Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marriage

I'm once again at a place in my life where I have a couple of friends going through really hard times in their marriages. With these around me struggling, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about and pondering marriage. And David and I have talked a lot about our marriage and how to keep it safe and protected.

So I've been thinking about what happens in a marriage? What makes things even start down the wrong path? Here are a few thoughts I've had...

I think sometimes at the beginning of a marriage there are several misconceptions. These are misconceptions that any good premarital counselor goes over with a couple before they get married, but they are also things I don't think the average person thinks will happen to them. So either they don't pay that close of attention or they totally dismiss what is being said during counseling. So we enter a marriage all happy and hopeful and in love. Which is great, until "real life" sets in!

I think most people go into marriage wanting the same things: a life partner, a friend, someone to help make decisions with, someone to support us in life and work. Seems pretty simple, hu? Then why is marriage so hard? Why are there marriages falling apart all around?

It's because marriages don't just happen. A marriage and a wedding are 2 different things! A wedding is the easy part (which is a laugh if you've ever planned a wedding!) and the daily-ness of marriage is the hard part.

We love the person we're married to, so why is it hard? Because we're all human that's why. We make mistakes. We say things, do things, and act in ways that hurt the person we're married to. Often these things start out innocent enough. I think very few people wake up one morning and think "today, I'm going to say something hurtful to my spouse!" But sometimes that happens. Then you add in the "normal"(children, school, jobs, money, cars, house)stresses of daily life and eventually - if not handled correctly - these "little things" turn into big things and then they get bigger and bigger and before we know it things "just aren't good anymore."

Then for some reason (I guess mostly cause it's kinda hard) people don't talk about it. They just keep on in their unhappy state, fuming and holding grudges and before we know it there's a huge wall and neither person knows how it got so big or how to deal with it's size now.

I don't have the answers here, these are just my thoughts... but men and women are so very different and it's a process learning how to talk to each other - and talking to each other is key. It's hard, I know. I'm not the best communicator, and often I handle things in the wrong way, or at the wrong time, but thankfully David is patient and understanding and we usually get around to the issue. Of course this process in itself can sometimes be painful!

I think the other thing that married couples forget to do or don't do - is spend time alone with each other. This is especially true if there are children in the home. We get to busy doing "stuff" and taking care of the house, laundry, etc... that we forget how important it is to spend time alone together! As a very wise friend pointed out the other day - in not that many years, the kids will be gone but my husband will not. So that relationship is so important to foster! Taking time for each other is key!

I have a bunch more to say on this topic. But I've been writing and rewriting this post for nearly a week now, so I'm gonna post this and then just add another post at another time!

On a last note... if you and your spouse are having trouble - seek help. Call a friend (preferably of the same gender!), a pastor, a counselor... someone who can listen to you and pray with you and support you! Satan wants nothing more than to take down as many marriages as he can. Let's not let that happen!

4 comments:

Lukw & Avery's Nanny said...

Lots of good stuff to think about. If it was all as "easy" as the wedding, there would be a zero divorce rate.

I believe that sometimes people marry for the wrong reason...they see it as a way out of the circumstances they happen to be in at a point in time. That's almost a guaranteed failure. Keeping a marriage together takes lots of HARD, HARD work!

It's so easy to allow the relationship to disintegrate when there are children in the mix. The demands on the parent's time are phenomenal, and unless Mom & Dad are pulling together, the relationship falls apart.

Communication is definitely the key to making things run more smoothly. Communication is probably the biggest stumbling block that there is.

Another pitfall is taking our partner for granted. That's another relationship killer! Life gets to be mundane and less than exciting, and all to often we just take one another for granted. NOT good!

At its best, marriage is the union of two sinners who will constantly battle our old, sinful self, and our eyes fall from the very One who created us.

Thanks for sharing, sweetie!

Love you!

Jessi said...

Good post, Hol. So much truth there. I also think that part of why people don't talk about their marriage issues is b/c they don't want to have to hear about their OWN contribution to the problems. They want it all to be the fault of the other person.

I know years back when we had some major problems it was very much of what you said...expectations. It's a very hard lesson to learn (and sadly, many people never do!) that your spouse simply CANNOT meet all your needs....and NO person can....at some point we have to realize that we have to let ourselves be filled first and foremost by God...then all the other stuff is bonus. And when it doesn't come the way we want, the disappointment is at least manageable.

Anyway, I admire your dedication to prayer for those around you who are struggling. Keep it up! I know that it was the prayers of dear friends around us that helped carry us through our difficulties!!

Holly said...

Thank you both! Your both right in adding "other things" that add to marriage issues. Jess, I think you hit the nail on the head about not wanting to talk about problems cause it means looking at our own selves! I pray for others and write these posts to help keep myself and my marriage on the right track!

Anonymous said...

Great post sweetie! I am so thankful that you are my wife. I love you. David