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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Kev and I recently talked with a friend whose marriage is not doing well. The couple is still newly-wed, having gotten hitched just last summer. When we heard the news we both felt so badly. I can't imagine the thoughts and feelings our friend is having while struggling to make things right- whatever "right" is in this circumstance.

The morning after hearing the news, Kev and I had a chance to snuggle in bed with Aspen and talk about our own relationship. We both feel so blessed to be married to the person we consider our best friend. I acknowledged that our marriage has had many trials, but never anything that made me feel like one of us leaving would be the answer. And now that we have Maddie and Aspen, I simply could not imagine functioning without Kev.

About a month later, Kev found out another friend's marriage was breaking up after a few years and a couple of kids. The wife had the divorce electronically filed and within a week the papers were signed. Just like that. Done.

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN GET DIVORCED ONLINE?!

I'm blown away by these developments in the lives of our friends. Yes, it may be for the best that these couples separate... but if so, whey did they get married in the first place?

There's so much emphasis on getting married that staying married is overlooked. What goes into a marriage? What makes it last? In Utah, it seems many couples think that just being Latter-day Saints means their marriage will last forever and they'll be so happy and the kids will just pop out every 2 years and the family will go on lots of "vacays" and the mom will never work and all the kids will go to college/missions/get married and the cycle will continue.

Hi, my name is REALITY and I'm here to tell you to get with the program.

Marriage is so so so worth the effort it can take to keep it alive. It's worth not seeing each other through those hard years when school and work schedules keep you coming and going at all hours. It's worth eating ramen and macaroni for years because you're too poor to afford anything else. It's worth keeping the heat at 60 all winter (more opportunities to cuddle!) so you can manage all the bills. It's worth giving each other homemade coupons for special occasions because there isn't any money in the budget for "real" gifts. It's worth sacrificing your hobbies/time/money/sleep/food/everything in order to make BOTH of you happier in the long-run.

In C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, he states, "People get...the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on 'being in love' for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change--not realising that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one...the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for by a quieter and more lasting kind of interest. What is more... it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction."

Now that I've gotten that off my chest (I've been trying to write this for a month!) what are your thoughts? How have you kept your relationship spicy and fun and deep throughout the months or years you've been together?

10 comments:

  1. it breaks my heart when i hear about young couples deciding to divorce. while, i definitely understand its the right thing to do sometimes (my brother got divorced and it was absolutely the right thing to do) it still makes me feel so sad. never, in the almost 5 years i've been married have i once thought during a hardship that i want to leave the marriage. in fact, its always been quite the opposite. i need vince in my life. he is my best friend, and when i'm stressed, sad, hurting, happy, silly, serious -- he is the one i want to be with.

    marriage is certainly not easy, but it is worth it.

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  2. excellent post. i'm glad you got it out there :) i feel really lucky too that i married my best friend, but i really dont think it should be any other way. some people i know get married just to get married, and it makes me sad. i definitely think marriage is something that is jumped into in lds culture, and can make it that much harder.

    while we havent been married for a super long time, i look back and dont think that marriage has been hard at all. but then if i really think about it, thats just because josh has helped me through any sort of trials we've faced. we're a little team, and i love it :)

    also, we keep things fun by being silly and acting like fools all the time. because we're cool like that.

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  3. the first year was the hardest year of my life and I am here to tell you, we have been through more than most. I am blessed to be married to a smart, emotionally stable, kind, forgiving, patient, hard working, loving man. one of us has to be :) This spring we will celebrate 7 years of marriage and 9 1/2 years of being together. we are very different but one thing we always agree on, it's worth it (or as we say 'you are worth it.')sorry to hear about your friends, that's tough, especially with the kids :(

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  5. its about being christ like. and that doesn't just must mean being nice. its about pulling the beam out of your own eye before you point out the mote in your spouse's. its about avoiding updated vocalizations of Raca. its about turning the other cheek. in my opinion - successful relationships stem from selfless souls (: we are all here on earth to learn to be christlike, or if you are not christian, to be better than we are today. if you are always striving to be better and you realize that your spouse is on that same journey, there is no way you will end up divorced.

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  6. Wow, getting divorced online?! That is crazy. On the other hand, it might not be so bad to get divorced online if it is a really ugly situation.

    Thanks for that quote from C.S. Lewis. It is an awesome one.

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  7. I really like the C.S. Lewis quote. My friend had an online divorce. He wasn't too thrilled about it.
    MB and I are two very different people and there have been times when I get really frustrated about the differences and I try to remember that those differences are why I fell in love with him. I like that he thinks outside of the box. We've made it ten years! I think working through those trials has made us both better people. Divorce definitely has its place, but I think some people quit before they really give it a try. It's really sad to someone struggle through that.

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  8. I loved this post Liv. Matt and I have been married for 8 years, and it's been a struggle. We are both different people trying to live differently. We try to communicate and tell each other what is going on. Life is hard. Really Hard at times. Sometimes you have to give and give and give before someone gives back. I have been reading a lot to escape and Matt has been there to pull me back to reality. Thanks again. Sorry about your friends. Tell them that it gets better with time.

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  9. Hey Liv, it's Laura Holbrook from Jr., I saw your blog on Jill Hinckley's blog a little while ago and every so often take peek at your writings, hope that's not weird:) Anyway, about your post my husband and I have been married almost 6 years, we have had a few friends/ family in the same circumstance. I think sometimes it takes seeing someone else's relationship go through hard times to help you see how lucky and happy you are and to have some good conversations together. When I get frustrated or mad at my husband I try to think back to when we were dating or just back over the last few days at all of the things he does for me and our family and it reminds me of how much I love him and that I'm not anywhere near perfect. I think communication has to be a main ingredient in a marriage that is going to last, even though it's hard you have to do it and you'll be surprised by what you learn sometimes.
    Well that's it for me, oh and your little girl is adorable!

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  10. I have 2 friends getting divorced and it's just so sad. In some instances I think it can be better for both parities but sometimes people just need to be less selfish and things would work out well.

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