Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Real Trick

After viewing yesterday's post about a young man using a magician to help with his marriage proposal, I was thinking to myself--"The real trick isn't the proposal--it's keeping the marriage together."

For as long as I can remember, the failure rate for marriages has been around 50%. Half of all marriages end in divorce. It doesn't seem to matter if you get married in a church or at the court house. It doesn't seem to matter if you are younger or older. About half of the time marraiges end in divorce.

The reasons vary--money, infidelity, career moves, family problems (in-laws), etc. But the reasons for divorce are often overcome by couples that find a way to stay together. I imagine that if half of marriages end in divorce, there are many more that are void of love but the couples stay married because of kids, religious beliefs, traditions or not wanting to admit failure and suffer the shame they would feel before their families and friends.

So what's the trick? Is there a secret to a successful marriage? How do you know that you want to spend the rest of your life with that one person? Do we still think of marriage as a life long commitment? And if not...well how do you know when it's over? How do you reach the decision that I'm not going to love you anymore? How can somebody knowingly do something that will hurt the person that they've committed to love forever? And how can the offended person choose not to forgive the person that they've loved--faults and all--to this point?

How can one person just walk away and leave another person totally devastated? It would be so cool if I could tell you that putting God at the center of your marriage is the answer. But there are people that don't believe in God that have successful marriages and there are very religious people that can't seem to keep it together.

What is the secret?

In a couple of weeks, Chris and I will hit the 28 year mark. One might wonder why we ever fell in love to begin with. I love baseball, she doesn't like any sports. She's a handwashing neat freak, I'm a slob. She watches Jon and Kate + eight and The Duggers, I watch NCIS and CSI. We are as different as night and day. If I think about it too much, it scares me. In another year Hannah will graduate from high school and we will face the empty nest...another critical (and often final) moment in the life of a marriage.

I know that one might think--twenty-eight years seems like a pretty successful run. But what if we don't make it to thirty-eight? Can you say that we had a successful marriage for 30+ years and then...? Is it really a success if you don't take it all the way?

Sure, I could tell you how the street magician amazed the audience and helped the young man pull off a very memorable proposal...but I would rather tell you how they might beat the odds and enjoy a lifetime of loving one another.

What's your secret?

John <><

Wow! I just noticed that this is post #400! Thanks for reading!


Mike said...

Claudia and I just hit 33 the other day. I don't know the secret.

Claudia said...

Bulldinky! If he told you, it wouldn't be a secret. Are you gonna call us Thursday so we can get together and celebrate the day after my birthday?

John said...

Happy birthday, Claudia. We'll be at Ted Drewe's after the game!