What A Year In Marriage Taught Us About Love


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

In July, the public recieved the news that Tipper and Al Gore were divorcing, even though they loved each other very much and no, no one blames you. And like dumbstruck children, we all began to realize that, wait, quite a few of our parents were divorcing, seperating or seeing new people.  The trend of boomer divorce hit us where it hurt: in the home. So many marriages that we thought were solid were falling apart.  Al And Tipper Gore Are Separating

Finally, last month, the Pew Center released research stating that four in 10 Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete, and no wonder, given the disenchanting year. Like petulant pre-pubescents, we've decided to deal with the problems in marriage by stomping up to our rooms and slamming the door. As a society, we seem to be telling marriage that we want nothing more to do with it. And yet, like angry teenagers, we might be exaggerating, just a little. Shocking New Stats About Marriage And Families


2010 also brought great advances in equal rights for same-sex couples. Somehow, despite the high-profile divorces, splits and infidelity, same-sex couples are still fighting for their shot at "'til death do us part." So, what does this schizo-split attitude toward marriage mean?

The truth is, marriages are only as good as the people in them, which is to say, they aren't that great at all. But do our inherent imperfections make marriage and monogamy a dying societal institution? No. Reports of marriage's demise have been greatly exaggerated. No ring, no dress and no promise can make a person or relationship perfect. And sometimes it takes the rose-colored glasses being smashed to smithereens before we can accept and love what we have in an open and honest way. And while 2010 has been part of that destruction, in a small way it's also contributed to our acceptance of love as it is, not as we want it to be.

One year into my marriage, I woke up and looked at my husband, blissfully drooling away on his pillow, and I had a moment of panic. This was it. This was what I was in bed with for the rest of my life and I had the sudden urge to throw myself from the bed and run from our apartment as far and as fast as I could. But my husband rolled over and tucked me under his arm. An involentary guesture that even that early in our marriage is something he performed instinctually. That small guesture comforted me. And while I'm sure the future of my marriage promises to bring more moments of panic, there will also be small comforts and joy. 

For marriage, 2010 was a year of panic. But I take comfort in the fact that love and commitment are still fighting the good fight. Marriage is one of life's most complex puzzles, and while there maybe no answer sheet, the joy is in figuring life out together. 

What did 2010 teach you about your relationship?