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.