Originally Posted: 2004-05-25 1:28pm
Men, Maturity, and Marriage
Despite the evidence of Craigslist, men have souls. They experience complex emotions which need acknowledgement. They possess a spirituality in need of cultivation. They are only fully human when they learn to have relationships based on trust, honesty, intimacy, sacrifice, and personal integrity.
Regarding married life, it’s just like life in general. Life is suffering, and anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. Marriage is an ordeal. If the partnership lasts, one of you will watch the other die. If you have children, you will be required to give up some of the things you want in order to provide your children with the things they need.
Your life is not a movie, a sporting event, a letter to Penthouse. Your life is one long (or short in some cases) act of dying. To the degree that your presence on earth brings joy and inspiration and tenderness and compassion into the lives of others, your death will have meaning. To the degree that you put yourself above others and indulge in personal pleasure, your life will be wasted.
No one owes you an orgasm, a smile, a meal, or a cent. You earn such rewards by being forthright, honorable, kind, and generous.
Perfection is not possible or required in marriage. Sacrifice, commitment, communication and love are required. Sexual love depends on all these things. Your personal neuroses and autoerotic fantasies can’t be denied, but keeping them the focus of your existence will leave you an immature and tedious person, in and out of bed, single or attached. More and more, I've come to think that sacrifice is the key. The fact that we live in such a decadent and ignorant era makes personal sacrifice--and the strength and humility and love that animate it--all the more essential to your life and our momentary responsibilities toward one another.
Youth is fleeting, and orgasms come and go, but you will experience pain every single day if you are at all conscious of what it is to be human. How you deal with the pain of life, in yourself and in partnership with others, will determine the sort of man you are.
For the record, I’m 50, have been with my wife 25 years and love her more than ever. Our sexual relationship has been through a lot in that time, and the sex we have today is absolutely mind-blowing. That fact alone keeps me focused on preserving the integrity of our relationship. I’m a very handsome and charismatic guy with plenty of opportunities to cheat over the years, but I’d be cheating myself of the most extraordinary sex I dare imagine if I insulted the honor and devotion of my wife.
My wife is dying of a horrible disease. She suffers every day. Watching her suffer is not easy. Yet, I still desire her, and I make sure we keep romance in our life together. I am completely satisfied in our relationship, despite our imperfections and my personal inadequacies. I will not forsake her in her hour of need, nor would she forsake me.
I’m not religious, nor do I believe in a personal God. I do believe life is sacred and that everyday should be lived as a prayer for our humanity. My life is filled with love, most of it completely undeserved. I’m grateful to have lived long enough to realize these truths. So this has been a rave, not a rant.
this is in or around Chelsea