Marital Bliss or Love Amiss?
These days marriage should be an abstract thought for me. I have never had a real relationship other than my familial ones so it baffles me how I often sit and anguish over the fact that I’m 28 years old and still unmarried!
This year I’ve noticed that everyone around me is doing it. 2013 has proven to be the year of wedding vows. While I am excited for the numerous couples who have consented to jumping the broom I am also flabbergasted by the increasing number of stories I am hearing of marital discontent.
As I think about the crazy stories I heard, I cannot help but ask: Why do people even get married? Like really? Why go through the rigamarole to wind up getting divorced, or worse yet, to find yourself cheating, become unhappy and then resolve to resent your partner for the rest of your life?
With all that life hands us, married persons have declared that life is better, somehow easier if one has a life-partner. Even studies have shown that men live longer when they’re married. SO there must be something to it, right? But what makes it good? What makes it healthy? Why does marriage have to be the definitive way love is exemplified? And if that is the ultimate love litmus, by whose standards are we measuring? If it’s by our own, I dare say that we’ve somehow missed the mark.
Today’s posting is for all the newlyweds that secretly cheat because they were never ready to be married; it’s for the old-heads that “creep” on their old man/lady because they’ve been doing it so long that it doesn’t really seem like adultery any more…. For all the secret lunches, the inappropriate text messages, the lack of respect, the incordiality, the excuses, the blame, the disgruntleness,, the challenges, the mockery, the dishonesty; (I am learning that I hate a liars and cheaters. Really, I do.) It is because of the lack of love in marriages today that I am afraid.
I don’t know, maybe I’m on my, single woman soapbox, but today’s marriages mirror today’s society. Though it’s supposed to be a partnership, it’s more like sole-proprietorship with each individual working towards his/her own advantageous goals. Forget the greater good. Every man for himself.
Single persons taking advantage of each opportunity afforded by the dissatisfaction found in many marriages today or worse yet: Married people sleeping with other married people! And I cannot even excuse it by saying its sign of the times. David and Bathsheba’s drama was eons ago. Their affair was after God had given the commandment, Thou shall not commit adultery, yet it was flagrantly disregarded because of the overwhelmeming desire of two married people. It happened then. It’s still happening now.
And scripture says that David loved Bathsheba, but I question that. Did he really? And how did Bathsheba know how to love when she clearly had no regard for Uriah when she showed herself in the first place? If God has given the commandment, how many of us really know that it means to love in a marriage? I am growing to understand that Love has nothing to do with feelings, but LOVE, real LOVE is a matter of choice. That’s it. There is no gray. Love doesn’t just happen, you don’t fall into it. The wise and mature understand that Love, well, you choose it. rather as an active verb: YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT.
I heard a story about a guy who went to a spiritual counselor to discuss divorcing his wife. The counselor advised him that he didn’t believe in divorce, and as a husband he should want to try his hardest to love his wife. No, the husband didn’t agree. On and on he explained. He told the counselor that he wanted to leave because he simply didn’t love her anymore. He’d tried, but it wasn’t happening. After voicing his many grievances, the counselor was still adamant about the man going home and loving his wife.
The man explained further that they’d been married over 15 years, and there was no love left. He couldn’t stand her and there was no reason to stay. The decision was made—he wanted, needed the divorce.
The spiritual man advised him on the word of God.
“In Ephesians 5:25, the scripture says: Husbands love your wives, so sir, you should go home and love your wife.”
The man argued with the counselor and said that just wasn’t something he could do. He no longer loved her. He didn’t want her as his wife. He wanted to leave. He couldn’t even tolerate coming home to her every day. He wanted to move out immediately.
The counselor said: “Well, sir, maybe you should move next door.”
The husband looked at the counselor baffled. Not sure at all of what he meant. “Why would I move next door to her?” the man asked.
The spiritual man advised him once again on the word of God.
“In Mark 12:31, the scripture says: Love your neighbor…”
The man argued with the counselor. He tried again to make the counselor understand… “Move next door”, he cried, “I can barely stand to live in the same town as her. I can’t do it. She is a pain in the worst kind of way. I can no longer remain married to this woman. I need to divorce her for my own sanity. The marriage has dissolved to the point of me hating her. I just hate her”.
The man was undone. He had tired of the counselor’s bad advice and sat with his head in his hands, unsure of what to do.
The counselor thought a bit. “I seem to detect a sense of enmity.”, he mentions to the gentleman. Taking a deep breath and shaking his head, the counselor said: “Well, again, sir, I still think you should go home and love your wife”.
The man lifted his head, now wanting to punch the counselor for such misguidance. “Did you not just hear me, I said that I hated her—-“
The counselor walked around and sat on the edge of his desk, facing the gentleman. As a spiritual man he advised the husband once more: “Well sir, that’s okay too, because in Matthew 5:44, the scripture says: you should also Love your enemies”.
The man then could say no more.
I have never been close to wedding bells. Ever. I have never had a relationship close to real love. But as I continue to hear about unhappy married couples, the more strongly I feel that I’m no closer to being ready for marriage than I’ve ever been.
I sat and thought about the marriage that God designed. The reasons for it. The concrete way his ideal has been instructed to married couples. It scares me because I know that so many couples miss the mark. I’m afraid because the Bible says we’re all imperfect people.
How can I be sure that I will one day love by God’s design?
How do I know my “He” will love me right?
We all shout the adage IN LOVE THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES, but isn’t that just as scary?
The world cannot continue to handle the revolving reality of Tyler Perry movies: Lust, Lies and STDs in relationships and marriage. I mean, where should the hope lie for those of us who desire to have healthy marriages unscathed by lies and infidelity?
How can I ask you to love me the way I deserve? To be honest, you may just be doing that.
As a wife, when I’m less than perfect, what kind of love should I deserve? When I’m ungrateful, discontent, spoiled, argumentative, un-supportive, unyielding, cantakerous, and obscure, I probably do deserve to be cheated on, misused, ignored… But isn’t that the easy way out?
So I say forget doing what they deserve. Life’s variable feelings won’t allow you to always and forever be the good-husband or the doting wife when you’re angry, upset, or sometimes hateful. It just isn’t going to happened. Just forget about it.
You’ll have a better chance at true Marital Bliss if instead of loving your spouse they way they deserve to be loved, you tried loving the way that is REQUIRED.
It’s just a thought…. but I’m single… what do I know! 🙂