Respect for a Persevering Marriage

In a photo via the Hillary Clinton campaign, Hillary and Bill Clinton at Yale in the early 1970s. Hillary Clinton’s work, as a young law student in 1972, to determine whether a school in Alabama discriminated against blacks was a moment of awakening for her. (Via Hillary Clinton campaign via The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH CLINTON SEGREGATION 1972 BY AMY CHOZICK FOR DEC. 28, 2015. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED. --

A friend sent me this picture and it reminded me of something: 41 years is a long time to be married.

Anyone’s who’s been married will testify to this. (On some days, a day is a long time to be married.)

Being married to someone for 41 years means making tremendous sacrifices, sometimes giving more than you think you’re getting, forgiving things you didn’t think you could forgive, living through the worse parts of “for better or worse”. It means not bailing, running, or looking to trade-up when things get messy or boring or painful. 

It means occasionally surviving Hell together—even if you helped create that Hell together.

Marriage sometimes means staying when going seems like the rational, healthy, or even wise decision. Sometimes people leave before they should or stay when they should walk away, but even for those two people, knowing the when is almost impossible.

I haven’t been married 41 years, but long ago I learned that anyone else’s marriage isn’t my jurisdiction. It is not within my capacity to properly critique. It is not something I’m qualified to speak to with any accuracy or clarity. We all think we can see another’s marriage clearly from the outside, but we simply can’t. Only two people are within it, and they are the only ones who really understand it. In love, this proximity is everything. 

My wife and I have a million moments and tears and scars that no one else on the planet has access to, and it is our specific sharing of those things that makes our marriage sacred. As much as we are spouses and best friends, we are fellow soldiers who have fought together in the trenches of loving and changing and failing and forgiving and repeating. No one has been with us, in the way that we have been with one another—and this is where the sanctity of our marriage is.

Being married is really, really difficult stuff; like Master’s Degree living stuff. Staying married to one person for life isn’t easy, or every couple who began would still be married. (That “till death do us part” thing is not for the faint of heart.) Couples who manage to persevere aren’t better, but they are different. They have battled to survive—and they have somehow survived; wounded, weary, and wrinkled, but they have. There is no single secret to this. There is only the stumbling, awkward, glorious working out of a partnership that has never existed before, by two people trying to hold on to it and to one another in real-time.

So I’ve learned to respect any marriage that endures, because I know it came at a great price, and because I realize that only those two people and no one else, understand what they have together, how hard they’ve had to work, what they’ve shared, and what they mean to one another.

You and I don’t know the people in this photograph, not as much as we might believe we do. Like all marriages theirs is the unique, once-in-history property of the two people who began it, who shared it, who built it, who sustained it.

41 years is a long time to be married.

May we who choose marriage, all find a way to love with perseverance.

101 thoughts on “Respect for a Persevering Marriage

  1. Dear John P.,

    Thank you again for writing good stuff. I learned a long time ago that what goes in the marriage of someone else is none of my business. A friend might choose to share with me on occasion but that does not give me license to access every one of their moments together.

    I find myself wanting to reminisce about my own marriage, but I shan’t. I can never fully communicate the complications and too many people will say judgemental things, not caring how much they hurt.

    The Clintons have struggled together in ways we can never fully know. People say they hate her because she stayed with him. I suspect had she left him, those same people would have condemned her for that. It is just too easy to condemnatory and judgmental from the outside. Instead of gathering facts, we make assumptions. That dysfunction is so very destructive.

    • This is a ridiculous article. Theirs is a marriage of political convenience. He is a serial rapist. She derided his victims. Theirs is not a marriage, only a business agreement. If they are a model of marriage, so is Donald Trump. Ridiculous

      • If you want us to ignore Benny because he is using the vocabulary of trolls, then perhaps it would do you well to also avoid that vocabulary.

        The conservatives claim they can forgive what Trump did 10 years ago, even though he is still doing this stuff now, yet they cannot forgive Bill for what he did 20 years ago.

        Such hypocrisy.

        Please read what John wrote with care. At no point does he say the Clintons are a model marriage.

        All he writes about is how hard marriage is and none of us knows everything there is to know about a marriage because we are not the people involved.

