I recently read Iris Krasnow’s Huffington Post article The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce in which she reflects on “coming off 200 interviews and two years of listening to mature wives reflect on — or moan about — how they are managing to stick it out in long marriages.” Interesting intro, no? She’s got a book coming out called The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What it Really Takes to Stay Married (out in early October). Krasnow is quick to tell you that in her many years of researching marriages, both happy and unhappy, she’s not easily surprised. That said, she found a few things worth noting this time around. Her words:
“The biggest shocker is the number of wives in stable unions who frequently contemplate fleeing their marriages. These are not abused wives; they are women with nice husbands who give them orgasms and jewelry and stability.”
Why do so many wives who admit to being content in their marriages still have one foot out the door? Krasnow can’t say for sure, but she has a hunch that it’s because they’re, well, just bored. She argues that sometimes it’s what’s not wrong, but rather what’s just too ordinary that is what makes a happy wife start to slowly unravel. After years of happy marriage, Krasnow says the mundane can create thoughts like, “Is this all there is? I want more. I want adventure. I want change.” She says that with more and more women living to be in their 80s and 90s, “us wives could easily hit our 50th wedding anniversaries and beyond. That’s a hell of a long time to sustain one love affair, particularly when empty nest hits and it’s only you and the husband with no cushion of kids as a buffer.”
I must admit this isn’t quite the kind of results and conclusions I hoped would come from such an in depth study on marriage, but the truth is the truth, right? I can’t lie, Krasnow’s thoughts on how and why we wives can feel the sudden and frequent desire for divorce doesn’t seem farfetched. When you feel like you’ve made a mistake, it’s instinctual to want a do-over. It does, however, seem like quitting – no matter how many wedding anniversary toasts a wife has made.
Admittedly, I’ve only been married 11 months, so I’m still visiting newlywed lala land right now. I’d like to think I bought a one-way ticket there, but I couldn’t possibly say for sure what it will be like for me, or Man, 30 years from now. Nothing is ordinary about the love we share, or our life together, and I pray that never changes. If it were to, I pray I’ll have the strength and endurance to fight the need to give up, and instead work hard toward relighting the sparks in my marriage. I say, if you find yourself daydreaming about the d-word you better stop what you’re doing, hop online and book the first vacation for two you can afford. Go clear your head, remember why you picked each other and what you vowed to be to one another, and then rethink how you’re living your lives.
Krasnow’s article is well worth the read, so go check it out. Clearly, it got me to thinking…