Saturday, May 22, 2010

so why can't we stay together? part 2

so recap from part 1...

i hate divorce, it sucks

when parents act like children instead of making their children & their welfare of the highest priority is pathetic & sad

in part 1 i relayed my disbelief with the CDC's 2009 report of 50% of the 2.162 million marriages ended in divorce... wah?!

so why can't we stay together? aka: divorce part 2

i said i'd give my two cents worth on this, so here goes... however let me preface my interpretation & insight is infinitely influenced by my parents divorce and my faith in Christ, and i am aware that each marriage is as unique as the snowflakes :)

my mom and dad knew each even as young as junior high, and then eloped their senior year of high school, then moved across the country when my dad joined the Marine Corp. a couple years later they move back to Fly Over Country and i am born shortly after. like most young couples they struggle along financially, my dad worked construction and my mom worked as well while i stayed with my aunt during the day. by the time i was almost 6 my middle brother as born, we shared a room together, i remember that he cried a lot but i was so excited to have my own real baby doll. jobs & money got better and we moved to a better part of town, nicer house and i had my own room and we had a big backyard and i got to walk to school, which i thought was cool in my head but scary to actually do at the age of 7. my mom worked a lot i think and so did my dad and my brother went to preschool. my parents didn't talk much. my dad yelled at me a lot. then something went wrong, we had to sell our house, we were going to move to another state and my mom was pregnant with my youngest brother which i was convinced would be a sister.

we move a bit more south, i am back sharing a room with not only my middle brother but also my baby brother, darn. i meet a girl who quickly becomes my best friend, she's still my best & closest friend to this very day, we live near my mom's parents which is cool and my mom gets to be at home with us which is even more cool. dad works a lot. there is a lot of fighting. a couple years later we make a big move north to where my entire family on both sides is from (go Huskers!) so my dad can become a police officer and i spend the summer helping my mom remodel an old house just across the tracks from my cousins. things change quickly as we are only there three months before our family of 5 moves back south to our hometown (where we began, just in case you're lost).

i start middle school, i am missing my bestie, i get my own room and while i never felt overly popular until my freshman year, i made tons of friends in our new school and got to stay until i graduated, which was a year early because i'm just that cool :) i go to college, meet my future husband, get through my freshman year, that summer my parents get divorced, i'm 18

as i write this, i think it sounds normal and what a lot of families experience like job changes and moving and both parents working, new babies and new schools. so what does any of this have to do with marriage and divorce and why we can't stay together...

have you ever thought "my spouse isn't making me very happy right now?!" i will be honest my Man, as awesome as he is, can irritate me and make me unhappy. some of his choices can upset or sadden me and i have said or thought "you shouldn't say that... it makes me unhappy" and if i'm being totally honest i've even whollered there for a few days pondering "why isn't he trying to make me happy... i mean it's not the end of the world for him to do so-and-so just for my sake." and while my Man and i are completely in love and our desire is to serve the other's needs & wants, not everything my Man does is going to make my heart flutter and my eyes bat adoringly as i swoon over him....

and you know what: that's okay. yep... i know, i know, our world will tell us that if it feels good then do it. and if we can't have our way, then find someone who will give us our way. the world says if we can't have it right now then stomp your feet and someone will cave to your whim. it should all be about "us" and what will satisfy us, i mean we're entitled to a mostly perfect life, right?

WRONG!!! i despise this enviroment of entitlement, and the notion that supreme happiness should be my goal. and it especially bothers me to see this attitude within a marriage because this selfishness will be the bomb that causes it to come crashing down.

what if marriage is meant to make us holy, not happy..... what if it is used by God to keep transforming us to His image instead of to give us whatever we think will make us "happy"

do you know what word could fill in all the gaps in my short childhood recap of my parent's marriage? ...W.I.I.F.M.

you know: What's In It For Me?

when my mom and my dad got married i think they were both trying to escape parents & families that were suffocating them and trying to show they were adults (my opinion and not meant to denegrate) and because they didn't have an example of a loving, respectful and serving marriage and their relationship with God was a mess, i believe they thought that marriage and the other person would serve to make them "happy."

i think we are all prone to this trap in marriage, in life :) don't you?

my dad has always had wonderful intentions but very little follow through... i think that he desired & intended in the beginning to be a good husband that could provide well for his wife but it was harder than he thought and it turned out to not be a lot "in it for him" when he wanted it to be about making him happy.

my mom has big dreams and impressive goals for herself and i'm sure that she has since before she even became a wife or mom... and then she married a man who wasn't on the same page as her, i don't think they shared the same goals (except to get far away from their parents) and unfortunately she married an oppressive & angry man... and this quickly became a marriage that wasn't happy (or safe).

when Christ isn't the center of our life and if He isn't the heart of a marriage then i'm telling you it won't work. we need God to save us from ourselves! i need God to save me from me!! can you relate?

there was a time in my own marriage when i was so full on for Jesus and serving Christ while my Man was only interested in giving God some time on Sunday morning, but he certainly had not surrendered his whole heart to God. and while he loved God, he wasn't ready to let go of his own agenda... and it created problems

he would be upset that i didn't recognize some song on the radio that he liked because i typically listened to Christian stations & would criticize over that... he felt slighted over the amount of time i would be at church serving and so he would withdraw some from me

he was saying, in a sense "why aren't you acting like i want you to act, spending your time how i'd prefer, etc" or as i like to say, he was saying "what's in this for me?!"

but, as i prayed, as we spent time talking and working through those days he felt like second on my list, the more i continued to obey God in serving Him but working to submit & serve my Man, well God changed my Man....

and while i had an awesome marriage before, it got a million times more awesome!!! when Christ became the center of our marriage and our hearts, we gave up on pleasing ourselves and more focused on loving God & each other, it was beautiful...

so why can't couples stay together?

it has to be about more than "feeling" happy.... and more about God

what say you?....


  1. I posted a link to your blog about these posts! Hope you don't mind!!

  2. Good word! It is SO not about us!