Keeping the Promises

Sometimes it’s hard to do.

Happily ever after isn’t always as happy as you expected.

Life was supposed to be nothing but happiness and fun times. But in between the fun times there are the hard times, which make you appreciate the good times, the fun times, even more.

I’ve said it before. Marriage is hard. It’s not to be entered into lightly, or on a whim, or without seriously talking it over and knowing what you’re getting into. It’s a lot of work.

That’s why excuses like some of these for marriages breaking up drive me crazy. Are you really that shallow that you think these reasons are good reasons to give up and walk out on your spouse? And forget the promises you made as if they meant nothing?!

“He/she isn’t really attractive any more.” Well, are you? And is that the only reason you got married? Not a good reason to break up.

“I met someone I like a lot better. He/she is leaving his/her spouse as well.” And in another few years you’ll both probably do the same thing again. And probably do it again to your next “soulmate.” I’ve seen it happen lots of times. So why’d you get married? Why didn’t you just live together until you’d had enough and it was time to move on to the next conquest?

“I’m bored with all this. Marriage isn’t exciting like I thought it would be.” Then maybe the two of you need to start doing things you haven’t done in a while. What did you think marriage would be like, by the way? Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you stop doing all the things you enjoyed doing before you got married. Can’t you just enjoy being together like you used to?

Or in a similar vein, “I don’t really like having someone around all the time and having to make plans for the two of us. I need my own time to do what I want to do, and not be concerned about someone else every day.” You wanted that person around when you were dating, enough to commit to a marriage. Did you think marriage meant going separate ways when you got tired of him/her, and having your spouse come back around only when it suited your plans? Does
the word selfish come to mind?

“He/she works all the time and we still can’t make ends meet.” Then re-examine your finances and see where you can cut back, or what other lifestyle changes need to be made. Living apart won’t be any easier financially, by the way. Finances are always a serious issue in a marriage, but they can often be one of the easier problems to fix.

“She can’t cook very well and doesn’t do my laundry like it should be done.” That’s not a reason to call it quits. It’s a reason to sit down and talk and figure out how to help each other better around the house. There may be some things you need to do better as well. (Cooking together might be a good start, and actually be a lot of fun.)

Are you getting the picture? Little things can almost always be worked through, sometimes with outside help, sometimes with just the two of you making more of an effort.

When was the last time you surprised your spouse with a card just to say “I love you”? When was the last time you brought home flowers for no reason at all? The last time you lit candles for a romantic dinner, even if that dinner was burgers or hot dogs? When was the last time you two took off for an impromptu weekend together? Just the two of you?

Little disagreements always come up in marriages. Sometimes they turn into big ones. But for couples truly committed to each, committed to their marriage, it’s worth finding the right ways to end those disagreements, and remember the love you two shared on your wedding day, and you should still be sharing.

And keep your promises.

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