          • Rev.HeidiAnne, It is, I agree, sometimes difficult to know which of us a troll is trolling.

            Please allow me to point out that “Anonymous” quilt icon is shared by Benny, as are so many names “Benny” possibly posts under. I have asked John P to clarify if “Benny” has multiple accounts but so far, he hasn’t responded to me.

            There is more than one person posting here as “anonymous.” One is a troll. One is not. I think from the use of “idiot” and the quilt icon shared with Benny, this is the troll speaking but to whom, who knows.

            I do wish we weren’t assigned these quilt icons and could instead use an avatar unique to each account.

  2. Indeed, a long marriage has plenty of ups and downs and sometimes quite hellish situations when synchronicity of feelings and wants are out of step. We’re just coming up to our Golden Wedding (50 years on 22nd Oct) and I sometimes feel there should be a Marriage Olympics and if there were, we’d be getting Gold Medals! Looking back over our 50 years and knowing exactly what our failings are/were, I feel blessed that we’ve come this far. Whether we get to our Diamond Wedding remains to be seen, but we’ll just take each day as it comes now. Congratulations to all couples who are successfully and happily celebrating long marriages.

    • Congratulations of 50 years!!! We are going on 21 and some days I can’t imagine my life without him and other days I wonder how did I marry this person in the first place? LOL.. Awww Love! Celebrating your testimony of love!

    • Congratulations! We’re at 49, going on 50 years together, ranging from fantastic to “I can’t kill him/her, because I’d end up in jail”–sometimes in the same week. All in all, though, we’re glad to be together, grateful for our children, and ready for as many more years as we get.

    • Congratulations Mizzy. We will reach our 56th year next month. I can guarantee anyone that some of those years, esp. the last 15 have been very difficult. But I’m still here and she’s still here. Sometimes I’m not sure why. I could give you some guesses but I don’t think they’re worth typing. We said we’d stay together and we have. Don’t think we should get a medal. It’s just what we do.

  3. Thank you, John. We are all so guilty of judging others without knowing all the circumstances. I’ve been married 38 years now, and it hasn’t been easy. Thank you for sharing.

      • Things in their marriage are NONE of yours or anyone else’s business.

        What is so hard to understand about that? They make whatever accommodations to their circumstances which suit them the same way any other couple does.

        No one gets to have an opinion on it because our opinions would be without enough information to have evidence and facts to back up our opinions. There is only speculation, which is nto evidence. Just gossip.

  4. Amen and amen, Brother John. You write with so much wisdom and truth.

    My husband and I will celebrate fourteen years this December, and he has been my rock for every one of those years.

    I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, and for several years we went through a patch of trying out different meds (most of which did not work). And when the meds didn’t work, I self-medicated with alcohol.

    Once I finally got my symptoms under control, I asked John how he managed to stay with me through all that, and he seemed surprised as he said, “Did you think I didn’t mean what I said at our wedding?”

    Which is why I love him.

    • Love your story. I confess that I’m a former bigot toward non heterosexual relationships. God has opened the eyes of my heart. My sister is bipolar and her husband is either critical or withdraws. Glad you have living support.

      • Rosemarie, I feel so badly for your sister. Bipolar is a tough disease for the person who has it and hard on families. Does your sister have a support group? Would her husband be willing to go to a support group for people who have family members with a mental illness? NAMI is a good place to start for those.

        Also, I am happy that your heart has changed about same sex relationships. Love is danged hard to find in this world and I rejoice when 2 people find each other.

    • That’s beautiful. In my opinion, to the ones that are against gay marriage should read this and see that gays don’t sanctify the institution of marriage. On the contrary, you and your husband take the vows : in sickness and in health ” literally and with much love. God bless and hugs to you and to your husband.

      • It’s totally impossible for two people of the same sex to marry. There is no such thing as a “gay marriage.” It’s a union of sorts but not a marriage. It’s a man made distortion of what God decreed. See what the Catholic Church says. See what the Bible says.

        • TROLL ALERT

          It is clearly not impossible for there to be same-sex marriage as it is the law of the land and same-sex marriages are established every day.

          Besides, there is no Biblical statement against same-sex marriage. It is not forbidden by the Bible. Can’t have been, because it did not yet exist, therefore the Bible says nothing at all about same-sex marriages.

