Thursday, July 29, 2010

Answer to Matt

I have mostly Christian friends. Two of my male friends are married. Their wives happen to be my friends, too. The thing is, having heard all of the stories on MRA/MGTOW sites, I have a sense of negativity about their marriages. What I mean is, I have a nagging feeling that just because it didn't go so well for some other men out there, that my friends' marriages might not go well, either. Do you have any advice on how to deal with that? I hope that my friends' marriages will last and they won't get divorced, but the statistics on divorce that I read about are just so bad. Especially the statistics that indicate Christian divorce rates are higher than secular divorce rates.

I've been married all of 18 months. I'm not old and wise. I'm not above reproach. I haven't even made it through the "7-year-itch" yet.

However, there were things that I understood about marriage before I ever said yes to the proposal.

I knew I wouldn't always feel in love with my husband - that the "feeling" is just that - a feeling. And feelings are as flighty as a feather in a tornado. Just because I don't feel all gooey inside and my knees don't knock when I gaze deep in his eyes doesn't mean I don't love him. I was once in a relationship where I broke up with the guy everytime I was PMSing (my first boyfriend) and that's when I instituted my rule of no major decisions for 1.5 weeks out of the month.

I learned at an early age that you love even when you don't feel like it. My mom taught me that quite effectively while dealing with my siblings. Its probably not a big help that not many people teach that. Yes, occassionally my face gets all warm and a flood of happiness washes over me that will have me wiping away tears - but that happens maybe once in a blue moon and usually when I take the time to stop and look back and realize how happy and lucky I am.

But I'm different from a lot of women out there - I didn't date much. In fact, a total of 2 failed relationships taught me all I needed to know about starting a healthy relationship (success!) I didn't date much - though I always wanted to fall in love, get married, and have babies. So actually finding a man that loved me and that I loved back - who didn't resort to shaming tactics to gain my undying devotion - was something I wasn't willing to let go. I'm not taking this for granted.

Something else I practice in my personal life is that "divorce" is not a part of my dictionary. And so far, so good. Yeah, there are rough moments - the first year really is not that easy - and I've wanted to run home to mom and dad. But I know I can't because I made a promise - and so I stay and we work it out - and a wonderfully blessed quality of my husband is that he lets go of my transgressions rather easily and quickly. I think he's still mad at me and I'll be sitting there stewing over something and he'll open his mouth and say something that's completely without malice and has absolutely nothing to do with our argument - its like nothing ever happened.

What I have to say to you is that your friends' marriages are sacred in God's eyes and blessed by God. They will not always like eachother, you may see a nagging side to the wives, you may hear horror stories of marriage from the husbands - but as long as they are proactively seeking God and eachother, then they can work it out and they will build a happy and long marriage.

If your friends and their wives are anything like you and what I've seen on your blog, then the divorce statistics are not likely to apply. Those statistics among Christians with divorce are more than likely those that call themselves so and aren't actively practicing and seeking God. If they are and they have good mentoring relationships with other couples in a church, they are much less likely to end up in divorce (and there are statistics proving that, as well).

I hope that helped - there are some huge problems we face thanks to sin in the world but marriage was created with those things in mind. Its not impossible to succeed at it. It is hard though. But then, very few things worth doing are all that easy.


matthew5sixteen said...

Hi Christina,
Thanks for the encouraging words. One of the friends I mentioned is a pastor-in-training. When I mentioned to him the statistics of Christian divorce, he also mentioned that those statistics don't tell the whole story. He said that couples who pray together and read the Bible together, as well as doing other things that strengthens the bond, those couples have a lower divorce rate.

Like I mentioned to Terrybreathinggrace, I'm trying to avoid the bitterness that sometimes comes from reading too many Men's Rights issues. Scripture helps to avoid the bitterness, but having good friends to remind you that there are good things in life also helps.

Thanks, again.

matthew5sixteen said...

Hi Christina,

I've responded to all three of your recent comments on my blog. It took awhile, but I finally managed to do it =).

I want to thank you for your comments. I thought about them and they did help me to better understand things.

matthew5sixteen said...

Hi Christina,

Thanks again for your comments. I wanted to add a little more about my times in depression in my own life. I was recently (about a year or so ago) diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It's something that I have apparently had with me my whole life. It is possible that it was responsible for the depressive episodes I've experienced in my life. And it has the possibility of causing future depressive episodes.

I just wanted to mention this to let you know that we all mostly experience the same things. There's nothing new under the sun and whatever has been experienced by one person is experienced by others elsewhere.

Thanks for the link to your livejournal site. Could you highlight several posts that you liked from the livejournal site for me to read? It's kinda difficult to navigate, so it would be helpful if you could highlight the best posts.