Love isn’t Love | Marriage Under Fire

So the US Supreme Court recently made a ruling on same-sex marriage. 5 – 4 in favor.

Then, the internet exploded.

So I’m going to talk about what I see as the greatest threat to the institution of marriage. Spoilers: it has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community. I’d also like to state, for the record, that I am not now, nor have I ever been married. I did have a weird dream recently that I was pregnant, but that’s a story for a different day.

Friends, marriage is under attack. I’m at the age where the majority of my friends are married, or in long-term relationships on their way toward marriage. Many of them have at least one child. It seems as though new photos of pregnant bellies, engagement shoots, and stylized first kisses populate social media with startling density. Happy people living happy lives. I’m not upset about it, but I am scared. Deeply frightened.

Why? Because 50% of marriages end in divorce.

That means that, statistically, half of my married friends will be divorced at some point. Half of them. Half of them will face the kind of heartbreak I can only dream of. Half of them will have to move on with their lives when they are single, again. Single once is no picnic, but twice?!

3114853466_fc20d07ef3_zI think it boils down to this problem: we’ve been fed a fairy tale. At the conclusion of every romantic comedy are the words “The End”, as if the story stops when the couple finally gets together. As a marriage outsider, I recognize that marriage is hard. It requires work and sacrifice and compromise. There is no room for selfishness in a marriage, or stubborn bullheadedness. Marriage isn’t just a fancy party and then getting on with your life. Even cohabitating couples (for whom the divorce statistics are so frightening it’s a wonder that anyone cohabitates) report that marriage changes things.

Happiness is an inside job. No one can make you happy forever, just as you cannot be responsible for another person’s happiness. You are not a jar of Nutella. Somewhere along the way, we’ve been told that we have the right to be happy. If something or someone doesn’t make you happy anymore, get rid of it/them. In a disposable society, we cast off the worn and tarnished things in search of something new and shiny instead of putting in the work to restore them.

I see gorgeous couples post beautiful photos of their lives and I fervently pray for them. I pray that they would have the strength, grace, kindness, and love to carry them through those times that aren’t Facebook-worthy. I pray that they would love each other unconditionally, passionately, and realistically.

Maybe I’m way off the mark. Maybe I have no right to have an opinion on something I’ve never experienced. Feel free to disagree…

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2 thoughts on “Love isn’t Love | Marriage Under Fire

  1. 1) I really like how your header of your website corresponds with the topic at hand every time.

    2) Just because I said the same-ish thing 2 weeks ago to someone else, I have to say it here too: marriage shouldn’t require compromise EVERY time. You ARE allowed to be selfish a LITTLE sometimes. There are times in marriage where one or the other side “wins”… the deal is that you have to be willing to LOSE sometimes. And do it gracefully ;). Not everything is “in the middle”. Hopefully, you marry someone who’s wins are the same as yours, and who’s losses are the same as yours MOST of the time. I believe that’s called “compatible” :-P. But on the things you disagree on… compromise is mostly required when you’re both adamant about it – when it matters a lot to both of you. If it’s something that matters a lot more to him than her… he can win. So long as she gets a win in every so often too. But “You won last time it’s my turn now” is NOT how it works. I guess it’s complicated 😉

    3) I know you did NOT say that everything should be a compromise… but another fellow recently said that “compromising 100% of the time was the key to a successful marriage” recently (to me, not you) and your statement that “There is no room for selfishness in a marriage, or stubborn bullheadedness” is correct at it’s core, but reminded me of the “100%-ness”. For me, “selfish” can be making a dinner hubby’s not a fan of (and it’s OK to do once in a while!! he’ll live!! just make sure you make a dinner he DOES like more often than not!) and “stubborn” is practically my middle name – so if you’re married to me, there better be some room. HOWEVER, I chose to marry a man I could concede to. He’s actually the one who TAUGHT me I could concede (and it’s helped a ton of other relationships in my life). But I’m still stupid stubborn on a few things that matter a LOT to me, and he loves me in spite of it ;).

    4) You don’t get to keep the old you in marriage… but you don’t become entirely a “we” either. You change. You grow together, and in holding each other up and growing together… you become stronger.

    I’m gonna shut up now – I think I nailed it with that last one 😛

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