Marriage: Never Give Up!
By Tom Klobucher
Marriage: Never Give Up! I think it’s safe to say that every family has been stung by the scourge of divorce. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who was not personally impacted by at least one divorce, whether it took place in their family or that of a close friend.
In a way, perhaps it’s not surprising. Those of us who are married know that the marriage relationship has a way of revealing the depths of our character—both to our spouses and to ourselves. The lifelong commitment of marriage invites spouses to bare their souls to one another, and it’s an invitation that’s different from others because it cannot be declined. As weeks stretch into months, and months into years, and as the challenges of life multiply, the most basic truths about who you are will find expression.
That’s what life together is like. For many, the unspeakable joy of lovingly gazing into your spouse’s eyes on your wedding day and promising everything to them is eventually eclipsed by the answers to some very basic questions, such as: How will I respond when my spouse leaves the dishwasher wide open for the fifth time this week? Or: What will I say when I want to get out of the house and do something fun, and they just want to veg out in front of the TV? Or: How will I react when my spouse wants to go on an expensive vacation, but I want to save for our kids’ college expenses?
Depending on how we respond to these kinds of situations, the questions that confront us sometimes become more serious: Why does it seem that we never agree about anything anymore? How long has it been since we last smiled at each other? Why do I enjoy the attentions of a coworker or an acquaintance at the gym so much more than spending time with my spouse?
When the waters of marriage stir our souls, what rises to the surface can be surprising. This person with whom we were so excited to walk through life together starts to seem like an impediment. Where we once shared our souls with one another and happily sought out ways to make one another’s dreams a reality, now it becomes easy to doubt our spouse’s sincerity, commitment, or basic goodwill. Or we just wonder if we ever really knew the person to whom we pledged our life and love. We ask if we were fooling ourselves all along.
If any of this resonates with you, that may be because it’s probably true of every marriage to some degree. We forget that, don’t we? Sometimes you can feel so alone in the daily struggles that characterize your marriage that, not only can you not imagine how to navigate the situation with patience and grace, but you can’t imagine how anyone ever could.
Whatever your experience in marriage has been, I want you to know that you’re not alone! If you feel that your spouse has transformed into a person who is unrecognizable to you, or if you’ve done and said things to your spouse that you deeply regret, or if you can’t see how you could ever care deeply for the person you’re married to the way you once did—in short, if you feel that your love has died—this book is for you!
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