie tells you in no uncertain terms what a bad parent you are, or your company downsizes leaving you unemployed, or any other real life crisis hits. Even then you have to realize you can get through, you, together, marching along this twisting life.
After time, memory will turn fuzzy, like those old Super 8 family movies, but perhaps even more endearing. After time, you will lean on those rich memories. Recalling all the firsts, the falls, the highs, and looking at those laugh lines you both created along the way make the present all that more real and all the more worth staying together.

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