Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OK, any second now my marriage is supposed to fall apart...

Today, I have been married to my wife for two years - and it has been great.

When I announced my engagement, I endured the regular barrage of "jokes" that married men tell engaged men, such as:

"You'll always get the last word - yes, ma'am!"

These jokes are always accompanied with a clap on the back and uproarious laughter from the person telling the joke - and no one else. (Does this person realize that they have just broadcasted the failure of their own marriage to the entire room?)

Some single people at work told me that the whole thing was a mistake because married people didn't have sex. (I wonder where all of those kids at church are coming from...) Others told me that a pre-nuptial was critical - since they didn't think I could possibly have chosen a trustworthy woman. (Without a pre-nuptial agreement, how would we know how to divide up the cat toys and action figures? Seriously, I'm not Paul McCartney.)

After the wedding, I listened to everyone's prophecy discerning when "the honeymoon would be over." After a few months of happy married life the "wiser" men would tell me that "this was when it started for them" - which meant Christine and I were going to start fighting and would watch our happiness fall apart under the stress of marriage. (For some reason, people think it's normal to tell you these things.)

After one year, the prophets amended their visions - now that we had gotten through the first year we would start to hate each other and it would all break down. And they still thought this was funny.

Wrong again, Nostradmus. Christine and I still don't fight about anything. (OK, there was that one time we were discussing the role of metanarratives in post-modernity and we may have gotten upset at each other - but stuff like that is really important!) While the "wise" naysayers struggle within their marriages and smugly tell me I should expect the same, I remain happy in my marriage.

What makes people in bad relationships consider themselves experts on mine? Christine and I only need to look at our own respective parents for good examples of how to make a marriage work. With our parents as strong leaders and examples for us we are able to know how it should work.

As for the rest of you, the cynics who insist that my marriage will fall apart just like yours, I recommend you stop scrutinizing the Jones' and figure out why you blew it in your own marriage. I'll be here if you have any questions.

6 comments:

  1. Could not have said it better myself, or in a more appropriately sarcastic tone. Janelle and I went through exactly the same junk, and we felt the same way. We're through 3 1/2 years, and like you two, we just don't fight about stuff (at least, nothing smaller than meta arratives and the regulative principle in worship services...and even then, it's more like kind disagreements).

    I think people feel the need to joke about junk like this either because things are failing in their own lives, or because they really don't want to awkwardly think about something substantive to say, and thus choose to repeat the same old garbage they've heard their whole lives, even if it's not true about them.

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  2. Congratulations. You are also raising a child in a unique situation while both of you are going to school. Managing your marriage should be very difficult but you seem to have done very well. That's encouraging!

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  3. All marital cynicism aside, a prenuptial agreement is generally a good idea from a legal perspective. It sounds like you'll probably be fine without one though.

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  4. Congratulations!

    Laura and I are coming up on our second year and while we can’t claim to be fight free, we are indeed happy in our marriage (and don’t plan on changing that status). Though I can understand some friendly guy joking; it is unhealthy if not followed by support and encouragement and in general a positive outlook on marriage. I guess I have been fortunate to run in circles where this is not the norm. Who is it that generally gives you this advice: the unmarried, the recently married, or the long married?

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  5. You silly. Don't you know society has things scripted out for you? You can't just go galavanting around ingoring your lines! Where are you getting all these odd stage directions from, anyway? ;)

    "Dull sublunary lovers' love / —Whose soul is sense—cannot admit / Of absence, 'cause it doth remove / The thing which elemented it."

    It goes both ways, I suppose. Neither can they stand being together holisticly. To be fair, you and Christine had a long friendship; and you knew yourselves better than most, which enables you to know each other well too... "But we of a love so much refined / [...] / Inter-assurèd of the mind / ..." Happy anniversary.

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