April 05, 2012

Divorce is for quitters

My cousin and his wife, who were married the same year we were, went on a cruise this year commemorating their ten years.  They had T-shirts made for the trip, which read Divorce is for quitters.  When they proudly wore them on deck, countless couples stopped them and asked, "Where did you get those shirts?  We want some!"

Why did people want those shirts?  Because they are married, and married people know that divorce is only one, big, quitting move away for any of us.

Now, I absolutely acknowledge that divorce is not just for quitters.  It is also for the battered, the belittled, the betrayed, and the abandoned.  But lets face it, most of us are none of those things.  Most of us are just tired of working at it, so we poop out, just when it is beginning to get good!

I remember when our friend, Lee, turned 30 back in the day, and I said to myself, "I can't believe I am old enough to have friends turning 30."

Now I am saying, "I can't believe I am old enough to have friends getting divorced."  My heart aches in my chest every time I hear of another marriage taking its last breath.  Aches.  In.  My.  Chest.

I read an article the other day, in Good Housekeeping or something-or-other, which stated that people who have close friends or family going through a divorce are 70% more likely to go ahead and file for their own.  We do what our friends are doing, don't we?  Two of your friends announce they are pregnant, and suddenly you want nothing more than to be shopping for maternity clothes and barfing in the toilet.  An entire group of play-date moms ends up with an ichthus tattooed on their big toe...hmmm.  It's the year to buy a juicer?  It's the era to cut gluten out of our diets?  OK.  Oh, now we are all cutting bangs?  Got it.  Now we are all homeschooling? (I recommend jumping on that bandwagon).  Now we are all adopting? (I REALLY recommend jumping on that bandwagon).  We all join Facebook.  Then we all start tweeting.  Now we are all pinning (well, not me, but I'm weird).

You see what I'm saying.

The scary thing is, divorce is apparently no different.  Somebody makes it look good, makes it look better than what we've got going on, and we're in, or rather out.  WHAT??!!!  Come on.  Lets put a stop to that trend, yeah?  Cutting bangs you end up hating later is one thing, but dropping your kids off every-other-week to your once-precious husband and his hot new wife is something else altogether.
Daniel and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next month, and let me tell you, that is something to celebrate!  Marriage is hard stuff.  And yet, it is worth it, oh so worth it.  The other day I had a really yucky morning and tried opening up to several friends, but they were too busy hollering over my shoulder at their own kids.  We all are.  The day just kept getting worse, and right when I was about to lose it, 5:00 p.m. rolled around and in the door walked my husband.  My husband.  My husband.  With one look he knew what I needed.  I laid my hand on his forearm and the waters settled.  In that moment, I was understood, and loved, and liked, and appreciated.  That is what we give up when we give up on marriage.  We give up having a partner to trudge beside.  Notice I didn't say dance, or skip, or giggle with unending butterflies in our stomachs?  Nope.  I said trudge, while kids are screaming all around us and jobs are eluding us and bank accounts seem to have sprung leaks and health problems present themselves and tragedies befall us and depression pays us unwelcome visits - we always, always, always have each other.

Nobody could convince me to quit on that.  Like my faith, you can undermine it all you want, but you can't talk me out of it.  The second I let go of it, I lose everything.

If you are divorced, I judge you not.  I truly judge you not.  This post is for the married, however, and to you I offer some tidbits from my own ten years.  Practically speaking, seek first all of your worth and satisfaction from the L0RD, and then your husband won't fall so short.  Then, seek to fill your husband's needs before your own.  A loved man loves back.  Take care of your looks.  If he isn't allowed to peak at the goods around him, make sure he's got the goods at home (don't put your man to the test).  Don't gossip.  You will lose his respect.  Don't breathe a word of his faults to anyone but him, and even that should be kept at a bare minimum.  If it doesn't really matter, let it go.  If it does, pray about it at length before bringing it to him.  Praise him.  Touch him.  Change your perfume every now and then.  And for goodness sake, if he doesn't like green peppers, leave them out!

Divorce is for quitters.