On last night’s episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County, I was amazed at how Tamra expressed what a mistake she thought Briana had made by her quickie, Las Vegas drive-up, wedding.
Wisdom comes with age, life if for mistakes to be made and learned from and Tamra has no business criticising someone else’s life as though she is the expert on marriage advice.
I don’t actually think anyone’s an expert on this since we don’t really know why long-term marriages survive. If you talk to people who have been married fifty years or so, they’ll tell you some stupid little antidote like “never go to bed angry” or “always agree with your wife”. In reality, we don’t know if they survived infidelities, if she stayed because she had no visible means of support or if they just had nothing better to do.
What we do know is that marriage takes work and a Goliath-level of commitment because it is often a lot easier to leave than it is to stay and Duke it out. Without a lot of work marriage becomes just coexistent living and many are the marriages where the partners are neither good friends or confidants, nevertheless they stay.
We do know that both Vicki and Tamra have had marriage experience and, of course, they both want to share their wisdom with Briana in such a way as to protect her from the duplicating the same mistakes that they made, but this is not what life is for. Life is to make your own mistakes…to take risks and to jump off cliffs into the unknown.
Is it easier if our kids would just listen to us and learn from our mistakes? Of course it is, but that’s not why they’re here. They get to do it themselves. They get to jump off their own cliffs and, as parents, our only hope is that we have equipped them with the right skills to make careful and considered decisions so that when they jump they know that no matter what, they can land. And, if they fall, as they inevitably will, to muster the strength to stand up and brush themselves off again. If they can do that, then we, as parents, have done a good job.
Obviously, it remains to be seen if Briana’s marriage lasts forever and, frankly, it’s none of our business, but we must reserve the right for Briana to live her own life and to see for herself if she enjoys the journey. We also give Briana the permission to make her own decisions and jump off whatever cliffs she wants to, free of the judgment of others.
I think Tamra should leave the armchair psychology to us, don’t you?