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As a married man closer to 40 than to 30 I have very few truly single friends.  Almost everyone I know and regularly hang with is either married or in a pretty solid relationship.  The interesting thing about that is the complete differences between the type of relationship I see in the couples that are part of our circle of friends.

Now, I know it isn’t reasonable to expect couples to be the same any more than you expect people to be the same.  But, the difference in the ways people relate to each other within marriage is so marked that sometimes I wonder if the word “marriage” actually has a true meaning.  Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that most (and I would not necessarily say all, but I could be wrong) of the couples I know do have an emotional bond that runs deep.  The differences seem to be in the day-to-day interactions between the two.

I guess to anyone outside a particular relationship the interactions will feel a little alien.  You aren’t either of the people involved, you don’t have their history, their personality, their expectations.  But, one would think that with something that is such a building block of our societal and cultural evolution there would be a bit more uniformity of experience to draw upon.

It gets to me at times.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it does.  I think the biggest problem I have is hearing couples talk about how much they need time away from their spouse.  That simply doesn’t compute for me.  My wife is like an extension of me, and I believe she feels the same in vicey-versey.  Any experiences that I have, or time I spend without her is like losing half of that experience or time.  And yet some couples feel a nagging need to be apart. 

And I am tired of hearing that I don’t understand because I haven’t been married long enough.  I have seen plenty of examples that it doesn’t have to change.  My parents and grandparents to begin with.  Telling me something like that is a cop-out.  It is a way of rationalizing the fact that you see something in my relationship you want but don’t have.  In the eternal words of Don Henley: “Get Over It.”

My wife is my best friend.  Any time I see, hear, or read anything that excites me for good or for ill she is the first person I have to tell.  If that isn’t what you have, that’s a choice.  The person you are married to sparked your imagination once, search for that spark and rekindle it if it is winking out.

There is always some common ground out there.  Maybe it is something simple or trivial.  But that is solid earth on which to lay a foundation that can become a grand palace.  You just have to want to build it.


One Comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Amy and I do everything together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids performed at a festival this past Friday and di really well. When I turned to share it with someone important she wasn’t there. It made it a bit bitter sweet for me.

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