We found a great old home video of me from highschool last night, that I and some of my best friends from youth group put together. It got me thinking: other than a new hairdo (and about 50 pounds, oy vey), my outlook on life hasn’t changed that much.
Here’s an example. I remember looking at my mom and stepdad, and promising myself that I would never, NEVER, let my marriage or any relationship be as sick and dysfunctional as theirs was. Instead, I would take as my model my Nana and Papa, who were married for 53 joyous years when he died in the arms of his bride from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
After being married for almost 17 years to my highschool sweetheart, we’re still going strong. Still find stuff to talk about, still laugh all the time (that’s one thing that I tell my daughter about finding a husband, you’ve gotta find someone that makes you laugh!), and we’re looking forward to the next 50 years. It’s not perfect, we’re not perfect, but we’re committed.
However, this last couple of years we’ve seen one couple after the other in our circle of friends topple.
One man who was away on business all the time cheated on his wife with the woman he’s now married to. Their kids think that Daddy abandoned them, and nothing he says otherwise can convince them.
Another couple let something fester for so long that it ended up imploding. Now their lives are shattered, and it’s got quite the ripple effect.
How do we react to this? I find myself wanting to reassure myself of my husband’s presence constantly. I need to be close to him, physically and emotionally. And he does the same. We know that “there but for the grace of God go I“.
Marriage is hard. HARD. And we’ve gone through a lot: financial problems, major medical issues, family rifts, etc. We expect to go through more. But I can’t give up. I won’t give up. It’s just not an option.