Jun 13, 2009

The effects of long-term marriage

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.


Nora said...

I like the way you think! I know that sometimes life gets hard, but when you really, really think about it Will loved Teri for a reason ( I know this is make believe, but it also applies to real life) so he should really help her, " for better or worse."

Anonymous said...

Agreed! I wish divorce wasn't the first option to unhappy married couples nowadays. I don't watch the show but your post grabbed my attention. Marriage is supposed to be til death do you part, not til you're both happy 24/7. I'm so glad my husband isn't like that!

Rita said...

It was my goal to be married for life. I didn't get married thinking if this does not work I'll get a divorce. I love him till death do us part. But.....he still isn't here. Just want you to know that many of us who are divorced didn't choose it.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Rita - I didn't mean anything negative toward anyone who's been through a divorce. This was simply a personal observation about myself, and how my own views have changed. I'm sorry you had to go through that - it must have been very difficult.

Rita said...

I know you didn't and I feel the same as you do. Why would anyone chose to marry and then divorce?? It's just that my x husband even 20 years after the divorce looks for ways to be mean to our children. He confuses them and hurts them still. I have no idea why.
On to happier things....the day is lovely here blue skies and sunny day.
Have a good one.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Rita - Ugh, I'm so sorry your ex is like that but glad that you're not married to someone like that too. Enjoy those blue skies - we are totally in "June gloom" here and haven't seen the sun in a couple of weeks. I'm okay with that, though, because the temps have been lovely. It'll 100+ every day before I know it!