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Category Archives: marriage

Hold it together, man!

I have been amusing even myself over the past weeks as I relay my tales to whoever is out there in cyberspace reading my entries.

Today, though, I have been slightly deeper in thought, especially after a conversation with a good friend.

I’ve noticed over and over and over again certain attributes as I peruse countless profiles.  I cannot tell you how many divorcees I’ve come across.  Some, even, who are merely separated.  (As far as I’m concerned, if you’re still legally married, you have no business pursuing someone else.)  And many who are listed as single with kids.  The simplest way to describe how I feel about it it sad.

It makes me sad to see that so many marriages have not made it.  It makes me sad to see that so many people seem flippant about the fact that their kids are being raise in single-parent homes.  It makes me sad that relationships that are meant to last forever last only a few years.

To be 29 and divorced?  I don’t get that.  Perhaps because of the way I was raised, I have some different ideas when it comes to relationships and especially marriage.  When I see someone divorced at age 29, the only thing I can think of is that they didn’t try.  “Irreconcilable differences” is not a reason to end a marriage, it’s an excuse for laziness.  Any couple who really wants to make a marriage work, will make it work.

Now, I’m not married, but I’d like to think I’ve gleaned some valuable information from watching the people around me.  In my mind the #1 reason for divorce in North America is lack of communication.  Once the initial romance wears off (and it does, but I don’t think it has to) you get two people who don’t really seem to know each other and don’t really know how to communicate with each other.  In many cases, they’ve fallen in love with what the other person wanted them to fall in love with.  When that feeling of being in love wears off, they discover that the feeling is what they’ve based their relationship on.  This is decision time.  In too many cases, a couple will decide that they don’t love each other any more and go their separate ways.   The brave minority will make the choice to stay in love or fall in love all over again.

I think this is where a lasting marriage is made – at the time the decision is made that two people are going to stick it out no matter what.  When you remove the option of divorce, you are left with years of hard work ahead of you that will ultimately pay off in a lasting and loving marriage.  (That’s not to say that the hard work never ends, though.)  The couples who have spent years communicating, working and compromising together are the ones that are happy, not the single person who has a trail of ex-spouses and who knows how many children in their wake.

Should I find someone I’m willing to spend the rest of my life with, I may be bringing a whole load of opinions, craziness and shoes, but I’m not towing a trailer of old lovers and small children that will no doubt be the end of all future relationships.  I’m a forever kind of deal.

The Way I See It #76

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitaion. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” ~ Anne Morriss Starbucks Customer

Of all the things that I think are wrong with society today, I think that a lack of commitment tops the list. People commit only as long as it is convenient for them. Perhaps this ties in to yesterday’s post on illiteracy (a.k.a. self-centredness). When a relationship is no longer beneficial or requries too much work, people simply check out. As a result, we have a short-term society.

Our lives are tucked neatly into 30-60 minute segments (dependant on whether your life is a sitcom or prime-time drama). When things get a little uncomfortable, we merely flick a button and change the channel and our lives rush forward in a new direction leaving a whirlwind of broken relationships in our wake.

Husbands no longer feel the need to love their wives and wives no longer honour their husbands. Children do not obey their parents and we all do as we please with no thought at all to those who surround us. We are more apt to commit to a weekly reality tv show than we are to a real, flesh and blood human being. Imagine life if we fought as hard for our relationships as some have played a game to win a million dollars…

Anne Morriss is a genuis. I wish it had been I who’d come up with the quote I started this post with. So many people view commitment as being tied down, unable to be themselves. This is where our view is so incredibly defective. It is when we commit ourselves, not just in part, but in whole, that we are liberated from the old ball and chain, so to speak. If we are committed to a person and that person to us, all fear and hesitancy should dissolve. Too many people are too slow to trust and too quick to think the worst of everything and everyone.

You may think what do I, a single twentysomething, know about commitment? I have never been in a long-term relationship, never been married and have no children. I’d like to call myself a professional observer. In my wait for lifetime commitment in the form of a loving marriage relationship, I have been paying close attention to those relationships around me. I have taken note of things that work and made a point to remember the things that don’t. I have concluded that the most satisfying relationships are those where both parties have thrown caution to the wind. This is not running headlong into a relationship with eyes closed! This is entering a union with eyes wide open and clinging to it with body, mind and soul leaving nothing to question. It is when everything is bared and on the table that relationships are most successful. To say, “Here I am, all of me. I want you and all that comes with you. If you look at all this and you still want me, we can make this work.” I believe that we would find the world to be happier, more safe and secure if more people would apply this to their relationships rather than trying to build on the illusions of what we perceive those around us want from us.

Here I am, this is me, like it or not! Lay it on the line. Commit! Take a risk and be yourself for once! You may find it oddly satisfying.