marriage can work, can last forever when all around her she sees so few examples of couples sticking it out through the good times and the bad?  Don’t panic — AJ and I are doing fine.  Seventeen years and we are looking forward to many, many more.  I loved the silly card he gave me this time around.  It said, “Why do I put up with you?” on the front.  The inside said, “Oh, yeah … because you put up with me.”  Then he wrote some sweet stuff under it.  But it’s true … it’s not going to be all roses and butterflies all the time.  Sometimes you just want to choke each other, and then some little something reminds you … “oh, yeah … I DO love you.”

Back in January, AJ’s older sister told her husband that she wanted a divorce, after 8 1/2 years of marriage.  This was marriage #3 for her (and #3 for her husband, too).  Truth be told, we weren’t surprised.  They’d been having troubles for quite a while.  I’ve known her soon-to-be ex-husband since I was four years old and he was one year old, and there’s a part of me that would prefer to keep him and cut her loose.  She does not see any of the responsibility she bears for the dissolution of any of her three marriages.  It’s always “the guy,” and she always claims that “the guy” is an “alcoholic,” but guess who starts partying like it’s 1999 whenever she becomes single again?  Yep.

But last week I almost passed out from shock when we found out that AJ’s younger sister, who got married three years ago TODAY, decided that she’s “lost her identity” and “just doesn’t love him anymore” … she has filed for divorce.  Her husband is a wonderful man.  He has supported her through grad school, through a couple of different career moves, taken care of her when she was extremely ill after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  His family has treated her like their very own, with her father-in-law spending countless hours building beautiful furniture for their new home, and other members inviting them into their homes when the “newlyweds” went to Italy on a belated honeymoon last spring.  I don’t understand it at all.  I’m just more than a little ticked off that she would be so stupid.  I think part of the problem is that she recently began working in the state legislature again and she’s gotten caught up in the adrenaline rush of that environment again (she worked there while an honors student at UT).  She was involved with a lobbyist in Washington who is a confirmed bachelor, and apparently he has re-entered the picture somehow or another … it is breaking my heart that she would throw her marriage away like this. 

And it is breaking my heart that of all the people in my immediate family, on BOTH sides, the only example that my daughter has to follow … the ONLY couple that has only been married once and stayed married, is her parents.  I was thinking earlier of examples in our extended “family” of friends … homeschoolers that have made it to see their children grow up and get married.  I need to be sure that she sees these examples and clings to the knowledge that with God’s help, marriage can be good and can last forever, the first (and only) time around.

3 thoughts on “How do I reassure my daughter that ….

  1. I think I am fortunate that in our church there are so very many couples who have been married for a very long time and remain so; quite happily! I’ve always told my daughters when they bemoan the fact of relationships that just don’t last,”If you want to know what it takes for a relationship to be great and last, try looking at some great lasting relationships instead of focussing on the ones who don’t make it!” I feel the same about this as I do when I hear people talk about hypocrites in church. If that is what you are looking for it is what you will find to focus on. Look instad for those who walk with God in all they do and you’ll find far better role models. We are a society (even as Christians) who seem to prefer to bemoan the negative rather than seeking the positive. Maybe it is an inherent understanding that to be one of the positive and/or sucessful in any thing, we have to be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices…and too often we simply prefer to take the easy road instead of the road that requires something of us. Not a lot different than being in school. You get out of it in direct relationship to what you put into it.

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  2. Oh, Laura….I am SOO sorry this is happening to your family. My sister (one of 3) went through multiple marriages. She’s on her third, and this time, it seems to be sticking, although it’s not what it could be. They just passed 20 years of marriage, and about 21 years together. She always went for the wrong kind of man.My cousin, who is 3 months younger than me….well, I’ve actually lost track of her marriages. the first was at 17 (her mother was more in favor of it than she was). They weren’t married long. She has been married (*thinking*) 5 or 6 times now. Twice to the same guy. I keep forgetting her current last name. It’s sad.But I think the biggest problem is people have forgotten God. If they were obedient to Him, and seek him in all parts of their lives, they would stay married. When my nephew married in Dec 2007, the pastor noted all the long marriages in our family and his wife’s family. There are many. Ours will be 30 years soon.

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