09/30/2014 05:49 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2014


I have a friend whom I consider to be one of the most intelligent persons I know and he shared bits of wisdom in short concise statements. He has been a Child Psychologist for more than 40 years. He is Chinese and was raised in Hawaii and is a gifted pianist amongst other talents. One of his more memorable statements was "Marriage saves us from ourselves."

Archie Bunker always yelled at Edith and she played the part of the doting housewife totally subservient to her husband. On occasion, Archie showed some affection and more often Edith left us rolling on the floor with laughter after one of her replies and platitudes. The actual events of an everyday marriage are very much removed from this kind of interexchange in my opinion.

When we enter into a state of matrimony, we are young at heart and full of love (or lust) for the person we are agreeing to spend the rest of our life with. If you give that some real thought it is really scary as the rest of our life can be a long time. As time moves on, we learn all too much about this person whom we have tied the knot with. The mannerisms or habits that you never even imagined become an everyday occurrence.

• Why does that person leave everything out that is taken from a cupboard or shelf rather than putting it back in its place?
• Why does that person snore at night and keep me awake?
• Why do I have to wait for her to shop and carry all of those packages?
• How come the car is so messy after he/she uses it?
• I would like a little more affection

The state of mind changes over time with your mate perhaps but over time you might realize that your mate is "there." With time comes an understanding that perhaps life might have been different with another; however, it could have been less than what you share at this moment in time.

Our physical attraction wanes over time due to commitments to other things in our life (children, work, guest in the house, in-laws in the house, and animals in the house). The years advance and we find a happy medium where we share the chores of marriage and each assumes responsibilities of what they are best suited for. The wife is supposed to be the nurturing person and always knowledgeable of what needs to be done to mend some ailment or instability. The husband is supposed to be the man and ward off all security threats and fix anything that is broken in the house plus bring home a good wage to support all the needs of the home.

All of the sudden we are in our 60s or 70s and we are totally connected after 30 or 40 years of marriage or more. We have spent more time with this person than any other person. We know their underwear size and what allergies they have. We know what can be discussed and what needs to be avoided at all costs. What really becomes apparent is that this person can be trusted and we do not function well without them being near.

The bad habits we had at the start of the marriage are dealt with and the challenges of health and weight control are part of the everyday discussions to the point of it being almost nagging. What we understand, if we stop to analyze it, is that we are here, alive and healthy hopefully because we are married. The institution of marriage has saved us from our bad has saved us from ourselves!