Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Post: Life After Married

My friend Amanda is getting married this weekend.  Snaps to Amanda and her charming soon-to-be husband!  Beyond the basic well wishing, of which there will be much in the coming days and weeks, it seems appropriate to offer some kind of advice or forewarning as she saunters into the land of hitched.  The problem is, I don’t have the best track record when it comes to the whole committed relationship thing.  You see, I’ve been married twice, and am on the down side of a 5 year relationship now, so for me to offer anything other than good luck is a bit of misnomer…

However, in true life giving you lemons style, I turned my lack of married success into a thriving blog called Life After Married.  LAM offers pithy and not-so-pithy glimpses into the inner workings of relationships and what life looks like when you followed the map and played by the rules, and still ended up in a quagmire of dysfunction and disillusion.  Life After Married is where you go when you wake up in the morning and say to yourself “…wait a second…this is what it’s all about?...Seriously…?”

Knowing that Amanda is of sound mind and character, I have the utmost faith in her ability to rock a relationship – married or otherwise.  But just in case, there’s always my site…! 

The following piece was recently published on Life After Married, and was written by my wise and worldly 23 year old editorial assistant.  I tried to come up with something more appropriate or fitting for someone about to walk down the aisle, but I couldn’t! 

So here’s to weddings and parties and marriages…and even Life After Married…may they all be splendid!

After 35 Years of Marriage:

The other night I was having dinner with my parents. My mother had made dinner and my father was doing the dishes. A fight ensued. My mother started screaming at my father because he was cleaning the dishes the “wrong way.” My father shot back that my mother never even does the dishes so she should remain quiet…in so many words.

During the entire fight my mother and father were seemingly pissed off at one another – and yet were laughing hysterically. I was befuddled, perplexed, and I couldn’t stop laughing at (with?) them. Since I have never been able to hold a relationship longer than two years (judge not lest ye be judged), the relationship that my parents have oftentimes confuses and intrigues me more than I would like to admit. They have been married for 35 years and they have never been more in love. There are no two people who care more about one another – or complain more about one another in the most affectionate way that I know.

I never try to base my own relationships off those of other’s; however, my parents and their intimate connection after almost 38 years of knowing one another is what I one day hope to have. After 35 years of marriage I want to be able to yell at my husband at the top of my lungs while holding a drying rag, and start hysterically laughing at something only the two of us understand.

What makes a marriage stay together after so long? What keeps people laughing and fighting and making up? And how, might I add, are people able to stand each other for that amount of time? Beyond love, beyond laughter, how do two people stay in each other’s presence for such a long amount of time and learn to grow together?

This is the thing that confounds me. Growing seems like such a personal and emotional process – how it is possible someone can share that with you and also grow in their own way? When couples are married for decades, I don’t envy them, I’m fascinated by them. They are creatures of habit. People with security and an insurmountable amount of trust between each other are people that I envy. Perhaps it is not the marriage aspect that affects me when I think about my parents, but the way that they have kept themselves, their being, and the root of their individual characters intact over the last 35 years.

They have grown together and individually. Something I have yet to be able to do with a partner, and something I will strive to do in the future.

*A freelance blogger, Sara is the writer and publisher of Blue Blinds, Boston Editor of The Fashionable Housewife, and a contributor to, a blog about the business of caregiving. She is currently developing a new blog venture, Life After Married, an on-line editorial destination for anyone who has asked the question “…now what?” after a few years of marriage.

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