I just finished reading an engrossing and rather terrifying article on divorce in the New York Times Magazine. Given Erik’s and my own relationship, and relationships/concerns of many of my friends, marriage has been a constant subject of discussion lately, and is always on my mind. This article freaks me out because it’s about the descent from loving marriage to discontent and divorce, and for some reason I haven’t been exposed before to the pre-bitter-arguments side of divorce. I guess if I’d thought about it seriously enough before, I would have realized that most marriages do start with love, even those that end unhappily. It’s just… scary to think about.
Agatha Christie says in her autobiography that in her lifetime, she has only witnessed four marriages that she would call truly successful. She did not count her own two among those four, though she did include her parents’. The idea that most of us will never be fortunate enough to enjoy a wonderful marriage is frightening on the same level as an epiphany I had a couple of weeks ago: I only know about four or five people I would call genuinely good parents (mine do make that list, hugs to them!).
I tend to cherish the arrogant expectation that because of the combination of values, talents, and experience that is peculiarly mine, I will make a good parent. (Someone also told me once that I’ll be a good mommy because my arms are cool when it’s hot outside and warm when it’s cold outside. At least this much I can claim. ;b) I also believe that Erik and I have enough respect and affection for one another, and are tolerant, patient and loving enough people on our own, that we will succeed as a couple… but everyone thinks they’ll be okay when they start out.
Thank goodness I can’t see the future. Whatever shambles I may make of my life eventually, at least for now I can feel it’s an open slate and everything will work out. The wonderful and painful thing about life is, the only way to figure it out is as you go.
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]