Sunday, June 1, 2008

Marriage Isn't Easy

I told my husband, before we were even engaged, that I do not believe in divorce. At the time he was hesitating and resisting marriage. His parents got divorced and he is still hurt and affected by the pain it brought the whole family. He feared marriage and especially divorce if there were kids involved.

That's me, 50 pounds lighter!!!

And I don't believe in divorce (with some exceptions that I will address below). I believe divorces are too easy to obtain and that most are done out of convenience, boredom, or selfishness.

Marriage is NOT easy!

It takes work, dedication, patience, understanding, and lots of communication. Hollywood starlets get married and divorced several times a season, making it look like so much fun to get married. It's like Prom. Get dressed up, have a party, say the vows, hang out for awhile. Bored? Get a divorce.

This post that I found via Freaky Frugality shows the power of working at marriage and True Love.

If you don't cry, or at least tear up, you are a true cynic. A couple of quotes...

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

This smart wife did not accept this. Marriage is a partnership and partners need to work to keep their relationship healthy. When partners in a business fail to talk, fail to plan, fail to work together the business fails.
On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life
lacked intimacy.

I drove to office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

Read the whole thing.

My grandparents were married for 60+ years before my grandmother died. Their life was not easy, raising 4 kids and running their own business (two businesses actually). And they did NOT always get along. When I was little I remember some big blow ups between them. But even more I remember more their laughter and joking around. We'd all roll our eyes when grandpa patted her on the rump and called her sexy. Ew! But so important for marriage.

Hubby and I have issues in this everyday kind of intimacy. It's hard when you go for days on end without even seeing each other (due to his rotating shift schedule). We've been married 5 1/2 years and in the last year we've talked about how we don't hold hands, or sit next to each other in the living room, or kiss when we say goodbye. And we've started doing those things again.

It makes a difference.

I refuse to get divorced out of boredom or because I *think* I've fallen out of love (not that I think this...I don't!). Falling out of "love" is not an excuse for divorce in my book. Love is something that must be a plant. Without fertilizer, attention, and light it will die.

Now...I do think divorce is a necessary function for some people. Abuse (physical AND mental) is never okay and no one should be forced to stay in that situation.

I'm torn on the idea of getting a divorce due to infidelity. Hopefully, if the two people work together and work continually on their marriage this wouldn't even become an issue. But I know that things happen. Situations come up that no one would expect.

I told hubby that even if he cheated on me I would not divorce him. As if I'd let him off the hook so easily! Of course I don't think he'd ever do such a horrible thing so it's easy for me to say that. I did say that if this event happened that he would be required to move out and we would start counseling.

Marriages go through ups and downs. Infidelity would be a major "down" moment but if both parties are willing I believe that it can be overcome. With time, I believe that trust can be regained.

Those are the only two situations where I think divorce is acceptable. One of my coworkers and I were talking about this the other day. She is divorced and remarried. I told her my views and she agreed with me. She says that she got divorced because it was easy and he was annoying. She was bored. If she had it to do over again she wouldn't. Not that she would trade her current life...she's very happy and has two more children with her new hubby. But looking back on it she sees that getting that divorce wasn't the right thing.

My aunt on the other hand divorced twice and both were for good reason - physical abuse. Her third husband is a prince in comparison and their two daughters are angels (as are her two children from her second marriage).

So divorce has its place. But that place should be in the back row, far corner. Seldom addressed and rarely invited up.

What do you think? Do you agree that marriage is hard work and too many are given up because work isn't fun?


Rosanne said...

Perfect day for this Megan. Today is my 28th wedding anniversary. My husband and I met in junior high school (hated each other then!) and started dating in high school. We have been together ever since (35 years that we have been together!) He was and IS my best friend. We grew up together! I have to say though, that we argue a lot. We always have. I think that may be part of what makes our marriage work. We argue, he apologizes, we move on (notice I say HE apologizes!)
I cannot believe some of the things I see today. Some people get married quickly and divorced quickly. It's almost like they didn't date long enough or something. I just don't get it. Divorce is way too easy! I agree that divorce is a good or the only option for certain reasons, but because you are bored?? That is ridiculous!
My parents have been married for 53 years. My parents were each part of large families. In each of those families, none of my aunts or uncles divorced, yet, every one of my cousins except for 2 (we are talking about 20 cousins!!) have been divorced at least one time!! But no one in my family (I have a sister and brother) has been divorced. My sister has been married for 21 years and my brother is going on 10. Why did we all stay married yet all of our cousins get divorced?
I wish you and your husband many, many years of happiness Megan!!

Bethany said...

I really enjoyed this post. I agree completely with you about divorce. I've heard many divorced people say the same thing too. That they never should have gotten divorced, or that they never would again.

I'm afraid that many people get divorced for very selfish reasons, perhaps because they want to recapture some feeling of being interesting to the other sex or being young, or because they get sick of making the same compromises over again.

I don't believe in divorce either, so I've told my husband he's just stuck with me. Especially since last year when we had our marriage validated in the Catholic church. I told him, you've had five years to get used to it, but now that you're getting The Church involved, there won't be any getting out of it at all now!

Sassy said...

I too am the product of divorced parents. And even though I tell my hubby if things don't change we won't be together forever, I know different. We have been married for almost 15 years and we have been through some very hard times. But in reality of things, he's my best friend and he knows it. I tend to take my frustrations out on our marriage and in hindsight, it's not fair.

Your post was an eye opener and I thank you for that.

Shib said...

Hi, not been married as long as the others. Coming up on 3 years this December but feels like a lifetime. Ina good way. I was married before, got married for the wrong reasons, was running away from some harsh truths and ended up gettig divorced. That was the best decision I ever made. I wouldn't be as successful or as happy as I am now if I hadn't done that.

Marriage takes a lot of work. I think most younger folks and even some older who date think marriage will be the same amount of fun and games as when you are dating. But, it's not. It's fun and games and responsibilities and bills and adjustments. Nobody is going to stay as well behaved as they are on first and second and third dates. I think movies and tv shows are teaching kids the wrong lessons, that marriage is all about a few punch lines. I think Everybody Loves Raymond is as true a depiction of real marriage. You don't just marry your spouse, you marry their family, you marry their credit background, you marry their issues, their flaws, their baggage and don't expect them to throw all that away just ebcause they married you.