I was recently streaming one of my favorite TV shows when I came to a realization: there is something to be said about predictable relationships. I reached that conclusion when one of the characters complained to her partner about their marriage being too predictable. Maybe it was. But what about mine?
My wife and I are in our thirty-fifth year of marriage. It hasn’t been all bliss, but a good portion of it has been. We are now at an age at which we prefer quiet. We actually enjoy sitting at home and doing things that would bore other people out of their minds. As for predictability, we have it in spades. Yet I don’t consider that a bad thing.
Spontaneity Loses Its Charm
Spontaneity defined my life as a much younger man. I once jumped in a car and drove hundreds of miles to Cleveland, OH to get a hamburger. Why? Just because I could. Likewise for that Friday afternoon when a friend of mine called and suggested we grab two friends and some sleeping bags and go camping out in the middle of nowhere.
Those days are long gone. I have discovered that spontaneity loses its charm over time. When I was in my twenties, I had very few responsibilities. I was also in the physical prime of my life. Three decades later, it is not so easy to take off for a weekend on the spur of the moment.
Again, that’s not a bad thing. Living a less spontaneous life is not inferior to the carpe diem lifestyle. You are not a loser if you prefer to have some measure of planning and predictability in your life. Do not believe that lie for a minute.
Predictability, Comfort, and Stability
So what is it about predictability I enjoy? There are two things that stand out in particular: comfort and stability. There is plenty to be said for both.
A predictable marriage is a comfortable marriage. My wife and I do not spend so much time being anxious over things we cannot control. We don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about the future. Being somewhat predictable gives us the ability to live in the moment – and enjoy it.
Predictability also brings with it stability. For example, we have a set routine we follow during the work week. This offers a level of stability we didn’t enjoy during our hectic twenties and thirties. That stability helps us avoid assumptions. It reduces arguments and disagreements.
Leaving Room for the Unpredictable
You should also know that having a predictable marriage does not necessarily mean eliminating all opportunities to be unpredictable. Believe me when I say that we’ve left plenty of room to be spontaneous and carefree.
As I see it, being mostly predictable makes the unpredictable things we do even more exciting and rewarding. Those unpredictable moments are special because they are the exception to the rule.
Is it okay to be in a predictable marriage? According to the experts at Relationships & More, yes. The relationship therapists at the Westchester County, NY clinic say that marriage relationships are unique to the partners involved in them. Spouses need to decide for themselves the kind of marriage they want.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of living up to someone else’s expectations for your marriage. It is okay to be predictable. If that’s what works for you and your spouse, embrace it. There is something to be said about the comfort and stability of a predictable relationship. That may be exactly what you and your spouse want and need.