Chasing Contentment

Friday, August 17

What makes a marriage last? What makes one crumble? What makes one relationship remain vibrant while another fizzles?

Years ago, Mike and I knew a couple who got a divorce, and it flipped me out at the time. I figured if it could happen to a couple like that, what would stop it from happening to me? Now, Mike, of course, was nice and laid-back about it and waited me out. After a few days or being flipped out, I wasn't any longer, and we went on as usual.

Last night, a friend of mine emailed and told me that a couple we all knew from church was getting a divorce. And I'm delighted to say that I didn't flip out about me and Mike at all. But it does break my heart for this other couple.

And it makes me wonder about what happened. Mike and I weren't close with this couple, but we went to church with them for years. And for a time, the year before we moved, we were in a Bible study with them and another couple.

Those two couples were close, and somehow Mike and I landed into this study with them. It was something loose and easy... one of the men led the study, and we all interacted and discussed our thoughts and faith. We chipped in to pay a babysitter, and all of the kids hung out at our house and played while the grown-ups went to another house for the study.

I've always felt uncomfortable about my lack of Bible knowledge, and I've historically been self-conscious about speaking up in groups. But for those few months, I felt completely comfortable with those people. It was a really important period of time for me because Mike and I were going through tremendous stress at work, and we already knew that we were going to be moving and that our lives were going to change dramatically.

I learned a lot about faith and the Old Testament and myself during that time. I will always remember it fondly. It was comfortable knowing that we were all Christians, committed to our families and our spouses and our faith.

And so, I wonder... what happened to make this couple choose to take separate paths? Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that things don't happen to alter people or relationships. I know they do. And I also know that there are times when that is precisely the right answer. But still, I wonder.

On our anniversary, Mike and I were talking about marriage and about how the commitment that we made to God has held us together at various points in our relationship when it might have been easier to choose something other than staying together. This last year... more than that, really... has been really difficult for us, pulling and pushing us in so many different ways, stretching us, moving us, changing us.

And yet, here we are... sitting in bed together, watching "Monk," eating Blue Bell cookie dough ice cream. Still in love. Still together.

What makes one last and another not? What happened in these last 18 months that so deeply changed their lives? I can't stop thinking about it.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, August 17, 2007  ]
[   3 comments  ]


3 Comments:

You hit on it. Commitment. When two people commit to each other they are saying this is it, there is not way out. We have chosen to make this work, no matter what. When two people make this choice and are serious to the core about it, then there you have it. Too many people today get tired of a person and just move on or they forgot what they did to get the person's attention in the first place. Some don't know the definition of the word commitment.

By Blogger The Pastor, at 1:19 PM  

When times get tough, my husband always says that he has chossen and promised to love me no matter what. It is our promise to God that does hold us together sometimes. Two people have to work at being one- which they can be in their relationship with Christ, rather than trying to be 2 different people doing 'their own thing'.

By Blogger Susanna, at 9:12 AM  

It makes me sad for them :( I wish they could work it out. Great post, Chel.

By Blogger it's me, Val, at 8:03 AM  

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