Thursday, 19 May 2011

The 25 year itch

The itch it seems will never be eased. In the days of 50's glamour when the world was a more innocent place Marilyn Monroe romped with a married man in "The Seven Year Itch". The suggestion at the time was that holy wedlock would be tested after 7 years when either the husband or wife would face temptation and be led astray.

Today that seems like utter nonsense, after 7 years of marriages, couples have not begun to even know each other and a great many put on such a pretence of happiness that their loved ones claim that they're still on honeymoon! 

The announcement of the separation of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarznegger, after 25 years of marriage, is a sign of the times. A long standing marriage is built on many a false foundation. Maria Shriver is a woman who has suffered for her of them being her oh-so-solid marriage to one of the biggest movie stars in the business. She claims that her strong, Catholic beliefs prevented her ending the marriage before. It's a shame that her Catholic beliefs did not include honesty. 

Marriage is a dream. None of us understand this until one day we discover that in pursuit of the unattainable we were living a lie. Maria Shriver no doubt dreamed the dream and lived the lie. Good, Catholic girls are brought up to do so. Marriage is a sacrament we are told and "what God has joined together let no man put asunder".

Often, only one person in the marriage will honour the vows the other will just put on a good show.
Man eating Marilyn
I see pain etched in Maria Shriver's face because her dream has had a very public death. She is a strong woman who was brought down by a philandering husband. 

Nowadays, 25 years of marriage marks a watershed. It's not a cause for celebration since so many couples find themselves at loggerheads. Empty nests mean that they have more time together but they have little to share. Many spouses dread having to be home alone with their other halves. Husbands become morose as their role as provider is diminished. Once the children have flown, wives lose their sense of purpose and spiral into depression. The mid-life crisis hits both parties hard. 

The mistake is that we believe that the marriage is greater than the two people in it. Post 25 years, the two that became one have now become one plus one. It's a greater task to unify these two entities if they have grown in different directions and sometimes not at all. Immaturity will kill off a union as much as infidelity.

Separate beds may help
However you choose to relieve the itch make sure that you do it with dignity and love. 



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