“We value and respect marriage, but life is short and we also value happiness. While this was a difficult decision and divorce is not something either of us hoped for, we decided we will be happiest separating.”
This heart-breaking comment, coming from a recently divorced woman who participated in the reality show called Married at First Sight…is a sad representation of what our culture has allowed marriage to become.
It’s this process by which two people get together in hopes that they’ll remain happy for the rest of their lives. Talk about a huge gamble.
So many people are going into marriage with the expectation of what it will do for them — rather than for what they will do for their marriage. But we’ve got marriage all wrong. In my upcoming book,#ChoosingMarriage, I really felt the heaviness of this topic on my heart as I wrote about the idea that marriage isn’t simply for our happiness – it’s so much more, and so much bigger than that.
“What an accurate reflection of the self-centered society we live in, falsely believing that the main goal of life is our own personal happiness. If you’re getting married with this as your goal—to make yourself happy—you will be disappointed in a severe way.
There will be a moment, a day, or even a season in marriage when, like it or not, you won’t be happy. That’s the nature of a relationship where two flawed people are rubbing up against each other daily. There’s bound to be a moment when someone is not happy!
It could be after a silly argument.
It could be a heated moment, when words have been said that can’t be taken back.
It could be in the middle of a misunderstanding.
It could be in an instant when trust has been broken.
It could be a time when your needs have not been understood.
But no matter what it is, there will be a moment when you are given the option of two choices: self or marriage. Me or we.
And in every single moment like this, a choice will have to be made.”
Friends, a good marriage isn’t something you find – it’s something you create – one little choice at a time (starting with the healthy choices you learn to make in dating)!
A good marriage is made up of a series of these choices – sometimes big, but mostly small….choices where our happiness can’t be the primary motivator, but rather, it must be our love. Choices in which we’re called to dig deep and give because that’s what love calls us to do. Choices, that, when we choose to work through the hard things of marriage, will often usher us into the great things of marriage.
It’s not the norm these days, in a world where we’re wired to just take, take, take from the moment we breathe our first breath….but marriage calls us to something harder — and something greater. It calls us to choose WE over ME.
If we’re not ready to make that choice, than we’re simply not ready for marriage.
Singles: be a person who’s prepared to make that decision — but just as important, MARRY someone who’s prepared to make that decision as well. Because in the give-and-take of a healthy marriage, BOTH PARTIES must choose to make marriage greater than happiness. And in the end, those who make that choice often find that they get happiness thrown in as well.
Married Friends: Moments of unhappiness are the norm in any relationship, but if you find yourself struggling in a marriage in which you’re consistently “unhappy”, for big reasons or small, that’s a tell-tale sign that it’s time to seek the help of professional counseling right away, and figure out what steps you need to take to get yourself – and in turn, your marriage – to a healthier place.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest book, Choosing Marriage, is set to be released in the Summer of 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!
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