Monday, January 24, 2011

Our "Marriage Masks"

I’m watching the Bachelor (lame I know), but I can’t help it. Must. Watch. Can’t. Look. Away. Anyway, one of the girls just said something that after 7 years, I know to be a lie. She said that marriage is all about finding the right person, and when you do, the rest just falls into place. I could go off on my soapbox right now, but I won’t. I prefer to speak from experience, from the heart.

I spoke in a previous blog about the “marriage mask” that Erik and I wore for too long. Why did we wear it? We had many different reasons through the years. No one told us the first year of marriage would be the hardest year of our lives. Surely when you found the "right person" you didn't fight everyday, especially during the reportedly blissful honeymoon stage!!  Masks on! Then we coasted for a few years, masks off and on at will, until BAM! We woke up one day and we were roommates. We had grown apart. A typical reason for a divorce these days. We could not see past the negatives in each other and our lists grew longer by the day. We were faced with a difficult choice…did we want to fight for our marriage or did we want to give up? Fighting for it meant taking off the masks permanently and getting real with others and harder still, ourselves. Giving up would have been so much easier, but for us, the hardest thing and the right thing were the same. (A little tribute to The Fray) I am so, so thankful that I didn’t believe the lies that we were exposed to everywhere. I heard over and over, “Just do what makes you happy.” “If he was the right person, you wouldn’t have to try so hard.” I am ashamed to admit I almost bought into this disposable mindset.

After a full year, yes, a YEAR, of marriage counseling and amazing support by our marriage-centered LifeGroup, I can tell you that he was, and still is the right person, not because he gives me butterflies, but because I choose every day to love him, and vice versa. Instead of letting things “fall into place,” we prefer to make sure they do. It’s not chance or chemistry, it’s work. And it’s worth it.

“I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person, but I do know that many people have a lot of wrong ideas about marriage and what it takes to make that marriage happy and successful. I'll be the first to admit that it's possible that you did marry the wrong person. However, if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. On the other hand, if you marry the right person, and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended up marrying the wrong person. I also know that it is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person. In short, whether you married the right or wrong person is primarily up to you.”
Zig Ziglar

****LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quote.****

1 comment:

  1. Keep preaching it hon! Love is a verb not a feeling. It is work and no you won't like him or her every minute of every day. BUT you can chose to love him/her everyday! God created marriage not man, and if more people would let God in to the mix and do it HIS way they would find deeper love, joy and satisfaction than they ever dreamed. Trust me 20 years from now you and Erik will still be working at it, like any muscle, once you stop working it, it goes bad! :)