During Vacation Bible School, I had a conversation with a friend about marriage. We talked in general and due to time constraints, ended with “Why be married?”
Seeing marriages succeed is our passion. Our hearts break every time we hear about another marriage breaking up. If only we could put all of our lessons learned and our recipe for success in a pill. We are very open about our marriage and the fact that we divorced after 13 years of marriage, only to be reconciled miraculously, and remarried one year after our initial separation (and now married 37 years). Our purpose in this blog is to help encourage couples and to enhance marriages. We are so grateful we were able to reconcile and thank God every day as we go through life’s challenges together.
Every couple’s relationship is unique and ours is no exception. I love working with people (I am the social one), from babies to the elderly. But if we had an expertise, it is in marriages because we not only have succeeded in our marriage we have also failed. We learned from our mistakes and came up with a recipe for success (see Chapter 7 – RX for the BEST marriage) which we try and share frequently and often. It is our blueprint for the success we now enjoy in our marriage.
Nearly every young girl dreams of one day being married. I remember conversations as a teenager about my future husband, about how many children I wanted, what kind of wedding I would have, how many bridesmaids. Bill, on the other hand, said he and his friends never talked about these things! But yet, he is the one who says he loves being married and the reason is to be with his wife. We love being together as much as possible! We had much in common when we first came together and we have had to work at keeping things in common. It takes a yielding and a desire for oneness.
We had talked about having our own business before we were married so we could be together all the time. But that was a fantasy….until I retired at the age of 52. We finally had the opportunity to work together. It lasted 1 1/2 years! I loved physical labor, so I tried to hang with him while we began to invest in real estate. As it turned out, I sort of got in his way and it was easier for him to work alone. I was his gofer, but that became too unrewarding and I soon went back to work part-time. So we are apart anywhere from 4 to 6 hours a day. We also rarely travel alone. He says, “why be married” if we are going to travel apart. During my career, we were apart a lot and that was hard on us.
I say all that to say, we go through phases of life. Before you are married, you want to be together all the time. After you are married, you get into a routine. Unless you are in business together, you go your separate ways during the day. And then the strength of your marriage depends on how you spend your time together after work and on weekends.
And then we all live for the freedom of retirement, right? And that is when you once again can be together all the time, like before you were married. How many of us think about how that will work? We planned for that day and just assumed we would enjoy our time together. It is then, if not sooner, you find out the strength of your marriage. Do you still have anything in common? We knew this would be important and we worked hard at keeping our commonalities strong. We know because when we divorced, we had grown apart! So we try and do everything possible together!
So why be married? Here is our list: It starts off with our prescription for a GREAT marriage, the BEST principle – to be a Blessing, to Edify each other, to Share life with and to have that warm Touch. God tells us in His Word, in Genesis 2:18:
Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
We know and understand each other’s aches and pains. We have each other’s back! But as Bill likes to explain, it is the intimacy of marriage that is the most important component to keep us living “happily ever after.” He explains what makes our relationship so special is that we have things that we only do with each and this is the glue that keeps us growing together.