Our way of life, from multimedia storytelling to tabloid culture and news coverage is consumed with pairing — the tragedy and comedy of it, the minutiae of it, and the never-ending lead-up and break-apart of it. It is what fuels us.

Kids will come and grow, careers will sprout and break, and we’ll still be flirting in the nursing homes and wrap-around decks of our houses in retirement. The spouse who leaves a marriage for a better life, with or without another spouse, might just create that fairy tale ending. The reality, however, is that an ending doesn’t last from the age of the divorcee at the time of the divorce until death. An ending is an ending, with a strong rising action, a turning point, and years of falling actions and revelations leading up to it.

Our problem is that we’re too damn young and think life is cemented for us each decade; we should know better now that we’re living longer, and look forward to each year as a regrouping of our sensibilities about life and our choices with our spouse.

Most people just want someone who loves and accepts them and will keep their spot free on the couch after a long day. We want to belong to someone amazing and build a small tribe to carry on that legacy. Or something like that.

And, for the record, if I could stay with my wife forever, even after death, and just host and go to afterlife parties for all of eternity with her as my date, then I’d be just as happy as I am sharing the couch with her after the kids go to bed in the here and now, and on until retirement, and then until my final breath. I really like her, like like her. More than all the others in the world.

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