Monday, January 23, 2006

Keeping Your Marriage

Obviously, most people repeat the lines "better or worse" during their wedding ceremony. Too often these days, the couple interprets it as meaning "only when things are going well for us." or "for me."

Marriage is serious business. You must stay in it even if you don't like the person anymore, or if you've grown apart. You cannot quit your marriage if you meet someone you like better. You can't give it up because your wife got sick and can't work anymore, or because she lost her looks and got fatter. You can't quit even if you are arguing a lot. If you are tired of being married, you still can't quit. You can't divorce because of financial pressures or poverty. You can't abandon your marriage even if you think you were married too young or too quickly. Many couples married during the war in the 40's in a hurry, without much of a wedding, and lived to see their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries.

Just apply the above childish attitudes to your college or your work and see how it would turn out if you applied the same mentality to that commitment.

Everyone should be aware that there is a strong pressure being applied from all different sources on your marriage relationship. Remember that the enemy is not the people around you as much as it is the philosophy behind it all--divisiveness. You'll see it on television, read it in magazines, hear it conversations---the little snide comments criticising wives or husbands, putting them down, and ridiculing the marriage relationship. Add to that the in-law jokes and the sit-coms that portray in-laws as outlaws, and you can come away feeling that there is a war going on in your home.

Remember to speak only good of your mate to others, and to remind your mate to only speak good of you. Make that a hard, fast rule and don't let anyone believe for a moment that you are unhappy with your mate, or they will come right in there and put a wedge between you. Even jokes sometimes can lead others to believe you don't love each other.

Marriage is for better or for worse, but many people want to bail out when the "for worse" part comes. And what is the outcome for all this effort? Each time you overcome diversity in marriage, you strengthen it. Staying in it through thick and thin, increases its chances of survival.

If you don't bail out when there is trouble, but are willing to see it through, no matter what the cost, you will reap results that will make you glad you stuck it through. Later on when you are older, you'll have something to give you credibility: an enduring marriage. This makes you a good example to younger folks. This helps your family become stronger. Instead of his kids and her kids and separate birthday parties, you'll find a wholesome family attending all your social events. Instead of brokenness in the home, you'll be able to use your knowledge to reinforce the marriages of others.

So maybe you are wondering what the larger significance of a lifetime marriage is. It is significant because a nation of strong marriages will have strong families whose loyalties cannot be divided by new philosophies or twisted values. The enemies of our country know this and are ever seeking to find ways to convince people that marriage isn't worthwhile; that it is archaic and not to be taken seriously. The one thing that is necessary to control a nation is to break up the home.

Jane Adams, wife of John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States, wrote to her son when he was an ambassador in Europe, " The habits of a vigorous mind are formed when contending with difficuties." The challenge of marriage is to make it the best you can, and to present something good and beautiful to the world. This can often be achieved by the simple act of loyalty in word and deed. Those who stay together through all difficulties can develop good minds and good judgement.

Marriage is more than two people loving each other. It is the building of an estate together, and, in some cases, a family dynasty, a society in itself. Several couples I know who had problems, stuck together and came out much further ahead than their friends who decided to call it quits. Now they have their property paid for, and it is worth much more than it was 40 years ago. Divorce puts you debt and makes each party poorer. Marriage is not just about property and money. It is also a strong, protective barrier against outside stress and attack. The longer you are married, the more seriously you'll be regarded. How can anyone be trusted in business or with heavy responsibility that requires patience and longevity, if they leave their own mate?

There is an attack on older marriages these days. People who have been together 20 and 30 years or more, are getting divorced. They feel that the marriage is "dead" and that they must "move on." They believe that the person they are married to now is not the same person as when they married him. (Let us hope that he isn't, in some respects!)) If you abandon your marriage, you miss out on the different, progressing stages of married life that benefit you both physically and emotionally. Marriage was designed by God as a support system for one man and one woman, throughout the varying changes in their lives. Leaving the marriage only results in stunted growth. Marrying again and again leaves the marriages in a perpetually infantile state of maturity.

Note: I realize there are a lot of innocent people who have been divorced against their will, through no fault of their own. I'm not condemning the divorced, just the action of divorce, which devastates so many for generations.

Cherished by Susan Rios from


Cherish the Home said...


I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for the constant encouragement I receive from this blog! (o:

Anonymous said...

I see you have a nice blog. I found it quite unique.
Hope it works well for you!

