This column is about the heroes of matrimony.
It's about most of you reading this column.
I think you are heroes because you've stayed married.
And by the way, I'm not passing judgment on the divorced crowd.
Lord knows, domestic violence and drug abuse have rendered divorce the only available form of self-defense in many cases.
I'm talking about the thousands of you who have kept tied the knot despite many disappointments and struggles with your spouse.
Ladies, you thought you married a White Knight on a steed.
Instead, after a few years, you're stuck with Fred Mertz on a Barcalounger.
Gents, that vixen who used to parade around in a Teddy is not the same girl.
Today, she wears head to toe jammies resembling the Terminator's body armor, and unfortunately also in Schwarzenegger's size.
Seeing each other naked used to be a turn-on.
Intimate moments these days occur with the lights out to prevent nausea.
Offensive habits have lingered.
To the point where arguments enlarge the significance of these habits.
Those cute little idiosyncrasies of yours (snoring, nose picking, toilet lid left up, toothpaste cap left off, flatulence while sleeping, etc.) have developed into justification for nuclear war.
Or maybe even divorce.
And don't even mention money.
It's always tight.
The stress is hard on both of you.
Yes, on and off you've thought of divorce.
Maybe even mentioned it aloud.
And despite all that, you stay married.
For years, persevering.
I think that's pretty cool.
All those problems, but the two of you have hung in there.
That is faithfulness.
Loyalty to a promise made before God between two starry eyed idealists years ago.
Idealists who thought their love so strong that no adversity could diminish it.
I wish the presider at each wedding could have a machine that projects video of the couple and their problems 30 years into the future.
"Do you, bride and groom, promise to remain married despite the future I've just revealed to you?"
Saying yes to that question means real commitment.
And you long-termers who've beaten the odds?
Well, suffice to say, you have lived the commitment.
I once heard it said that a good marriage is a union between two champion forgivers.
Unless you've never done anything requiring forgiveness (believe me, you have screwed up royally on multiple occasions), be a forgiver.
Love is not the "Love Story" definition of not having to say you're sorry.
Love is facing constant disappointment with a limitless supply of forgiveness and patience.
When you finish this column, give your enduring embattled better half a hug and a kiss.
You've lasted, despite all.
Fat and farty, Fred and Ethel are heroes in my book.
And so are you.
And one more thing, work on those bad habits.
You will be eternally forgiven, but you'd be surprised to see the way you can light up someone's day with the tiniest of behavior modification.
Someone might even turn the lights off tonight.