On Christmas eve – 31st December last year, I heard what I believe could be the best marriage analogy ever. We were gathered as family and right before we came into the new year, started to talk about love, marriage, infidelity, a social media images of marriage and of course, the D word – divorce. Everyone was well fed and watered, so you know these conversations are always enjoyable.
Then one of my family members commented on analysing a marriage with a method that I think is fool proof.
A couple’s married life, if mapped out on a graph, would probably go up and down and up and down. The ups and downs would represent the happy times and difficult times. This is what the graph for most newly weds would look like. A husband and/or wife should worry if when they charted their marriage, the line stayed low, on a straight line, representing a steady and long period of difficult times, and very rarely went up to indicate happy times!
I wanted to do a slow clap, I just love this analogy.
It could help perfectionists get realistic about their marriage – is it really that bad from month to month?
It could be a tool for newly weds to see just how difficult (or not) those first years are going.
Couples could also use it to check in with each other – you chart yours and I’ll chart mine, month by month and then let’s exchange and discuss.
Therapists could also give it to couples as home work.
You could use it to assess other relationships, too, I imagine.
Secondly – First comes marriage…
So talking about marriages made me think about this scenario that occurred a few years ago.
I had so many weddings to attend that year – all my vacation time was scheduled around the weddings. I think I was between 25 and 27 years old, and I wasn’t married then. At work, I told one of my senior managers* that all my friends were getting married, likely during a conversation about holidays.
She laughed and said that she remembered that time in her life too. Then calmly and softly she added that now the weddings were being replaced by divorces.
I can laugh now, but at the time, I was so disturbed by this statement. She just said it like it was normal, no biggie. While I young and hopeful tried to swallow the harsh reality of her comment. It’s a sad sign of the times we live in. Saying that, maybe marriages were just as difficult in the past, only people stayed together for the kids (or other reasons) more often. Regardless, here’s hoping we all stay together, where the marriage is healthy or can realistically be restored to health! Can I get an amen?
What analogy or thoughts about marriage have you heard that you thought were good? What are your views on the first seven years of marriage for young couples, from your experience and those around you? Are they truly the hardest years of marriage?
What other topics would you like to discuss regarding marriage?
*this was in the UK.