Please understand, I am telling you what we think the point is, not asking if there is a point.
So what’s the point?
I’ll tell you what it isn’t.
This isn’t some sort of contest to be the last couple on the dance floor. We aren’t married for the sake of being married.
I would suggest that we are married, in part, because we make daily decisions to deal with our problems. And we have problems. Boy do we have problems. The Communication Guys podcast recently featured a divorce attorney who talked about the need to deal with problems while they are still small. Julie and I deal with a lot of small problems. Some big problems too but the ones that needle at our relationship tend to be rather insignificant when you pause to take a deep breath.
But that may answer how we have stayed married. I didn’t ask that question. I asked “What’s the point?”
I have shared with you before why I married her. The most succinct answer I can give is I married her so nobody else could. I won. So there. But that doesn’t sustain a marriage. And marriage is hard. Why bother sustaining it?
What’s the point?
I guess I’m going to have to stop evading that question and take a stab at it. Keep in mind, I make this stuff up as I go along. I get the feeling that she does the same (but she makes it look easy). Also, I have to offer the disclaimer that this stuff may only work for Chris and Julie and it may only be good for 21 years of marriage. It isn’t over until it’s over. We haven’t hit 22 years yet. I’m not here to brag. Just to celebrate.
But what about this is worth celebrating? What’s the point?
Shoot. I did it again.
Is it possible that I stay married to Julie without justification?
Is it possible that this is just some meaningless drive to a trophy that will never be awarded?
Are we simply sustained by emotions we felt as children and fear of embarrassment or social pressure to keep this thing going for the sake of the children? Gosh, I hope not.
So what is it then?
Obviously I’m having trouble putting this into words. And I can only speak for Chris. You should know by now that, though he has known her since 1993, Chris has no idea what Julie is thinking…I mean, I know she is mad, I just don’t know why.
So I would have to say that Chris is married to Julie because Julie…
Look, this is kind of embarrassing.
Marriage isn’t the end goal. Marriage isn’t the point. But it also isn’t the means to an end. It’s like…it’s like …it’s like being married to Julie gives everything else purpose. I enjoy my job. I enjoy my kids, my farm and my dog. But I treasure sharing those experiences with Julie.
My kids will grow up and move out. Hopefully, they will live next door or, at least, very close. The dog won’t last forever. But I work every day to ensure that Julie comes to me for friendship, acceptance and affirmation. Heck, she can even come to me for food, shelter and safety if she wants. But those physical needs are easier to attain than love.
I love her. And I want to love her because I want her to love me.
And I think that’s the point. I love her because I want to love her. And I want her to love me because I love her.
I recognize that the above is circular.
And maybe that’s why it was hard to answer the question to begin with.
The point is that I want to. Even though sometimes I want to less than other times.