Last week was my parents 44th wedding anniversary. We didn’t celebrate it for a simple reason that my father is no longer alive.
When I reflect on my parent’s 28 years of marriage I realize that theirs was a unique and beautiful one. They made it seem so simple and so natural that I was lulled into thinking marriage is a great game where both parties -bride and groom , husband and wife – are winners, equal partners.
Their marriage was a dance where they twirled and intertwined into one entity to meet life and it’s adversities; and where they separated and showed their individuality , complimenting each other. They balanced the scale of yin and yang; not necessarily sticking to gender stereotypes. They respected and trusted each other despite their sometimes diametrically opposite principles.
Their love for each other
That was my parent’s marriage …a symmetrical poem -where there was room for He and She and Them – the perfect nest for us children.
They each had their strengths and played them to the best of their abilities. The adverse life events they could control they tried their best to control; gave all they had to control….but there were too many that wasn’t within their control. They stuck together in it all…until death did them part.
In some societies a marriage’s success is measured by the longevity of cohabitation and success of the offspring compared to a certain social group ; the wealth that they have amassed or social status of the husband and/or wife. Sometimes the success is measured in the height one spouse scales in their career and the other one is assumed to be behind the success. This is all the world can see and measure.
We can only intuit the dynamics of the marriage by observing the spouse’s interactions with each other. By the spark in their eyes or lack thereof, when they look at each other; Or whether they look at each other at all. By how they speak to each other or about each other; Or if one is allowed to speak at all.
No one sees or measures that which goes on within four walls nor what goes on within the four valves (in the heart) of each person: the true marriage. No one can measure the value of a quiet evening playing chess together enjoying each other’s company. No one can measure the value of a spouse sharing without ego filters the day’s events and the emotion it invoked: some times laughter , some times pain. No one can measure the value of intimacy. No one can measure the value of knowing that your spouse tears open their heart and pries open the lid to their soul just for you! And even more ,knowing that you can do the same without any fear of judgement.
In all those immeasurable ways, my parents had a successful marriage. That’s my observation as one who stood close to those 4 walls and those 8 beating valves.
It’s a shame that marriage anniversaries are not celebrated after the death of one spouse; especially such successful ones. Maybe its time to change that trend. Maybe its time to send a note or call and say to your one living parent….