Monday, March 20, 2006

Marriage and Roses

In December, I met a man who was quite a bit older than me.He was buying flowers, more roses than I had ever seen one man purchase. In actuality, there were six dozen roses, but they looked like hundreds to me. Later that day, he was to get on a plane and travel to a distant city, where he was to meet his ex-wife, an ex of ten years. He would propose that weekend, and if she said “yes” again, their family would be reunited.

Okay, for me it is a very romantic story. But I am less than satisfied because I don’t know the ending. The man was middle-aged and I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to know what brought about the divorce, if perhaps it was a mistake. Why the man thought that the second time around, things would be different. Or perhaps he was different.

Is the dating world that scary that a middle-aged man would settle for what he had and lost so many years ago? Did he think he could do better, but couldn’t? Or, when he was taking care of his son, did his son remind him of his bride? All questions I have floating around in my brain.

Divorce fascinates me – as does marriage. Marriage means different things to different people. I am Catholic, and to be married is to be sewn together at the soul. That’s why divorce is less common among practicing Catholics. It is certainly not that Catholics are more pleasant to be around or more diplomatic or better mate choosers. It is that, ingrained in their heads is this notion of “’til death do us part.” Scary feeling.

Recently, Prata asked about marriage. I guess I compared the rush to get married so soon after college like lemmings falling off a cliff. No one needs to be married. But here we are, more often than not, and we get married. For all sorts of reasons. For companionship, for sex, for convenience, for 11,000 other reasons. Getting married doesn’t take much - $20 for the license, a blood test in some states, and a three-day grace period. That’s it. It is harder to get qualified to purchase a used car – and sometimes the car lasts longer.

No real point today. But I hope this man and his ex do what they need or want to be happy. If it includes jumping over the broomstick again, so be it. The roses will be wilted long before either says, “I do.”


Miranda said...

Interesting post. Having been divorced and a lil older, of course Im a lil more cynical of marriage. Yeah it doesn't take much, I dont know about in the states, but here, if you live together after 6 months you're entitled to 1/2 of everything. So if you get married, you have the cost of marriage, and then if it doesn't work out the even more cost of divorce. Lol together (if you have major assets) will only cost you lawyers fees of a split up.

OMG...that was such a cynical comment. Lol..I say just do whatever makes you happy, and the rest will fall in place.

Edge said...

Being married is one of those things I wished I had done a lot more research on. I love being married, but my expectations were really not as realistic as they should have been. The best thing I think anyone can do is hang around some people who have a great marriage and ask how difficult it is. Where the real struggles are, ya know?

And despite what people say, living together is NOT the same as being married.

So, I liked your stuff today.


Joe said...

Interesting. I guess some people divorce before they realize that the marriage may have been worth saving after all. I admire their courage in giving it another shot. My marriage was long dead before the divorce, so I can't imagine what would ever make me consider going back and trying again with her.

Bruce said...

I've never been married(came close once, though), so I can't speak to that part, but as a single "middle-aged" man, dating is scary, no matter how you look at it. I do hope everything turned out ok with that guy...

Leesa said...

miranda: I know someone going through a sort of divorce. Messy. But because they were never married, it looks like the couple will make two lawyers very happy.

jef: expectations. You may be onto something there.

joe: I admire the man as well. Oh, he seemed so full of hope.

bruce: I would not want to be on the dating scene either.

Mike said...

I was once married...actually very was a shame the ex didn't feel the same. I think expectations play a huge role in this. My ex was never content...still isn't. We've been divorced for over 10 years and she's looking at her 4th marriage in the next few months.

(Wow...I just revealed more about myself in this comment than I have in months of

~Deb said...

I was raised Catholic and know many Catholics who were brought up on the seed of “till death do us part”---who are unhappy yet refuse to divorce. It’s a hard call depending on your beliefs and what not.

For me? Marriage means to commit to your best friend. Marriage is a union of two souls to become one---yet have separate lives as individuals. Marriage is all about unconditional live, sharing with your best friend/lover and creating a love that becomes a family. (Whether you have kids or not…)

Prata said...

