Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On Marriage

I don’t get riled up that easily, and I’m not on my soap box very much.  Well, not that often. 
Okay, don’t ask my husband about that.  I guess when something gets me steamed, well, it really gets me steamed.  Like that adult “entertainment” establishment that’s on it’s way to being opened off a major highway near us.  The one with a giant life sized sign of a girl and other signs advertising the special services offered.  The signs that are screaming to be read, especially by small children who love to read everything they can.  Um, yeah.  That gets me, because my children do not need to know what those words are and what that is all about.  They’re kids. 
But this post isn’t about that, it’s about something else that got me the other day as I was innocently reading the morning paper with my coffee. 

It was an article about Al and Tipper Gore.  You know, they’re splitting up and it’s all friendly and everyone’s on good terms and all.  But this is what got me, a line in this article by Betsy Stevenson, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  (How an economist is an authority on marriage I’m not sure.)  Anyway she says, “They had forty years of marriage, and they had what, by many dimensions, should be considered a successful marriage.” 
How is a marriage that lasted forty years and then ends considered a success?  If it’s ended doesn’t that make it a failure?  Especially if the vows spoken included something along the lines of “till death do us part.”  I think most people have those words in their vows, I know we did.  I guess what bothers me so much is the sentiment that marriage doesn’t have to last, and that the end of a marriage is almost expected.  I totally disagree with that, and I think it’s pretty sad that that is considered normal anymore.
Marriage should be lasting, and obviously I don’t know what led up to the Gore’s divorce but it seems like growing apart and separate interests had a pretty big  role.  All this reminds me of how important it is to make time for my husband to make time for a successful marriage.  A successful marriage doesn’t just happen.  I was reading somewhere that couples who do new things together continue to keep that spark that drew them together in the first place.  Trying new experiences or adventures together will make a marriage stronger and more likely to succeed.  I know when Zac and I have adventures together we come away renewed and refreshed, re-sparked so to speak.  Last year for our anniversary we sent the kids away overnight and went tubing, then we went out in our truck and watched the stars come out.  Romantic?  Yes!  But, in ten years of marriage it was something we had never done before.  It was wonderful and every marriage needs a touch of wonderful. 
I guess my point in this is that marriage is sacred and valuable and certainly not easy.  It takes work and commitment and shear will to make it last and make it fulfilling.  I get frustrated with a society that regards marriage as disposable, because that’s not what it was meant to be. 
I love being married and I love my man, and when I said “I do” I meant it.  I wasn’t thinking, “I will for now” and he wasn’t either.  This thing is it.   It’s for life.  And that’s what I love about it.
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And here we are, almost eleven years ago.  Sorry it’s a picture of a picture but we got married before the digital age.  And boy were we young and in love.  One of those things has changed, but the other will not.


9 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more! That's exactly why I started "Re-Ignite Date night" on my blog!

    http://www.wonderwomanwannabe.com/2009/08/re-ignite-date-night.html

    I've challenged myself to come up with a novel dating idea every week for a year ~ come visit if you ever need any extra inspiration. Stargazing is actually coming up soon. :)

    http://www.wonderwomanwannabe.com/search/label/date

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  2. agreed.
    We had a friend that said--on her wedding day, I might add-- "well if it doesn't work out, we'll always have today to remember".

    I remember thinking how foolish a comment that was.
    and how sad.
    as a wedding planner, I got a real sense of marriage and what it was and wasn't.
    love and what it was and wasn't.

    love and marriage are both committments that need to be worked on. They don't just happen all on their own and then don't continue on without any mind from us.

    The fact that the Gore's had 40 years together and are now divorcing seems like saying "well they had a good run..."
    like that's enough.

    God designed marriage to last. who are we to disagree and accept what the world is handing us as truth?

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  3. great post! i agree with everything you said. i think the world has a weird skewed vision of what marriage is supposed to be because of what we hear in popular culture regarding marriages dissolving. it's as though society thinks that if we made it longer then them then we really made it and i think that's unfortunate.

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  4. Totally agree (about the marriage sentiment and the adult nightclub signs!!). 40 years and then calling it quits is not a success. That's really a sad statement!

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  5. I completely agree with your disgust at teh pervasive sentiment that marriage can be discarded if you "grow apart" or things just "don't work out." My husband and I are on year 9 and it hasn't always been easy, but we are committed. We are committed to each other, to our family, to our love, and to our vows. Frankly, 40 years will not be enough with my man-I'm hoping for at least 80.

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  6. That's exactly what I thought when I read the article. Forty years and then quitting is not success, that's failure. It is concerning to me that as a society that the majority of people are so used to being built up that they don't understand the meaning of the word success.

    I also think that getting riled up is a good thing! Marriage is worthy of being fought for and being loud about it is admirable.

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  7. Very nice post!
    I think you and your readers would like my little book, "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage," a bit of inspiration and motivation for the good times and the tough times ...
    www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com
    blog.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com

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  8. I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Marriage is far too disposable these days. It's refreshing to see someone taking a stand for "'till death do us part." My husband and I are coming up on our 5th anniversary and I can't wait to grow old together.

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  9. Amen! GREAT post. I totally agree with you! Thanks for sharing this wisdom. My husband & I will celebrate 8 years this summer and we are in it for the long haul! I found your blog through Heather. I am now following! Great guest post today! I posted with her yesterday! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

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