How did you choose YOUR husband?
Years ago a friend and I were discussing marriage, hers and mine in particular, and she made a comment I’ll never forget—in fact, one I argued against at the time (something I did quite regularly before I realized I still had a lot to learn!). But as I aged, er—matured, my view-point shifted.
What was so memorable you ask? Simply this: “It’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor one, so why not choose the rich one?”
Well I never! Sound the alarms, sand blast me now, how dare she utter such wicked thoughts. I didn’t marry for money, I married for love.
To insinuate otherwise was insult. And by my very best friend! Ugh. The madness.
She allowed me my huffy-puffy routine, but stuck to her guns—as is her nature—and didn’t cave on her position. “We should have married for money. Life would be a lot better.”
At the time, I chalked it up to the fact that she and her husband were having financial problems. Young, new baby in the house, she a stay-at-home-mom and he just beginning in his career—things were tight. Perhaps she was just yearning for easier days and restful nights, neither of which she would see for about the next ten years. But three kids will do that to you and I don’t care how much money you have!
However, all was not lost. You’ll be happy to hear this lovely couple just celebrated their twenty-second wedding anniversary because in the end, their life was rich with love, something money cannot buy. (It’s more than a cliché!)
Of course my marriage didn’t fare so well, but that’s beside the point. Isn’t it? J
I mean, I’ve also heard that “If you marry for money, you’ll earn every penny.” Not sayin’ that’s what happened to me, but I will say we weren’t hurting from finances. Our issues coalesced around personality differences, not lack of dollar bills.
But I married for love. I was head-over-heels, deeply engaged in the lifestyle, our prospects—how could little old “happy and in love me” end up divorced?
It’s simple. Marriage is about commitment, nothing more and nothing less. Something I apparently lacked at the time. Arranged marriages may lack love, but they can still provide for long and fulfilling relationships. Think: partner, associate. Then there are those high school sweethearts you hear about celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversaries with oodles of grandkids in tow despite the fact they were mere children themselves the day they said, “I do.”
And don’t bother to ask the typical trophy wife how her relationship is faring. Yes she wears nice clothes (size 2) and lives in a grand house (on the hill) and while she has no wrinkles (she can’t blink either), is she happily married? Probably not.
Now about this point in the story I don’t know about you but I’m ready to throw myself from the nearest cliff from an island far, far away, where there is no man to tell me what to do or how to do it, no man to feel the need to please…
But then again, there would be no kids to jump off with me either. A sad thought. Ah…but I write romantic women’s fiction so fear not—my stories ALL have happy endings! They must, else I toss myself from the barren rocky hillside for real.
No. On second thought, scratch that notion. Most likely I’d still be in the islands, the scenery to die for (no pun intended) and of course I’d be escorted to the edge of my precipice by some handsome scrumptious cabana boy! (Do they really exist?)
They do in my novel world which is good enough for me. As for the real world, I found my tall, dark and handsome complete with Italian passion and temperament sizzle to match. Two kids, a future of grand babies, life is good in the Venetta household.
Now I have a daughter to consider. What advice should I give for her big decision? Marry for love or money? Get to it while she’s young or wait until she has a bit of sense about her (at least knows who she is before diving into a relationship with some fellow). I’ve grown wise enough to realize that having enough money would indeed eliminate a major stressor in life, but marrying for love adds depth to a person. It builds character, because trust me, tall, dark and handsome occasionally reverts to ornery, demanding and distant at times and a girl needs inner fortitude if she plans to continue forward with said man!
That said, my second go round is much improved over my first. I chose love—which originated from physical attraction—and then I sought compatibility—based on common values. For us, it works. In fact, this time around I may actually see that golden anniversary, providing I live long enough.
But isn’t that what kids are for? To keep you young? Then again, there’s always my gardening as a fall back plan… I hear many centenarians are gardeners!
So how about you? How did you choose your husband?
p.s. it’s the theme in my current novel, Jennifer’s Garden.