I tweeted that on their anniversary and received a lot of congratulations from people. I also received a number of tweets mentioned that their parents were also celebrating 40+ year milestones in 2010. And as happy as it made me to know my parents are still together after all this time, it also depressed me a little bit.
No, I won’t go into a big long “oh woe is me” rant on how my marriage failed in under two years. The thing is, that’s just the reality of our world today.
Are we more fickle? Are we LESS loving as a people than we were just 30 or 50 years ago? What is wrong with us as a society?
I realize that there are a thousand answers to those questions, but to me I think there’s just one that stands out: we want to be happy.
I truly believe that if my parents had been married during the current generation, they may have already divorced by now. But they’ve percevered and have worked extremely hard to remain in love and committed to each other for 42 years, even if they may not have been happy the entire time.
I think we as a society place more emphasis on personal happiness than our parents did. If things aren’t going well, we try to work them out. If that doesn’t work, we pull the plug and move on to something that hopefully will be “the one”. Happiness is key when it comes to long-term relationships.
Do a lot of people pull the plug too soon? Sure they do. But I think the ideals and morals from the 50’s, while important, also blinded people. The “family unit” was more important than the individual…and things are different now.
Does that make us as a society more selfish? Probably…but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. I know I’ve never been as happy as I am right now…and if I hadn’t gone through a downward spiral and suffered through a failed marriage, I don’t believe I would be even remotely as appreciative as I am of my current relationship.
So happy anniversary mom and dad. While my generation may not have as many “success stories”, yours is certainly one to aspire to. I only hope to live long enough to be able to enjoy 40+ years with the love of my life…through good AND through bad.