Monday, February 17, 2014

How Did We Get Here?



How did we get here?  Have you ever looked at your spouse and wondered how you ever came to this place of disappointment, dissatisfaction, and bumpy roads in your marriage?  It sure isn’t what you thought marriage would be.  Oh, maybe you don’t feel that way every day, and if you’re fortunate, you’ve already surpassed those days of marital misery and live in peace and harmony in your relationship with maybe only a rare bump along the way. 

We all go through the fire (hard times, storms) at some point in our marriages. (I’ve yet to meet a couple that hasn’t).  The good news is that the fire leads to purity and a wonderful place in our marriage we can only arrive at once we’ve figured out how to put out the fire. We have to stay in the fire and not give up until we figure it out, or we will never know the joy of marriage as God intended for us.   Marriage takes a lot of work, and unfortunately, “like it or leave it” seems to be the trend these days.   Marriage is not always likeable so hang in there!

I’ve said it before that we all go into marriage with great expectations.  We think we’ve found our soul mate, the perfect person for us.  We spend so much time dreaming about this fairy tale wedding and experience the most amazing day of our lives.  And the honeymoon!  Who could top all of that?  

I think God allows those initial “happily-ever-after-can’t-live-without-you” feelings to bring couples together.  If we didn’t experience that, who would get married in this day and age when living together outside of matrimony has become so acceptable?  Regardless of the high divorce rate, I believe there is still a deep desire in all of us to have the security of a committed marriage. It’s been said that you shouldn’t go into marriage because you want to live with someone; rather, you should go into it because you can’t live without them.  Any less than that will make the marriage road even more difficult to travel.

Once you are married, things slowly change. Dirty dishes, clothing on the floor, whining and nagging are just a few of the humdrums we face when living with another person.  And then children come along to completely upset the apple cart.  Is it any wonder we begin to fall after the honeymoon is over?

You become comfortable with one another and don’t think twice about how you look when you wake in the morning.  You don’t dress up as much as you did and prefer sweats and no makeup to hang around the house.  Maybe your husband is comfortable sitting around in his underwear expressing bodily noises he hid from you in the beginning. (Of course, that’s not annoying to everyone.)  Flannel pajamas are your preferred sleeping apparatus now instead of that cute lingerie you would wear when you were first married.  He no longer asks you “What do you want to watch?”  He controls the control.

There is nothing wrong with all of this; it’s just a sign that you are completely comfortable with your spouse.  This is where you can begin to take each other for granted, though, and lose the appreciation you once shared.  A healthy marriage will keep the love and appreciation alive.

In an unhealthy marriage, couples can become so familiar with each other that they often forgo common courtesies.  They may spend little time communicating with each other except for trivial small talk.  If all the minor irritations aren’t dealt with and discussed, the issues will quickly form a wall between a couple that can lead to thoughts of divorce.

Let’s be honest here – IT IS NOT EASY FOR MEN AND WOMEN TO LIVE TOGETHER.  I’ve always said that God has a sense of humor by putting man and woman together.  He knew we would need His help in order to survive marriage. 

I use to think the solution to marital problems would be to have two houses next to each other with men in one and women in the other.  You could visit your spouse as often as needed but would live with people of the same sex.  Women work so well together and would live in a clean house with no complaints about cooking or dishes.  We all just chip in as needed.  Men would live in a cave with numerous televisions and remotes (along with computers and video games no doubt).  They would probably live on pizza and Taco Bell and beg to come to the women’s home for dinner as much as possible. (I would not want to be responsible for cleaning the man house.  Maybe they could find a man who is the exception to the rule who likes to cook and have a clean home!)

Okay, so that does not follow God’s plan for marriage, and eventually would create other problems.  So the best thing we can do is to learn how to deal with it.  

More to come as I discuss how to live with an alien.

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