Well not all long marriages are marriages. I once knew a couple who had been married for over 50 years and that by the time they had reached 45 years of marriage were really no longer married. They had separate bedrooms, and when around each other fought, although the wife denied she was fighting. The husband ended up spending much of his time alone, pouting, in his room. The wife yelled at him, called him stupid, and cursed him for being forgetful. What is interesting is that they started down this path before his dementia set in. She had fallen out of love with him and she turned him into her emotional punching bag. Their sex life had also ended long before her RA twisted her in its painful death grip.
The most interesting thing about this couple was that it was the wife who allowed their marriage to fall apart. I have heard it said that it takes two to end a marriage or have a fight, no it does not. In this case the wife had fallen out of love with her husband sometime in their 50’s and she wanted him to know and feel it. As I watched how she treated him I came to understand that her value on him was her understanding of what a man was supposed to be. After he retired and he no longer went to work every day she allowed herself to view him as worthless. His value to her was her own mental concept of what a man was, getting up at the crack of dawn, going off to a job for 8-10 hours a day and coming home, reading the paper and going to bed. Sex was his reward on the weekends. This was a concept from the 1950’s of course. When he retired her concept of a man was forever altered, she quickly fell out of love with him, but I suspect that she feel out of love long before he retired, it just became apparent when he no longer left for work every day. As the two of them grew older they grew more and more apart, in the end she detested him, but he took her abuse, he never feel out of love with her. I could never understand that, she pummeled him without mercy, but yet he took it.
Our parents pass onto us their beliefs and values, good or bad, and we may never see them in ourselves. As my wife and I approach our 26th year I wonder how we will end up. Like the above couple, one hating the other? I can only hope that my wife and I forever remain in love, but remaining in love is a difficult thing to do as it requires 100% effort all the time. It means always putting your mate 1st (I know many disagree with this) it also means thinking of your mate more than anyone else.
In order for a marriage to last nothing can be allowed to enter in that can create a wedge, I hope that my wife and I can continue to stay in love and always remain husband and wife and never become just friends who live in the same house.