Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Is the person with whom you are now in love, the person you are going to be with in a few years ... five ... ten ... twenty...?
Marriage statistics are not hopeful: 50 % of marriages end in divorce. College-educated older guys -- 81% -- stay married. Younger guys, who marry before age 26 -- just 65 % stay married. And only 49% of high school. graduates who marry before 26, stay hitched.
The same numbers apply in a same sex relationship -- college-educated are more likely to stay married, younger is riskier.
So statistics tell you not to count on being with the same partner, for the next twenty years.
Okay, maybe you want to be married legally because you want to have a family. If you have a little one, two parents are important, and better for the child than one. You're thinking of financial security, two breadwinners is better. Will being married affect yearly taxes? Not necessarily. Won't it be easier to enroll the child in schools? Possibly. What about visits in hospitals, and getting medical coverage? It might be a little easier, but it might not make any difference.
But if a child isn't on the way, and you're living together ... well, the problems of staying together for more than a few years are going to be the same.
After a few years, you and your partner change. Your lovemaking may become less passionate. Maybe you're attracted to others, and one of you, or both of you need affairs. And a lot of things have to mesh -- housekeeping chores, favorite foods, possessions; attitudes toward money, relatives, religion; feelings about fun, recreations, vacations; and work -- goals, dreams, career, things each of you wants to achieve.
What united you and made you compatible, sometimes, gradually separates you. All this is part of living together (married or not). Your limbs, brain, and organs are not fused. One-ness -- lone-ness is real. Sharing yourself -- bending, cleaving to another lone person varies from day to day.
Infidelity is a big deal. Illness can be a big deal. Personal tragedy, accidents, happenstance -- any of this can break apart a loving twosome. Yes, it can destroy a family, but family -- your mother, your father, their offspring -- your siblings -- they remain your family no matter what happens.
A former housemate, former lover ... well, they can disappear, re-marry, or become an "ex" and just a memory.
I think, if you make the person you are living with your family -- it's a word, but the word helps -- like a hug sometimes helps.
In the tough times, the troubled times, the times when my husband and I have NOT been in rapport, we nevertheless, remained each other's family. He is my Brother, Sister, Mother, Father. If one of us fell in love with someone else, (that more or less happened), if we separated (that's more or less happened), we are still the family of each other. "True to each other in good times or bad, in sickness and in health ... for better, for worse, richer or poorer ... until death ...
Think on it. Make the person you love your family. The word means your partner is in your life forever.