A FRIEND RECENTLY wrote that marriage is hard work. He has only been married once, and still is. I have been married three times, which gives me a better, I think, perspective on this matter.
Is marriage really hard work?
It’s not necessarily hard work, but it surely can be, depending on who you are and to whom you’re married. Your age has lots to do with it, especially the age you were when you tied the knot. Marriage is easier when you start late. That’s not always the case, but it is most of the time, I believe.
Let’s look at my three marriages and the level of work they entailed.
Number One was a self-inflicted shotgun marriage. That means we got married because “we” were pregnant. I say the shotgun marriage was self-inflicted because getting married was my idea, not that of my child’s mother.
She was prepared to go down another route.
I could have left the shotgun in the closet and gone about my business, as many would have done. I didn’t. Not sure why. But it led into a difficult marriage, one that was hard work indeed. I worked at it five years.
Then I hightailed it and began a six-year vacation.
Number Two. I’m not sure whether this was hard work or not because I was into the sauce by this time. I was stone sober at work, often not when off work. Wife Number Two eventually decided it was hard work, at least for her, because she called it quits after about 19 years. Maybe it wasn’t hard work for her at first.
I was cast out into yet another six-year vacation.
Number Three. Here’s where other factors kick in, mainly cultural differences, ones that make matrimony much less work, at least for men. The stereotype of fiery, in-your-face, Latina women aside, the reality is that Latinas are far more accommodating than Gringa gals.
Militant feminism, which has resulted in many American women ending up alone,* is not a significant force in Latino Land. Latinas do not subscribe to the phrase, incorrectly attributed to Gloria Steinem, that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.**
In Latino culture, marriage can be hard work for women, but it’s rarely so for us guys. For us, it’s usually a cake walk, so much so that we can have one family on one side of town and another on the other side. Literally.
Since one wife at a time is enough for me, and I do not think my child bride considers our matrimony to be hard work, I declare my current situation to be a stroll in the park. It’s not hard work at all.
So, is marriage hard work? It can be. It’s far less likely to be hard work if you move out of the United States in a southerly direction. For men, at least.
* * * *
* My second ex-wife is an example of this. A child of the ’60s, she has dumped two
bicycles husbands. I was the second.
** An Australian woman, Irina Dunn, said it.