I asked, “Help them what?”
“Decide if their marriage is going to work,” she answered.
My response was a blunt, “That won’t tell them.”
“You don’t think if they live together they will have a better understanding of each other before marrying?”
First, my disclaimer: I have nothing against couples living together. I have good friends who have been happily living together for years. BUT, I don’t believe living together is a sign of whether or not a marriage will work. I’ve also known couples who have cohabitated for what seems like forever decide to marry and divorce soon afterwards. And, of course, there are couples who lived together for ages, marry, and are still happily married.
However the “living together” wasn’t the reason the relationship worked. Knowing a partner’s spending habits or toothpaste squeezing peculiarities are all characteristics that can be discerned before marriage. If we think about it, we usually are aware of annoyances—although we may not properly realize what deal breakers they will be five years from now.
And love comes in all shapes and sizes. What makes me fawn over a lover might make you scream. I have a friend who hated that her husband chewed his food with his mouth open. Listening to her, you’d think they have never shared one meal before they married. By the way, my friend and her husband are still together. I only knew my husband for a month before agreeing to marry, and we had a great twenty-five years, undisclosed peculiarities and all.
So what kept us not only together but helped our relationships thrive?
Which is also the answer I gave to my friend’s question.
Look, even the best, best partnership can go up in smoke if both people are not equally committed to making it work. It is also true there are “dead” marriages still going because neither person is committed enough to ending it, but that is a whole different blog.
Won’t living together prove commitment? For some people. But for others, the ones who definitely want to marry, no, I don’t see it as an indication. Love doesn’t come without risks. And commitment isn’t meaningful until it has been tested. Even by a spouse who eats with his mouth open.
Of course, every relationship it different. I could listen to seven couples talk about how they met in high school, and each story would be unique. And I’m not the only one with an idea about what is important to a marriage. What are your thoughts? Do you think I was on track with my answer? Or would you have answered my friend’s question differently? And what promises have you and your love made to keep the bonds between you strong?
I’ll give away three sets of LYON’S BRIDE and THE SCOTTISH WITCH, one to each of three lucky commenters from today’s post!
P.S. from the Goddesses: Since this is our anniversary week, EVERY COMMENT MADE TODAY will also be entered to win in the drawing for our GRAND PRIZES – a $200 bookstore gift card, and two $100 bookstore gift cards! SO COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT! (Contest is open to international entries, but we reserve the right to substitute a $10 gift card)