Monday, June 6, 2011

Love and Marriage

Good Monday Morning. And because it's Monday and I now write about romance on Monday, I thought I'd give love and marriage a go. It seems I got hit with an S.N.I. (shiny new idea) last week and it pertains to our topic.

Now, all of the books I've written so far, the hero and heroine (or H/H) have found their way through love, to marriage. In this latest book, Robert, (our hero) finds himself at gunpoint (literally) and must marry Fiona (our heroine). The reason -- well, it's a compromising position that wasn't intended as such. Fiona was actually trying to keep Robert from killing himself (accidentally). Unfortunately, her father found out and well, let's just say that Laird Fionnghall Stewart was not a happy camper. Hence the shot-gun marriage.

Robert's intention is to have the marriage annulled after a time. And if that doesn't work, then he'll get a divorce. He's rich, he's a duke, he could do it. Now, being a romance, you KNOW that's not going to happen. We need a Happily Ever After. And I'll get it. After all, this is a book.

However, in real life, since my last birthday in April, I've been giving a lot of thought to marriage. I have never been married. In my 20's and 30's, I thought I had all the time in the world to find Prince Charming, Mr. Right, or The Soul Mate. Then when I hit my 40's, I was despairing of ever meeting THE ONE. It was easier to get struck by lightning in an airplane, than a woman in her 40's to get hitched. My biological clock was ticking, faster and faster and well, you can't make a baby by yourself. (Well, you can, but not without a trust fund.) When I met Monster Child's father, and without getting into it, I thought I found HIM. For all intents and purposes I THOUGHT he was a good man. And he was, still is, sort of. His family had a lot to do with our break-up. We had intended to get married before Monster Child was even conceived, but that didn't happen. (For reasons too numerous to mention.) And then again, after she was born, but well, it's a long story.

I don't know if this is a subconscious idea or not, but I truly don't think I was ever supposed to be married. Sure, I've fallen in love, I've been engaged four times. But the one question that always brought me crashing back to reality was -- Can I look at this person for the rest of my life over breakfast every morning? Yeah, that's it. Sounds stupid, but that's how I think. And my answer, every single time was no. So, I remain a spinster.

I envy those of you who have found your hero and have been married for EVER. I do long for that closeness, yearn for that synchronicity of familial bond. I miss having a man around the house. Even if he does watch football every single freaking Sunday from August to January. Even if he does leave wet towels on the bathroom floor, and never puts his dishes in the dishwasher.

I miss the shared smiles, the fleeting touches, the phone calls at noon, just to see what I'm up to. And well, truthfully, I miss the sex. Orgasms are a dime a dozen, but making love to a man you love is just truly mind-blowing. It transcends everything.

Yes, love and marriage are hard work. And I've never been afraid of that. What I was always afraid of was divorce. I never wanted that. And going back to the breakfast thing, if there was ever any question in my mind that it would come down to it, then why bother getting married in the first place.

Do I regret not being married? No. Do I want to be married? I don't know. I suppose if I met the right man, I wouldn't say no. I deserve to find a good man. I'm a good woman. I think I deserve a Happily Ever After.

Tell me -- Did you know you would be with your significant other for always? Do you believe in Happily Ever After? How hard is it really to make love and marriage work?

PS My guest post will appear on Natascha's blog The Las Vegas Writer, tomorrow, Tuesday if you want to swing by and take a look.


Laura Pauling said...

Yes, I knew I'd be with him forever. Mainly b/c that's the kind of people we are. Love is a choice long after the honeymoon is over. Romance is a choice that we create. I love my husband/best friend but love changes over time. It's not the movies. :) Thanks for sharing.

Ted Cross said...

I think it's so funny that I have been in a dedicated, loving marriage for going on sixteen years now, because I really don't believe in marriage. I don't like it that society forces me to conform to this idea that I find wrong. I have no choice, since I don't care to live alone or move to Saudi Arabia, so I do my best.

Al said...

It is a lot of hard work.
But most of all it is about listening to each other.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Anne, I'm sorry! Don't give up on the idea.
I married my wife with the intention that it will be forever. Communication is the key. And good sex doen't hurt either...

Tracy said...

Don't know. Haven't met him yet.

There was one I thought I could go through all that work for, once, but we weren't ever given a chance to find out.

I do still believe it's possible though. :o)

Anne Gallagher said...

Laura -- Love is a choice long after the honeymoon is over. Romance is a choice that we create. Wow. Those are powerful words. Thank you.

Ted -- Well, here's a question. If you weren't married to your wife, would you still be with her 16 years later?

Al -- A key point. I think most of the men in my relationships never listened to me.

Alex -- Now I know why you think all my heroines will end up in bed with my heros. lol

Tracy -- That's sad you were never given that chance. Is there any way you might find him now and try again? Or is it too late. I love a happy ending.

