Driving to the airport we instantly connected.
He’s been married for seven years and didn’t seem to be too impressed with the constraints of marriage, one partner for life.
I don’t normally go off on a tangent and talk about the great virtues of marriage to a complete stranger but this taxi driver got both barrels. He didn’t seem phased by my enthusiasm and started asking questions about marriage.
To me, the first ten years are the hardest as you mix kids into it and find your own footing in life, the game changes dramatically year in year out. While partners try to recapture moments of infatuation that drew them together, all hell breaks loose from season to season just living life. As the years pass, the couple stretch themselves and each of their identities changes over time. For some of us we have been fortunate to maintain our bond while we independently grow, for others they’ve stopped growing and their bond fades, not linking the two.
The young taxi driver didn’t stop me from sharing my uninvited thoughts and seemed eager to hear what I had to say, then he asks “What if I just looked for another wife?”. I looked at him and said “The problem with that fantasy is, you’re bringing you into the relationship and that sounds like a disaster”. He smiled and didn’t protest my hypothesis.
I then went on and shared all sorts of reasons to fight for a marriage and the effect we have on our children and the greater society by loving our partners. The problems we have in the world would radically devolve if we just loved more and criticised less. Starting with our own household and extending that to our neighbours.
Abruptly I stopped and apologised for going off on a tangent expressing my views, but I felt maybe the timing was perfect just in case he needed some encouragement to press in there.
When we reached the airport he thanked me for my words of wisdom as he put it and appreciated that I didn’t hold back, making him rethink some personal challenges.
I don’t know what will happen to this young man, he seemed lonely and disconnected. I’m crazy enough to believe even in a twenty minute taxi drive that a flicker of hope was sparked. I have nothing to lose by being open, he may have everything to gain, who knows.
To the person looking for the perfect partner, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. It is implied that you are the perfect partner and that my friend is delusional. My wife has endured five husbands in me over three decades as I evolve and the key to our marriage is nothing more than mutual respect. The respect I have for her has been birthed again and again while I succeed and fail and allowing her the same parameters.
Mind you, after thirty two years of marriage, I’m still trying to get her attention which is the way I like it. We made a choice when we were young and free to love one another and that choice hasn’t changed now that we’re older and even freer (Being empty nesters)
Love is a choice, it can’t be forced by us or imposed by others, it’s a choice. Even if we love others and it’s not reciprocated, love in itself keeps us healthy not just within the context of marriage.
Perhaps I was a little more passionate than usual because I was flying home to celebrate my thirty second wedding anniversary. Yes, I think that’s what it was.
I can still see that young taxi drivers eyes bulging when I blasted him to love his wife like he was been told off by his father.