What is a "Perfect Marriage"?

On several occasions since my divorce, I’ve met new people (like the kids’ friends’ parents) who have also had the opportunity to meet my ex. If given the opportunity to get to know them a little better, I’m always asked the same question – how did you ever marry that guy? It is, of course, a question I’ve asked myself too. I was nineteen when I met the Goblin King. He was more mature, and my home situation was difficult. I felt like I was mature enough to leave home, but I guess I have the wherewithal to do it on my own. I had finished a degree and was attending a community college to get some additional skills prior to entering the workforce. And despite some very big red flags, we did have some fun in the beginning. But from the beginning, I never would have described it as the perfect marriage.

The truth of it is – I just didn’t know any better. My parents were hardly the model of a perfect marriage. They divorced when I was fourteen. My father moved in with a woman, but both of them had been so burned by their first marriages, that they wouldn’t consider another. And that relationship was a bit dysfunctional. My mother did remarry—but I was resentful of my step-father, and it caused some tension. My father’s father had passed before I was born. My Gran never remarried. My mother’s parents were divorced when she was in her teens. I never knew my grandfather, and Nan never remarried either. I had some aunts and uncles who had (have) great marriages, but we only saw them on holidays. And thus—I never had a true model of what a great marriage should look like. And having no one to emulate, I felt like my relationship was “good enough”, and decided to accept the Goblin King’s proposal of marriage.

[tweetthis]I want my kids to know that a partner should foster your attempts to grow—not hold you back. [/tweetthis]

I don’t want my children to go through that. I want them to feel like they have seen what a proper relationship can be. I want them to understand that a good marriage can only exist if they’re on equal footing with their partners. I want them to know that your partner should foster your attempts to grow—and not hold you back because they’re afraid to lose you. I wrote about it today on Sammiches and Psych Meds. Click the link to read more.

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  1. Perfect….Whats is Perfection? An Ideal, something we aspire to but think we cannot fully achieve…So its always out there. Yet It does exist in each of us. The same goes for relationships. What’s imperfect to your eye, may be perfect for someone else. It’s the joining of spirits that’s important. If your spirits join, even a bear becomes a kitten…So we have to find that which we are destined to have…That said. I love my marriage…we are both human and that’s okay!

  2. PERFECT is a relative term. What may be perfect for one person, isn’t for another, thus you really cannot define what a perfect marriage in. FOR ME though, it would be supportive, communicative, honest, open, hysterical, sexy, kind, and a PARTY! haha.

    1. Author

      Yes – the fun is a very important element as well. No one wants to married to someone boring.

  3. I was raised in a single parent home. My mom was never married and when I met my husband my first thought, what is the “ideal marriage.” I had no clue, but I did know I wanted a man that would love me and support my dreams as I did his. We now have 3 girls and we try teaching them about how a man should treat them and my husband be an example to them. Love your post.

    1. Author

      So glad that you were able to figure it out even without the role model. It gives me hope for this world.

  4. I’ve seen a bad, bad marriage, which should have ended long before it should, and I think that somehow set a pattern in my mind that no matter how bad it gets, if there IS any good, you keep trying. I don’t know. You’d think I would have known better, but I also know that there were SO many unavoidable changes which beset us, and just *awful* sets of circumstances which left us both so different. I think if we had had more time…we would never have gotten married. We both said that.

    Thing is, I think you’ll take the time and make sure you explain to your kids how important it is to get things right with marriage – how good it is when it’s right and it lasts, and how soul destroying it is when it’s wrong, and how damn TRICKY it is to get unentangled. I think THAT will make the difference – increasing levels of awareness and parent-child engagement as the generations move onwards.

    1. Author

      I hope so. At the very least – I’m doing my best to model a good marriage. I think. It’s really one of the first I’ve actually witnessed.

      1. I’ve seen a few. A handful. A pitiful, tragic handful in all the ones out there *sigh*
        I’m glad you’re getting it right 🙂 <3

        1. Author

          It’s out there Lizzi. I wouldn’t have believed it – but I somehow stumbled into it, and I’m never letting it go.

  5. John QuincyAdams said, “…our union has not been without its trials…” I think that’s the norm. I had a great example growing UP. Daddy said to mother everyday before he left, “Give this old boy a kiss he’ll remember all day long.” She did. They were married 71 years and 17 days. Good writing . I learn when I come here.

  6. So many people marry for reasons like you’ve described — not having seen a good marriage, or wanting to get away from a bad home life, so many different things. It’s great that your kids are now getting better life lessons.

    1. Author

      It’s so true. It’s really the worst time to make that sort of decision. I hope my kids will never be in that situation.

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