Dudes: Would you find it absurd, after 20 years of marriage, if a guy told you he still finds his wife really hot? Peculiar that she gets his heart beating perceptibly quicker every day? Odd that he'd still be fired up to see, even talk to her, after a long day at work?
Would you even believe that guy? No way, right?
Twenty years in – this is when guys roll their eyes, avoid their wives, bitch to each other over beers about the dearth of 'contact', if you catch, or even remember, my drift.
How did marriage become such a dreaded word?
Part of the problem is in the language, right? There's something so removed, clinical, even medieval about the words: marriage, husband, wife. None of it sounds fun, sexy or exciting. It doesn't seem like a set of ideals we want to tether ourselves to for the remainder of our days, does it?
And as far as media goes, once we're this deep in, the whole institution of marriage becomes comical. At it's best, we husbands are massive screw-ups, a la Ray Romano, Homer Simpson, and every other sitcom husband imagined over the past two decades. And TV wives are, on the whole, bored and disinterested. At it's worst, we know that long marriages are all-but-dead or doomed, rife with distance, affairs, trial separations, and spousal loathing. Almost always with the loathing.
The loathing, man. I hear about that in real life too. Every week, I work with some guy who loathes, loathes, his wife: The ball and chain. The old lady. Her.
Why do we do this with wives, Dudes? That girl you married, she was The One, right? The One you decided to spend the rest of your life with. The One who would bear your children. The one you’d grow old with.
The one you love.
Did you make that call too drastically? I didn't.
Dudes, I remember when I first laid eyes on Julie Shaw. Our motley crew of a comedy class was just getting together. Lots of nice people in the room that night. One smokin' hot girl. Beautiful. Smart. Fun. Cool.
And smokin' hot.
You should see her, man. And I mean now. Go ahead, you can look. All right, that’s enough.
Now, my calendar tells me that was about half a lifetime or so ago. But my heart tells me something different altogether. Because every day, man, Julie’s The One. The One I want to see and be seen with. The One I want to share it all with. The One I want to pack the car and go with. The One I want to laugh and sing all night with. The One I want right here!
The stuff I loved about her then, I love about her now. See, Dudes, you don’t settle for a Julie Duffy. You hang on tight. You laugh gleefully at your good fortune. You celebrate the fact that your last name is now her last name, that her perfect son George is yours as well. With Julie, you’re joyful just being in her sphere, her presence.
No wonder she was born on Thanksgiving.
And after 20 years, we are not (I repeat, “Not!”) like a pair of comfortable shoes, or a familiar embroidered pillow. No, we’re fresh, man. We have plans. We’re just getting warmed up. It’s been great, and it’s getting better. I still get dizzy thinking about where we’re headed.
So, Dudes, why don’t you take a fresh look? Re-evaluate. Consider that wife of yours. You don’t have to believe what Tim Allen and Louis C.K. are saying. Decide for yourself about your wife, your marriage.
Maybe, at the end of the day, she makes you feel the way Julie makes me feel. Maybe she makes you better. Maybe she brings you joy. Maybe you like her, like being married to her. It’s cool. Don’t be ashamed to say it:
“I am a married man. A happily married man. Hell yeah.”
There you go, Brother. Feels good, right?
Bring on the next twenty years. I call Julie!