Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marriage: For better or for worse, till death do we part?

You’re standing up in front of a room full of family and friends. You just paid a ton of money on the wedding of your dreams. You look at your spouse and mouth "I love you forever." You recite your vows that go something like this;  "I, _____, take you, ______, to be my wedded husband. With deepest joy I come into my new life with you. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. _____, I will live first unto our God and then unto you, loving you, obeying you, caring for you and ever seeking to please you. God has prepared me for you and so I will ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife." The lady in the back room who has been divorced 4 times is thinking "at least until someone better comes along!" Am I right? So what happens? In 2-10 years and a few kids later (hopefully not), your headed for divorce court with the spouse whom you apparently now hate and crying little ones.

 It is my opinion that people get divorce too easily. 

Marriages are full of problems. You are two unique individuals and are bound to have conflict. People grow and people change. Sorry men, your wife will indeed change on you and women, your hunky, wonderful husband is going to change on you. Marriage is designed for you to grow and change, work through your problems. Stay together! 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ~ Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is
not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or
resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I hear often, "I am just not in love with him anymore!" Are you sure? Are you sure it isn't the feeling that you are currently having right now? A feeling that could change based on a different circumstance? Try, really, really, really try to work through your differences with the attitude that you will do anything and everything to make it work out. You took vows and all marriages can be fixed. Find a way.

1 Peter 4:8 ~ Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.

I think the only reason anyone should ever get a divorce is infidelity and domestic violence.
Below is a current divorce rate per country. It's upsetting.

In ranking order of most divorces:

# 1  
United States:
4.95 per 1,000 people 

# 2  
Puerto Rico:
4.47 per 1,000 people 

# 3  
3.36 per 1,000 people 

# 4  
United Kingdom:
3.08 per 1,000 people 

# 5  
2.81 per 1,000 people 

# 6  
New Zealand:
2.63 per 1,000 people 

# 7  
2.52 per 1,000 people 

# 8  
2.46 per 1,000 people 

# 9  
1.85 per 1,000 people 

# 10  
1.21 per 1,000 people 

# 11  
1.18 per 1,000 people 

# 12  
0.97 per 1,000 people 

# 13  
0.88 per 1,000 people 

# 14  
0.83 per 1,000 people 

# 15  
0.82 per 1,000 people 

# 16  
0.8 per 1,000 people 

# 17  
0.79 per 1,000 people 

# 18  
0.76 per 1,000 people 

# 19  
0.72 per 1,000 people 

# 20  
0.68 per 1,000 people 

# 21  
0.65 per 1,000 people 

# 22  
0.58 per 1,000 people 

# 23  
0.47 per 1,000 people 

# 24  
0.42 per 1,000 people 

# 25  
El Salvador:
0.41 per 1,000 people 

# 26  
0.39 per 1,000 people 

= 27  
0.38 per 1,000 people 

= 27  
0.38 per 1,000 people 

= 29  
0.37 per 1,000 people 

= 29  
0.37 per 1,000 people 

# 31  
0.33 per 1,000 people 

# 32  
0.27 per 1,000 people 

# 33  
0.26 per 1,000 people 

# 34  
Sri Lanka:
0.15 per 1,000 people

My husband and I were married in 2002, 9 years ago. We have a daughter that is 10. We had a very rocky start to our marriage. I'd have to say that overall, there were more downs than ups. But as of today, we love each other and rarely fight. We've learned to work through our problems even the ugliest ones.

One of the things that was lacking in our relationship and it is my fault, was intimacy. I don't mean just sex, I mean hand holding, cuddling, hugging, kissing, and flirting.

God designed sex as a gift for married couples to enjoy within their marriage. 

There was one moment in our relationship that we were fighting badly. It was UGLY! To this day, I have know idea why we were even fighting. I was so convinced that I was going to divorce him and told him that I was going to do so. At the point, it was probably the 100th time I've threatened him. It was that day that I had the idea to make love everyday for a month and we did. It really brought us closer together as a couple. His little annoyances went away. I saw him as not only my husband, but my lover and friend. He said to me one day that he really cherishes this time in our marriage. After the month was over, we didn't keep it up every day, but made it very regular.

I am afraid that when my Dad had his stroke, that is when our marriage again started going downhill. We stopped being intimate. Even writing about my Dad's strokes, I feel pain inside, it hurt me so badly. That night of his stroke, we didn't know if he would live or die and it took him more than a month to recover in the hospital. I have my Dad back, but he isn't the same, has trouble with his speech.

When my family moved from Oregon to California, it was very hard on me and I went through a depression and I was angry. I missed Oregon, my family, friends. I didn't want to move, but I moved because my husband had the opportunity for a better position, with greater opportunity. How could I ever tell him that I didn't want to move with him? He's my husband, for better or worse. My depression kept up for a long time and it wasn't until his recent business trip to Phoenix that I chose to have a better attitude about life. I've done a blog entry on my experience with moving. Life is short, why continue being upset with a hard heart? When he came back, is when we started being intimate again and we still are.

I love him very much. I respect him as a person. We still have problems, what marriage doesn't? But we both know that you have to depend on yourself for your own happiness, no one can make you happy, only yourself. And, intimacy is very important in a marriage, even if it's sitting close on the couch, lending a helping hand, holding hands, a daily hug and make the time to do these things.  

I love the girl who believed in me before I believed in myself. I love the girl who never complained about huge school bills and books and hot apartments and rented junky furniture and no vacations and humble little Volkswagen's. You have been with me-encouraging me, loving me and supporting me since August 27, 1960. And the status you have given me in our home is beyond what I have deserved.

So Why do I want to go on living? It's because I have you to take that journey with. Otherwise, why make the trip? The half life that lies ahead promises to be tougher than the years behind us...Everything within me screams "No!" But my Dad's final prayer is still valid-"We know it can't always be the way it is now." When that time comes, our childhoods will then be severed-cut off by the passing of the beloved parents who bore us.

What then, my sweet wife? To whom will I turn for solace and comfort? To whom can I say, "I'm hurting!" and know that I am understood in more than an abstract manner? To whom can I turn when the summer leaves begin to change colors and fall to the ground? How much I have enjoyed the springtime and the warmth of the summer sun...But alas, autumn is coming. Even now, i can feel a little nip in the air-and I try not to look at a distant, lone cloud that passes near the horizon. I must face the fact that winter lies ahead-with its ice and sleet and snow to pierce us through. But in the instance, winter will not be followed by springtime, except in the glory of the life to come. With whom, then, will I spend that final season f my life?

None but you, Shirls. The only joy of the future will be in experiencing it as we have the past twenty-one years-hand in hand with the one I love...a young miss named Shirley Deere, who gave me everything she had-including her heart.

Thank you, babe, for making this journey with me. let's finish it-together!

Your Jim

That is known as marital bonding!

Passage written by James C. Dobson


  1. Hello, this is a great post. I was wondering if I could use this picture. Please let me know if this is okay, or who to credit.

  2. I wrote this awhile ago, go ahead and use the photos.