The first two years of marriage are a tricky time for most couples. The high of the wedding is over and real life sets in. In our first year and a half of marriage we had more than our share of arguments, and none of them were pretty.
"Don't be somebody's wife," my mother said. "Look at Mary Ann Baxter, already set up in a grand apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan." Mary Ann had been a model with me at Halle's before leaving for New York and sexual success. "Be an adventuress," she told me.
There are those who argue that sleeping separately is a sign of a troubled marriage. But, if a marriage is strong and consists of daily embracing, intimacy, kissing and words of love, sleeping separately will not endanger the relationship.
We don't need to show people we're in a committed relationship by some ring, but rather by the way he rests his hand on my back in line at the theater without thinking, or the way we automatically put the armrest up between our airplane seats.
3. Your attorney makes unilateral decisions without your input or approval: While your attorney is knowledgeable about the legalities of your case, your input and approval is necessary because the decisions will affect your life.
I'm going to make mistakes and I do my best to learn from them. I have forgiven myself because I believe that marriage is mostly about growth and growth requires change and change often comes with pain.
I'd like to give a shout out for monogamy. It's really been maligned of late, called "unnatural" or worse -- hegemonic and bossy. It gets blamed for infidelity and divorce. Oh the Terrible Societal Pressure of Monogamy!
We are living in very self-centered times. Marriage vows involve someone else who may not turn out to be what you want as you turn the corners in your life's journey. Long term marriages are talked away like there is a "good until" date on a person.
Love of self and especially love of your soul-mate and best friend. The guy you married. The woman you pursued, chased and won over. These are the awakenings that really matter. Find them. Embrace them.
Despite however little real estate is left on my refrigerator for save-the-date/engagement photo cards, I now have a greater capacity and patience upon hearing love advice -- from famous faces to my own family members and friends -- without taking personal offense.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, the most effective way to "win" with respect to this common scenario of desiring more warmth and affection would sound something more like an effort to lose or to at least pitch to the other's strengths.
Find your path. The one marked by a resurgent love for self-care and love for others. A path that connects with a deeper faith and consciousness that your story matters. Cared for and cultivated from above.
Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking features a photograph of Marcella and her husband arm-in-arm, smiling and touching each other in a way that suggests many years of happy intimacy. Newly married, we both wanted to be that couple some day.