Joseph Campbell, pictured here with his wife, the noted dancer and choreographer Jean Erdman, guided me years ago when I was pondering the meaning of marriage. In his book, An Open Life, in Conversations with Michael Toms, he replied to Toms' questions on the meaning of marriage.
The passage which touched me to the core was this: "One of the things I have realized--and people who have been married a long time realize--is that marriage is not a love affair. A love affair has to do with immediate personal satisfaction. But marriage is an ordeal; it means yielding time and time again. That's why it is a sacrament: you give up your personal simplicity to participate in a relationship. And when your giving, you're not giving to the other person: you are giving to the relationship. And if you realize that you are in the relationship just as the other person is, then it becomes life building, a life fostering and enriching experience, not an impoverishment because you are giving to somebody else. Do you see what I mean?"
In this current turbulent political hodge-podge, I feel a tug to hold family close, feed them well, keep them warm. This book was published in 1990, a year before the husband and I married.
(Yes, Prof. Campbell I do see, after 25-years of marriage, I see what you mean. Thank you.)