I do…I don’t…I thought I did

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ~Matthew 19:4-6

Marriage sure ain’t what it used to be. TV marriages seemed perfect, even when there was strife or an argument. The people on the shows always say the right thing, there is always a happy ending and the sitch always gets resolved in less than thirty minutes…lol. Don’t judge me, I really believed that growing up. Boy was I in for a rude awakening!

When my rose colored glasses fell off of my face and my relationships with men started and got more serious, it sure wasn’t like television. I was smacked with the realization that this is really hard work. The lovey dovey honeymoon phase fades and you start getting more comfortable and less polite and more brutally honest and your quirks, which once were charming and cute aren’t cute but now suddenly quite annoying and BAM! Somebody’s feelings are hurt and all Hell breaks loose…no one told me! I was devastated.

I remember when I was younger I wanted to get married and have a pretty outdoor wedding with my friends and family surrounding me celebrating the love my new husband and I shared. We would eat, drink and dance under a starry sky and then at the end of the reception we would drive off into the night to start our lives together to live happily ever after.

Ahhhh…ignorance is bliss. Needless to say, I’ve been married twice…lol. The first time around was practice cuz this time is the real thing. We got it all! Kids, bills, a house, jobs..all the fixings that gear couples toward the road to divorce.

It is estimated that 40% – 50% of marriages end in divorce. Almost half of married couples will end up divorced..that’s really high…am I scared? Not really. I see it this way..either it works out or it doesn’t so that’s about right because that actually means the other half end up dead…so I like to think I’m on the other side and we’ll fulfill our deal, “until death do us part.”

Relationships are hard work..period. You have to start somewhere, no one starts off married..the relationship progresses to that point of commitment. There are numerous factors for divorce. Here are a few:

  • Money
  • Adultery
  • Abuse
  • Childlessness
  • Poor communication
  • Immaturity
  • Self-centeredness/selfishness

I am convinced that “love” or lack thereof should not be considered a reason for divorce. Someone in the relationship or both parties love the other, or each other and outside elements have driven them to want out. If this were not true divorce wouldn’t be so messy most of the time. Even in amicable divorces, each party will have reached their decision based on the fact that they love each other or themselves enough to know they are better off not together.

Here’s what I think happens, and again this is just my opinion…this is open for discussion, we come into a relationship with the best of intentions, hopes and dreams of the future with our mates. We spend time, get emotionally invested, expectation builds up and we make plans…we never plan for disappointment, or hurt, or any of the “relationship uglies.” When our comfort is tested or shaken we want to retreat or attack and that’s when the problems start. We become resentful and get hellbent on the idea that relationships are 50/50 and each party should contribute equally. No my friends. Relationships are ALL or NOTHING. If you give half then you get half assed, bottom line. Depending on the circumstance you can’t just give up every time you have conflict or a disagreement. You have to be a grown up and accept accountability and prayer helps…ALOT! You have to talk, and cry and try every resource you can muster and exhaust them all and then try some new ones until one works. This takes INVESTMENT and COMMITMENT.

This “me” attitude HAS to be checked at the door. It’s no longer about you. If you’ve ever been on the back of a motorcycle you know that you and the driver must be like one body when riding. If the weight is shifted or there is imbalance you’re going to encounter problems and someone can get hurt. Same principal here. It’s no longer about you or me, it’s about us. We become one, hence the term “one flesh.” A union. There is no mine or yours, if you wanted all that then you have the choice to remain single and if you have to keep secrets like bank accounts on the low and storage units filled with “your stuff” then you clearly have trust issues and shouldn’t be married based on that alone.

Perfect examples of this are the celebrity marriages of late. Getting married as publicity stunts to boost status and get exposure. Marriages entered into as “business arrangements” and not love unions. Overnight drunken marriages and glorified promiscuity, it’s a wonder people get married at all these days. In no way, shape or form, am I judging nor am I preaching to anyone, I’m making a statement on a subject that I happen to not only take pride in but take really seriously. The institution of marriage is sacred to me. I love my husband very much and I love the life we have together, all of it. I have given every bit of me, and I am fully committed, something I have never done before and to see it used as a fame booster or made a mockery of so flagrantly is upsetting to say the least.

