Love and Marriage

I read somewhere that Margaret Atwood said a divorce is like an amputation, you’re less afterwards. That would make me 4/5th the woman I used to be and still I feel like there is so much more of me now than at any other point in my life.

On the way to Spain, I was trying to explain to my son that things had changed. A dear woman had passed from illness and old age, another had separated from her long-time partner (badly), a friend’s prominent restaurant had moved, and that another dear friend would only be there for a small part of our stay. Tin said, “Why do things have to change? I like them the way they are.”

Oh yes, we all like them the way they are until we don’t. A friend’s sister wants to have a baby, but she’s recently divorced and it is neigh impossible to meet, greet, and procreate in a short period of time. It’s been done, but not often.

I’ve had one too many interaction with couples spiraling into an abyss – cheaters, liars, indifference, not to mention the chronically needy. I watch from the peanut gallery – some experience under my belt – and yet perplexed at how appearances mean nothing when it comes to love and marriage (read: any committed relationship).

A few years ago, I read an advice column about a situation that I identified with – the woman who wrote said that she was fairly attractive but that her friend got all the guys. The advice was for her to look at the type of guys her friend got – were they men who would stay, commit, was her friend in a long-term relationship, and was she happy? I cut out the column and put it somewhere – a file folder, my scrapbook, a drawer – I don’t remember where, but I remember what it said.

A dear friend here suffered the worst tragedy imaginable and lost her husband and son in it more than a decade ago. A dear friend here found out her many decades partner was leaving and had another woman, one who was impregnated within months and is now about to have a baby. A friend here was walking down the beach with his new girlfriend as if last year he had not been doing the same with another. It is these moments when you want to turn your back on love, to say it doesn’t exist, to be paranoid about the fact that perhaps you created all those love affairs in your own mind and they did not really happen.

On the same beach, in the same town, are three relationships with husbands and wives and children – families where you see active love, longevity, commitment, support, parenting, kisses, and that special light when one lover looks into his beloved’s eyes. It’s all happening here folks, magic on the beach, and miraculously this is the fifth year in a row I’ve seen these three couples in situ. One of them told me you can overcome anything with a loving partner beside you to support and care for you. That, for her, love is the most important.

When people get married because they think
it’s a long-time love affair,
they’ll be divorced very soon,
because all love affairs end in disappointment.
But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity.
– Joseph Campbell

One Response to “Love and Marriage”

  1. Locked In | Says:

    […] a post titled Love and Marriage, about how things change so many times in our lives and in others’, she wrote, “A friend here […]

Leave a Reply