Linda G. said...

Before I met TG, I honestly thought I wouldn't marry until I was in my 30s or 40s, at least. Didn't count on meeting The One so early.

That said, even when you marry The One, it's still an effort to maintain a good marriage, and it takes both partners wanting to give that effort to make it work.

I think you have a great attitude about marriage. When you meet your "The One," you'll know it. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

It look me a while to find Mr Right. I was great at finding Mr Jerk. I never thought I would marry because of that. Plus, I didn't want to be stuck in an unhappy marriage like my mom. Of course, I also learned that it's not a smart thing to marry a guy you know nothing about, other than what he tells you in his love letters.

My parents met while in their early twenties. They were camping in Finland (where my mom is from). They liked each other. He wrote to her friend for Mom's address. They wrote to each other for several months then when she visited him, they got engaged. NEVER a smart thing to do. A lesson I learned well. ;)

I'm with you, Anne, on the happy endings. I hope you find yours one day. But marriage doesn't necessarily make for a HAE. Only love can do that.

Anne Gallagher said...

Linda -- I think that's my problem where men are concerned. I'm the only one in the relationship that gives all the effort. My horoscope said this month that someone from my past will show up unexpectedly...hmmm. I sort of hope not. There's a reason I dumped them.

Stina -- I know about unhappy from watching my parents as well. It's too sad when they just don't see it and live with it for the rest of their lives because they're from another era. I'm not really looking for mine anymore. If he shows up, fine. If not, I can't really miss what I don't have.

Tara said...

Wow, I could have written Ted's post - only it'll be 18 (holy crap - I am NOT that old!) years in a couple weeks. Um, thanks for the reminder ;) Oh crap - less than a week, LOL. Yeah, you can tell who the romantic in this relationship is. *ahem*

Just keep in mind - marriage is only marriage because a piece of paper says so - love is love. Period. Divorce is the same. When you break up, you go separate ways. Only, if you signed a paper saying you were in love, you now have to sign a paper saying you're not. It's all silly stuff in my mind.

Good luck on the new story. And love :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I never questioned it. But yeah, its a lot of hard work at times. One of the secrets is to give the other their space. They don't have to be challenged on everything. Jus give them their space. Even when going through a kooky phase.

Summer Frey said...

If not for our parents' influence and the tax breaks, we probably wouldn't have gotten married. It truly is just a piece of paper and some expensive jewelry. :) But there came a point in time where I knew we would be together always, just because the idea of being apart was inconceivable.

For us, the most important aspect is that we share the most quirky sides of ourselves--the sides that other people might find offputting, we found charming and companionable. Our weird, irreverent senses of humor. Being dorks. Sharing the same brainwaves on certain things. But most of all, he's a good man and I'm a good woman, and we are best friends.

And you're right--you are a good woman, and you deserve a good man!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I dated a guy in college who I "thought" was the one, but our relationship was so difficult and high drama. When I met my hubby, it all clicked and became so easy. Not that marriage isn't work, because it is, but when you find the right one you enjoy the work that you put into it and it doesn't seem like work. Does that make sense? LOL
I really do hope you find a wonderful man. You DO deserve it.

Nicki Elson said...

You write the best, most heartfelt, honest, thought-provoking posts. And I never have a good answer for you. I'm going on 20 years of marriage, we were both only 24 (and immature 24s at that) when we took our vows, and I don't think either one of us questioned it---just seemed like the thing to do. On one hand, I wish I would've dug a little deeper into my soul before taking the plunge, but on the other, this might be the path I was meant to follow, and so it was best not to let my brain interfere at the time. Who knows?

Trust and pray is now the advice I will give to my own daughter. And pay attention to how he treats his mother -- it's very telling.

But either way, HEA is a myth. And it can feel even further away when you're married and you've been given concrete proof that it doesn't exist. At least when you're single, you still have the hope of it.

Lydia K said...

Good for you for never settling for less than forever.
Yes, when I met my hubs, I thought, "I can never imagine leaving him." Now, 15 years later, we've had our share of arguments and differences, but we've also grown together in most ways (apart in some) but overall, we're still very committed. And it's hard work, for both of us. It wouldn't have worked if only one of us gave all the effort. I could never have put this much work into it if I hadn't known from the beginning that I was 110% invested for the long run.

notesfromnadir said...

There's a lot of emphasis placed on finding The One. I hope that you do. It's better to wait on meeting The One than to settle for The One who really isn't.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

eh, i'm technically a spinster too, at the ripe old age of 30. ;-)
The more i hear about robert's story, the more excellent it sounds

Bossy Betty said...

Married for 30 years (almost). I am glad to be married, but long business trips really help at times!

Talli Roland said...

