Monday, January 22, 2007

Remembering the C's in a Relationship

Today is my 23rd wedding anniversary. I was married on Superbowl Sunday in 1984. It feels like just yesterday. I always look at my wedding album each year on my anniversary and remember how I looked back then, when I was a 26 year old newlywed with longer hair and no wrinkles on my face, a flat stomach before the kids were born. I was a runner back then, even ran in some 10K races.

I remember my wedding ceremony. The rabbi commented on the 5'Cs of marriage. I can actually only remember the 4'Cs...if any reader knows the 5th one please send a comment. Maybe your rabbi or clergyman gave the same ceremony at your wedding. Anyway, here are the 4'Cs I remember:

Commitment: the act of commiting or trusting yourself to someone forever;
Compassion: a feeling of of sorrow or pity for the sufferings or misfortunes of your spouse;
Communication: the imparting or interchange of thought, or information by speech, writing, or signs (that includes the non-verbal communication we have with our spouse...sometimes this sends the strongest signals to a spouse, especially the sound of silence); and
Compromise: a settlement of differences by mutual concessions. I've done a great deal of compromising throughout my 23 years of marriage. I'm sure my husband would say it is mutual.

After 23 years, I think I would say the 5th C is Contentment: a state of being satisfied. Do we become content with our mates after many years of marriage? Women's magazines always write about how to keep a marriage exciting after the initial luster wears off and the kids come along. It is hard. After the kids are born, they take priority for at least the next 18 years of your life...until they go away to college and you become an empty nester. I've got one year to go before my youngest child goes off to school...then hopefully, my oldest who is graduating from college doesn't decide to move back in.

I was surprised to read in the paper yesterday about how many single Americans there are today. According to the article I read, it said that 51 percent of all women live without a spouse, and about half of all men are in the same situation. The number of people marrying has dropped off in the last 45 years. It goes on to elaborate that the marriage gap isn't about men and women, but rather about class and education. The statistics reveal that college educated women are more likely to marry than non-educated women.

Is it that women (and maybe men too) don't want to practice the 5'Cs? Let me know your thoughts on this one.


1 comment:

Laura said...

I thing the statistics merely imply that more people are cohabiting without marriage. Everybody loves somebody sometimes. Two of the girls I work with are living together and may eventually get married but they're not in a hurry.