03 September 2010

Good Marriage: Complementary Companionship

What is that quiet companionship that is so unintrusive as to make you feel companionably alone? I've felt it with a few good friends; comfortable enough with each other that we could go miles or hours without using words. I envision an ideal mature marriage that way. Oh, I know there's bills to pay and romantic evenings and flu bugs and moving house and in-laws and conflict, but those go without saying.

One of my favourite illustrators captures the emotive images of companionable quiet well.

While every ideal marriage will not include two people who enjoy all the same things, there will be a complementary component that makes it work.

I love to read, but I'd hate to marry a guy who only ever read. What of conversation now and then. But what if I married a chatty-Chuck who might resent the quiet space I'd need for reading? I love music and fishing, but country music is nearly a no-go zone.

I do enter major rugby & Colts games in my diary so I don't double book and then have to sneak out to check the score, but I don't want to be a football or golf widow nor plan birthday pilgrimages to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

How about a situation where I could take my book out in the boat while he fishes? Or some geocaching on the way to the art gallery and then a baseball game in the evening?

Food? Yep, but variety there is nice too. I've lived in too many interesting places to think meatloaf or steak were the only options. It's good to go somewhere that has a few things on the menu I've never heard of before.

... and to think all of this was inspired by a slip of paper that fell out of a journal I was flipping through yesterday. Years ago I'd torn the page out of a catalogue of some sort. It featured notecards by Deborah DeWit Marchant, the illustrator of the above scenarios. Her scenes show companionable individuality, the kinda marriage I'm holding out for.

Oh, I know, some of my thinking is pie-in-the-sky and reality is often much different. I know that opposites often attract, and then irritate. I know that the passage of time can enrich or dull the finish of a relationship. I know you often get out of it what you put in, and that it takes two generous and loving individuals to make it work.

I've seen a lot of good marriages. I bet if I asked them how they did it, they'd just look at each other and laugh, and wouldn't be able to say exactly.

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