          Does say stuff about men and women getting married, but that is all it says. Which does not preclude same-sex lovers from marrying.

          • It precludes same-sex lovers. OT and NT.

            That was also taught by the Church since day 1 and also by the schismatic denominations for a very long time, until some recently went the way of the world.

  5. We’ve been married 38 years & most days I’m not sure I should have hung on. The emotional pain lingers over things that should never have been forgiven. He has over the past 15 years become a racist, bigot, unrelenting opinionated man who turns every conversation he decides to participate in into a screaming match where he believes his is the only right answer. But guilt makes me stay with him now because he has a serious neurological disorder and cannot do many things on his own for the last 2 years.
    Be happy you cannot see inside. I wish I couldn’t.

    • “Be happy you cannot see inside. I wish I couldn’t.”

      I am not going to tell you to leave the marriage (as it is not my place to do so), but what I am thinking is could you find perhaps a therapist or even a support group for your situation? You did not say what disorder your husband is suffering from but there are therapists and groups for the families of an awful lot of these problems and they are readily available.

      It won’t solve your problems but it may help you to cope with them.

      Stay strong.

    • Mary Jane, I am so very sorry to read this. What pain and torment you must have felt and still feel from this abuse.

      As for staying with him, there are alternatives. As caregiver for a 91 year old mother, I have some experience. If you use Facebook, please PM me. Let me know you are because you will show up in Message Requests, rather than Messages.

      I’d deem it a privilege to share with you what I’ve learned.

  6. Thank you for this…I agree, marriage is a closed club of sanctity and grace. My grandmother (who lived to be 100 God rest her soul) wrote me a letter after year one of our marriage. She said that” divorce was never and option…Murder maybe but never divorce!” Bless her heart..she was married to her only love for 62 years when he passed. She grieved him for 8 long, grueling years where we worried she would pass to be with him…thankfully she lived 26 years past his death. My husband and I are going on 21 years. The years have been brutal in our trials, but I “see him” and the love just grows. To many looking in they would have left I am sure…It’s part of our story, our mystery, our print of forever…

  7. It is 43 years married also. Lots of many ups and down also. It can be hairy at times because I believe that when he suddenly lost his job, because of his age, and they wanted to hire younger people for less wages, I believe that he had depression shock. Since he refused to get help for that, I saw he was allowed only 1 small glass full of wine each day, and as I watched more and more, and now he is drinking 2 or more liters of whiskey each week, and he is getting angrier and angrier. Not so much at me, we have our 7 and 5 year old grandchildren, and he bellows, cuss and swear at them, and he does say that he feels cheated for him that he can’t be a regular grandfather that can go and see the grand kids when he wants to, and that he can leave away from them when he wants. I do think that depression shock is messing with his mind. 🙁 The kids know that grandma ls always a rock for them, with lots of love and hugs, and I have had some success with my husband when seeing how kids will help me and help around the house with me, showing their caring and compassion, and they want to help here, they want to learn to do things, not him trying to have total control over them. I am modeling what to do that works lots better, and it is slowwwwly working on him learning, he still buys a lot of alcohol still though. The way things have been going on, I am concerned that he may not live much longer especially with his rages and drinking so much, and I do think what can happen if someone refuses to look for help for the depression.

    • I know that I still love my husband, and I will stick with him to the end, or me first. I have seen other peoples spouses get dementia, etc. and they stick with them and take care of them the best as they are capable and even longer if they can.

  8. Thank you for this article. I did not recognize President and Mrs Clinton until I had re-read the article twice. But that really doesn’t matter. Although, I truly feel that in all the mudslinging political crap we have had to endure, it is pathetic that no one gives them credit for staying together and making their marriage endure.

    I have been married 31 years and a lot of what you say is applicable in my marriage. The better or for worse is about two flawed human beings trying to live together as one. It takes a lot of grace and mercy and I am thankful to God for his rich supply of both.

    I appreciate your blog very much.

