My Marriage Advice

4 years ago

My evenings can be boring...and honestly, quite lonely. With the kiddo tucked into bed by 7:30, I find myself aimlessly flipping through 132 television channels and finding nothing that interests me. I'm starting to feel dull and agitated - I need to get out more.

So the other night I snagged a sitter and took a sushi making class at Sur la Table. It was a win-win: I'd learn a new skill while meeting new people. But those hopes deflated like a day old party balloon. I walked in to find it was date night - a bunch of partnered-up 30-somethings. The couples were swapping stories ("Oh, she can't make anything but a bowl of cereal!" <har har har>) and posting "couple selfies" to Twitter (#datenightsushi!). And there I was: the sole singleton.

As I listened to them boast about their charmed love lives, I tried to set aside my cynicism. But it was like swallowing a bitter pill. I wanted to snarl: "Meet me back here in 15 years and tell me how perfect your life is. Because it won't be."

But in all fairness - I was one of them once. At 31, I had finally met "the one." I knew the divorce statistics, but also knew I'd never be one of them. And I never thought my husband was capable of walking out. Yet here I am.

So I wondered - what advice would I give these dreamy-eyed coules about marriage? Is there something that someone could have said to me so that my husband's betrayal didn't knock me so hard on my ass?

Maybe not. But if there's anything that resonates with me right now, it's this: know that divorce is a very realy possibility. As much as you don't like it, don't believe in it, will never do it...set aside those certainties for one minute and understand that you are no more immune to divorce than I am. And that's partly because you don't always know what's going on with that other person. You don't know their ability to cope. Their ability to tolerate what is happening in your marriage may likely be very different than yours.

Occasionally I'll point out a marriage to a friend  and mention how "perfect" it seems...only to have her remind me that we never know what's going on in someone else's marriage. And sadly, as I've learned, sometimes we have no idea what's going on in our own.

Ask me again in 10 years, 15, maybe even just one year from now, and my marriage advice will likely be different than what it is today. I hope the same can be said for my sushi rolls. 

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