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting book on the effects of divorce on children. "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Land mark Study" by Judith Wallerstein.
It is really enlightening and saddening how wrong the people who said divorce was better for the kids (or the same) than an unhappy marriage.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting book on the effects of divorce on children. "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Land mark Study" by Judith Wallerstein.
It is really enlightening and saddening how wrong the people who said divorce was better for the kids (or the same) than an unhappy marriage.

Lydia said...

I've read this book. It really tells the truth--the things we've all been secretly knowing and thinking, about divorce. When easy divorce was promoted,it was commonly touted that divorce was better for kids than unhappy parents. This book exposes this lie and tells the story of many unhappy children of divorce who cannot form good relationships.

Lydia said...

Even feeling that you are stuck with someone, can be a stepping stone to success in marriage. It can be compared to contentment at home. Several times when I've wanted to move away to a different location, a different house or a different town, my husband has explained that we are "stuck" here and it puts a new determination in me to make the best of things. After the initial disappointement of it passes, something really nice usually occurs to make us glad we stayed in the same job or the same location.

However,ff people get unhappy in marriage, it is better that they change jobs or locations, than mates.

Lydia said...

Oh by the way, someone commented on Ron Howard's film, "Cinderella Man." I agree, indeed, it was a good example of an encouraging wife. Mae didn't like the boxing profession at all, but she didn't leave her husband. I don't like boxing, either, but I got caught watching that film, just for that wonderful story of loyalty. Several women have told me how much they like some of Mae's phrases, i.e. "You are the champion of my heart." If you look backon the "break-up" films of the past three decades, you can see the influence they've had on society. It is past time to tell good stories of loyalty and love.

TheNormalMiddle said...

And, I must add...if you don't take the time to "notice" your husband and support him in his endeavors, someone else will. I learned this the hard way. But God is faithful and used it to open my eyes, we are now married very happily for 7 years. I learned a valuable lesson. Dote on your husband and speak highly of him.

Samara said...

Thank you again for such a quality article, Lady Lydia. Marriage as a topic has been much on my mind lately, and encouragement for someone like me, who wants their marriage (should I be so blessed) to really mean something is always needed.

Anonymous said...

Though I agree with much of what has been said in this entry, I feel I must point out that there are times when the devastating effects of divorce are preferable to continuing a marriage where abuse, deep seated and ongoing deception and criminal activity combined with a lack of repentance on the part of the erring marriage partner are the things one marriage partner brings into the home.

My first marriage was disastrous, though I stuck with it for fifteen years and never said a negative thing about my husband - who was secretly and actively gay, exposing himself and me to the potential for deadly disease repeatedly. When I discovered this situation, he was unrepentant, and when I asked him how he would feel if he had given me HIV, he said "I wouldn't care".

He was physically and mentally abusive, blew every penny we had on his own pursuits and interests (picking up strange men and doing drugs), did not pay any household bills and continually abused me and our child and created household and financial chaos to the point where we often had no utility services, water or food, were continually evicted, or had things repossessed. He continually lost jobs and finally decided that he would not work at all, but would engage in criminal activities for a living, since I was too "lazy and worthless" to support the family while he relaxed and picked up strange men. Eventually he wanted a situation where he could bring these men into our home so he could sleep with them there.

No amount of doting or support was going to change this man or save this marriage, and once his activites began to include drug dealing and other criminal acts, I realized that though divorce is a devastating and painful thing, and something that was never in my long range plans for this marriage, living in such a situation, and worse, keeping a child in such a situation, was far worse. One of those hard choices between two painful options - one painful, one absolutely unbearable.

It has worked. I am now married to a wonderful man and we support each other in the ways mentioned in the blog entry here. This support gets us past the few rough spots our marriage has had. When dealing with decent people who really try, I agree with the blog entry 100%. Most marriages could be saved if people followed those suggestions! I just wanted to mention that there really are cases where all the support, love and sticktoitiveness in the world will not save a marriage, and where the innocent victims of a truly destructive and negative marriage should be saved.

DonnaB said...

Also, we need to speak up when we hear others putting their spouses down. So many times, even in ladies bible studies, women will be talking just horribly about their husbands and I know they would be devestated if they found out their husbands talked about them to others.

I always tell my children, love isn't feelings, love is actions. Feelings come and go and change all the time, therefore, they aren't real reliable when making such life altering decisions. Show love and you'll receive love. Never let the word divorce even enter your thoughts.

Lydia said...

