The Illusion of Love......
Let's begin with the notion that being married for 50 years is something we as a civilized society should strive for. Is it a realistic expectation? Or is it a forced upon myth like the tooth fairy or the ever elusive Lochness monster?
My youngest sister once told me she thought it "unnatural" to be with the same person and commit yourself for the rest of your breathing days. I and my older sisters who were all happily married at the time, scoffed at her. We thought her remark childlike and that of young inexperience. After all, there are plenty of great marriages out there in plain view that showcase the fact that "yes" you can be married and happily at that for many years. Further investigation, though, is starting to prove otherwise.
We start out with electrifying chemistry, at least some of us do. We become intertwined, losing site of the original I and you. We form shared conclusions and ideas. When our partner speaks of future plans, we see ourselves clearly embedded in them. It's all sweet, comfortable and just somehow feels right.
Then the days of exhaustion sets in, exhaustion from trying to play a part. Our perfect lady like behavior and his Knight in Shining armor persona starts to fade. We burn dinner, he can't fix the toilet. We long for the days of just spending a quiet Sunday morning on our own. He envies his single friends nights out. It becomes classic. The seven year itch is quickly turning into "it's only been a year" panic.
I believe that fundamentally you can't change another person. Hard as you may try to. We are products of our childhoods. We may bend in order to accommodate the one's we love, we may hide our seething resentment to keep the peace, but it eventually begins to spill out.
Sometimes love may not be enough. We become interested in different things, things we no longer share. We miss our dear friends that we somehow lost track of. We dream of accomplishing different goals. Things that were once important to the both of us begin to seem like distant memories.
Perhaps, this is my own disillusionment. My own sadness setting in. Although, I will always truly love this person. Is it right to stay with someone out of obligation? Should guilt take over and decide our destinies? These are tough questions that need to be addressed. I'm not advocating giving up easily and I'm certainly not saying that marriages can be everything you thought they would be, but learning and growing, can sometimes mean letting go. The good times will always be cherished and the bad times will always be lessons learned.
Ultimately, are long-lasting relationships an illusion?