Weddings are beautiful and glorious affairs. You have your family, close friends and the curious ones all gathered in one place to see you exchange vows with the love of your life and promise to try your best to make things work. At least that’s how I see the till death part. You vow not to give up on each other, to make things work and love each other always.
Well, life is not a fairy tale. You really can’t remain in love for the rest of your life, there will be breaks in between before you rediscover each other and fall in love a new. There are times you will hate each other, hurt each other and question why you ever got married. These feelings may spark off from basic things like habits; leaving clothes on the floor, snoring, house chores, friends who you want gone but stay, misunderstandings, infidelity, deaths and all other steps of life. We are all human, we change, our understanding evolves, and with time, you may find yourself married to a complete stranger if you don’t stick together through the change process.
Which brings me to my main topic; divorces. I hate them.
Divorces, to me, symbolize, giving up. Saying that nothing can be done to fix what has been broken. It symbolizes damaged and broken hearts who say they can live quite fine without the other person. Of course there are situations where divorce is the only way out but I worry for our current generation that is quick to toss things aside immediately things don’t work out.
It’s like once we stop having our way, we give up. If we are a bit uncomfortable, we give up. Yes, he cheated (which I don’t condone either way) and you let the whole world know what he did. You say you deserve better, which you honestly do, and we all sit there nodding and say that if we were you, we would’ve left a long time ago; that we don’t understand how you do it, that if we had half the grace you had, we would be way ahead in life. Then we will pray and tell you God is faithful, sip our tea and head to our perfect little homes.
But as we go home, we leave you with a doubt in mind. We have created the illusion that what you are going through is far much worse than what we endure. You now begin to question your whole marriage. You wonder how we live, and then the picture of the perfect little home begins nagging your mind. You wonder why your husband never opens the door for you like Jim does Charlotte, or why he never goes grocery shopping like Mary’s husband, or why he can’t watch the football game at home like June’s husband.
And he does the same. Starts comparing you the smartly dressed women his friends have married, the career woman, the grand chef Mike has for a wife, the home maker Tim has, the prayerful support system Mathew has, and of course the cool party animal Joe married, who knows how to balance all his life.
You begin looking for a perfect person forgetting that we are all flawed. You forget the good you saw in your spouse and you both end up feeling bitter in the relationship. She craves love, and he craves respect. Without one, the other won’t happen.
Soon the whispers begin. He has been spending too much time with his secretary, and you have been seen having too many coffee meetings with one male colleague. None of you want to confront the situation. If he’s doing it, I’ll do it too. If he doesn’t care, then i won’t waste my time.
Before you know it, you’re married to a stranger. You’ve become the couple who never sit together. The only conversations you have are about bills and family get-together. You don’t remember the last time he looked at you the way a man does a woman. You don’t remember the man who used to make you laugh and honestly, you both want to be happy. So you agree to call it quits and get a divorce.
Years pass by and you realize that life is the same. That the man you ended up with is still not perfect, and neither are you. That hardships are still coming your way, that change is inevitable. But you are wiser now. You, like the rest of your friends, now understand that marriage is work, secrecy and a lot of patience. You come to discover that Jim opens the doors but is a bum at home, that Mary’s husband goes grocery shopping but talks too much when drunk and that June’s husband always feels trapped watching the game at home but does it anyway as it makes June happy.
You realize we are all flawed and we will hurt each other over the years even when we try not to. That we have to try our level best to make things work. That sometimes, it is necessary to remind your partner that you are on the same team, that you are one, that the vows you took in front of everyone you care about mean something.
I take you to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.
Let’s all try to take these words a bit more seriously, and work towards achieving them. I’m sure we will all be happier and the world a better place.