September 4, 2011

Love and Marriage

What is it in the air these days that makes love and marriage enemies? Why are so many families falling apart and left in the ruins of divorce? Now I’m not so naive as to think that all marriage is supposed to be perfect all the time. I know that there are real issues that people face that make marriage impossible, but I find it hard believe that over a million marriages today have no choice but to end in the ruins of divorce.
One hundred years ago marriage started in your early teens and divorce was something almost unheard of. Back then people faced stresses and a life harder than we could imagine yet they made it a priority to hold their families together.
"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." -Robert C. Dodds
I guess by now it’s obvious that I’ve come from a broken home. Between my parents and step parents there are eight failed marriages. I can’t bring myself to understand how so many “loves” can turn into so many heartbreaks. I know that love comes and goes in your dating years, but have you thought that we could be forming a pattern for our lives? That our concept of “move on when things get hard” will eventually be applied to our future relationships, regardless of a vow? We’re setting ourselves up for failure.
It may seem cold hearted, but I’ve learned one thing from the marriages in my family: what not to do. I understand that love isn’t all that a marriage is about, and I accept that with the knowledge that marriage also isn’t always easy. But there comes a point when I have to ask that if love isn’t the foundation of the marriage then why even try? It doesn’t have to be the starry-eyed, Romeo and Juliet kind of love. It can be the comfort and friendship of a shoulder to cry on. But either way if there’s not love at the end of the day, what’s the fighting really worth?
Why have so many people stopped fighting for the relationships they once vowed into? Why are so many people walking away from their families just because things got hard?
I’m not saying that divorce is wrong, and like I said earlier, at times it’s needed, but why do so many people take their vows so lightly today? Why do they enter into a marriage with the thought that if when the honeymoon phase is over and it’s not really love, they can always get out?

You know, so many people spend their lives looking for love. But rarely do they fight to keep it.
Looking at my parents marriages I’ve vowed to myself that I wasn’t going to end up like that. My earliest memories are of my parents fighting. And all I hear from their marriages now is more fighting. But they never try to work through the problems to real issues behind them. My dad is the kind of person who doesn’t show emotion, perhaps from the thought that it’s weakness, but instead of facing any problem he would rather just pretend it’s not there. Does he see the way his approach is only allowing more hatred and emotion to fester within the real problem to explode and tear his marriage apart? And my mother, she's "married" to a man who loves her more than life itself, but she’s bitter. She’s the kind of woman who has to have assurance that she is in control. She fights and argues about little things to avoid the real pain she feels. She pushes away those who love her, hurts those who love her the most. Perhaps it’s her way of saving herself the pain…? In both cases all I see is a mess of emotions and problems. I’ve learned the ways to NOT confront a problem in a marriage.

I’m young, but even so I’ve always tried to approach my relationships with an understanding that this person is different from me. There will be problems. There will be fights. But I’ve always been the person to fight for the person I love, weather it be a boyfriend or a best friend. I am not immune to divorce but I believe I’ve trained myself differently when approaching a problem. I’ve instilled patterns within myself that I can apply to my future and maintain the bond and love I will find.

I hope that if your marriage is falling apart you’ll at least consider fighting to keep it. Try to find the underlying problems and work through them together. Love and marriage may be hard, but I believe with all my heart that it’s worth it.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 "Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you in this world. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil."

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