My parents divorced. Nothing special or unique about that; divorce was the national past time in the 80s. What's odd is to be my age and have parents who aren't divorced. As a "child of divorce" (cue sad music) I absolutely abhor divorce. Some kids with divorced parents end up with the "my parents split up and I turned out okay" mindset but not me. I have the "my parents' split was traumatic and I never want to do that to my kids" mindset. Do I have deal breakers, things that would cause me to contemplate divorce? Of course I do; everybody does. But I have very few of them and they are extreme. And lack of romance or dead sparks are not on that list.
I detest romance, or rather the preposterous definition most people have. I'm a realist, myself. Romance fades, it dies, it is replaced by yeast infections and stinky bathrooms and baby puke and grown up puke. People who expect "true love" to be a never-ending smoke machine filling their lives with pink fog and giggling are delusional. I do not understand married couples who can't pee in front of each other. It makes as much sense to me as women who swear their husbands will never see them without make up. If your relationship is so fragile that one misplaced fart will bring it to the ground, your problems go beyond a man seeing you tinkle.
I have a friend who desperately wants a "real man", a cowboy, a George Strait video. Wanna know the secret behind George Strait videos? They're only 4 minutes long. Four minutes of the perfect man, whittled out of hours of footage. It takes months to make a romance movie, in large part because it takes 12 takes to get one perfect romance scene. And some women expect this shit to happen spontaneously and randomly in real life?!
I've had friends who have divorced because the spark died out, or the romance faded, or they "just became roommates". Guess what: that's supposed to happen. That's what you signed up for. Companionship, friendship, not 50 years of fireworks. And why would you even want fireworks the whole time? How much work must that be, to keep up the pretense of perfection? How much stuff must you go through alone because you can't share it with your husband? Sometimes bitching helps; I believe that firmly. To not be able to bitch about things would drive me nuts. "I hate my period, especially heavy days. I kind of wish I could just birth a placenta every month and have it done with." "Ohhhh, my tummy hurts. I will be so happy when I finally poop and the pain goes away." Or even just to ask for help! I need to be able to ask my husband for help sometimes. "While you're at the store could you pick me up some Super tampons?" "I need to borrow ten bucks for Monistat." "Honey I clogged the toilet! I need help!"
I know. I sound really gross here. But keep in mind that all of these examples are over the course of 6 years (so far) and 2 pregnancies. I cannot imagine going through all of that with the mindset that I had to hide every bacne outbreak or gassy night (where do these people sleep after a bad meal?).
But also remember that my husband has the same freedoms I do. He gets sick and doesn't hide it. He can talk about the wart on his hand or the fungus on his foot or the alien life form he coughed into the sink in the morning. He can send me to the pharmacy for embarrassing items (and he does, and I go) and describe potty things to discern if such things are normal or not. And I can still look at him and see my handsome, sexy, wonderful husband, even after hearing about butt pimples or whatever. Because I'm not infatuated, I'm in love. And I don't need a fireworks display to confirm it constantly. I am happy with the sunset. The sky is still lit up, but it's quiet now, and the colors are softer, and it's real. And I am so glad I don't have to always be on my best dating behavior. How exhausting to live an entire life together trying to make a good impression. If Tom can't handle being married to a real live 34 year old human now, how on Earth would I expect him to handle being married to a 50 year old human, or a 60 year old human? I'm gonna need him to drive me to my colonoscopies someday. If I ever get chemo, he's gonna be the one nursing me through the nausea and hair loss. If I can't be seen peeing now, am I going to move out later? Someday I will be changing this man's diapers. I signed up for that when I married him and I knew it then. And I still married him, because to me, it's not about romance. It's about love.