by Christie Kelley
On Tuesday, my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. It’s quite an accomplishment these days. To celebrate we are going to lunch on Tuesday and then in July we are heading to Italy (just the two of us) for 10 days. I’m a little amazed that I’ve lived with this man for so long and still love him. That's us 25 years ago.
But as I started to think about my anniversary and marriage in detail, the romance writer in me came out. I know so few people who stay married to the same person for that length of time. And anymore, I know so few people who are getting married. When I write my happy endings, I expect my characters will get married. So far, the reader sees that in all my epilogues. Yet, I know more people who are either not married by choice, divorced, or on marriage number two (or three).
I read a statistic the other day that the number of unmarried women will soon surpass the number of married women. I was shocked when I read that. Are woman growing up cynical of marriage? Of my 11 nieces and nephews that are what I would consider marriageable age (over 23+) only one of them is about to be married next month.
Then I looked at my immediate family. My parents were married for 51 years before my father died. Of my eight brothers and sisters, four of them have already passed the 25th anniversary with their spouse. And four of them have divorced. So according to the statistics, my family is pretty normal (really, we’re all a little crazy).
It makes me wonder if this is part of the reason romance novels are so popular. Is it escapism that people can be happily married? We all know marriage is hard work. In romances, a lot of times it’s the courtship that is hard on both the hero and heroine. They have to earn that happy ending. So once they do, will their marriage be any easier? I hope so! I actually love to read a story that ends as the couple gets married. That way, I can imagine them having a perfectly wonderful life together without all the hard work that a real marriage goes through.
What do you all think? Tell me what you think about marriage. Do you think characters deserve an easy time of it after a tough courtship? Do you like to read about the characters getting married or is the “I love you” enough?