In the wake of my father’s recent triple bypass surgery, I was surprised to find that it brought a myriad of wonderment. One was while I was torturously waiting for his surgery to end, sitting in the waiting area of the ICU, the cold metal chairs doing nothing to comfort me. At a desperate attempt to distract myself from the 5-hour wait, I started eavesdropping to other people’s conversations, those who were sitting around me also waiting for their loved ones.
There was an elderly lady, sat on a wheelchair and chatting up to another stranger. She told the stranger that she was waiting for her husband, who was in a critical condition following a recently diagnosed lung-cancer. She had been sitting there for the past few days. She didn’t want to leave in case her husband needed her. She was 70-something years old. They had been happily married since she was 16.
Is there such a thing as a happy marriage that could last that long?
My personal answer to that is hugely dependant on what is happening around me at that point of time. At this phase of my lives, I am cornered by a variety of stories from a variety of married people I know – family, friends and colleagues. Gone were the days where my newlywed friends were thoroughly excited with the prospect of just gotten married. There are less selfies wish the hashtag "#happycouple" (Thank God). They are now phasing out of the honeymoon years, and with that came the hard slap of reality.
Some were starting to realise that it takes a lot more work than they anticipated.
Some were even more sadly, ending in divorce.
Some were just downright unhappy, but is probably going to settle for just that for a very long time.
But then there are also the ones with a pretty great thing going on. For some friends I know, getting married seemed like the best thing they could've ever done for themselves. My parents, for example, have been married from almost 30 years and I don’t think they could live a day without each other. And how about this elderly lady in her wheelchair in the ICU?
Unfortunately for me, what supersedes my fear of being alone is my fear of being in an unhappy marriage. It is therefore that I often ask myself – is it worth the trouble of risking it to see if such a thing as a long, happy marriage does exist?
Eventually, as I concluded my thoughts about it, I figured that the answer might be this; like everything else in life, anything is possible. A good long marriage is possible, and a bad long marriage is also possible. And like everything else in life, the resultant is highly dependent on our actions towards it. Perhaps all we need to find is a little bit of faith and little bit more bravery.