Friday, March 9, 2012

On Marriage and Making Decisions

Friday, March 9, 2012

All breathless and sweaty battling the stairs, I had only the voices on my iPod to distract me from the insanity of what I’m doing. And so I listened, trying to forget that I still need to do two more rounds: The podcast was about the things we do for love, a Valentine special on This American Life. One of the guys being interviewed mentioned how comforting it is to know that a marriage doesn’t have to last. It’s the couple’s choice to decide whether or not to stick it out. There is always an option; it’s not a for-all-eternity-till-death-do-us-part thing. Then another guy countered that it is in fact the marriage vow to stay together whatever happens that gives him solace. The conviction that despite your differences as a couple, through thick and thin, and in sickness or in health, you will remain together can be comforting to one and distressful to another. Making sense of this paradox proved to be more difficult than climbing stairs. 

And as I grappled with these contradictions vis-à-vis my own beliefs and prejudices, I remember these words: 

Contrary to what most people think, making a decision is one of the easiest decisions in the world, as is more than proved by the fact that we make decision upon decision throughout the day, there, however, we run straight into the heart of the matter, for these decisions always come to us afterward with their particular little problems or, to make ourselves quite clear, with the rough edges needing to be smoothed, the first of these problems being our capacity for sticking to a decision and the second our willingness to follow it through. (Jose Saramago, The Double, 2002)


artemis said...

hmmm, as for me i'm leaning more towards the first interviewee who is aware that there are always options. not that i'm afraid or avoiding commitment but i just don't wanna be stuck in a situation that no longer makes me and the other, happy.

The 2nd guy who presented his opinion does appear to me as insecure. It seems that his motivation to stay together, no matter what, (even if they're no longer happy together, or always fighting?) is his fear to be alone. He cannot stand on his own so he prefers to have an unfulfilling relationship rather than be alone? It gives him solace to know that he is insured by a piece of paper (marriage 'license') to stay together with someone till death.

On the other hand, however, leaving a partnership/marriage hastily is not also the solution to a marriage problem.

Angeli said...

exactly! we are of the same mind, artemis. it's odd how we agree on so many things. :)

Loree said...

I think that every person needs to take the decision that will work best for them. No 2 people look at things in exactly the same way.

Anonymous said...

Trust in your instincts, they are your angels talking directly to you.

Jenn T said...

When I got married a good friend gave me the best blessing I can possibly imagine....

May you enjoy it as long as it lasts, and may it last as long as you enjoy it.

That is truly my desire for my own marriage, and so far so good ;)

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