Monday, July 07, 2008

'Til Death Do Us Part

I found the following assertion (well, warning, really) in this column, which interviewed a priest on marriage advice.

People are the same after marriage as before, only more so.

Pretty astute for someone who has never been married, no? He meant it in the sense that you can't change someone by marrying them (i.e., someone who drinks too much before marriage will drink too much after marriage too). But it occurs to me that this statement is also true in the sense that whatever attracts you to a person in the first place, has the potential to drive you crazy after a while. The boyfriend who is so steady and dependable? Becomes boring. The guy with the great sense of humor? Turns out he can never be serious. One of the things that attracted me to Larry was that he was so nice to everyone he met. Now it often irritates me that he gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. Dammit, can't he be just a little critical?

I'm sure this works the same way for guys, too. The bubbly girlfriend who could hold up her end of the conversation and always had something fun to say? Turns into the wife who just doesn't shut up. The independent, take-charge career woman? Changes to a control freak - can't she ever let her husband make the plans instead?

You know, people mention the 50 percent divorce rate and shake their heads in dismay; but, to my mind, it's amazing that half of all marriages succeed.

Have no fear, though; Larry's and mine will be one of the successful ones. I'm pretty sure that - no matter how much we might irritate one another at times (um, hypothetically speaking, of course), and regardless of what rough spots we might have to navigate in the course of lifelong matrimony - neither of us will be anxious to just bail out. For we have a deal, you see: should one of us decide that the marriage is over? He/she will receive full, unhampered custody of all six kids.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Quitters never win," doesn't it?

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35 comments:

  1. hahaa! That's a good one. I've told Military Man that before. "Honey, if I ever decide to divorce you, I won't fight you for the kids, you can keep them. It's fine.....oh and the dogs too...totally yours"

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  2. We're just too lazy to get divorced. My word, it looks like a process. All those meetings! All that money!

    Seriously, though, I consider myself pretty lucky I chose wisely. And I had the clarity to realize, with some previous boyfriends, what exactly would drive me to homicidal levels later on.

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  3. Here's a classic response to divorce that I heard---"So and So is getting a divorce? Why? She'll just marry another MAN!" They'll all drive you crazy at some point. lol.

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  4. hahaha. With a deal like that you are stuck together like glue.

    And with him being that NICE it is hard to get him to leave first...

    Hey! I have something for you over at my place. MWAH.

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  5. I think we do change continuously, so I'll have to disagree with the priest. Especially the younger you marry. Brad and I are both very different than when we got married, luckily not in any detrimental way. I think what the priest means is that when people are courting they put on a facade of perfection for their partner. But after the marriage they stop maintaining that and become more who they really are.

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  6. I always say, "If I were going to leave you I would have done it a long time ago."

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  7. I'm kinda with you on that front. We've got this arrangement where he works and I take care of the kids. If either of us ever leaves it would just be nasty for both of us.

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  8. Oh, I love the part about whoever wants out gets the kids.
    I'd so much rather work on making a marriage work than kicking it to the curb.
    Yes, my husband and I drive each other crazy but we're still madly in love.

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  9. So true, so true (about the things that you used to love about the person driving you crazy after the marriage.) I have noticed that after about a year or two after we got married. Unfortunately, so did the hubby...

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  10. I'm with Amy, too cheap and too lazy to even contemplate divorce. Sean's so lucky to have gotten a perfect wife like me.

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  11. Ha ha ha! That is the same deal we have here! Whoever leaves has to take the kids with them. It has been the secret of our almost 28 year marriage. Neither of us wants them by ourselves, so we stay. And here I thought we were the lone clever people. Guess not.

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  12. We always joke that we will be at the courts whining "Judge, make him take his visitations!" or "She didn't keep them the whole weekend!"

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  13. That's excellent advice. I feel secure in knowing that Mr. D would HATE to part with alimony and child support payments--it's cheaper for him to keep us all around ;) Seriously, I think the other major flaw with marriage is people expect others to MAKE THEM HAPPY. When that's your bar, surely every marriage will fall short of it.

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  14. Great advice, and a great divorce deterrent! My hubby is welcome to take the teenager if he ever leaves.

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  15. You've made some very good points...I like that priest's quote. SO true...

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  16. I'll mention that to my other half and see if I can pull any leverage!
    Cheers

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  17. I've rarely met a person that was happier or better off after their divorce--unless the divorce was caused by alcholism or abuse--in which case a lot of heartache could have been avoided by listening to that priest's advice.

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  18. That has always been my parents' marriage philosophy, and it must work, since they just celebrated their 30th anniversary. And they only have 2 kids!

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  19. Awesome plan. Definitely a recipe for marriage success.

    Yes, I too, am always surprised that 50% of the marriages succeed. Seems pretty good to me.

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  20. There's a killer book by Harville Hendrix called Getting The Love You Want and he says that is EXACTLY what happens to people. You're attracted to someone for a quality you don't have and vice versa. That part was shut off in childhood for whatever reasons.

    You seek it out to make yourself whole but you end up hating the person whose trait you at first admired. Because you didn't have it as a child, it's now anathema to you. It's out of place. Unwanted.

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  21. I agree that the annoying things don't go away, and the previously endearing things turn annoying. But you forgot to mention that new annoying things pop up over the years. Like wives who can't seem to stop blogging...where did that come from? No inkling during the courtship, there!

    The fun of lifelong marriage is getting to see what new annoying thing is going to pop up next.

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  22. Yep. My husband and I lived together for 4 years before marriage so that I could sample the merchandise.

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  23. You may be the two smartest people ever.

    I'm also surprised that half of marriages continue (I won't say succeed, because the absence of divorce doesn't necessarily mean success.)

    Sounds like the two of you have it figured out, though. Here's a toast: May neither one of you ever be saddled with all the kids!

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  24. btw, have you vomited yet?

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  25. One of the groomsmen in our wedding was dating a girl who chatters non-stop. I mean non-stop. Whenever my hubby would ask him about how he dealt with all the chatter, he'd just shake his head and say, "too many words." Now he's married to that chatterbox, and he says he goes to work just to have some peace and quiet!

    I married a prince, and in addition to the fact that this makes ME a princess, I really like being married to him. Waiting until I was 40 to get married proved to be wise. I was educated in how to pick a good one whose habits I could withstand! And the best part? He can withstand mine!

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  26. Totally agree...totally agree...so funny!

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  27. We have the same deal: "If you leave, you get the kids."

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  28. I am the same as you. He drives me nuts at times, and know I do the same. But, we are in it for the long haul. Frankly, I don't want to train anyone else. I am just getting started with this one!

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  29. That's too funny.
    I agree with the statement that whatever attracted you to them drives you crazy after a while! I definitely chose better the second time around, but he still drives me nuts!!! :)

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  30. That plan could easily save many a marriage.

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  31. I recently read that the divorce rate has taken a rather significant dive. Can you believe more marriages are working? Have you been handing out marriage advice?

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  32. Single with 6 kids would scare thoughts of divorce right out of me. It already did and I'd have to pick up 3 extra kids to even make that work.

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  33. OH, I love that! I've always told my husband that if he gave me reason to leave he would never see his kids again, boy I had it all wrong.

    On that note, what you say is very true. I loved that my husband was such a good listener, now I wish he would speak more. =)

    But I'm still gaga over the guy.

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  34. Oh, and one of my favorite lines on divorce and remarriage is:
    "The only thing that changes is the name."

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  35. Ha! I have a friend that has made the same deal with her husband over their child. I've already told Eric that he can keep C and I'll take the twins...until THEY hit 6 or 7. Then ALL of them are his!

    Whee!

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