Ask the Expert: Is Marriage Worth It?
- The reality of marriage is perpetual disarray and boredom.
- I have been married four times and was gloriously happy for the first three to four years. THEN the real deal began.
- Whenever I hear of a long marriage, I think…there is someone (or both) who has put up with a lot of pain and heartache. In most cases, one member of the couple has tolerated things that most of us would not.
- Love is great but marriage is pointless.
- You cannot control your spouse. I know. I know. This one ticks me off, too. Believe me, I’d like to think I’m powerful enough to MAKE MY HUSBAND DO WHAT I WANT HIM TO DO. Not that I’ve ever thought that way, of course, but I’ve heard that some people struggle with it. Here’s the deal. The only person I can control is me. And frankly, sometimes I have trouble with that! And while it may seem appealing to think that I could control my spouse, is that really what is best? (Well, regarding him picking up after himself, yes, but otherwise maybe not.) If I’m so focused on my husband’s actions/attitudes/irritating habits, etc., then I’m not focused on taking responsibility for my actions/attitudes/responses to his behavior. I suppose the famous quote by a wise man sums it up: take the log out of your own eye before you complain about the speck in your neighbor’s (or in this case, spouse’s) eye. Now you may be saying, “You haven’t seen the log in my wife’s eye.” You’re right. I haven’t. But I have a good feeling she can see a rather large plank in your eye, if she looks hard enough. If all of us would take responsibility for ourselves rather than focusing on each other, we’d probably have far more peace in our relationships.
- Your spouse won’t always make you happy. Newsflash: All of the Disney princess movies lied to us. Yep. Bald faced lies. All of them. There is no way that one human being can be fully responsible for the happiness of another. It’s just not possible. Now, does my husband make me happy? Yeah, sometimes. He happens to be a really funny guy and we have great conversations about spiritual things, politics, and sports. But I’ve found that his eyes will glaze over if I start to talk to him about fashion for more than 15 minutes. And he doesn’t want to shop endlessly, like I do. I have friends for that. Expecting that my spouse will make me happy is essentially idolatry. It’s expecting him to be more powerful than he really is; it is an expectation that only God can fulfill. He could do everything right, and I could still have a bad day at work or receive a snide comment from someone and BOOM! he’s failed. That’s completely unfair. My happiness is my responsibility. It’s something that comes from within and as I’ve seen, it’s often a choice. My choice.
- Marriage takes work. Perhaps our “married four times” friend understood this truth, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, many people think that if they just find the right person, then marriage will be a breeze…or at least not painfully difficult. And then they’re married for three or four years and “the real deal begins,” with the real deal being that they can’t control their spouse and their spouse no longer makes them happy. Welcome to marriage! While marriage can be fun, passionate, and entertaining, it also takes a willingness to examine your own behavior and the determination to live up to your vows.
So here I am at the end of this article, and frankly, as I look back at these truths, I wonder, “Why get married?” No, seriously! What’s the point? If I can’t get my way, my spouse isn’t going to make me happy, and marriage takes a lot of work, why embark on this pathway?” Think about that question for a minute.