The honeymoon phase of marriage at the most lasts only two years.
You’ve heard this, haven’t you? It’s a commonly made statement that is found in many marriage books. Whoever originally started this lie ought to be shot!
What kind of a cruel person would say such a thing? What kind of person would play such a cruel trick and get our hopes up? Everyone who has ever married knows the truth. The truth is the honeymoon is over when you step off the return flight from Shangri-La.
But what does our media culture lead us to believe? Forget the bills. Forget sickness. Forget unemployment. Forget long days at frustrating jobs. Forget that you have three children under the age of twenty-eight. These things shouldn’t matter. The honeymoon and romance should survive all that stuff and last forever. Shouldn’t it? We should soar on wings of marital bliss forever––shouldn’t we?
Here are a few definitions of marital bliss to get things going:
• Marital bliss is when he stays out half the night twice a week with the guys, and she doesn’t mind. In fact, she’s just glad his needs for male bonding are being met.
• Marital bliss is when she is not in the mood for sex (for two months) and he is just happy that she is happy.
• Marital bliss is that state when both spouses are heavily medicated.
I don’t know why I watch movies. I guess I enjoy abuse and depression. What I mean is this: It seems we can’t find a movie that doesn’t have the obligatory graphic and fiercely-passionate sex scenes. You know what I’m talking about––the scenes where the woman jumps on the man, and they whirl around knocking over vases, lamps, and furniture––ripping each others clothes. Added to that, the movie is never about a loving husband and wife. Instead, it’s a movie about––oh, I don’t know––a movie about . . . crab fishermen! The scene takes place on a commercial fishing boat that gets caught in a storm off the Aleutian Islands. But somehow they manage to slip a sex scene into the story. They’re battling hurricane winds and waves, the ship is taking on water, and below deck the one lone crab fisherwoman on the boat (played by some gorgeous babe, of course) is ripping off her foul-weather gear and making it with Joe Cool.
Either that or it’s a gorgeous female photojournalist covering the war in Afghanistan. She’s on a mission with an army patrol. Suddenly bullets start flying all over the place. Their lives are on the line with every turn of a corner. They’re outgunned and are being slaughter, but luckily she and her companion find shelter in a bombed out house that has a dirty mattress in the corner. What do you know? Suddenly the shooting stops long enough for them to do what’s really important at a time like this: make passionate love. Flak jackets pulled off! Ammo belts flying off! Sweaty military T shirts come off, and ecstasy all around!
Not in a hundred million years.
So what’s up with these naysayers … these prophets of doom and gloom about the end of the honeymoon? Their books should be burned. Shouldn’t they?
I’m very please with myself over the title of this article. I chuckle every time I think of it. Don’t get me wrong; I like cats. In fact I obsessively like them. (You may say I’m an idiot, but I’m not the only one. … sung to the tune of Imagine by John Lennon.)
But here’s the scenario: It’s 5 a.m. and you’re both in bed zonked out. Buffy the kitty (as in Buffy the vampire cat) hops on your bed and starts kneading her claws into your chest while licking your nose. That’s cat lingo for “Wake up, I’m hungry.” You awaken to two green eyes staring at you and a bit of drool on your nose. You immediately dismiss the thought of where that tongue has recently been. After all, she’s a pet . . .right? That somehow makes it sanitary, doesn’t it?
Repeated attempts to kick the cat off the bed are met with determined resistance. This time the claws go in deeper and she chews on your ear.
“Aw, dang. . . . Barbara, YOUR cat is hungry!”
“What do you me MY cat? . . . She’s community property!”
“Besides, it’s obvious she loves you more than me.”
“Well, I suppose nibbling on my ear is a form of love. I mean you like it!”
“Watch it Hot Shot. Don’t get you hopes up. And put a pot of coffee on while you’re up.”
The dialog of love does seem to change over the years, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s moderated by crying kids, financial pressure, or as above, Attila the cat. But it’s still love. It’s just that sometimes it takes a little more effort to recognize it and a little more effort to express it. The difference between success and failure in marriage and the continuance of passionate love is, among other things, putting in the effort.