14 June 2010

An early quote

Since I know I will have lost this by August, when it might be more appropriate for me to post it, and I like the quote enough to want to remember it:
When the glamour [of someone's marriage] wears off, or merely works a bit thin, they think they have made a mistake, and that the real soul-mate is still to find. The real soul-mate too often proves to be the next sexually attractive person that comes along. Someone whom they might indeed very profitably have married, if only—. Hence divorce, to provide the 'if only'.

And of course they are as a rule quite right: they did make a mistake. Only a very wise man at the end of his life could make a sound judgment concerning whom, amongst the total possible chances, he ought most profitably to have married! Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates.

But the 'real soul-mate' is the one you are actually married to. You really do very little choosing: life and circumstances do most of it (though if there is a God these must be His instruments, or His appearances).

— J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #43
Now, mind you, I'm not saying I agree with the above 100%. But I do think it's an interesting quote and therefore worth pondering on further...

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