‘Til death do us part

 

No one said marriage would be easy. Getting married, easy; staying married, hard work. My DH comes from a long line of mono-marriages; I come from a long line of multi-divorces. I joke that my parents are serial monogamists but its really not funny. Cumulatively, they’ve been divorced four times and married six; my mom’s on her third husband, my dad, his fourth wife.

Current statistics show that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. In fact, the year we got married, so did several of our close friends. We couldn’t help attending some weddings that year, wondering which would become a statistic. Marriage is the target practice at life’s artillery range, bullets like graduate school, relocating, children, career(s), and business travel can leave it pretty tattered.

My parents may not have set the bar very high but well-weathered marriages, ones that had endured through the years, surmounted the challenges, and risen above the fray, did. Which is why I am still deeply unsettles by Al and Tipper Gore’s divorce.

Back in June, when the news broke, DH clipped this article for me. It’s not that the Gores were my role models, nor do I think of them as poster-children for “Happily Ever After.” What I find so sobering are the article’s statistics about the diminishing  amount of dinner conversation married couples have over the years.

When marriage vows were scripted, median life expectancy was somewhere around 50. You got married in early adolescence, had children before 20, raised them and died. Manageable, doable, possibly even pleasurable. But now? Life expectancy world-wide is 80!  So maybe I should be thankful that DH’s job has him on the road 50% of the time. Maybe that will give us 50% more time to make up for when our marriage is 20 years in.  And seeing how we got married at 28 and 31, I’m counting on SIX whole minutes of robust dinner conversation by the time our last supper roles around. Opinions welcome.

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