Candid Chatter

Just Say It

A Good Marriage July 26, 2009

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 8:15 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Divorce is everywhere.
I am divorced.
My first marriage lasted, ummm, 3 years? Heck, I don’t even remember. I’ve blocked a giant chunk of that part of my life right out of my brain and I don’t enjoy fetching for memories either. I am grateful, as deeply grateful as one can get, that my first husband and I did not have children. He had children. We did not.

Our marriage was not built on a solid foundation. It was built on lies and deceptions. His and mine. I thought he was wealthy. He thought I loved him. It was worse than that, actually, but I am not going to dig for more. I’d like to forget that entire 5 year period of my life, truthfully. I was a bad person in that time. Bad. And, the consequences of my poor decision making rippled through an entire family. Two families.

Fast forward.

I married my sweet Rich in 1999 after about a year and a half of dating. ‘Dating’, ha!, that seems silly. We actually dated for maybe 4 months and then we moved in together. So, we were doing all things married people do, but didn’t actually tie the knot until November of ’99. How common is that these days? It is so common most people don’t even think of it as wrong. But, it is wrong. And, backwards. However, I’ve done it twice now (ex-hub, forever hub). In fact, so many of my friends and family members have done this that it doesn’t make anyone bat an eyelash anymore. Our society is so lame.

Moving on.

I could take you through almost 10 years of marriage and make this post as long as my driveway. Or, I could tell you why our marriage is so good.

I asked Rich why he thinks we have such a great marriage. To make it easy, and since he was bleary-eyed from just waking up, I said “give me three reasons”. He said:

  1. We don’t fight much.
  2. We love each other.
  3. We respect each other.

I agree. My 3 additions:

  1. We have a solid foundation.
  2. We’re honest with each other.
  3. We have learned to compromise. It’s rarely “my way or the highway”.

I wish I could grab every young couple by the ears and sit them down for 30 minutes to fill them with all the wisdom I can muster so they won’t fall into the traps our society has set for them. So they won’t fail. There are so many lies. Too many. If only I could. If only I could AND if only they would listen.

What society tell us is not true.
You can’t be independent and stay married.
You can’t be “right” and stay married.
You can’t lie to one another and stay married.
You can’t be selfish and stay married.
You can’t.
And, those are just a few of the things society says “yes, you can”.

My parents have been married for 37 years.
Rich’s parents have been married for 37 years.
It’s not by accident. At all.
It’s by hard work and commitment.
It won’t always be rosy or fun or romantic.
But, it can always be good.

old-couple

How have you made your marriage work?
Or, why did your marriage fail?

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8 Responses to “A Good Marriage”

  1. This is some hard thinking for this early on a Sunday morning! The biggest thing I’ve learned: Marriage takes WORK. ALL the time. You don’t succeed and then rest on your laurels. (Uh, I know because I”ve tried that… my husband wasn’t impressed ). You work at it. ALL. THE. TIME. (Yes, I know, I said that twice).. I could write a whole blog post on this..

    The NUMBER ONE reason my husband and I have lasted? The reason we’ve had a good marriage and made it through the times we had a bad marriage – Divorce was NOT an option. Early on, I was naive enough to think I could just grit my teeth and bear it.. Once we had kids, we had a committment to them. Now that we’re both following the Lord, we honor our committment to Him, and each other..

    I could go all day but I’ll stop now!

    (My hubs 3 reasons we have a good marriage? “Sex, you love me, you let me do just about anything I want”.. My #1 reason? My husband doesn’t take things, himself, me, etc. too seriously! )

  2. candidchatter Says:

    I have seen my fair share of marriages end on stupid things. Money is a big one. Married life is great in plenty. When the cup is less full, or totally empty, marriages end. I think if money is the only thing keeping a marriage alive then you, my dear hypothetical couple, are shallow below the depths of shallow. I’ve also seen marriages end on good reasons. But, it’s all my opinion. I just wish people (esp in today’s youthful engagements) would realize that marriage is not a blissful, fun, exciting, adventure-filled relationship. It can be. But, like everything else in life, there are ups and downs. A spouse will disappoint a spouse. Just like kids will disappoint a parent and vise versa. Why some people think otherwise is beyond me.

    Marriage is about as perfect as humans are. And, if people don’t wise up and realize that quitting a marriage in the middle of a storm is about the DUMBEST thing you can do, they are going to miss the best parts of their marriages. Because, after the storms, a marriage becomes STRONGER than ever!

    Kathryn: Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. We were married 36 years this past June 16th. I don’t know if I could put my finger on any one thing that made our marriage last. But I will try. We never used the “D” word. We forgave a lot. We loved each other, sometimes unconditionally, but always enough to overcome. I am married to an unselfish woman whom I would say put up with a whole lot more than I did. We had our separate lives but we also had our “together” life. Neither was possessive, domineering, or all-consuming. I could go on but I think you get the point. One thing? Never. Many? Right on the money (which we never had much of anyway). Great thoughts Heidi. Want to come to the church I pastor and speak on this? 🙂

  4. jimmy paravane Says:

    My wife and I divorced and remarried. People may think the reason is she needs me. It’s true. What they don’t understand is that I need her. When she dies, I’ll stay alive because I add value to the lives of our kids and granddaughter, but they don’t actually “need” me. Is need a good enough reason?

  5. candidchatter Says:

    Jimmy: Divorced each other and remarried each other? Or, divorced another and married each other? I’m confused. And, if you add value to the lives of others then they DO need you. You are full of it. You crack me up!

  6. Rebecca Says:

    I’ll have to disagree with one of your main “can’ts”: our marriage has succeeded *only* because we’re independent of each other. You see, we have a military marriage. If I were not independent, my world and our children’s world would stop as soon as he left town, and that’s just not possible. I would resent him for being gone and leaving me in the lurch…sometimes I do, but not nearly like I would if I were not independent.

    Like Kathryn, the only reason we’ve weathered the storms thus far is because we’re committed to do so. We can imagine life without each other…but we don’t want it, and we won’t chance it. I think you’re very on the mark in thinking that some marriages fail because couples don’t look ahead to the hard times realistically and try to pull through the storm. But I’m a firm believer that there is no one-size-fits-all answer…for example, my father will never see the end of his storm till my mother passes away from her early-onset Alzheimers. *That* is an amazing and dedicated marriage, one I wish I had space to blather about…truly remarkable, and I can only hope to have the same honor and integrity that he does.

    And I’ve talked on enough for a first commenter! Sorry for the run-on. It’s a fascinating topic, because experiences are so varied. You really just never know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. (BTW, found you through Pete Wilson’s “Without Wax.”)

  7. candidchatter Says:

    Rebecca: Thank you for commenting!! I am glad you shed light on your type of marriage where one spouse is gone a lot. I never thought of that. My husband works a lot, but he is home at night and on his days off. Gotta hand it to you military wives. You gals are rock solid!! 🙂 Come again.

    Heidi

  8. jimmy paravane Says:

    Divorced each other and I moved out for a week. Then I came to my senses and she was gracious and forgiving enough to remarry me. I’m still trying to figure out why. (grin)


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