‘Til Death Do Us Part?
Remember the book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” by John Gray? I’m sure most of us read it when it originally came out in the early nineties. It focused on the differences between men and women and how to relate to each other and better communicate. Well, I have a confession to make. I was too focused on how to be right when I read it than on how to understand my man. Either that or I was too busy working, raising children and taking care of a household to take in any of the advice.
I’ve been married to the same man for 36 years. Way back in 1976, when we were first married, we, being, of course, a very modern couple, didn’t really have a sense of ’till death do us part. In fact, the words of our committment were “as long as love shall last.” I look at that today and think “That was a pretty weak commitment!”
Anyway, since marriage is such a big part of my life, I had to take a look at it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I saw. Since the children grew up and left home, we’ve more often gone our individual ways than worked on cementing what we had. We don’t share many of the same hobbies and had less and less to talk about over the years. The arguments were more frequent, the resentment stronger and the love didn’t really appear to be there any more. I didn’t have any real desire to leave, but I didn’t want to continue in the same unhappy way. And I’m sure you know how effective “We need to talk” is!
On the surface, most of my friends seem to have similar issues with their husbands, but, at this age, we don’t spend a lot of time discussing those kinds of issues. I also knew I didn’t want my “golden years of marriage” to look like my parents’ did. So I’ve started to delve into some research about marriages in our sixties to see if what I was feeling was normal, not normal or something else. And, could I change anything to make things better? Revive the zing that was there before jobs, children, aging, life?
I’ve stocked up on books, scoured the internet, subscribed to numerous blogs and websites and, boy, have my eyes been opened! Even though it’s still early in the process, I’ve learned so much already. My plan is to share these revelations in short posts over the next few months as I try to implement some of the things I’m reading about. I’ll also add a tab to the blog with a list of the resources I will be using, in case I inspire any of you to do further reading for yourself. I hope you’ll join me in discovering what marriage in the “third act” can look like!
Is your marriage all that it can be?