WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” feature recently had a blog post by Lori Lowe, who’s blog “Marriage Gems” focuses on “Research-based tips and insights.”
While I can’t vouch for the entire blog (this is my first exposure), I do like the article that was highlighted today: “We All Married the Wrong Person.” (For those who regularly stop by here for a little reading and link-following, please note that the post does include a little “common” language in one place; let the surfer beware!) She has a follow up — probably due to the attention her WordPress featuring gave her — here: “More on Marrying the Wrong Person.”
From the perspective of someone who has talked to various couples about various marital issues, I think her points are good ones. The idea that we all married the wrong person might seem a little extreme, but the thought — and exploring it — does help to dispel the idea that there is, out there, the ONE right person for us, and that if we didn’t marry that ONE, then our marriage is going to suffer. Too many begin to find others outside their marriage to seem more tempting, thinking, “Well, if I had married him (or her) instead of the one I did, I’d sure be a lot happier!” Statistics show that second marriages are even more likely to dissolve than first marriages, and this thinking is dangerous ground.
And the point made in the post that many people today will give their children more tolerance and acceptance than they will their spouse — even when their children are worse to them — is a point I hadn’t considered before. How many treat their commitment to their spouse as something lower and less sacred and less deserving of effort than their commitment to their children?
Best advice in almost all cases: making the marriage we are in now work. Stop wondering if you married the right person and start focusing on how to be the right person in the marriage you have. Clearly, there is a lot more that could be said about that, but if we can learn to start with that mindset it is often amazing what can be achieved. If we can’t learn to have that mindset, it will be amazing if achieve anything at all.
I am thankful to be a part of a Church that understands that and that hews to the biblical commands and guidelines concerning marriage and divorce. But the presence of commands and guidelines is only helpful to us if we actually follow them. And I am thankful, as well, to be a part of a Church that encourages relationship counseling before engagement and marriage, to help both parties look at the future they are about to commit to with both eyes wide open (as opposed to the “eyes wide shut, hormone glands wide open” approach that is so popular these days). Marriage is the second greatest commitment of our entire lives. It should be treated as such.