Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Marriage is serious y'all
On a recent trip to a local fast food restaurant, the clerk asked me how far along I was. I answered and she told me she had 8! She also said that after having 8 children with this guy, he left. In this conversation, I learned something.
I don't think that is something that society at large is willing to admit. However, I have seen the pain and anger that people have gone through in the wake of a separation/ divorce. I have seen the lives that are turned upside down. I can't pin the blame on men or women. I have seen men and women walk out for various reasons.
Men and women walking out on marriage for another person.
Men and women walking out of marriage for their job.
Men and women walking out of marriage because they just get tired of being married.
I know that does not cover all the reasons that a marriage falls apart. I know that sometimes the person walking out is doing it for the right reasons. I know that many of the ones who have been walked out on have found a life and a happy one after their divorce. So this is not a blog post about the evils of divorce or the reasons not to get divorced. As I have not been through a divorce, I can't claim to know a bunch about it.
This is a blog post about marriage. I have been married for 10 years this July, so I have learned a thing or two about it. From that perspective I am talking and advising.
If you are not married, please consider the vows seriously before you get married. Even if you don't plan on using these vows think about them.
For richer or poorer: If you won the lottery or had a high paying job and didn't need your spouse, would you still want to be married? If you lost your house and your jobs, would you still want to be married?
In sickness and in health: If you got a long term illness, would you want to be married to this person? If your spouse got sick like that, would you want to be married to that's person? If your child got sick like that, would you want to be married to this person? If you are fit and healthy and got people giving you second glances, would you still want to be married to this person?
For better or worse: When your wildest dreams come true, do you want to be married to this person? When your dreams go bust, do you want to be married to this person?
If you can't answer yes to all of these, then maybe you have some things to talk about with a spiritual leader, mentor, or some such person. You might need to talk to the person you are considering marrying because marriage is serious. If the person you are marrying, can't answer all these affirmatively, then that person might need to talk to someone. If you are married and wonder about your reaction to these things, you have some thinking and talking to do.
I realize this is not an exhaustive list and we can't really know how we will react in tough situations. Sometimes even with the best intentions life gets in the way and we can't find our way back to each other. I know even if we think and talk and prepare for these things, something might come up and marriages might fail. Sometimes even with thinking, talking, and preparing, our spouse may become a different person and things might fall apart.
Marriage is hard and is never fool proof. But maybe if we all realized that it is serious, it would work a little better and there would be a little less pain to go around.