Kirby: Defining deal breakers when it comes to love
By Robert Kirby
Salt Lake Tribune
I don't care how in love you are right now, how recently you got married/hooked up, or how absolutely smothered in love you feel, take this simple test.
Gaze deeply into the loving eyes of your partner (soulmate, luvkin, better half, sweet patootie, whatever) and list three things for which you'd happily kick them down a flight of stairs on your way out the door forever.
Can't think of anything? Then you're an idiot.
At best, you're unimaginative or have no self-respect. Maybe you're just a bliss ninny who doesn't want to think about right now not lasting forever. You better. Love is conditional.
The one absolute fact about human beings -- including your special love dumpling -- is that we all change. Sometimes it's for the better, sometimes it's not.
My wife and I got married right after the Franco-Prussian War. We each changed a lot over the years, sometimes in ways that caused us to fight like a couple of hillbillies on crack. But so far, we're still making it work.
However, we're smart enough to know that there are things that could finish us. Here are mine: 1. Selling my grandkids on eBay. 2. Having a sex change operation without telling me. 3. Shooting me for any reason other than self-defense.
Back to you. Anything yet?
Geez, you're slow. Suppose you came home from work one afternoon and found your special person eating a baby? Or they wanted to incorporate NBC weather anchor Al Roker into your love life. Maybe they just periodically hit you with a chair.
"My beloved would never do anything like that," you say?
Maybe not, but there's probably something he or she is capable of that would seriously alter your view of happily ever after and drive you out the door.
What if it were something more probable such as different politics, becoming an atheist/believer, music or getting enormously fat? Would the pain of that blot out your love?
Granted, some things are so bad they can kill love -- abuse, total loss of trust, addiction, etc. In those cases, you probably should get out. But what about things that aren't physical threats? Would you divorce your wife or husband over God?
Last week, the phone rang at 4 a.m. A close friend was calling to tell me that his wife of 25 years had just left him because -- get this -- he no longer attends church.
I understand my friend's situation well enough to know that little else has changed. He's still an easy-going and hardworking guy who loves his wife and kids. He doesn't drink, philander, or gamble away their savings. He just isn't into church anymore.
"She says if I don't get my temple recommend back, we're through for good," he said.
That's pretty amazing, actually. I mean it takes real effort to believe in a gospel of love and forgiveness, while simultaneously finding a way to not practice it on the one person in your life who deserves it the most.
Maybe that's why my wife and I are still married -- our standards are way too low.