Saturday, July 03, 2010

Anniversary reflection

My wife and I wished each other a happy anniversary last Sunday, as it was a year ago that day we were married. It was a day we enjoyed and happily commemorated. However, I must say that it's slightly odd to be wished a happy anniversary by others. It's appreciated, certainly, and I'm sure these others have nothing but admirable intentions behind their congratulations, but it seems to suggest that staying married is so amazing as an accomplishment that it must be lauded annually.

Obviously, a 50% divorce rate does suggest that staying married is a significant achievement, but I can't help but think that suggests more about how it's perhaps too easy to get married, that our romanticized vision of love overlooks the necessary pragmatism. Clearly a majority of that 50% who get divorced probably never should have married in the first place. Insufficient reverence for the institution of marriage was exhibited when those couples tied the knot (with a loose knot). And one must guess that in some of those cases someone knew it probably wasn't going to work out, that 'til-death-do-us-part was really 'til-we-come-to-our-senses, but that person had to stand by idly, letting the couple go through with the doomed union.

And while that is what one must do—bite one's tongue and let the disaster play out—it does seem like that's why people make such a big deal of applauding those who did nothing more than comply with what they said they would do in their wedding vows.

It's kind of sad that we're so surprised when people merely do what they said they would, who follow through on their promises.

Love is magnificent, love is the paramount good, and two people finding each and loving each other and being right for each other—i.e., what it called "true love"—is (to paraphrase The Princess Bride) not something that happens every day. That is worthy of celebration, by all means. But when it comes to people merely following the pledges they make to each other in marriage, perhaps we should be setting the bar a bit higher.

But genuine thanks to everyone who wished us well in honor of the completion of our first year as husband and wife. I wish you all well and offer you congratulations for the accomplishment of simply being alive.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! They say the first year of marriage is the one that comes before all the rest. I tend to agree. Many more happy years shall surely follow, in their properly numbered order.


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