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Marriage Vows

I wanted to cuss. But I didn't. Dang it.

I'm reading through some blogs this morning, seeing what I've missed in the lives of friends, and following through some links and comments and stuff. I came across the blog of someone going through some really troubling marriage troubles. At the same time, my wife told me of a high school friend who's also having issues with her marriage. In the case of the blog, it wouldn't surprise me to see that it's a fictional account of something done for the drama of a writing exercise - but it also wouldn't surprise me to be real. As for my friend, I know they're real, and that real people have real issues and real problems and real frustrations. I know it takes work to be married, to stay married, to love the one you've vowed your life to, to be lovable, to be the person you're expected to be and to be forgiving and forgiven when expectations go unmet.

I know I don't live up to those expectations all the time - just ask around. But I try, we try - because it's worth it to love and honor in the midst of the ups and the downs. Stories like this make me want to hug my wife, to ask if there's anything I can improve on, to see if I've left anything out. I hope I won't take any of this for granted, and that I remember it's us together, not us separately, working through the big times and the junk.

is celebrating 70 years of marriage. He's 93 yrs old, been around a little longer than most of us. But I think he'd say that if they can do it, anyone can. I'm not so pollyanna-ish to think that all marriages should and will be able to work out, but that at least should be the goal when things start out. I don't know - better pre-marital counseling to "count the cost" before making the commitment? better counsel from friends and family, passing along images of parents loving each other and staying together to the next generations? Getting the couple to start talking, start forgiving, realize what they've signed on for and where they can go if they try?

Abuse is terrible. Adultery is terrible. But "irreconcilable differences" is just an excuse. "I don't love her anymore" is an excuse and a license to drop your pants on a new bedroom floor. "He just doesn't understand me" usually means you've found someone who does while you were looking for "understanding" in the wrong places. You put too much of a burden on your significant other, and when they don't measure up, you quit. Justification is as easy as it was on the playground in kindergarden: "you're not my friend anymore."

Dang it.


Blogger Tana_Schott said...

Good post. I can relate in a huge way to this right now. Remembering that love is a choice and a verb - it's become cliche but it's also very true. You can't hold on to love - it isn't a thing. And as a verb, it's very very hard to do sometimes. I agree about all the excuses too.

20/7/05 6:57 PM  
Blogger Zube Girl said...

Wow. Great post. You know, Zube Boy and I are the sarcastic duo, but the week after our wedding I was sorting through wedding stuff and came across a bottle of wine. He said, "Honey, you should save that for our 50th anniversary."

And, he wasn't kidding. I was all at once hit with what marriage means. We're in it for life. All kidding aside.

Of course, after he said it, he was walking down the hall and yelled back, "If I live that long with you nagging me all the time!" Heh. That's the man I love!

Thanks for this post.

20/7/05 10:49 PM  
Blogger SassyC said...

I too enjoyed your post! :)

20/7/05 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, sounds like you've been reading my sister's blog... She is going through a divorce after only 9 months of marriage. Things hit the fan 2 months ago when she caught him in another lie, then found some shocking things hidden in his suitcase (he's a pilot, gone for several days at a time). When she confronted him, he started taunting her and pushing her around. Anyway, she's been back home with my parents for about two months now. I've been praying for peace and direction for her. I think direction is what she's having the most trouble with though.

Yes, it's always disturbing to hear about troubled marriages. They come out of the most unsuspecting places, too.


21/7/05 8:22 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

Great post! I think too many people just figure divorce is an easy way out and it shouldn't be. It really is sad!:-(

21/7/05 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Marriage. It's defenitely iron sharpening iron. Especially in times of crisis (like our last year has been). But really, it's also such an amazing way of God to reveal himself to you. To be able to go through some really tough things, walking side-by-side with your spouse, and to come out the other end and still be able to make each other laugh, and to have the knowledge that you'd still rather be with that person than any other. Even after (paltry, compared to Linkletter) 8 years together.

Probably nobody can frustrate me more or make me angrier than my husband, but nobody makes me feel more loved, accepted and beautiful, both inside and out, than he does. I feel truly blessed. Granted, it's not a bed of roses, we have (just like any marriage) our share of issues, but it's the joint desire to go through life together, come hell or high water that makes all the difference.

22/7/05 12:43 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

hi, kelly & everyone else - that's so true. we get on each other's nerves because we love each other, and it grows on you, makes you strong, helps you grow, etc. thanks for chiming in :)

22/7/05 6:50 AM  

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