June 27th, 2012
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Anna Karenina
Two kinds of marriages
There are good marriages and bad marriages. Half kidding, there are good and bad, but there are a lot becoming bad or becoming better and everything in between. There are as many kinds of marriages as there are kinds of people. When Kinsey did his studies, he found happily married people who had sex a couple of times a year, and happily married people who had sex a couple times a day. And that’s just the beginning. And that’s just the sex part. (You notice I started there, but I’ll move on, give me a minute.) Kinsey’s study showed that lower classes cheat the first few years of marriage, then are faithful, the educated/upper classes do the opposite.
I remember when my son was a teenager he asked me what people wanted in a marriage partner as far as sex. I said, what do you think? (usually safe) and he said, “Someone who wants as much sex as you do.” Smart kid. And you could add, likes the kind of sex you do. You like outdoor sex, handcuff sex, etc etc, so do they.
Happy marriages include the following: People living in separate bedrooms. A male and female where both parties are gay and sleep with other people when they need sex. Lots of children. No children. Swingers. People who live most of their lives apart. People who can’t get enough of being together all the time.
You get all kinds of happy marriages and of course, as a writer, those marriages are great to live but not nearly as fun to write about as unhappy marriages. Unhappy marriages you can fill pages about. Anna Karenina was married to an older guy and eventually she wanted to be with a dashing fellow her own age, but she couldn’t have it all, her son, her lover and a new life. It’s complicated. Unhappiness usually is. Whereas happiness is much simpler.
Happiness is something we choose, but for some people, it’s elusive. My basic rule for a happy marriage is to choose a happy person to be married to. If you choose someone who isn’t happy and think you’re going to cheer that person up, that probably isn’t going to happen on a permanent basis.
Having just spent 2 weeks solid with my spouse, (we’re going home in a couple of days) I can say that a lot of people would have been picking on each other, avoiding each other, fighting. We used to fight back when there was more to fight about, and we didn’t know how to stop ourselves. Now we generally don’t fight because it doesn’t get anywhere.
But is your marriage/your relationship normal? There’s no such thing as normal. If you can stand each other, if you have some good times, and you’re not hurting anyone or yourselves, it’s all good. So what if you watch four documentaries a day, or eat garlic three times a day, or raise the kids learning to touch their toes every morning? Touch those toes. It’s good for you, some day when you’re old, they may be too far away.
P.S. dear blog readers, the Augmentin worked, so I can be a doctor too.