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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The View From My Soapbox: The Way to Stay Married Is...And Sunday Ponderings Link-up

"You only get married for the first time, once."  Yes, I actually know someone who has said that.

We live in a divorce saturated culture.  "No fault" divorces are handed out like candy.  According to U.S. Census Bureau records, one out of every two children lives in a single parent household at some time before reaching 18.

It seems that children are now growing up in a culture that tells them to expect divorce, as the norm.  I'm not sure why children from divorced households would be inclined to stay married through the rocky periods, when their parents didn't.

But, here's the thing:

The way to stay married is....
to stay married.

Any couple who has been married fifteen years or more will tell you that it was not always rosy.  Every marriage has difficult periods.  Every couple has to learn to be married.  A couple has a choice to stay together through the difficult periods, and learn to make it work ... or ... to separate and find someone else to have rocky periods with, because no one marries the right person.  Good marriages are not about being lucky enough to find the right person.  Good marriages are about carefully choosing someone, whom you enjoy sharing your life with, who is as committed to marriage as you are.

Good marriages are about being even more committed to marriage, than you are to the person to whom you are married...

...because once in a while, through the years, for a short while, you are going to be a little frustrated with that person, or you, maybe, aren't even actually going to like that person very much.  And that is just the truth.

Having said that, the "three A's", abuse, addiction, and adultery, are another issue.  I'm talking here about marriages that don't involve these things.

"Sticking with it" is a windy road, but it is a road that leads to lifelong happiness with someone you love deeply...because in the end, marriage is really about sharing lifes up and downs, challenges and joys, everyday experiences and irreplaceable moments,...  with your very best friend, after all.

Photo: StacyK, click for license

So, hang in there folks.  If you don't stay on the road, you never reach the destination.

...And that is what this old broad has to say about that.

Blessings Dear Friends,
Two-thirds of unhappily married spouses who stay married reported that their marriages improved within five years.  The most unhappy marriages report the most dramatic turnarounds: among those who rated their marriages as "very unhappy," almost eight out of 10 who avoided divorce are happily married five years later: Linda J. Waite, Don Browning, William J. Doherty, Maggie Gallagher, Ye Luo, and Scott M. Stanley, “Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages,” (New York: Institute for American Values, 2002): 148-49.

The loss of commitment to the ideal of maital permanence was the reason for high divorce rates among the adult children of divorce.  Paul R. Amato and Danelle D. DeBoer, "The Transmission of Marital Instability Across Generations: Relationship Skills or Commitment to Marriage?" Journal of Marriage and the Family 63 (2001): 1038-1051.

Linked with:
NOBH, Better Mom Mondays, Handful of Heart Link-Up, Domestically Divine Tuesday,
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Encouraging One Another @ Deep Roots at Home,
Raising Homemakers
You'll find their buttons on the Blog Hops page.

Two Shall Become One



It's time for our third Sunday Ponderings Link-up.  Feel free to link up your family friendly posts on homemaking, marriage & family life, Christian reflections, Christian observances, or anything else that you feel might be a blessing to readers.

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  1. Thanks for speaking the truth that so many find hard to admit or voice, "sometimes you don't even like them very much" - after 25 years of marriage for me and my best friend, this does ring true. Unfortunately, I labored falsely with the view that our example of "staying with it" through the difficult times would be enough for our children. After two of my children's marriages already ending in divorce (one definately abusive, the other not so sure about) I sadly realise that we needed to be more forthright about the importance of "choosing someone who is as committed to marriage" as they are, who will be their best friend yes, but make sure your children don't have some romantic view in their heads of "happily ever after" without the realisation of the work and commitment that needs to be put into a marriage. My resolve now: Not to leave it just to the power of example in your own marriage - TALK, TALK, TALK, speak the truth to our children and then PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that they will receive those truths that you have learnt a little further down the path than they are with the Spirit and truly understand the TRUTH about marriage. Thank you Michelle.

  2. I've been married 36 years. My parents 58. You're right -- it's all about staying on the road. I'm loving the journey!

  3. Very well said. In my case, after 48 yrs, very true.

  4. So very true!
    This just leapt out at me:
    Good marriages are about being even more committed to marriage, than you are to the person to whom you are married...

    A couple near and dear to me is on the verge of separation, and I want to just (lovingly) slap them on the side of the head, and remind them it was for better and worse, and also for the child they brought into the relationship and the world.

    Now that I look at it through what you wrote, I see they are more committed to themselves, not to the marriage and not to each other. Arrggghhh.

    Thanks so much for highlighting the importance of staying married.

  5. So true, and even through addiction, as my own family can witness to, through prayer and perseverance and faith, sometimes you can make it through. it's not easy and it's a battle in which everyone will end up with deep wounds, but that's what we're called to as Christians. And in the end, the yoke is easy and the burden is light as long as we keep our eyes on Him.

  6. It is difficult, even after 38 years, but with god all things are possible! Praise God that He never leaves us or forsakes us! Wonderful post!

  7. it is so worth the journey!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can!

  8. No, marriage is never easy, but it is surely worth the hard work and effort. We (hubby and I) plan to stay on the windy road together forever! :)

    Great Post!

  9. Our marriage (33 years and counting...) took its biggest step forward not the day we said 'I do', but the day we learned that we were not responsible to each others' happiness, the day we we learned that the ideal marriage isn't two people looking longingly into each others' eyes, but two people walking hand in hand, looking longingly toward Christ.

  10. I am divorced. It is ugly, painful and entirely not in the perfect plan. My kids' suffering has been great, but God's mercy has been greater. God sent a man directly from His heart to fill our hearts and lives with hope and love again. We are full, because He has filled us. Your message is right and true...we must fight! It isn't about what we can gain, but all that we might lose!

    What a blessing to have you link up with me this week. I would be honored if you would stop by tomorrow and share whatever the Lord has placed on your heart!

  11. nice ppst thanks for sharing...blessings soraya

  12. I agree. I've been married 11 years now and although I thought things would be merry forever, we have had rough years. Great post and thanks for linking up to the NOBH!


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