Marriage is a combination of gains and losses. A good marriage is striking a good balance between the two.
A couple friend of ours is contemplating marriage. And contemplating. And contemplating. In fact, I think he's run over the scenario in his head so many times that naturally he's decided against it. Mainly because he says that at this point, they are way past the infatuation stage.
As with all relationship scenarios, I had to turn the mirror inwards. Have we too passed our infatuation stage? Does dating minus infatuation plus time equal marriage? I had to run through the check list:
Would we rather be home together than out apart? Check!
Do we end our week sending each other 5 new reasons we love each other, and haven't had too hard of a time making that weekly list? Checkity Check Check!
Is there nowhere else in the world that we'd rather be than stuck on a boat with each other in Italy? Greece? Turkey? Heck Mother-Flippin Check!
Whew! Breakdown averted.
While we may be inclined to blame the man (if he says the fun is gone, then bring it back!), I've gotta say that the pair of them have fallen into the cycle of habit.
When couples stay together for a while, they mold into one routine habitual creature. One half might gain the other's habits while losing something they might have done when they were alone. Sometimes, it's a good thing. Quiting smoking because your significant other doesn't smoke. Picking up a healthier lifestyle because you S.O. is a gym rat.
But many times, it's just not good. I think for this pair, they let go of the fun ones and kept the routine ones.
Which, of course, also got me thinking... what have I lost? What have I gained?
Recently I told Superman that I lost my habit of seeing plays, musicals, ballets, operas. I assumed he's not a huge fan of them, so I too -- out of spousal habit -- stayed away.
Superman took that right to heart. Today, when we received an invitation to see the new Cirque du Soleil show that I've been silently eyeing, he said to me: "I think it's a great idea. We've been wanting to see that for a while so let's do it."
So I might have lost out on seeing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performed by the New York City ballet this season. But I gained someone who wants to do everything we loved doing separate, together.