Another common problem is communication. People just don’t talk anymore. Texting, instant messaging, emails and social media have replaced intimacy. People are afraid to be real. To be themselves. You go to the movies or a bar for dates, hang out in crowds to avoid one on one interaction. How are you supposed to get to know someone if you don’t want to talk or listen? What happened to walks and dinner? Talking on the phone? Hugs? Simple things in life?

My husband and I did everything backwards…smh. I was separated (not yet divorced) from my first husband when we met. We dated for three months when we got pregnant with our daughter…yeah I know…she was six months old when we got pregnant with our son. We got married when we were together for 5 years. Talk about putting the carriage in front of the horse. We’ve been together for almost 11 years in total and it’s been hard work!

We were a built-in family while we were still dating…lol. It was nuts. We fought like cats and dogs…it was ugly. I believe we kept it together this long because, while we dated although it was for a very short time, we spent lots of time together. We talked for hours, on the phone and in person. We had lots in common despite our age difference…yes I’m a cougar…don’t judge me…lol. We got to know each other and enjoy each other. We had disagreements and were under a lot of pressure with a new baby on the way but stayed together…we love each other very much. That small investment of time is the foundation for our relationship. We are both in agreement that we are raising our children to move so we can date again…lol.

The first 5 years were really hard. We struggled, we lost our home and our children stayed with relatives for a few months, we got it together and decided to get married and seal the deal. Less than a year later we packed up our babies and headed south with a dollar and a dream. I couldn’t find work, he went back home to NYC to work for 6 months and support us. I was in a new state, no friends, no family support, no car and that’s when my Lord and Savior rescued me and I found my church home…Praise God!

I’ve been here in Atlanta for 4 years now and it hasn’t been easy but it’s been a blessing through and through. Not too long ago my husband and I were on the road to divorce because I was feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated. Me being independent, I tried it my way…wasn’t working…shocker. So when I was ready to throw in the towel I called on my divine marriage counselor and asked Him to reveal to me where I was falling short. I had to make sure that I had in fact tried it all. That I wasn’t just pointing outward and not accepting accountability…cuz you know…I’m perfect…;-) Needless to say I had some things I could use some work on, so I prayed. Then I prayed some more. All the time I didn’t know that my Papa was perfect and while He worked on me, He worked on my husband as well. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Now I can accept that and I’m not so disappointed when it isn’t. I know my part and what I’m doing or not. I leave it up to Him and let Him deal with the world while I work on me.

Again, I am speaking for myself and in no way saying that this is the only way to deal. As I mentioned from the beginning, you have to try EVERYTHING and then try something else and then one more other thing. My point is it’s up to you to make it work from your end. Be responsible for your actions, no one is expecting perfection but keep a realistic view on your relationship, an open mind and most importantly an open heart. Fall in love again. Spend time together. Hold hands. Brush against each other when you pass each other (shoulder checking when you’re mad is not the same thing). Complement each other. Try to refrain from calling him an insensitive jerk when leaves the blasted toilet seat up and you sit in cold water in the middle of the night…smh. Use your imagination. I got this idea from my pastor’s wife (in no way intended to inspire premeditation of your mate’s demise) imagine him with a minor injury. I have, in my mind given my husband a few bloody noses…and felt really good about it. Hey! Whatever works. As per those famous words “…can’t we all just get along?” This is just me speaking from my experience.

Overall I can’t say for me marriage despite the good, bad or indifferent has been easy but, I can say I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather go through all of it with. My husband is my best friend and we have a bond that I feel only death can divide. We’ve been through thinner than thick and through it all we did it together. Ride or die.

Folks, life is hard and life with another person is even harder. There are good days and there are bad days but you gotta give it your all if you want it to work. I think if we can get used to the idea that we should be on our best behavior when dealing with our mates and always strive to put our best forth maybe, just maybe we can really have that happy ending we all dream about. The truth is that if we find one person to love us every day without obligation, terms and conditions, for US despite us, one time in our lives, we should consider ourselves extremely blessed. Embrace it and respect it because love is a gift.

Until next time!

As always this topic is up for discussion.

Leave your comments, feedback or share your experience.

You never know to whom you can be a blessing.


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