I was watching Modern Family the other night, still one of the best sitcoms on TV, and there was a great line. “You fall in love with this extraordinary person, and then after twenty years of marriage, find yourself married to an ordinary person.” I think this is so true.
I have some friends who aren’t particularly happy in their marriages. Actually, the funny thing is I’m not sure they’re unhappy, they’re just not enthralled with their partner any more. Chock it up to boredom, or just 20 years of living with the same person, but somewhere along the way, they’ve stopped seeing the things that attracted them to their partner and have forgotten why they love them.
Part of the problem is we’re sold a bill of goods when we get married. According to movies and magazines, the fairy tale romance is followed by a storybook wedding and the happy ever after ending. It’s no coincidence that romantic comedies end when the couple kiss, instead of on their tenth or twentieth wedding anniversary.
Other cultures don’t subscribe to this fantasy view of marriage. Last year we visited Tanzania and had some interesting discussions about true love and marriage. Our guide told us he didn’t believe in true love and that in Tanzania, marriage is seen as a partnership. Other cultures believe in arranged marriages.
Crosby Stills Nash sang, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” This week’s Happy Act on Valentine’s Day weekend is to love the one you’re with. Look at your partner and make a mental list of what made you fall in love with them. Kiss them like it was the first time you kissed them. Tell them all the reasons you love them. Love the one you’re with.