The Secret of Marriage

The Secret of Marriage

A Story by ettorney

An opinion essay

Remaining married means having the ability to lie truthfully, remain steadfast and loyal, find meaning in banality, show interest in the mundane, give a little, take even less and of course, be happy about it. No wait.  That's the secret to parenthood.

Marriage is about the time spent together doing nothing while thinking about doing something.  It's about the time between the drama.  It is about the lead up to passion that occurs every day regardless of whether one is passionate or not.  Marriage requires patience but more importantly it requires sustenance.  If you don't feed a marriage it will starve. If it starves, your marriage will start to eat you.  When your marriage is eating at you it becomes impossible to hunt for new life to bring to the marriage because your energy is spent fending off the vultures of discontent.

Some couples will try to find fresh blood.  An affair, a separation or divorce.  But fresh blood does not sustain.  It is only a plasma.  A placebo.  Like the vampire sucking the blood of a stag, it is a poor substitute for the blood within living human flesh. Without marriage there is, of course, togetherness.  But with out marriage, there can be no true oneness.

Marriage is not simply an institution ordained by God and sanctioned by mere man.  Neither of these are required to reach the essence of marriage.  To reach oneness.  Marriage is a natural state of being.  When two people love each other and make a public commitment to marriage they are transformed by their connection to each other, flowing outward to their family and friends who sit witness to their testament.  Upon marriage a couple is granted eloquence and serenity, wholeness and peace. 

But these gifts are received for only a moment or a day.  They are felt most strongly at the instant of Vow. From that moment on they are either a memory or a goal to be reclaimed.  They are never a burden although the quest for peace in a marriage may often seem so.

Eloquence, serenity, wholeness and peace.  If we are lucky, we can catch glimpses of each during the years and efforts of our marriage.

It is ironic that eloquence and serenity, wholeness and peace, gifts received on the day of a marriage are often found, sometimes unexpectedly, at the moment of death.

© 2010 ettorney

Author's Note

A few deep thoughts on marriage and staying married.

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I happened to have been reading Hirschfeld's history of marriage in western civilization just yesterday. What I got from it was that Marriage down through history just involved one thing; Men taking advantage of Wonen. You said more here in less than 400 words than Hirschfeld said in more than 5,000!

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


This certainly says a lot. It's deep and filled with insight. The repetition of 'eloquence and serenity, wholeness and peace" drives home the fact that unlike the fairytale 'happily ever after' image we may have grown up believing in, marriage is not a bed of roses....then again perhaps it is one with lots of thorns. A good read, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Posted 12 Years Ago

After two marriages, I would have to agree. Word for word. Nice work.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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I liked your perspective of marriage, well done.

Posted 13 Years Ago

"Without marriage there is, of course, togetherness. But with out marriage, there can be no true oneness." You might want to change the first Without to With; then again, I can see what you mean if the first Without was intentional.

I would have to agree with your thinking. Albeit I do think if you're not content with yourself, you will not find it in marriage.

Posted 13 Years Ago

There is only one right reason to marry. Two persons who cannot comprehend life without the other. Children, property,--even peace are the proper results of that union. I've married badly and am now married well, bonded to the only person I was meant to be with. As he is also. Eight years now married to MSOM (My Sweet Old Man) have allowed me to be the person I had never imagined that I could be. And brought that "peace" you were talking about.

Your writing is good and you are a thoughtful man. I hope you are a happy one.


Posted 13 Years Ago

I liked how you laid out your opinions on the matter.
Very clear and easily depicted.
I like when people share what they believe.

I have to be honest though. I do disagree, but respectfully.
I believe that marriage was meant to symbolize our commitment to God.
Or.. God's commitment to us. You have probably heard this before. The bride being the church of Christ and Christ as the groom. I also believe that the imagery of God being our bridegroom paints a picture of how the husband/wife relationship was meant to be.

Mt. Sinai represented the first marriage with the divine, which failed due to standards that were not realistic and the adulterous nature of God's people.
The new covenant represents the new marriage. The story of the new covenant portrays a picture of a husband who loves his bride with sacrificial love, and a submissive wife.

I think the goal in marriage is to have true unity and oneness, and that represents the goal we should have with God.

Sorry for ranting. I agree with everything else you said! Just not when you said, "Neither of these are required to reach the essence of marriage."

But overall great piece! :]

Posted 13 Years Ago

Et - great piece of writing here.
The Silliness - You keep writing like this and I will ask for your hand -
The Serious - you have captured the very essence of two people joining together in a common bond and goal. I could go on about all the trepaditions of this that I am sure anyone who reads this will be thinking, so I will let it to the individuals to create those thoughts. I can see you have given a great deal of thought to this subject.

Posted 13 Years Ago

thanks for this, so much I had forgotten during the last fifteen years . . .

Posted 13 Years Ago

a reasonable description for what makes a marriage works. good write.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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13 Reviews
Shelved in 5 Libraries
Added on May 16, 2010
Last Updated on May 16, 2010
Tags: marraige, love, wedding, divorce



Chicago, IL

I love to write. I love the process of writing. I’ve been gone from writing for a decade! Time to get back on the horse, don’t ya think? Although not perfect myself, I hate bad gra.. more..


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