Monday, March 2, 2009

Marriage Monday

A little background.....Hubby and I are currently both 42. We started dating in high school a month before I turned 16. He graduated a year before I did and sometime during my final year of high school we decided that we were going to eventually get married. He never formally proposed, that I remember. We set several tentative wedding dates, we looked at dresses, we picked people to be bridesmaids and groomsmen, we looked at invitations and we bought the rings. We went to pre-marriage counseling and answered all the questions with the answer we thought was expected, but the priest from our church would not marry us because we had decided to get an apartment and live together.

We settled into a routine and kept putting off the actual wedding, thinking that if we waited we would have the money to throw a BIG party & have a fancy wedding. In December of 1986, everything changed....we found out we were expecting our first baby. On New Years Day 1987 we were married by a military chaplain in the recreation room of our apartment complex. It was a simple wedding, with simple decorations. I wore a tea length party dress (creme) from JC Penny. Hubby wore his Army dress uniform. The very first lesson we learned about marriage was that it is about commitment and NOT about the dress, the presents or any of the other material things that seemed important while planning the big day.

I came from a broken home and the ONE thing that I always wanted for my own children was to give them a solid family. I vowed on that day and again on the day that our first child was born that I would do whatever it took to love my husband unconditionally. It had been my experience that when couples have allowed their love to be conditional on the other person fulfilling some arbitrary requirements, the relationship suffers. In this age of female empowerment, there are many people who have told me that I am being old fashioned and should enforce certain requirements on my husband, that I should DEMAND that he do his 50% in everything. This is not the way our relationship works. There are some things that I always do, there are some things that he almost always does and together they make our marriage work.

For us, a 50/50 marriage would mean that each of us was only doing half of what we were capable of. Over the years, I have learned that judging what I think his motives are in any given situation is a recipe for disaster. I support his decisions, he supports my decisions and together we are doing the best job we can. It has not been easy, we have both worked very hard for the happiness we have today. Looking back there were at least 3 REALLY bad years, times when many people would have called it quits and gotten a divorce. We are now 8 years past the worst of those times. I am very thankful that we put in the hard work that was required to save our marriage.

Some of the Christian principles that I work the hardest to observe in my daily life are unconditional love, being non-judgemental and turning to the Lord for strength in tough times.

Click HERE to see the other contributions to Marriage Monday.


Denise said...

Thanks for sharing this precious post.

MiPa said...

A powerful post. Bless you for sharing.

e-Mom said...

You certainly understand what it takes to keep a marriage together! PTL you made it past your difficult years.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Denise.

e-Mom :~D

Wife of Rob said...

Thank you for the transparency of your post....I'm so glad that you and your husband hung in there...God brought glory to Himself in the survival of your marriage!

Blessings to you sister!

Janet said...

Beautiful post Denise. I'm so glad you and hubby hung in there during the tough times.