Thursday, 11 April 2013
A Torch To Light The Way
I was at the theatre the other night. The play was dull, but I was struck by some of the audience. In particular, the older couples that were out together. Now I'm assuming that many of them will have been together for years, and I confess I had a real admiration for them. People in their 60s and 70s, still hanging out and doing things together, as couples, still building after so much water has flowed under the bridge. I freely admit that I have been going through a tough time for a while now; specifically I've been having those pangs of boredom, of flatness, of wondering whether the best years of my marriage were behind us. I've been asking a lot of questions about whether Joy and I are still compatible, and just doing a lot of soul searching. Any mature couple that has been a unit for as long as we have go through this; lulls in the appreciation of our partner, perhaps even resentment for not quite ticking all the boxes. It's too easy to imagine the green grass and white surf of new pastures, and I'd be lying to deny I haven't thought this way. Thing is, fifteen years ago I made a choice, I made promises, and that means something to me. More than that, with children to raise I recognise that stability is good for them. And let's be honest, I've built a life with Joy over the past decade and a half; we've walked a road together, and to forsake that would be just insane. And now I see those grey and elderly couples I realise that a few years down the road I want to be like they are, health and marbles permitting. I want to get through the silly male stuff that's wrecked potentially salvageable relationships down the years. I'm not easy to live with; I have quirks and eccentricities and enough double standards to make you dizzy. But, and this is the important bit, I just can't help feel that all the best relationships need not just building but maintaining. The path gets slippery when we take people for granted, when we think the worst but never dare share it with our other half. Now there's a phrase; "Other half." It implies that without this other entity we're only half complete. Now I cannot predict the future, and I won't deny that the path won't sometimes be rocky, but when the track gets hard, when the waves crash in, I'm going to imagine those older couples still building together, still making their relationship fulfilling and worthwhile and enriching. For all my foibles, through my inability to see beyond my own selfish needs, perhaps they can be a torch to light the way.