On my recent visit with my grandmother, she brought up a relative and their recent break up.
(No offense to my Grandma meant, but I know exactly where my "in other people's business" gene comes from).
Anyway, her comment to me was, "Well, were they [the former partner] a nice person?" When I admitted they were, my Grandma concluded "well, they should get married then".
Readers, you would be proud, I did not roll my eyes.
To her mind, if the person was a nice person, that was all anyone needed. I've mentioned this conversation to a few of my readers already. My grandmother is very traditional and religious. I love her, and sometimes she does think outside the box, but not about this issue.
I guess it's progress that the statement is not as simple as "Are they mormon? Yes? Well, then they should be able to get married then".
But I think back to everything I know, and there is so much more to marriage and relationships than simply being "nice" (or religious).
I've known people who have loved one another but couldn't make it work. It happens.
That's not taking things like money, cleanliness, family, kids, friends, mental illness, addiction, goals, values, etc. into account either. Life throws quite a bit at most of us. It's fortunate (for some of us) to just keep our heads above the waves.
To assume that all a couple needs is for one person to be "nice", well, it just doesn't work that way any more. What if you disagree on monogamy? Or whether or not to have kids? What if you disagree about religion and/or raising children in particular religions? These are difficult issues that couples wrestle with.
A friend wisely observed that perhaps we over-analyze love and relationships now, that perhaps we have too much in terms of expectations. That may also be true. But there are quite a few relationships where some of these conversations need to happen long before a couple decides to marry. And people change. It happens.
I certainly won't pronounce anyone's relationship as "doomed to fail". I'm pretty sure mine was/is pronounced as "doomed to fail" because I lived with my boyfriend before we got married.
I believe people deserve every happiness. I believe every couple can figure out what works for them, and some couples are just not meant to be. Period. I think believe marriage and relationships are infinitely more complicated than they seem, and I try not to make assumptions about what works and what doesn't work.
I'm not going to argue with my grandmother. I did sit back and muse about her comment though...I completely disagree with her on it.
Marriage in and of itself isn't the most important thing in the world. Better a happy, well-adjusted marriage or person to my mind than a miserable one.