I realized something today: I’ve been married a long time.
I came to this realization while watching Glee. The show is about a high school Spanish teacher, Will Schuester, who brings together a group of outcasts plus the football team’s star player in the school’s Glee Club. I love the way the football player comes to embrace his musical side, and the performances in the show are great.
But there are other storylines, in particular the difficulties in Will’s marriage. His wife, Teri, is extremely unlikeable – she’s materialistic and superficial and keeps trying to get Will to become an accountant because it’ll mean more money, even though he loves teaching. The opposite of Teri is Emma, a fellow teacher who has a crush on Will, admires his efforts with Glee Club, and encourages him to follow his heart.
In years past, I would have rooted for Will to come to his senses, realize that he’s meant to be with Emma, and cheered as he dumped Teri. But not anymore.
I look at Teri and think that Will needs to help her be more fulfilled. If she’s not willing to examine why she’s so shallow and unhappy, then by all means, he should leave her. But there’s a reason he fell in love with her and part of his responsibility as a husband is to help her be happy.
That sort of partnership is not something I really understood before I was married, and probably not even during the first few years of marriage too. But now I have too much respect for the institution of marriage to think that it should be abandoned without full effort on the part of both parties. I would love it if the show’s writers and producers don’t follow the obvious path and instead nurture the Schuesters’ marriage back to health. That would be a true happy ending.