Giving Marriage A Break 2
Considering life’s uncertainties, I believe it’s time to give marriage a break and look at it afresh for what it can and can’t offer. Given what people bring to it, it’s understandable the marriage boat will rock and toss, at least now and then. Expecting a pledge will make life great is sweetly optimistic, but it’s not particularly realistic.
Instead, if couples consider marriage more as an adventure, it would take on a different perspective. With less pressure to “settle down” and follow expectations, people could actively develop themselves through their relationship and see marriage as the catalyst.
That so many people (anecdotally) say they find marriage “boring”, “a trap”, and “unsatisfying” speaks volumes about a clash of expectations. Yet, I suspect their frustrations have more to do with raising children and big financial choices locking them into jobs they despair in. Surely, anyone burdened with these responsibilities longs for freedom (Who wouldn’t?).
Marriage, when it’s done well, is a reason for people to encourage each other, to bring out strengths, and foster honesty and security. Do you have to be married to do these things? Probably not. But without that implicit foundation, I suspect the distance to the door is shorter and hesitation is greater.
A good marriage has fights, tears, upset, and frustrations, as well as joy, laughter, and pure delight. A strong marriage lets you live it all within the framework of your relationship, riding the rise and fall of life’s tides.
That people walk away from each other isn’t about marriage. It has to do with relationship expectations and whom we feel ourselves to be in the presence of our partner.
Like a house, marriage lets us fit it out the way we choose. If we put up a bigger front in exchange for more humble footings, that’s up to us. But it seems that when couples genuinely regard their marriage as part of something bigger, the need to build well increases too.
Discovering the best in yourself and helping your partner to grow are just part of a journey touching thousands of lives. Yet, like every quest, marriage has it perils and possibilities. So it makes sense to come prepared with loads of love (more than you’ll ever dream you will need), and pack all the qualities of character you can.
The journey to a fabulous marriage is a big expedition. Choose well.
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