I know I’m a day late for Marriage Mondays but hey, I’m just finding my groove again. So, for today, let’s pretend it’s Monday. Just this once. 🙂
Once upon a time, in this land and other lands- it wasn’t that uncommon for two people to fall in love, quickly decide to get married and have a wedding. What was uncommon was to date, and date some more, and sleep around and try living together, have babies, break up, move in with someone else, get engaged, break off said engagement, plan a wedding, have a wedding, get divorced, and owe a lot of money and look back on a lot of wasted years. We now live in a reversal of our own misfortune.
So, let’s take a step back in time. Not too far back. What did THEY have that we don’t? What did THEY do that we are failing miserably at doing?
Whether you are dating, engaged, newly married, shacking up for fun or to “see if this is the one” or if you’re married and watching what the current generation is doing, it doesn’t really matter. We all have a hand in this. We encourage and discourage by our own participation or lack thereof. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a community to build a solid, healthy marriage. You cannot do it alone. You should not do it alone.
The first thing we need to do is look at the married ones. You know them. Maybe you are them. Who around you has been married for more than 10 years? Do you think they are more special than you are? Do you think that they have found the secret to everlasting wedded blissdom? Perhaps, but likely not.
What about your grandparents, aunts , uncles, friends and neighbours? Do you ever look at them and wonder how they do it? Why are they making it last when so many are walking away? This is a question too few of us are asking. All around us are marriages that are lasting and even thriving. There are people who have been married through the darkest hours of their lives: sickness, death, bankruptcy, substance abuse, addictions, tragedies and moral failures. They overcame and they fought through it. Maybe they’re still fighting through it. Whatever they are doing, they are staying together. It is time for us to stop looking at all the ones who have walked away and start looking at the ones who are staying together.
My challenge to anyone who is planning on getting married or who is married is this: look at who your friends are. Look at who you associate with and who you get your advice from. If you are in a relationship and you want it to last 20,50 or 60 years, then stop getting advice and direction from your single, unmarried, divorced friends. When it comes to relationships, you are only going to be as successful as your cheerleading squad and if all of your cheer team have a zero success rate at staying married/together then you will soon join them on the sidelines. Pick your friends wisely. Surround yourself with people who will mentor you and help you. It doesn’t mean you completely dissociate from your single friends, but as a couple you must begin to build up your couple relationships. It doesn’t happen overnight. So in the mean time, you rely on family relationships to bolster and encourage you.
When you’re having a bad day and you are frustrated with your fiance or spouse, after you’ve prayed and calmed down, go to a married friend for advice and encouragement. It will make ALL the difference in the world.
Once upon a time, people got married and stayed married. You can too.