'Forever' Is Ruining Too Many Marriages

marriage certificateKaty Perry and Russell Brand have been fighting off rumors that their marriage is on the rocks pretty much since they got engaged. They haven't even hit their one-year anniversary, so I'm really hoping the latest round of buzz -- including Katy calling for "a trial separation" -- is BS. But who knows? Either way, I'm sure one glitch is that Russell is one of those guys who has trouble wrapping his head around "forever."

Oh yes, have you encountered one of these guys? And not to leave out the ladies -- there are women out there who feel similarly. I'm talking about people who are TOTALLY bugged out by the idea of a "lifetime" with someone they love. Eeeek! It's incredibly intimidating -- so much so that it can paralyze them from ever getting married or fighting to make their marriage work. I mean, why bother if the idea of "forever," "the rest of our lives," "'til death do us part" is too freaky?

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They have a plethora of excuses too, which almost make their "forever"-apobic reasoning seem legit. Like, life expectancy is longer now, so how can we be expected to have a happy long-term relationship for however many -- say, 50+ (?!!?!) YEARS?! And the Internet age has made ADHD cases of us all, so how could we possibly focus on and devote our affections to ONE stinkin' person, when there are Plenty of Fish out there?

But in some ways, the forever-fearful just sound like cowards! Aspiring to have a life-long healthy, loving relationship isn't TERRIFYING. It's bold, it's brave. Of course it's going to be a challenge. It may even be an uphill battle some days, months, years. But that's the real world trade-off for a partner to go through life with, to share your ups and downs with, to build a family and a life with, and to grow/evolve with

OBVIOUSLY -- as a yet-to-be-married woman -- "forever" and "rest of my life" scare me, too! All of those years stretching ahead of us, filled with unknowns and countless variables (money, fertility, health, family, even external but major things like the economy or environment?!), make for a thousand intimidating questions and possible potholes in the road. And that's definitely a feeling we should acknowledge more often, more actively, more consciously -- on a regular basis.

But what we shouldn't do is shy away from the fear, letting it prevent us from making a commitment or doing the hard work to maintain vows. The only way we can move forward is by getting comfortable with not knowing what tomorrow will bring. By realizing that, hey, if you love someone else enough, the two of you can do your best and make it up as you go along. One day at a time. And with hope, the lifetime of trials, tribulations, and true love adds up to a not-so-freaky, potentially amazing forever.

What do you think about the fear of "forever" scaring people off of or out of marriage?

 

Image via Glen MacLarty/Flickr

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