Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #2

Some Thoughts on What Marriage is Really About: Becky Jackson

It's funny the perspectives many of us have on what to expect from our marriages. Hollywood and the media would often have us believe that marriage should be an extended honeymoon with Carribean cruises, romantic evenings, and Victoria's Secret lingerie. Articles and talk shows encourage us to demand that our needs be filled and when they aren't, we're assured that it's totally acceptable to look for happiness in another partner. Both men and women are paranoid in making sure no one "tells them what to do". All these misconceptions and false expectations float around in our heads and distort our image of what a real marriage is about.
In real life, marriage is often about figuring out what's for dinner and who has soccer practice. It's about paying the bills and reading to the children. When we're lucky, there is time for a knowing smile between partners, a good audible laugh together at a favorite sitcom, or a heart to heart discussion of our goals and dreams. Small and unheralded, this is the good stuff. It's not the date nights or candle lit dinners that make a marriage happy and successful. The hardest part may be arriving at that conclusion.
Marriages don't work on their own. They only work if the people in them are willing to work-- with each other. Marriage is about putting sincere effort into bringing happiness and comfort to your partner. It is about investing time and energy into meeting your spouse's needs, whether those needs seem reasonable or are the same as your own or not. Marriage is about feeling responsible for the well-being of your mate.
Marriage is NOT about having life as fun and easy as possible and making sure your spouse doesn't get in the way of that. Marriage requires you to let go of some old things to make room for new.
Marriage is about compromising and changing when the relationship requires it. It's about expressing to your partner what you need from them without expecting them to be perfect or to be able to read your mind. It's about listening and letting go of childish stubbornness, because sometimes marriage requires you to swallow your pride and say you're sorry. Marriage is about making mistakes and how you deal with those mistakes. It's about admitting mistakes and personal faults, learning from them, then moving on. Marriage is NOT about quitting when things get tough. It's about giving, forgiving, or even giving in, but never giving up.

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