My youngest sister believes having a successful marriage is impossible, and I don’t have a lot of proof to show her otherwise.
My little sister is about seven years or so younger than me. (I really have no idea how old she is now and she’s going to be pretty upset that I’m admitting that right now.) She was always the baby sister of my family. There was a pretty big gap between her and my other younger sister. By the time my youngest sister was a senior in high school the rest of us had moved out and gotten married.
Because my sister was the only child in my parents’ house for a while, she has a different perspective of my parents’ relationship than I have. My mom has always been high strung and she gets very stressed out if any part of her house is the slightest bit messy. With just my mom and my little sister in the house, the responsibility to clean the house was split between those two. Meaning, quite a bit of those chores were assigned to my little sister and it didn’t always go well and both them were stressed for a good chunk of their time together.
My sister was also around to see how my parents interacted with each other after 30 or so years of marriage. With a career as a CPA and having raised 4 kids into adulthood, my parents are far past the lovebird’s phase of the first years of marriage and very much into the phase where they probably think of each other as roommates more than as husband and wife.
My sister moved out of my parents’ house after graduating from high school and she quickly became the youngest CPA in the state of Utah. She was three or four years ahead of other kids her age when she graduated from graduate school. She was and is a very smart person and matured way too fast.
A few years after becoming the youngest CPA in Utah and after a stint of working with a real-life female version of Dwight Schrute at a major corporation that will remain nameless, my sister headed to Florida where she hoped to spend many of her days water skiing year round.
My sister is now very happy where she lives and where she works. I haven’t seen her this happy in a long, long time and I’m happy that she is happy. The real-life female version of Dwight Schrute almost did her in. Even though she’s very happy now, she hasn’t found Mr. Youngest CPA. She’s stuck traveling between her siblings’ families and watching each of us go through our own marital struggles, and there have been many struggles.
I have two other sisters who have been married. My older sister is currently married, but she and her husband have gone through marital struggles just like all other married couples. My younger sister is in the middle of a divorce from hell that has been pending for two years. And then Casey and I almost got divorced too.
Of the four marriages my sister has watched, she’s seen all four of them go through struggles that makes it look like marriage isn’t fun. Because she doesn’t have any experience being married, it’s hard to explain to her that every marriage goes through its struggles. To me marriage is a lot like having kids. Kids are hard work and sometimes my kids make me want to pull my hair out, but even with all those hard times the joy they bring far, far outweighs any of the tough times. In fact, the joy of having Addie as a child so far outweighed all of the difficulties, that Casey and I craved having a second child. Marriage is pretty similar. It isn’t easy. It has to be nurtured and both parties have to want the marriage to work or it will eventually fail. The hard times are really hard, but the joy of living my life with my best friend greatly outweighs all of those hard times.
So although my sister thinks that all marriages will fail, there will come a time where she will realize why marriage is difficult and that even though it is difficult it can be saved and it can make her entire life worth living.
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