A friend challenged me to write about marriage, unaware I’ve done so previously to maybe the best response I’ve ever received.
In a column years ago, I observed long-lasting marriages nearby and wondered how the couples had pulled it off at a time when everything is stacked against that happening.
Life is difficult. There are more demands than ever on our time and attention. People with children see them in more and more time-consuming activities, and the days when you could just put them out in the yard to play unattended until the street lights come on have long passed.
How do you live so that you get to where, years in, you still hate the feeling when you have to say goodbye to someone you still want to spend every minute with? (Sadly, that’s not an original thought. It’s still a good one, no?)
At the same time, we all know the jokes about marriage. One of my favorites is that it’s a wonderful institution — just like Milledgeville.
I was in a Covington business the other day and introduced by the owner to a fellow customer. When he found out I run the newspaper, he asked how much it would cost to run a half-page ad in the next week’s issue so he could rub it in his estranged wife’s face, because then his divorce would be final.
I heard all about what went wrong there. (Of course, it was just one side of the story. I’ve done journalism long enough to know there are always at least two.) We didn’t run the ad, by the way, because the man said he’d already discussed the idea with his children and a majority were against the idea.
It occurred to me we all love to talk about marriage — maybe not always as positively as we should, but talk we do. So why don’t we use this space to try and help each other out?
I’d love to hear from the married couples here in Newton County. What’s the secret to your success, whether it’s been 60 years or six months? How do you keep the spark alive?
And if you have been through a particularly trying time, what happened? I’m not asking for salacious details — so please, no “My ex is a lying, cheating egg-sucking dog” letters — but be introspective. Are there things you wish you’d done differently?
Send me your thoughts on this important topic by email to the address below, or I’ll even take a handwritten letter at 1166 Usher St. NW, Covington, GA 30014.
We’ll share the best advice in a later column.David Clemons is the editor and publisher of The Covington News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @scoopclemons.