Why Bother to Stay Married?

Why bother to stay married?

August 2, 2020, my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We rafted down the Payette River, climbed Mt. Borah and camped under the canopy of the Dark Sky Reserve in Central Idaho. For ten days we soaked in the sunshine and marveled at the starlight.

When we married in 1980, 49 million other couples married too. But, for every couple that marries, 40%-50% of them divorce. Marrying is easy. Staying married is not. 

Divorce crossed my mind more than once at the beginning of my marriage. Single living had not prepared me to think like a married woman. Living alone, I thought only of myself. Married, I had to consider someone else, an unnatural way for me to think. 

But over the years, marriage has changed that for me. Not suddenly, quickly or even consciously. Rather, subtly, over time, and with repetition, considering my husband and not just myself has become the norm. Staying married, I’ve gained unselfishness. 

Adversities happen. Unemployment, the death of a child and rebellious teenage sons is my short list of trials. But the aftershock can wreak havoc in a marriage for a long time afterward. 

Anger can turn into resentment. Silence can result in loneliness. I’ve run the gamut; yelling, and stomping my foot. Crying while trying to get my point across and crying alone behind a closed bedroom door. Another worthless method; muting myself for days at a time too.  

Stating that communication is key to marriage is an understatement. Telling you that I know how to do it would be a lie. I don’t always know how, but I’m driven to try. 

Staying married cultivates in us the art of communication, benefitting not just your spouse, but others as well. 

Why bother staying married? It is never too late to consider how marriage refines us so we can enjoy the pleasure of a starry night with our spouse, instead of alone. 

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