Thursday, November 29, 2012

Marriage: It's Hard Work

Vince and I on November 19, 1999,
at our simple wedding at the
Capital Hotel, Little Rock, AR

Marriage… at times it makes us giddy with excitement and other times it makes us crazy with anger.  I’ve been married for 13 years to my husband, Vince, and every day I love him, but some days I don’t like him very much.  I know he would agree because there are times he needs some “away time” just to hang with the guys and watch football and not hear me nag about finishing up household projects.

In the past six months, I’ve had at least four calls or emails from friends telling me, usually in confidence, of their 10-20 year marriages falling apart.  Personal friends, people I love, admire, respect, who have a foundation of faith in God.  Sometimes they are asking for prayers, advice and understanding because, you see, I’ve been there myself.  I was married at 19 and divorced at 24 (lets just chalk it up to being too young and not strong enough to be my own person).  Other times these calls are just a “heads up” that something big is about to happen. 
Among my friends, the reasons are varied for parting ways with their spouses.  I cannot judge them and, sadly, there are no real winners, especially the young children involved.  There are the awkward moments of seeing the offending spouse and acting like you don’t know anything about their home situation or that you only know the bare essentials of their now status quo.   You smile, but your eyes are sad because you know there is hurt involved.

It always concerns me just a little when I see young ladies in search of the fairy tale they think marriage is, but here’s the deal, marriage is hard work, day in-day out.  The nice thing about it is that you aren’t in this journey alone and every day you can be stronger in your relationship because you are growing and learning together.  Is my life and marriage perfect?  Of course not and if someone tells you they have a “perfect marriage” don’t believe them.  From time to time I have to remind my spouse that we have to grow together, to have common interest and goals.  Is all this hard work worth it?  Absolutely.   I’m so thankful that my spouse has patience and understanding and continues to love me when, at times, I am sure I am a handful. 

Obviously I do not advocate staying in a relationship with a perpetual cheat, someone who is lying about a problem, or if there is some sort of abuse taking place, but I think your heart tells you when you need to move on for yourself, your children or even for your spouse’s sake.

Anyway, I write this for what it’s worth, I guess because my heart is just heavy for these friends who are facing the holidays with a feeling of loss and who are trying to put the pieces back together.  They remain in my prayers, not part of my gossip.  Thanks for letting me work through a bit of this sad news in a way I find comforting: writing.  


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