Friday Night Lights could be the most compelling depiction of marriage to show up recently on television.
In the weekly series, the emotions center on the relationship between a small-town high school coach and his wife who supports him even as she challenges him in many ways.
Instead of usual marriage-movie plot twists like crime, addiction or secrets, Friday Night Lights is governed by the genuine rhythms of a relationship. The couple experiences the usual petty fights, the uncomplicated apologies as well as the mistakes and reconciliations which are characteristic of love that lasts.
The veneer of wine and roses gives way to the realities of married life once the “I Dos” are uttered.
Life after marriage
When Tom and Lori were dating, he would leave the room to “pass gas”. They talked about his habit one evening, and Lori laughed at this mission to never fart in front of her. She told him his maxim sounded unrealistic and prudish.
Married life is filled with realities. The person you once spent hours in front of the mirror for now sees you with zits, knows you have morning breath and other hidden habits. A lot of marriage is consumed by consistency. Highs and lows will disturb the routine.
Movies talk about the often dull routine of marriage. They do it in immaculate homes where hair is always perfect, and conversation is filled with witty one-liners. The movies do get some things right:
1) comfortable routines
2) parenting solidarity
3) frustrating disagreements
This is a real marriage. A single card from the matrimony deck doesn’t always show reality. Weeks, month — and sometimes years — are stacked with pain and passion while others aren’t. Sometimes you long for anything but the routine. Then, excitement shows up, and you find you feel nostalgic for the routine.
Lori is experiencing a marital “high” now — but for unexpected reasons.
The last three years have been packed with challenges. Three years of law school, a decline in income, lots of traveling and a new baby. The experiences tested what she considered being a strong union. Lori and Tim made it through. Often the best part of marriage is complexity.
A person finds they can be in a marriage and still discover themselves. They love each other through change and growth. Marriage can bring out the absolute best — and worst. It takes determination, work; occasionally marriage is effortless.
Marriage gives a person a partner for the long haul. It is all about routine and unexpected changes. It’s intimate, isolating, frustrating and rewarding.
Jerry Nelson is an American freelance writer and frequently writes for a variety of divorce sites. Jerry lives in Buenos Aires with his beautiful wife Alejandra and their two children. Join the million-or-so who follow him on Twitter @ Journey_America.