Maybe? Maybe Not?

Do you ever wonder why so many marriages go belly up? There are books. There are counselors/doctors with ideas. There are a ton of studies on the subject.  And,In the United States there is a huge fight over what is a REAL marriage.  Um, OK? Would love someone to figure that one out but basically the fight is over this, should two men marry each other? Or  two women marry each other? Or should a man be allowed to have a bunch wives,especially, if his religion thinks it is a good idea?  What I find even more interesting is we seem to have enough trouble staying married.  My head totally spins.  We fight to get married and then we can’t manage to keep the commitment?

I was once attending a girls ‘night out’ and a young woman announced, “You know, I am going to give you ladies some advice on how to keep your marriage happy.”  We looked at her.  Eyes wide.  Two of us took a large sip of our drink and kept our mouths shut while she proceeded.  “See, I am on my second marriage and we are so happy.  We both failed at our first marriage and we know what went wrong so now we will not mess up.  I bet we are happier than those people still in their first marriage!”  Another huge sip and we didn’t say a word.  I was wondering how much she had to drink! By the end of the night we were over her, ‘my marriage is perfect and I want to spread the joy’ but we wished her well.  She is divorced and working on her third marriage.  I guess some people just keep hoping.  Oh, well :)   Oh, honestly, I don’t remember her wonderful advice.  My marriage was working fine; she was just white noise at the time.  However,I do remember thinking, “She seems to be trying so hard to sell us on her happiness and wonderful marriage!” Why?

Anyway, I have often wondered if it helped us to stay married because we had two awesome examples.  We both come from parents that are still married.  My parents share our anniversary date.  On September 5th they will be celebrating their 59th anniversary.  Pretty awesome.  My in-laws, are not too shabby themselves, 55 years!!  Now, of course, I don’t think this is THE ONLY or MAIN reason but I just can’t help but wonder, you know, if it helped us out.  We both came from a home with loving parents and witnessed loving couples.  We both can attest to seeing a man and wife go through hard times together! We witnessed fights,make ups,dealings with hardships, laughing together and we are a product of them raising a family.  Just have to wonder? Did they give us a piece of our foundation?

My parent’s Christmas Eve 2011

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Maybe? Maybe Not?

  1. Julia's Math

    Yes having guides is always helpful! However, I think attitude has a lot to do with it- if in the back of your mind is the thought you can always get out, I would argue that you were never really in to begin with. My marriage is difficult and frustrating, it is also wonderful, stable, and loving. It’s not a cake walk and people who expect that are sorely disappointed. Congrats!

  2. JamericanSpice

    This right here is what I never have. My husband does and it seems to be a difference with us in that I would rather walk away from something unhappy (not just because of unhappy…) But he seem willing to hang on, why? for discipline? I don’t know.

    QTD: We both came from a home with loving parents and witnessed loving couples. We both can attest to seeing a man and wife go through hard times together! We witnessed fights,make ups,dealings with hardships, laughing together and we are a product of them raising a family. Just have to wonder? Did they give us a piece of our foundation?

    I grew up everywhere and all around and especially in an orphanage. I do not attach myself to people and things. I’ve learned how easily it can go. Sometimes I wonder if I know how to really love and trust anyone else but my children. Sigh.

    Oh the musings I have on this subject.

    I love the putting the wines in the mouth while that woman was doing the white noise. lol

  3. Rorybore

    I definitely agree that having that good, healthy example to witness is certainly an excellent foundation. Course, from there, you make your own path. I think people are just to caught up in the “happy”. They are looking for that idea of you complete me, when honestly; I think you have to come to the marriage already a whole person. You have to already in your happy place – to expect another person to “make” you happy is setting you both up to fail. And then you walk away so easily.
    For my mom, 3rd time was the charm. I’d already been through divorce, twice, by the time I was 15. Absolutely no example, and thus no clue, of what a healthy relationship between man and woman looked like. I never wanted to get married. I couldn’t imagine giving a man that kind of power over my life – that he could determine my ultimate happiness and fulfillment. But then the day arrived when I realized, I am happy and fulfilled: and still single. No matter what – I can’t lose that.
    And then I wasn’t afraid of marriage anymore. I wasn’t afraid to bring a man into that circle of joy; because ultimately I knew the river didn’t spring up from him; but me. If the marriage didn’t work out…I could still find that well again. And after being married almost 10 years, I happy to discover that while, yes, it can be hard at time and is definitely work, my husband enhances and adds to that joy. He can make every day better….just by being in it. He doesn’t try to smother, steal or undermine my joy; he desires to see it flourish.
    And that is not so easy to walk away from; even when things may be in for worse, rather than the better.

  4. Hilary

    I think having a great role model helps, but is not really needed. I think the issue is too many people get married because they are in love with the idea of marriage more than they are with their partner. They try to ignore what they don’t like, or think they can change it, but then realize they can’t… I think that if more people were sure in the beginning, more marriages would last….

  5. rebecca bryant (@becca112971)

    i think a lot of times it is the people them self if they want their marriage to be good and workout they work at it they fix the problems talk them out whatever and if they don’t they give up and move on. Nobodies life is perfect and marriage is hard no two people are always going to happy but if your willing to work at it then you can survive. Hubby and i have survived life threatening illness, a coma, lost child, lack of income and neither of us are willing to throw in the towel yet even though some feel we should and honestly we are happy even though it’s tough.

  6. lisacng @

    I prolly would have tuned her out too since the stats have shown themselves to be true – subsequent marriages tend to be even less successful than the previous one. Oh well, at least she was positive! Two issues you brought up in this post (1) same sex marriage and (2) “secret” to successful marriages. As for #1, I do believe in the biblical definition of marriage (one man, one woman). But I also support giving gay couples the same rights as other couples, in terms of employee benefits, tax rules, etc. So, I’d rather we all have “civil unions” and then those who want to be “married”, can find a church that will do that for them. Am I making sense? I know it’s all semantics, but sometimes the word really matters to people. And for #2, I think perseverance, understanding, communication, forgiveness, and laughter are secrets to great marriages. We’re still in the “fire” though, only been married 4 years.

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