Volume 21, Number 17, May 1, 2016

“The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends.” B. R. Ambedkar

I have a small book on relationships I started writing, and if I can ever get my backside in gear and actually continue working on it and finishing it, the words within would offer some wisdom (or at least things to think about), explain a lot, and give couples a better chance of making their relationship work.

As a Justice of the Peace, I have been officiating weddings for 12 years, and I love it! I have learned so much through all the years, and I have concluded that while relationships aren’t always easy, they doesn’t have to be as difficult as they seem to be for so many. Unfortunately, I don’t think our younger generation has the same understanding of relationships that I grew up with based on what I see on Facebook. Relationships have always been difficult, but they keep getting even harder as times and people change (although there are some qualities that are universal and endure).

With most of my weddings, there comes a bittersweet moment – I am in contact with people, do my job and then leave. Once the ceremony is over, that’s it. There are some with whom I keep in touch on Facebook and we remain friends. I love to hear how people are doing. I have the easy part – I complete the union and am gone. The hard work for the couple is just beginning.

It is difficult to find the real numbers, but the bandied-about 50% divorce rate among new marriages is a blatant falsehood! We are doing much better than that, but there are always a few…. One marriage I performed endured for two days! I suspect the couple were in love with being in love and shouldn’t have wed in the first place, but who am I to judge.

On the other hand (the point of this offering), there are so many relationships that never happen for the wrong reasons. One of the best examples of this concept is the following 55-word short story (don’t bother counting – it’s actually 52 words (53 if we separate the hyphenated word) – I couldn’t find and add the title): “They had known each other a few years. She was nice. He knew she liked him. But she was just average-looking. He couldn’t settle for that. One weekend, she asked him to the movies. She was intelligent, funny, easy to be with. After four months of dating, she became a stunning beauty.”

That little story was written by John Bassi. I love the story because it says so much in so few words about what true beauty is and where it resides. Do re-read it until you “get it.” Looks are nice (really nice sometimes) but looks fade. What is more important is finding a quality somebody that, among other things, you really enjoy spending time with. I have often said that not only do I love my wife, but also really like her!

Facebook is right about one thing in describing relationships: It’s complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Later.

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