Marriage and Matters of the Heart

I leave home from time to time and I’m always surprised by the intense renewed appreciation both for and from my spouse upon my return home.

Eventually this appreciation turns to familiarity and then turns to something that borders on contempt and then things finally return to their pre-trip levels of normalcy.  So imagine a typical return home as a romantic sine wave with its peaks, its valleys, and then its leveling off.

But this time, rather than just go along for the rollercoaster ride, I wanted to keenly observe this phenomena, track its progression, and study its lifecycle.  And along the way I came up with a few questions:

  • Is it at all possible to reshape this standard relationship curve by changing the set of inputs?
  • Just exactly how do we transform ourselves from interested, considerate, and near euphoric mates into a bunch of belching, farting, and complaining troglodytes?
  • Exactly how do we ever get to the point where we treat our spouses with less consideration and respect than we show any other human?

And the answers gleaned thus far…

  • For the record, regardless of actions, its does not seem possible to change this cycle – (euphoric and erotic) love fades – spouses grow up  – they get real jobs with real responsibilities – they have kids whose lives have their own special sets of demands – and that is life.
  • We go from being on our best behavior and trying very hard to impress at the beginning of a relationship to our worst behavior and frankly not trying very hard (if trying at all) as the relationship progresses.
  • We seem to be hardest on our spouses because we expect more of them than of any other human being (including ourselves).  Where could these expectations possibly come from?  Most likely the messages transmitted from all forms of media – movies, books, magazines, internet, etc. all portraying some idiolized fantasy realm populated by perfect mates (a Stepford Spouse who is 1/3 Saint, 1/3 Genius, and 1/3 Porn Star).  We need to realize, regardless of media portrayal to the contrary, that our spouses are ordinary humans like ourselves and set our expectations accordingly.

This all sounds like pretty terrible stuff doesn’t it?  But it is not, these examples are but the most negative and most extreme.  Along with these negatives, you get many positives:  comfort, commitment,  and all of those other tenets laid out in the marriage vows.  Of course, you don’t get these things for free – you definitely have to be willing to work for them – and especially try to minimize the many negatives mentioned here.

And it apparently doesn’t hurt to go away and give your spouse a break every so often either.  So here’s to looking forward to the next trip – and appreciative homecoming.

Now, where was I?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: