My Marriage Didn’t Work.

She was still wounded…deeply. “I’m not jealous of my friends, I just don’t understand why my marriage didn’t work.” 

Silence.

“They all look so happy and I still wonder why things couldn’t work out differently for me.” Ouch! I was trying really hard not to blink. I didn’t want these tears to fall… at least not in front of her.

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“Unbreak my heeeaarrttt…” This song played softly in the background of my thoughts as I fought back my tears and listened to her heart.

I sat in the presence of this 87-year old fragile woman as she spoke on the pain of her divorce. Her husband left her and their 3 children when she was 38 years old… and almost 50 years later, she appeared to still have a wound very sensitive to the touch of her reality. Sigh. What do you say to someone in this place? Absolutely nothing. Just Listen…. and I did. I can still remember (not feel) the pain of my fiancé dumping me and marrying someone else a year later… it sucked. If that hurt as bad as it did without the marriage and kids, there was no telling what this fragile woman has experienced.

We all know the stats, 50% of marriages end in divorce…blah blah blah. Let me bring that fact a little closer to home…. for every two weddings you attend, one of those couples will divorce. For every two married couples you know, one will end in divorce. If you and your friend are married, one of you will divorce. Ouch! I’ve had two of my closest friends get married in the last two years, and I’d like to think they are the exception to these stats… breathe in, breathe out

Let me preface my thoughts by saying that I am not a Marriage Expert. I do not have the magical answer to end divorce… Actually, I’m not even married…lol. But I proceed…

Until bae puts a ring on it (…and even after he does), I am working on me. I have become aware of my “issues” (well most of them at least, I’m sure others will reveal themselves along the way) and now that I’m cognoscenti of them, I can respond and not react to people. I am able to say to myself, “Mac, you need to find a way to be a little more gentle in your speech as you can come across a little insensitive.” #Freedom #ThankYouToMyCounselor #IKnowMe #Vulnerability #NakedWriter #NoExcusesJustChange.  I am listening to podcasts, watching sermons, reading, talking and asking a gazillion questions to my married friends (Jazz, Kim, Ibsen, Esther, Vern,  and Adrienne, thank you for your vulnerability!–sorry if I missed anybody).

To the married folks who are giving me the impression that your marriage is perfect, you’re doing me a huge disservice and helping perpetuate the lie that as soon as my prince comes along and places that Michael Kors stiletto on my foot, marriage will be “Happily Ever After.”

No, you’re absolutely not responsible for the baggage I take on, because of your outward appearance… but if you decide to give relationship advice, share real life with us… don’t pretend all is rainbows and unicorns…not just for my sake, but for yours too.

I will balance that thought with this —- when sharing “relationship experiences,” I understand the need to be mindful that you are also sharing a part of someone else’s life. But I do believe there is a way to share and ‘respect their privacy,’ yet authentically enough that someone could glean some insight from what you’ve shared.

So, my ‘divorce-proof’ plan is to:

1.) Work on me

2.) Learn as much as I can

3.) Any other suggestions?

I can only do my part, I can’t control the other person. How painful it is when you’ve done all the ‘right things’ and yet the other person decides they want out. Ouch!

Marriage is God’s idea…and He tells us how it’s supposed to work (that unconditional love thing). Because we have received unconditional love, we’re supposed to be able to give it. So yes! There is a spiritual element to this. Oh and let’s not forget a very practical part too… I repeat practical. Saints, don’t shoot me— but let’s keep it real, divorce rates are higher in the church. Perhaps because we are trying to shout our marriage issues away, instead of putting our hands to the plow and working through them. Run for cover!!!

Even after I’m married, I will continue to gather data from my beloved married friends. So far my research findings reveal that… Marriage is not “Happily Ever After”… it’s actually “Hard Work Ever After.” So, hats off to all of my married friends… Congratulations! You did it! You are doing it! I’m encouraged and I’m inspired! Love You!

To my friends who have had to leave their marriages, perhaps by choice or not… I Love You. You’ve overcome depression and you have not lost your mind! I’m proud of you! Let me reassure you that  you’re not the dented can on the shelf and you are not a failure. You are no less love-able. In fact, you have the chance to present a more refined version of yourself to your next mate, should you choose to love again… and I hope you do.

Yours Vulnerably.

P.S. Hey Vulnera-bites! Let me apologize for not sharing a post last week. I was not going to write (Thank you cousin Dina for holding me accountable!). I missed the deadline I set for myself, as it’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’m tired. But, I really wanted to get this experience out of my head… and I’m glad I did 🙂

See you in my next blog!

Yours Vulnerably,

The Naked Writer

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PS. Thanks for journey-ing  through life with me! If you know someone who might enjoy this, share my heart with them and remember to subscribe so we can keep in touch (top right corner)! Oh yeah and comment (top left corner)! You’d be surprised how your comments encourage other readers— because other readers, do read the comments! Don’t you? lol

 

 

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Joelle Isidor says:

    I love how Melludi said to know you who are marrying. The only advice I would give is to try with all you have within you to be objective. Look at the person, not how he makes you feel.

    Marriage is hard. I love that it was brought home in this post.

    I too am not married and never have been, but totally agree with the comment that the lack of communication is a huge reason for divorce. Not only that, but one person might feel he/she is communicating, but what if the other person isn’t speaking your language? You may both speak the same vernacular, but do you speak the same language?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmmhhhh … communication! Big one.

