This week, my husband and I will celebrate our 36th anniversary. Some years we've gotten dressed-up and gone out to dinner. Other years we've simply marked the day with a kiss. That's what marriage is: richer, poorer, good times and bad. Each year with its surprises and challenges, its hard fought lessons, its moments of sweetness.
My path away from marital meltdown began in the smoking pile of rubble that was my final workplace implosion. It was 1 a.m. and after months of 18-hour days launching a new show, I exploded: screaming, throwing things and threatening people. In front of a large audience on the production floor of 30 Rock, I bottomed out with a loud, messy splat.
Over and over, when it comes to marriage the elders point to decisions that completely ignore the evidence and show bad judgment. They believe there are a set of signs so strong and compelling that they tell you to get out of the relationship. However many people ignore the clear warnings and get married -- and, the elders tell us, live through a horrendous period suffering the consequences of that dumb decision.
Being happily married is not the same thing as being happy all the time. Being happily married is understanding that marriage is a contract and a commitment. Being happily married is putting the success of the marriage above either person's individual needs or desires. The marriage has to be bigger than either person.