The Displaced Bostonian
Monday, March 10, 2003
A recent conversation with a new friend yielded a bit of shock.. She noticed that M & I had two of the same CD in our music collection. She asked if she could have one of the copies, and I offered to burn her one instead. She thought that was odd, and asked why did we need two copies. I said, “In case we break up.” She thought this was dreadful.
The next night, over dinner, we were relaying the story to another friend. I said that I was simply being realistic. M’s mother’s and father’s marriages currently total 12 between all of them. For my immediate family, there are 3. With divorce rates at their current level, I think my opinion is formulated from some facts. Often times, people are not meant to stay together for the entirety of their lives. People change and grow and they don’t always do this together. Or one person grows and another does not.
I am not sure that the people who do stay together are necessarily the happiest of people. I don’t think you get a prize on your deathbed or in the (questionable) afterlife if you stayed married to one person but were miserable. If you so happened to be happy in your long-term relationship that’s great, but statistically speaking, I don’t believe it happens a lot. Margaret Meade said she had a new husband for every new phase of her life, roughly every 10 years. It wasn’t that they didn’t love each other any more, but more simply that they had gone as far as the relationship would take them. I really need to read up on her more.
While there were several factors involved in this conversation such as different cultures, experiences, and having a religion versus not having one, the main aspect that failed to be grasped is the main different between expecting and hoping. Do I hope I have a long and successful relationship with M? Of course. Do I expect it? Of course not. I try not to expect anything. Once in a while I’m sure I must, as a human, but I try not to.
Our third friend at the table simply said, “Lorrie is the only person I have ever known who thinks like that.”
I said to M later: “Frankly, I think I am evolved on this matter.” He agreed.