Well, not all the time.
Maybe that's why so many people, in America at least, don't expect a marriage to last a lifetime. The shortest marriage here in America seems to have lasted 55 hours (Britney Spears/Jason Allen Alexander) (ChaCha, Shortest Celebrity Marriages, About.com:Weddings)
I remember hearing, several years ago, about a couple who had a fight minutes after the ceremony, and split up then: but haven't been able to track that one down for specifics. It could be the 90 minute special quoted by Cha Cha, presumably from the "Guinness Book of Records."
Most marriages in this country last well over a week, though.
Marriage: A Lifetime CommitmentThe Catholic Church teaches that marriage is for life. I've written about this before - check out the "Related posts," below.
Making a marriage work is, well, work.
Happily, there's help for people who want to make the effort.
Like For Your Marriage, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. They've got "Celebrating Valentine's Day" on the website's home page today:
"This year, Feb. 14th brings double reason to celebrate, as World Marriage Day coincides with Valentine's Day. In addition, National Marriage Week is observed from Feb. 7-14.Then there's a link to "Celebrate Valentine's Day/World Marriage Day." From there, there are quite a few resources, including a "Marriage Quiz." ("Try these fun, non-scientific quizzes to open lines of communication about important issues.")1
Looking for ways to celebrate your own marriage? Here are some fun--and free--activities that can strengthen your marriage long after Valentine's Day is over...."
I found For Your Marriage on the USCCB website, in a 2008 press release: "For Valentine's, Do Something Special 'For Your Marriage'." Pretty good advice, actually.
- "Marriage, Catholic Beliefs, and This Catholic"
(September 24, 2009)
- "Annulment: Divorce, Catholic Style - NOT!"
(March 27, 2009)
1You may want to take what's in the quiz with a grain or two of salt. One question, for example, under "Are We Intellectually Compatible?," was "I like to read and listen to public radio more than to do physical activity." With the usual Agree/Both/Disagree/Unsure scale.
There's a valid point there - but I got an earful of public radio's "intelligent" content when I was a disk jockey. Although I'll concede that public radio's geared to people on the high side of the 50th percentile, intellectually: it was also of, by and for people with a rather well-defined set of beliefs. And, from what I've heard on it lately, that hasn't changed.
I listen to NPR and MPR these days - but only when they're playing music. The dyed-in-the-wool liberal philosophies I get from their talk shows? I got enough of that in college, and if I ever want a sample I can always read something from The Progressive or the Huffinton Post.
From the point of view of America's dominant culture, that makes me rather unintelligent. I can live with that.