Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why do I stay married?

A phone call today left me contemplating why it is that we stay married. And why others choose to divorce.

It's a deeply personal thing. Everyone has their own spin on it, and no one is right. So I know, by voicing my opinion, I will undoubtedly offend anyone who has divorced.

But I can live with pissing a few people off.

Chris Rock said it best when he said, "If you haven't ever contemplated murdering your partner, then you haven't been in love."

Funny as it seems, I am quicker to dole out punishment for the smaller infractions my husband is guilty of, and with much more vengence. The one or two times that I could have been found temporarily insane enough to commit murder, I became completely unable to react.

Believe me, there are some key moments I wish I could go back to and exact my anger upon him. Like, "I am too stunned to know quite how to react right now, but I get a raincheck." But maybe I am just too lazy. Or maybe it doesn't matter.

Do you take your marriage vows seriously? I mean, do they mean something to you, or is it just words, that you can say the "sickness", "poor", "worse" because you think your life will be great and only "other" people go through the bad section of vows that you pledge?

I've only taken a few vows in my life. I vowed to be a good girl scout. I vowed to defend my country. I vowed to adhere to Civil Service rules. And I vowed to stay married to my husband.

So when he screws up, does that invalidate the vow contract? I mean, we both said "better or worse", "good or bad", "sickness and health". So I don't really see an out there.

Everyone screws up. Some people get caught, some don't. Some make some doozies. When I love someone, I accept them, faults and all. I don't run after one mistake and abandon them.

That's why I can't respect divorce because someone just "isn't happy anymore."

Are you kidding me? I am probably not happy more of my life than I AM happy. But in the "not happy" moments, like being alone to deal with every possible catastrophe that God throws at me, while my husband is overseas playing XBox all day, I don't consider leaving him.

As unromantic as it sounds, and as much as I hate to think that it would be the cause of my husband staying with me, you stay married because of obligation. The same obligation you have to help people move instead of being a dick like everyone else, and having "something come up at the last minute." Because you actually care enough about someone to come through on the obligation.

Marriage is like a spool of unrefined wool. Some parts are thick, and you can pull on it pretty hard and it won't come apart. But then other sections are hanging on by a thread. As you unwind the spool, you see that after the thinnest thread, is the thickest knot.

And its what you make it. If you keep yourself in a hateful place, you become a jealous, hateful person. Your soul becomes black and shriveled. If you open yourself up, preparing to take the jabs that come with life and love, you will find that you become stronger.

In the end, marriage becomes someone to keep you company when you're old and all your friends have their own someone. Someone to make you soup when you're sick, someone to hold your hair back when you vomit, someone that will just hold your hand in the moments before you die.

It's a commitment.

So my advice is to take a little longer getting to know someone, if you are dating. Don't rush into it. Ask questions. Find out what they are made of. Can they handle the seasons of life with you?


  1. Keri,
    Marriage is a commitment, through sickness and health and every season of life. Loved your article!!

  2. I like a relationship to be comfortable. I should be able to ask if he can look at a boil on my butt etc and not feel I have to hide anything. That to me is marriage(a friend).

  3. Loved this post, really. It's so true. I don't necessarily agree with divorce although I have been there. I was married for 9 months once....he cheated...I said where do we go from here....he said, "maybe I'm not the marrying kind". I said good bye. Sorry, I don't want to be second in my marriage. I am remarried....not always the happiest, but if he doesn't cheat and doesn't hit me, I'm here for the long haul. I can deal with his "faults", but cheating is not a's just plain selfishness.

  4. Yes it's a commitment and it sounds as if you have plenty of it...if it were easy anyone could do it. Sounds like your husband's in the service. That probably makes it double difficult. Do you have any children? They are kind of like the glue. Teaches selfless love.

  5. Good post. I think we all (men and women) debate this over and over. Your friend from Blog Frog Believe in Yourself Community

  6. I'm with you to a point; abuse. Absolutely divorce.

  7. Your analogy about the wool is absolutely lovely; really, really touching.

    ps. Word capture = suckage; such a pain in the keester.

  8. I needed this! Thanks!

  9. Wow, pretty serious, but you also we able to keep your sense of humor while (it seems like) you are in pain. Over-all this was a great post. And listen, we all feel the same thing sometimes, but in the end it's always better to stay together.