I Hate You ... Let's Get Married!
Anyone who knows me well can attest that I can have the odd strange idea. They can also attest I argue fairly passionately, at great length, for something I believe in and that my crackpot ideas at least make sense once I've bored the crap out of whoever my victim is. I'd go so far as to say my ideas often make sense in theory. In a parallel universe, I may well be the guy who conceived Communism. I'm an ideas man. Not much of a doer, I'll admit. But I reckon I'm onto something here ...
Marriage. It's been in the media a fair bit lately with the marriage equality stuff, but that's not today's topic. It got me thinking about marriage in general though. It's a bloody tough gig. Although data indicates the divorce rate is dropping in Australia, it's still around the 40% mark, which is still too many unhappy couples, right? For those with kids (more than half), that's a lot of stressed and sad little ones. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not judging anyone. As I said, marriage is hard. There are so many obstacles life throws before us, that you can't plan for, even the strongest of couples can find it impossible. So how can we improve the numbers a little more? It's those who perish after only a year to two I reckon are screwing, sorry skewing the numbers a little bit.
Like any impossible quest, I believe the best chance we can give ourselves of scaling Mt Marriage is to prepare properly. Of course, it would help if we were all great at choosing perfect life partners. But, I'm going to go out on a limb here, I bet that either you or someone close to you is positively fucking terrible at this. I apologise for my language, but it had to be said with the weighty offence of the truth. This is life we're talking about. You know, " ... until death do us part." This is not just something you do governed by a certain age you've reached, or a point in life, or because your friends are all doing it. As I said, this is for life. So where does it all go wrong? Well, I think one of the big problems, with those who don't make it past the first few years, is people get married when they're happy.
Ding ding ding, and there it is, people! What the @#$% is he talking about?! Of course people get married when they're happy. When else would they get married, when they're miserable? Well, not quite, but when they're pretty pissed at one another wouldn't be bad start. I'm not suggesting that yet-to-be-married couples in failing relationships should rush out and get married - this is yet another horrible mistake people make. No, what I'm saying is, particularly in the case of whirlwind courtships, people often get married during that fizzy OMG-our-life-is-so-perfect-we-could-just-do-this-forever period. These couples, you often hear say, "We've never even had a cross word." And there it is. My view has always been that the strength of a relationship has nothing to do with how you feel about each other when things are good, but how you feel about each other when they a right bag of shit. Anyone can proclaim their love when it's all sunshine and schmoopsy-poo. But if you can look at your partner when they aren't doing it for you; when they're causing that involuntary squinty-tic in one eye; when they're making you mime a rage attack in the next room; or do the John Cleese Nazi march; and still, if asked, push aside that anger and find that love, then you have a chance.
So, what do we do? How do we put this into practice? Well, I don't know. As I said, I'm an ideas guy. Perhaps we have on-call priests, celebrants and the like and couples wait until they have a right doozie, put in a call, get married on the spot, and we have the party later? I could go for that - a nice abridged ceremony, a few speeches (20mins max), and then it's on to the piss-up and dance floor with your crazy Uncle Bob! Or perhaps people just need to ensure they can live with the worst of their partner and still love them before taking those vows? My advice doesn't come with a guarantee, but here might be something in it.