Unconditional live must == unconditional love. I want to be sure that's in fact what it means because I do not know any other person in the universe (deities excluded) which possess unconditional love. Humans are by and large conditional creatures. Buddhist, Christian, so on and so forth, are all identical in the fact that once something ceases to be of a certain circumstance there is a consequence/result. So if marriage is about unconditional love, then does that mean every christian that has gotten a divorce or even not gotten a divorce but would like to is sinning because they have placed conditions upon their love/marriage?

Prata said...

As a side note, this would apply not only to christians but to any sect that marries under the guise of unconditional love.

Boris Yeltsin said...

Jef is right: living together is so different from being married.

I lived with my wife before we got married, and it seemed like there was no pressure. Once we got married, personalities changed, overnight. It's weird.

I feel sorry for the guy you wrote about. I've never seen a 2nd marriage to the same person last more than one or two years - max. It seems like the 2nd marriage is always shorter than the first.

I hope he's the exception and not the rule. Most guys re-marry the women they divorced because they're being taken to the cleaners in child support &/or alimony, and they think they can "bite the bullet" and live with someone they can't stand, just so they can have food to eat and a roof over their head. (How spoiled can a person get to expect food and shelter??!!)

I was talking to a guy who re-married and very quickly divorced AGAIN, and he told me: "You know why child support and alimony are so expensive? Because they're worth every dime! I'd rather live in a cardboard box under an overpass than live with a woman I can't stand."

He wasn't joking. He lives out of his car and eats at soup kitchens depite the fact he has a full time job. He grosses too much money to qualify for aid.

Dumbass should quit or get fired, but he's too scared to dump all the seniority he's accumulated. (In a factory, seniority is everything.)

Oh well.

Leesa said...

mike: thanks for sharing.

~deb: that's why I love so many flavors of religion. You can pick your poison, so to speak.

prata: did I mention love?

boris: this guy doesn't appear to want to remarry because of child support (he has the child) or alimony (she makes more). But I hear you on whether it will last. Odds not in his favor.

kathi said...

Now I want to know about the man too, I especially want to know if she said yes. I'd imagine he had a pretty good idea she'd say yes before he'd buy 6 dozen roses, so I'm going to believe she said yes.
I've been through a divorce, and though I often wonder how and where he is (been 23 years since I've heard anything of him), I know it was the best thing. But, with that said, I'm so glad that it's not as easy to get a divorce as it is to get married. There's that part of me that would be afraid if it was that easy, Mark would have been long gone years ago. :)

mal said... would be interesting to know if she accepted or if he was deluding himself.

I am a token, occasional protestant in a VERY cathoic clan. Out of 8 siblings, 7 marriages (1 nun) and 1 divorce. Well off the national average. Is it the religious component or the higher emotional barrier to divorce that makes that so?

Lil Bit said...

6 DOZEN ROSES?!?! Holy crap... I'm still stuck on that. No man has EVER brought me such a bouquet. Maaaaaaan!

Anonymous said...

Boredom is the true enemy of marriage.
Enter angry sex!!!

Marriage is a job!!! You have to work at it. If you or your mate are lazy it will fail. Seventeen years with the same woman has taught me that. Passion and lust are the first two things to go. Having the same meal over and over gets a little monotonous after awhile. You have to spice things up. A little bit of drama is good for a marriage, it give you something new to talk about. Love, hate anger are just some of the emotions that come into play during a long-marriage. Sometimes I love and hate my wife at the same time, if that’s possible. I’m sure she feels the same at times. Sex can be great one week and terrible the next. My sex drive is a lot stronger than hers. Sometimes she complains of being tired. I think bored is more like it. Enter angry sex. As anyone whose been marriage for any length of time can attest to. Angry sex has it’s placed in a marriage. I’m not talking about abusive sex just angry sex, the kind of sex that sends a message, reaffirming why we married in the first place. Don’t get me wrong loving passionate sex is tops in my book, that type of intimacy is priceless. But went my wife just seems to be going through the motions, giving absolutely no emotion at all. That’s when it kicks in. Angry sex is aggressive and animalistic. It’s devoid of the normal touchy, feely love stuff. It’s the kind of sex that makes you sore in the morning. It’s a combination of pleasure and pain. And it can be extremely satisfying if done correctly. Women adore a warm loving sex partner but at time an aggressive sex act can reawake her passion. Spanking biting and dirty talk all have their place during angry sex. So if boredom’s got your wife in a bind try some angry sex. It works most of the time!!!
(I recently posted these comments on my blog-