For Joan Thompson, no-one can be her perfect partner as herself. Joan has been married for more than thirty years, and has had two mature chidren in the age of twenties. She and her husband have many differences, for example, she supports Free Party, and he is faithful to Conservative Party; he enjoys busling his old boat while she enjoys visiting artistic exhibitions with friends. However, a secrect they both recognize is that both of them betray each other and have a few of affairs outside. They no longer have sex much like the time they just got married, even she always feel annoyed because of picking up and looking after him. Now, at the age of fifty-five, she still works in admin dept of a social organization at Ottawa, and many times she has have to shake her head committing that ‘I feel I am a baby-sitter rather than a wife in that house.’ She intended to divorce, but after many nights being concerned, she decided to stay with him, partly because of responsibility to her children, partly because she is used to living in such situation, and partly because devorce procedure is accompanied by many complications. In spite of that, from the bottom of her heart, she knows that the main reason is that she still loves him. After many years living with one anoher, he has become an important person to her, and in fact, how many people are really happy with their marriages?

She often calls it ‘the half happy marriage’ which implies the definition of a marriage that is not bad enough to end in devorce, but also does not contain any passion or satisfaction for insiders. This is normal since anyone at middle-age used to spend a nightmare of love that they think to be deepfelt but suddenly encounters problem. Responsibilities to bring up and educate children can help you guys live with each other for a moment of time, but after the children are mature, leave their old parents in a desert house, it is time both mumble old medoly ‘where is my true love?’ Maybe you are still concerned about your partner, but it is merely love of those living together, no longer is a vehement love at sweet time, excluding tenacious pangs of betrayal and disappointment from both. Certainly, you should not think of divorce (is the highest divorce rate at Canada really at middle-age?), but you then agree with Margare Artwood’s opinion that ‘divorce is similar to separation of physical properties in which insiders are still alive but always feel much disadvantageous for themselves.’

So, if failing to break up, the true choice is hesitating to tolerate, is not it?

According to Pamela Haag, the author of the famous book ‘marriage confidential’, there are many married couples living together in such half happy marriages. They are not strained to throw disks to each other, but passion of love seems no longer remained. After interviewing many married couples, Haag drew a conclusion that ‘the cause is not toilet’s break-out or holes on wall, but is tiny shortcomings in mental life such as running out of passion, bore, distance, or simply tiredness when they have to warm up love that has been cool for a long time’. However, unlike disappointment people often think of, many married couples confessed to Haag that they more or less felt satisfied with current situation, they did not intend to divorce even though how insipit their current cohabitation was.

The author Haag also admitted that one of the motivations helping her write books was dissatisfaction with her nearly thirty-year marriage. She said ‘I cannot say whether my marriage is happy or sad, but I can say that unspoken discontent, also called cold war, reduces complete happiness of married life.’

The book ‘marriage confidential’ is an experiment of a reason why many married couples accept ‘half happy marriage’ life to describe married couples’ behaviors in model marriages. Haag drew a conclusion that although in married life, there are few people giving divergent ideas individually, but they together build their both opinion of marriage. She presented ‘perhaps time has created a new tendency, I dare not insist that traditional marriage has become outdated, but I feel that current marriage is changing into new form.’

Why is marriage such mixed-up?

We vainly expected of partner’s figure.

‘Most people decide to get married with the opinion to find someone helping themselves to improve rather than for both to improve together.’ – Renee Newhouse, forty-eight-year-old mother living at Montreal expressed: ‘Twenty years ago, when I got married, I thought he was the one making me merry and happy. But later, the sweet time ended when my husband fell into addiction. That event made me change my thought and accept to live with marriage’s reality.’ She added more: ‘Certainly, imagination is always nice. However, thanks to difficulties we have overcome, I am in strong attachment to him in a strange way that is difficult to describe. It is a deepfelt love in which I understand his nature. Though both have thought of divorce many times, we then quit that intention. I believe my marriage is still all right although it is not like pink prospects I imagine, but it is really all right for both of us.

Another sharing is from Shanice Wynne, forty-one-year-old mother with three children, who live at Vancouver. She told, ‘When I got married fifty years ago, I used to expect new life would make me happier. And in recent wedding anniversary, we sat together sharing our thoughts. I recognized I was wrong to blame him for not helping me look after the house or not being concerned about our children’s studying. I did not hesitate to express my disappointment to him and I always wanted this family life to change. And in the last holidays, I suddenly recognized his sacrifice during the time we have cohabited. He sticks to his office to do the work he does not like very much just to earn money for feeding our family. Maybe he is not good at social activities, but he can feed all family, and that is what we have not respected for many years.

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