Day 332 of the Calendar Year

Wedding time- a time of joyous celebration and commitment, a time of happiness and the expectancy of long years spent with the partner of one’s choice. From another perspective, a time of youthful naiveté, a time of soon to be dashed dreams and a rude awakening to reality. People once got married much earlier then they are doing today. The average age of marriage has increased. People are living together more often and delaying marriage. You might think that this would impact the divorce rate but it does not seem to have had an impact yet. My favorite poem which my first wife found and gave to me when we were married went as follows:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!” (Robert Browning, 1812-1889)

I am now married for the second time to another wonderful woman and I still think of these lines and what I want marriage to mean for me. It has entailed work, tears, pain and many arguments and disagreements. On the other hand, it has entailed joy, innumerable memories of good times together, a great deal of shared pleasure and more happiness than I would have ever thought possible. As we have grown older, we have gone to marriages of friends, close relatives and others of our generation. We are now going to the marriages of children of our friends, second marriages of our friends and soon marriages of our grandchildren.

I thought I would be going to more funerals as I aged and instead I seem to be going to more marriages. We will have gone to six marriages this year. Bear in mind, that I detest ceremonies and will try to get out of marriages and funerals unless they are of close friends or relatives. So what to make of wedding time? Why do people cry at weddings? How come we don’t laugh? I think there are some we should laugh at but I guess we are just too polite. Maybe that’s why we cry. We say its tears of joy but maybe it’s a realization that this marriage is really doomed. Let’s be honest, how many people do you know who have married the wrong person? How long did it take for them to wake up and realize this? Oh, but I should not be so cynical, lets give them a chance. Divorce statistics be damned!

How many times have you been married? Did you marry the right person? If not, when did you realize that they were not meant for you? What did you do about it? What would you change if you could go back now? How do you tell people that marriage requires a great deal of work to be successful? There will be problems in every marriage, but maybe the problem is not the other person. Do you think the problem could be you?

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