Secret Life of a Nerd Girl: We Were Together 6 Months, It Should Have Been One
A blogumn by Gudrun Cram-Drach
An 84 year old woman recently told me the story of her marriage. She said, “we met in December, three months later we were engaged, three months later we were married, and 59 years later, here we are!”
Awestruck by their simplicity and success, I said “wow, why can’t it be like that now?”
She said, “that’s how we did it in those days. Now, people have to live together for 10 years to see if they get along.”
What’s that about?
How much analysis and deconstruction is required to determine the viability of a relationship? If you love someone, then what’s the problem?
I have a friend who bought the engagement ring within a month of meeting his wife, then sat on it for over a year. Others struggle through breakups and make-ups to get past the minor relationship humps and glitches before taking the plunge. There is no clear cut map to the altar.
Conversely, try asking someone in a recent breakup when they knew it wouldn’t work. I bet a lot of them would say some time early in the relationship. I know I have said of many dead affairs something like, “we were together 6 months, it should have been 1.” It may seem mysterious, but we know what we’re doing. Even if we don’t like it.
I think there exists a belief that women, if for biological reasons alone, are more prepared for marriage than men. I know I believe it, but I’m not sure it’s true. Maybe the phenomenon of me caring so much for my creative career has created a psychological unprepared-ness within me for marriage. Even if I believe it’s what I want, maybe I’m not ready, and that’s what keeps me single. I never dreamt of a fairy tale wedding, me a princess in a big white dress. It’s not something I want to rush into… most of the time.
This is about the time in my internal discourse that I yearn for simplicity. The kind of simplicity that gets couples married in 6 months and keeps them together forever.
In the comments that followed my last installment “Married Exes,” someone went deep: “Stop talking so much and put in the work – no one is perfect. When you think you should jump – stop and put in the work.”
Good point Bob, if that is your real name.
What I’m trying to get at here is, being ready enough to even think about jumping, that may be the hard part. And solving that question doesn’t involve anyone else but myself. The balance of career and marriage and family is a tricky one, and while we sometimes blame men for being “afraid of commitment,” and having a “fear of intimacy,” I’m starting to suspect that my own fear of jumping shows on the outside, and maybe if it didn’t, I’d be better off.