Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Thoughts on Marriage

Every so often I read a blog called, "Junkmail for Blankets". An entry that has captured my interest is when Jeremy the blogger, a single 30 year old male, asked his readers to answer the question: "What's so good about marriage?"
He qualified that by acknowledging 'yes, I know it's alot of hard work...assume I know that. Just tell me what's so great about being married.'

I'm probably breaking all kinds of rules by quoting some of the comments here.
But I don't know how to do links.

Ron wrote: Alright, I'll give it a shot. Being known as no one else can know me is good. No, let me rephrase, it's wonderfully terrible. I am known by my wife more fully than I would ever let anyone else know me and I have complete confidence that she still loves me and always will. There is a comfortable confidence that can only come with time and intimately shared history. And I know her like I've never known anyone. I know good things, bad things, hopes, fears, sadness, and joy; and I know I've barely scratched the surface of who she really is.

ck says: But what is so good about it? Having someone around to remind you of who you were, who you are, who you want to be. Someone to make you take yourself less seriously, or more so (though I usually need the former). Someone who will put your eye ointment in at night because you have a scratched cornea. Someone who remembers that you like Frosted Mini Wheats and gets them at the grocery store just caus. Someone who will argue back at you when you need it, but who will accept an apology kiss without words--and not ask for any. Someone who you can be naked with--physically, spiritually, emotionally--and who will respond with playfulness, with caring, with love.

Mrs. Butler writes: The WE is what's so incredibly good about marriage.
Also...the available, intimate, guilt-free, covenant building, life-restoring sex, laughter at its deepest, the mess, the kids, the total freedom of conversation, the vision shared, the opportunity to work through your shit with someone who is NOT going to leave you, long giggly kissing (yes, you can still make out when you're married) smoking a clove on your porch for anniversaries and New Year's, homecomings, breakfast together. My list is longer, my life even more amazing than this, but I am beginning to get pink in the cheeks and need a glass of cool water.

Kate, who is single comments: I have had the privelage of watching my parents marriage for a decent number of years as an adult. I love to see them flirt in the kitchen even though they have been married almost 29 years. I love to hear my dad call my mom pet names with his eyes shining. I like to see them hold hands in the car.
They pray together, minister together, belive together, fight battles together.
My grandparents also had the same type of relationship. One of my favorite childhood memories is of being at their house late at night. Their hearing aides would be out, their bedroom door open, and loud and clear I could hear them praying for all their children, all their grandchildren, people in trouble or sickness, the church, and the whole world.

Sember states: you have two sinners that are not perfect and it is hard, BUT marriage is a commitment, and THAT is why it is good. There is no hiding, or pretending. You are faced with things that you can't avoid. You learn about things deep within yourself that you never knew, and never even knew you needed to know. You see your true falleness and the true falleness of man (that person that was supposed to love you unconditionally, always caring about your lonliness, tears, emotions, likes, dislikes...and suddenly is annoyed at your tears or frustrated that you are having a bad day) and your idol of man/woman is crushed, and you then see EVER more so powerfully the deep importance of God in your life, as your everything, from father to lover. You come through on the other side raw, naked, and rung-out, and there is your spouse just as naked as you both clinging tighter to God.

Gauche posts: Marriage (which is formalized, committed monogamy) is a sacrament: that is to say, it is not something we do because it makes us happy, but because it makes us holy.

We learn things from having committed to loving a single person until we or they die that we could not learn otherwise, and the things that we learn make us better than we otherwise would be. This has nothing, really, to do with the other person, by the way, although your spouse certainly should inspire you to be a better person, and everything to do with having to compromise, to learn how to live together.
Think about the ways it will change your soul to know that:
1) You no longer have a choice: you have to make it work with this person. You can't ever walk away.
2) You have to love (and I use the term to refer to an attitude to adopt, rather than to emotion to be accepted) this man (or woman) no matter what; including their flaws and the weaknesses they will later develop, and regardless of what they do to you.
3) You don't get to control your self-image: your spouse will see you as you are and not as you present yourself to the world. If they love you despite all of this, how humbling is that!

There is, I feel, a very real sense in which marriage is a rarified version of life itself. We don't get a choice; we're born here and it's tough as hell. We have to live up to an impossible standard if we're going to hold up our end of the bargain, and we can only fool some of the people some of the time, if that. Do we live to make ourselves happy? Why should we think that we will marry for that reason?

Having said all of that, I can also say that, as a single man, I expect marriage to be quite wonderful, despite its difficulties.

Tom simply states: The best part of marriage is my wife.

He sure gets some deep comments on his blog. I love the answers he received to his query. The way people eloquently shared their passion for marriage with him was moving. Moved me to smile.

So how about you?
What's so good about marriage?


Anonymous said...

For better or for worse-been there many times.
To share in laughter and tears-been there many times
to feel the pitter ,patter in the heart when catching a glimpse of him, still there after 24 years.
Live ,laugh, love ,desire ,as God has intented a man and woman to be-
a small glimpse of heaven on earth.
A tender moment ,so tender only shared by the passing of time.

Anonymous said...

Marriage-wonderful because of laughter, caring, kids,SEX and so much more.
Marriage-wonderful because he thinks differently than I. He's the other 1/2 of the equation that I now have to consider and it has made me a better person because hopefully I'm not as self-centred as I was.

Christine Lindsay said...

It can be all of those things, and sometimes it can be boiled downed to the simplist. A help-mate to get through life. So thankful for my hubby. He's my best friend.