      Like

  2. Ibsen says:

    Hey thank you for this post. Yes, marriage is definitely not happily ever after. It is hard work and the commitment to stay together to work through things. It is your decision to love someone despite their flaws and your decision to work as a team to build together.I wonder if some people choose to co-habitate and avoid getting married because of the pressures/expectations of making their union official. I mean, they’re already living under the same roof and have chosen to spend significant amount of time with a specific person by moving in together…there’s something about signing the marriage certificate and saying I do on an official day (and the pictures and/or video to prove it) that intimidates some people or gives them the chance to make excuses as to why marriage is not necessary or that getting married doesn’t prove love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The decision to be committed. Yes!

      Like

  3. #2 says:

    One of things I’ve enjoyed the most from a few of my married friends, is their willingness to invite me into their space. In doing life with them, it’s given me a real glimpse of “two aiming at becoming one.”

    I’ve seen the highs and lows of their lives. I must say, it isn’t for the faint at heart!

    Grace. Humility. Love.

    Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two aiming at becoming one…. no small thing! Thanks #2

      Like

  4. Great post!! (I typed up a novel-long response but my browser refreshed unexpectedly and it’s gone! Sadness). Anyway, 2 imperfect people joining together, and committing to each other for life is sooo beautiful, but it sure sounds like work!! Culture, however, has somehow tried to convince us that it’s all supposed to be rainbows and roses all the time…and if that’s not the case, then…move on. In addition to “working on me” and “learning as much as I can”, I definitely want to be a prayer warrior who constantly seeks discernment on how to navigate the complexities of this lifelong commitment. As you’ve said, transparency is golden, as I too have appreciated my married friends who are genuine and honest when it comes to the joys and challenges of married life! Thanks for sharing!!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaww Tear! Thanks for still deciding to comment even after that happened.

      Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. 🙂

      Like

  5. DZ Zeph says:

    What a great read! Truly proud of you 🙂 I definitely agree with you and believe the more we are honest with ourselves in a relationship the more we can grow as a unit. And maybe those who are married and aren’t sharing the truth of “what it takes” to keep a marriage aren’t ready to face their own reality. However, this article has enlightened me and I appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kay Luv says:

    As always, this was a great read! Growing up, I was lead to believe that marriage is all cotton candy and cupcakes, but the truth is, marriage is hard work. Sadly, I’ve seen friends and family love story turn into a nightmare. It’s truly is a disservice for married woman to only share the good and not the bad of marriage. Maybe if married folks share more, singles will think twice before settling down with any Billy Joe Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Exactly. It would help us think twice!

      Like

  7. Esther says:

    Great post! “Hard Work Ever After”- Yes! Marriage is but it’s soooooooooooooooo worth it. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Vanessa says:

    Really have no other comment other than it was a great post. I have a mental block on anything about marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading 😌

      Like

  9. AR says:

    Mac this is wonderful and thanks for the kudos! Yes marriage is wonderful. I was away last weekend attending a woman’s retreat. A dear dear friend informed me a few days before the trip that her husband had left her for another woman. The husband is the brother of my best friend. I knew nothing of this and we would be suite mates on our trip. But I was devastated of the news and I felt that I needed to connect with the husband to remind him of the vows I witnessed over 30+ years ago. I was surprised how open he was in my attempt to offer truth and grace. I realized that he is in a lot of pain with his decision but not enough to do he right thing. These are church going folks who had a serious communication problem. So I want to say that communication communication communication is crucial and when you think you’ve communicated enough, communicate some more. Never ever stop communicating with your beloved! I don’t know how that happens but evidently it does. Even with the craziness of life we have to communicate. Where people mess up (myself included) is making sure our actions reflect we what we communicate. OUCH! When that happens we must be willing to apologize and not justify and work to change. Truth and grace have become a constant reminder of the Father’s love for me. In that realization, marriage truly is a gift and I feel so sorry for people who don’t get to enjoy the other side of that very steep journey up the mountain of marriage. I’m so enjoying this side! Although I realize there are still some rocks that can trip me, the descent is easier! Great post my dear!!! I am so sure, you will be fine! You are so on point! Blessings on this wonderful day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Wow. Wow.

      C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E

      I heard it loud and clear!

      After I’m done communicating, communicate some more! Thank you for that wisdom nugget!

      Like

  10. Melludi says:

    Hard work ever after? Amen! I love that. You make so many good points. Working on yourself is imperative, but just as important is to be equally yoked and to know what you’re getting into i.e. Know who it is that you’re marrying. And still that’s just a start…7 years in and I still occasionally learn things about my husband that I didn’t know or may disagree with. Much grace is needed in a marriage, and much dying to self. Marriage is spiritual; it is a covenant, and it’s your number one ministry. It’s sad when people (even in the church) forget that …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 7 years later— still learning? Wow! I’ve heard of people married for 30years and they’re still learning about each other. I guess we need to be students of our marriage—- ever learning! 🙂 Thank you for your thoughts Madam Melludi!

      Like

    2. Joelle Isidor says:

      YES! I love it! KNOW WHO YOU ARE MARRYING. I’m so happy you wrote this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for reading Jo 😉

        Like

  11. sunloveraliciareg says:

    Great post. I’ve just celebrated our first year anniversary with my husband, but been together 7 and it definitely wasn’t an easy ride! Like you said “have to work on me”. I think we wouldn’t have got through our tough times if i didn’t be the bigger person sometimes and bring back focus and the real reason why we are together! I totally get what you’re saying xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes honey! Congratulations on your anniversary!!! Sometimes we have to be the bigger person and focus on what really matters! Pride can definitely take things south very quickly! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. 3000 says:

    My heart goes out to the lady. God is still able to heal those wounds; even after 50 years. Loved this post. Sharing this with all my married and unmarried friends. Keep them coming Naked Writer!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Even after 50 years, God is still able to heal those wounds…. If only we would leave at the altar and not go back for it. Thank you for finding my words worthy enough of sharing! 🙂

      Like

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