Casaubon's Book

I wrote this post years ago, and have republished it occasionally since – it has been a while, though, and it does go with the other one ;-)

Reasons to Stay Together in Tough Times

1. Gives you something sustainable to do during those rolling blackouts (sex and fighting would probably both fit the bill, actually.)

2. You can’t afford dinner and a movie, much less romantic gifts for your mistress or new sweetie anyway. You might as well stay with someone whose expectations have already been lowered by exposure to the real you.

3. Lowered economic expectations mean that even if you are no longer motivated by staying at home for the sake of the children, you still need to stick it out for the sake of the pets – kibble is getting pricey.

4. Loving partners will often pretend interest in things like the rate of oil extraction in the Ghawar and the carbon impact of driving vs. flying when others begin yawning and wander off.

5. Romantic evenings with spouse may already consist of offering to be the one to cook dinner *and* do the dishes.

6. Newly met potential partners are often turned off by birth control discussions that require low budget home vasectomies or or craft-your-own condoms.

7. The only new people you are meeting are collection agents in Bangalore, and you can’t afford the flight.

8. Huddling together for warmth with a damp spouse who has just come
out of the barn is marginally more pleasant than huddling with a damp dog who has just come from the same place. Usually.

9. Since she’s already spent tons of money restoring her motorcycle or collecting the complete back episodes of some anime series, you can legitimately tell her to piss off when she complains about you buying bulk toilet paper and dried beans.

10. When your unbearable sister in law and her three obnoxious children move in because of the crisis, the only person who will put up with them is the person who knows that if he/she doesn’t, his/her demanding, drunken parents will be out on their behinds. Moreover, the absence of cable can be much compensated for by lengthy discussions of whose relatives are more horrifying.

11. Spouses/partners may come to find your true hair color/hairy legs (face?back?)/chronic allergic snoring/tendency towards simultaneous wrinkles and zits endearing after you can no longer locate or afford products intended to conceal them. One hopes.

12. Once the peak comes, you know that you’ll have each other forever, though thick and thin, good times and bad, through all the great exigencies of life. After all, divorce is too expensive and you are conserving ammo.

Happy Passover everyone!

Sharon

Comments

  1. #1 ccm989@aol.com
    April 18, 2011

    Of course if divorce is too expensive, you might consider investing in ammo! (LOL)

  2. #2 Brad K.
    April 18, 2011

    Sharon,

    Point number two really stands out, here. I understand you intend this list to be humorous, I do. But — what you touch on is the theme of series of bad relationships and red flags that usually mean there is no real relationship. For those caught up with uncommitted, straying, almost-partners, one source of insight is at Baggage Reclaim (http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/).

    Steve Harvey pointed out that you cannot have cheating without a complete failure of character.

    Any time any of the items above might be considered, the fundamental, underlying problem is being overlooked. If your partner or mate is unreliable within the marriage or relationship, dare you rely on him/her to be responsible and secure for anything?

    When reviving historical models for heating and family life, many time our ancestors guided the selection of mates, avoiding those with a history of promiscuity, of disrespect, or dishonor. They looked for those with expected skills, that are well regarded in the community, that seemed intent on making a life and family. People with reasonable family backgrounds and appropriate cultural knowledge and beliefs.

    Of course, many just sold their kids into arranged marriages for financial gain or political maneuvering. Thus the romance about Casanova, bodice rippers, etc. And the stories like “Sarah, Plain and Tall”, when people took a throw of the dice with their lives and bet on nearly nothing.

    My conclusion is that given good character, healthy community involvement, and intent to make a family, nearly any adults are capable of forming a couple and family, and become fond of each other, and make a reasonably happy family. Note that about half of all marriages today fall apart – but then, very few people today are evaluating their partner-prospect for character, good emotional bonds with family and co-workers, ethical behavior and engagement with the community, and actual interest in making a family before going skin-to-skin.

    Picking someone with problems to be a romantic partner is also a sign of major problems, and a reason to look for assistance before looking for a partner.

    The fact that someone wanting to adapt has a partner with fundamentally opposed goals and interests says, to me, that there is a question about the relationship. If respect and communication were already strong, then significant changes would be faced together – one person wouldn’t already be headed in a different direction. And neither would be happy leaving their partner ‘in the wrong’ over important issues.

    Sharon, I pray your list doesn’t actually give anyone important life guidance. Without real character, respect, and communication in the relationship, merely choosing the ‘wise’ course just postpones a crisis in the family.

    My reason to “Stay Together In Tough Times”? You have made a home and family. Regardless of dwelling or circumstance, that is the right place to live.

  3. #3 Vicky
    April 21, 2011

    Please tell me I am not the unbearable sister in law with 3 children…course not sure who else it would be…

  4. #4 Romantic Gift
    April 24, 2011

    Tough times are here but sometimes a small romantic gift that is inexpensive can help keep the relationship strong. It’s really the thought that counts.

  5. #5 Bioser
    April 25, 2011

    The fact that someone wanting to adapt has a partner with fundamentally opposed goals and interests says, to me, that there is a question about the relationship. If respect and communication were already strong, then significant changes would be faced together – one person wouldn’t already be headed in a different direction. And neither would be happy leaving their partner ‘in the wrong’ over important issues.

  6. #6 Complex 41
    April 25, 2011

    Oh great !
    2. You can’t afford dinner and a movie, much less romantic gifts for your mistress or new sweetie anyway. You might as well stay with someone whose expectations have already been lowered by exposure to the real you.