Yes, I didn't want to get into too much conflict with people who had been divorced. I have always said I understand that there will be reasons for divorce, however, it is not normal for a society to have so many divorced people. It is a fallout from erroneous teaching on the subject. There are many couples who don't have to get a divorce. They don't have to live together in dangerous situations, but they don't have to get a divorce. In many cases, problems can be solved. Unfortunately we live in a divorce culture where everyone you meet has got divorce in their family. While it may solve immediate problems, in the long run it creates more problems for future generations. We were from the "now" generation that only cared about what happened in their own life-time, and it has bred disastrous results in the family. There are those who say the family is no longer necessary to the survival of the human race, but I challenge any institution to come up with a better plan. The family is, and always has been, the basis of all society.

I heard a 6 year old ask, "Which one is my "real" grandfather--Frank or Papa George?" Children grow up without any feeling of identity, as grandparents have thrown off their old mates for someone new. That is a real tragedy. I'm not of course, condemning anyone who has been the victim of divorce. Those who have lived through divorce can help by warning the young of the problems they will have and by cautioning them strongly in their choice of a mate or their conduct in their marriage.

Kathleen in Illinois said...

Oh, how I can relate to this article! I am divorced - against my will - after 25 years of marriage. My ex "got tired of it all" and found a girlfriend. Florida has a no-fault clause, and no matter how one spouse doesn't want a divorce, the other CAN get one....No, he felt he married too young, he had changed "too much to go back", and he "wanted to start a new life". Sigh. You can just imagine how painful it was....

Kathleen in IL

Anonymous said...

I also left a gay husband so I can relate to that. The difference is there were no children and I found out after just 6 weeks. I didn't get a fatal illness, but I may be infertile thanks to his messing around. I constantly hear married women complain about their husbands and want to ask them would they rather have no spouse to complain about. Probably not.

Anonymous said...

You were so right, anonymous, to leave. My mother was in the same situation, a bisexual husband bringing his boyfriends to the house overnight. She did nothing. They were also child molesters and my sisters and I are still dealing with the consequences of their abuse 40 years later. My father was also into child porn and used us as his victims for his pictures and movies.

It's affected my marriage deeply as I find it very difficult to be sexual with men. Many times I have thought it would be better to be divorced but I don't want to hurt my children. So this article was encouraging to me. My husband is a good man who has issues of his own but he is a good father and provider.

Cherish the Home said...

My heart goes out to you Kathleen and Ellen....and any other ladies who have endured such hardness.

Anonymous said...

I wish to comment on my mother-in-law. She really goes out of her way to help us with our lives, for example i have just had a baby 11 weeks ago and now just had my gall bladder removed 4 days ago. She made dinner and afternoon tea for us, insisted on doing some ironing for me and buys little things from the store that i have been unable to go out and get. Yet when she came to our home to vist and saw that my mother was already there,she was not happy. when my husband answered the door, she had the most sour look on her face. She then went on to say that if my mother was visiting why not tell her and she would not have come at the same time. She wan't rude to my mother's face, and my husband did not tell me until she left what had happened, but things like this are not uncommon. She has gotten so bad in the way that she sulks, that her own daughter, who would go and have lunch with her everyday has stopped going, and she always puts her husband down in front of people, including family. She also did not like that i had resigned my job to have our baby, but she will never tell you to your face. I will be passed the message via my husband. On the surface she seems so loving and yet just under it, you see that it is only for apperances. What is the most confusing is that she is the first to bring up religion in regards to proving a point, but only when it suits her. I thought that of all the family she would understand my need to stay at home due to her religion, but she is the least. She is the first to offer us money if it seems we need it but every thing she does seems to have strings attached. Any ideas on how to handle the situation would be great. All I can say is the whole thing has been very disapointing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia. I wrote in an unpublished comment about the need sometimes to divorce in order to save one's life where there is ongoing physical abuse. (25 years of it) I apologise if you may have thought I was being rude. I absolutely agree that there is too much divorce in Western society but sometimes it can be a necessary evil. Being divorced and remarried, I have absolutely no regrets about it. I can say before the LORD, that had I not only left, but divorced for my protection, I would not be alive today. I did and still do take my marriage vows very seriously and I agree 100% with what you write about. If my original comment was blunt, I ask your forgiveness. I applaud women's sites such as yours that uphold the sanctity of marriage. As for forgiveness, I believe God has forgiven my divorce as I have forgiven my ex-husband. However, forgiveness does not mean I had to suffer at his hands for the rest of my life. Also, having suffered so much in my first marriage and then having to divorce, I will do all humanly possible to please my husband and warn others to choose their spouse well. Blessings, Glenys