To be honest, I'm not sure anyone can say forever. I'll be with him as long as we're both happy, and that's all I can say. You never know how you're going to change; you never know how he's going to change. It's not a romantic vision, I know...

Bish Denham said...

I've been with mine 25 years. I don't think either of us expected it. Time has just sort of slipped around us like water and here we are still together like two trees in a stream, mingling branches and roots.

Thing is, we *recognized* each other the moment we met. I'll have to tell you the story someday.

And hey, Anne, it's never too late. A dear friend found the love of her life just before she turned 60. She's been married only a few years and is happy, happy. And there's my sister too, 65 with a wonderful boyfriend. First one she's had in at least 20 years.I believe there is someone for everyone.

Lynn said...

My sister is widowed and I am divorced, and we came to the conclusion that divorce is harder (although some may disagree!). Now that my children are nearly out of the house and on their way, I may become more open to Mr. Right. Recenty I watched Dead Man Walking, and Susan Sarandon's nun character described intimacy as any love between people--not only between lovers. That really stuck with me. Single or married, divorced or widowed, we all can love. And always be hopeful.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Crap. Looks like I'm the old-timer in this group. We've been married for 42 years, and knew each other for another eight before that, so we have a long history together, and a ton of shared memories. The more years we share, the more closely entwined our lives become, but even so, I don't know that I believe in the concept of "happily ever after." Saying it like that makes it sound so ... easy. As if all you have to do is marry Mr.(or Ms.)Right and then POOF! everything is gonna be hunky dory for the rest of your lives, when the truth is, it takes a helluva lot of w-o-r-k to make a marriage work. I believe every marriage hits crappy spots, and sometimes, they're so big and so crappy, it'd be easier to simply walk away from the marriage than to hang together and work things out. The secret to surviving the crap is to never lose sight of the good times. It WAS good; it WILL get better again. And it does. And the marriage is stronger for it. A wee bit battle-scarred, perhaps, but stronger. And worth every bit of effort you put into it.

Helps, above all, to be honest-to-God FRIENDS with your spouse. And Anne, I hope you get your HEA.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Making a marriage work can be really hard or really easy--it just depends what day of the week it is! I don't think people say "I Do" realizing they just signed up for something difficult. But it's worth it too!

Anne Gallagher said...

Tara -- Yes, I do agree, it is only a piece of paper. Love is a whole other ball of wax.

Stephen -- Maybe that's what it is. Maybe I'm too kooky too much of the time. Or maybe they are.

Summer -- That's sweet -- sharing the quirky sides of yourselves. That does have a lot to do with it.

Jennifer -- Another key -- when you enjoy the work, it doesn't seem like work. Profound on so many levels.

Nicki -- How he treats his mother -- very telling. Oh yes. Oh yes. And yeah, there's always hope.

Lydia -- Committed and effort are the two words I took out of your comment and both very telling. I think too many people don't make that committed effort, hence so many divorces.

Lisa -- The One who really isn't. Yeah, been there, done that. Too many times.

Sarah -- You are so going to love Robert. Even better than William or Ellis.

Betty -- There's something to be said about long haul truckers as well.

Talli -- Interesting and pragmatic. At least you're a realist, whereas I'm still hopeless.
Well, a hopeless romantic anyway.

Bish -- *Recognition* is key. I recognized my first one. I kind of wish we had stuck it out now, but hindsight is 20/20.

Lynn -- You know, I've always thought that widowed would be better than divorce. But having been neither (sort of -- there was a guy who died) I can't say for sure. And hope. There's always hope.

Susan -- I don't doubt that in every marriage there are rough spots, and you're right, it does take the work and effort to get through them, unfortunately, I was always the one doing all the work. They don't make men like they used to.

Stephanie -- Thanks for stopping by. I like that, it just depends on what day of the week it is. That is so true. I used to fight a lot on Friday and Sunday. Hmmm...that's very telling.

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, loaded questions Anne. The answers must be as varied as the number of couples out there :-) I was deluded over one person for a while, but thank goodness was young enough to get out of it and over it. Now I'm quite happy to be married to The One [g] But that doesn't mean I'd prescribe my path to anyone else.
Tagged you by the way :-)

Ted Cross said...

I couldn't have been with the woman who became my wife at all if I hadn't married her. She was a Russian citizen, so only through marriage could she have left Russia with me. In a society without marriage, or at least without the restrictive religious-driven views on marriage, I would have searched for women who thought along the same lines I do regarding relationships.

Solvang Sherrie said...

We just celebrated our 20th anniversary together and we still LIKE each other. To me that's just as important as the romance and the sex. Kind of like what you said, looking at them over breakfast and liking them. Is it always easy? No. Is it worth the work? Absolutely.

Life is never the same as a novel -- no one is around to edit our shortcomings and mistakes. But there's so much to love in the mundane, every day stuff, too. I hope you find your HEA :)