What A Year In Marriage Taught Us About Love

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Bride with chainsaw
Despite Tiger Woods and the Gore divorce, we're still optimistic about marriage.

It's the day after Christmas and my family has somehow wrangled itself together to meet for brunch. Like the German invasion of Poland, we marched into an unsuspecting restaurant, taking it wholly and completely by surprise. And despite our terrifying presence, much like the Polish in 1939, they've put up little resistance to our maurading hegemony. We are all there—all eight siblings, both my parents, one grandkid and two spouses. We've converged on this place from Kansas, Minnestota, Iowa and Florida. And even though it's only 10 in the morning, we've spilled water, complained about the lack of cheese pizza in the brunch buffet and shot straw wrappers in each others faces. My mom has passed out a Christmas word puzzle and even though we are all adults, we are still bickering over the answers.  The waiter asks my mom for a copy of the puzzle and she gladly complies. "What?" he says, looking at the sheet. "I don't get the answers?"

Appropos of nothing, my brother, married for two years, shouts from the far end of the table, "Hey, buddy, if you don't like puzzles, don't get married." We all laugh.

Over 50 years of marriage are represented at our table. My parents have been married for 30 years. My sister and her husband have been married for 15. My husband and I celebrated five years this past July and my brother and his wife have been married for two years. And as we laugh, joke, get under each other's skin and fluster the waiter, what we aren't talking about is my parents' tenuous relationship, the required absence of my sister's husband, or the tiff my husband and I had in the parking lot, before we even walked into the restaurant. But somehow, we've all made it and we're all bound and determined to get through the rest of the day as a family. Yes, even if it kills us or temporarily maims an unsuspecting waiter or two. Don't Believe The Naysayers: Why Marriage Will Always Be Relevant

The myth of marriage is that there is such a thing as a "happily ever after"... that at some point you can just put your relationship on autopilot. But if 2010 proved anything, it's that America's romance with marriage is over. Once a sacred cultural institution, marriage has fallen from grace harder and faster than Tiger Woods' fall from golf, and the comeback is going to be even more rocky. Tiger Woods Admits He "Let Family Down"

Speaking of Tiger, we began 2010 with Tiger Woods apologizing for his "selfish" and "irresponsible" actions. In the half-hearted apology heard 'round the world, Tiger came clean to his myriad of affairs and secret dalliances that led to the breakup of his marriage and, as it seems, the downfall of his game. And despite the fact that somewhere between 50 to 70 percent of married men admit to cheating on their wives, America was outraged. We acted like Tiger had cheated on us, personally. The Tiger Woods scandal, caused many people to question whether monogamy, like "happily ever after," was just a fairy tale.

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