  9. Thanks again for your intelligent and grace filled words. Those of us who have experienced a few years of marriage understand that a lasting partnership is is rarely, if ever, a 50/50 proposition. There is a huge amount of compromise, sacrifice, respect, support, joy, tears and everything in between to make things work for the good of both people. It takes fortitude to live with another person for many years, even when you are “madly in love.” And madly can be the key word, at times! In my opinion, it’s risky business to criticize another couple’s marriage. If anything, 40+ years of marriage has taught me to mind my own business and lift others up, rather than be the purveyor of judgement.

  10. On my second marriage, the first was a mistake from the beginning and I tried my best to make it survive but it takes two to do that and he wasn’t in it fully. This time around I am certain that my marriage will last. I learned so much from the first one that I take those lessons and grow from there. Not saying this marriage is perfect, no one is perfect and we’ve had our trials and tribulations but we are both committed in making this work and using our respect and love for one another to do that.
    Bill and Hillary’s marriage has not been perfect, far from and to go through all of their problems in the public eye hasn’t been easy for them either, I can’t imagine doing that! But there had and has to be something that keeps them connected that we are not privy to…and shouldn’t be either. I have the utmost respect for both of them for being together and working it out.

  11. So staying married on paper is more admirable than being faithful in that marriage? You’re going to hold up one of the most notorious adulterers and his enabling wife as an example of persevering in fidelity? Whatever you’re smoking, I don’t want any.

    • I was wondering when a troll would turn up to twist John P’s words into something he never said.

      Why are you being called a troll? You didn’t read what John P wrote attentively and that last sentence was pretty nast.

      • He could have found better examples. How about George and Barbara Bush? Or Billy and Ruth Graham? People who believed in fidelity…

        • As usual, Benny, your obsessions blind you to the issue. Of the two couples you mention is either one of the parties runn ing fro President? Nope.

          Benny, I say this with compassion and kindness, you need medical help.

          • That’s really the point. He’s supposed to be a pastor, but it’s always about politics. Liberal Democrat politics.

            I’ve been on the internet long enough to know that when someone makes insinuations about needing “medical help” it’s never with “compassion and kindness.” It’s always a dig.

            • Benny, you only betray yourself and how much you really do need medical help because you twist and distort John’s blog into saying things that are not there.

              Yod do need medical help and I do mean that with compassion and kindness. No matter how your distorted woldview twists my words.

              I feel like telling you that you need medical help is the same thing as telling an alcoholic quite clearly that he or she is an alcoholic. Once the words are said, they are working away in the subconscious. Hopefully compelling that person into AA.

              You do need medical help. I do not have the authority of the Holy Spirit to compel you. I pray the Holy Spirit will prevail.

                • You need the attention of mental health professionals, Benny. You have demonstrated this over and over and over again. I am sure I am not the only person who is concerned for you.

        • Cynicism isn’t really a spiritual gift. 😉
          Discernment is, but you aren’t called to discern the quality of someone else’s marriage.

        • Benny, I think the whole point is the fact that their marriage was so blatantly not perfect. That there are graces and sorrows in every marriage is true, and there is a beautiful testimony in those marriages like those of Betty and George and Billy and Ruth, or my own parents…etc…

          But there’s also a testimony worth hearing or witnessing in those who’ve suffered and failed and fought and somehow still found their way to the other side.

          Of course, you can’t tell from the outside entirely why some people hold things together…and it’s not always the best thing, and it’s not always for the best reasons…but that’s when that whole Not Bearing False Witness thing.
          Since we can’t KNOW…(and it’s not our business anyway)
          “We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.” (Luther)

          • I understand what you’re saying, but why THIS marriage? Why does he have to always be pushing politics? I’ll give him credit that at least he didn’t pick on Christians this time.

      • I admire long marriages because I know they represent sacrifice and learning to not be selfish. I especially love seeing couples that put Jesus first in their Marriage.

        It would be nice if John P could have chosen some role models to represent perseverance in Marriage.

        When I look at the Clinton’s marriage, I see disrespect and abuse. I don’t think they ‘worked’ on their marriage at all.

        • We can always count on you for a judgmental opinion.

          Its too bad you don’t bother to read closely enough. The very people who are role models are those who persevere and none of us get to have an opinion about the nature of the work anyone does in any marriage because we are not living that marriage.

          If anyone is seriously disturbed by what John P has written, I think its a case of the shoe fitting too well and maybe your own marriage needs attention. But it is so much easier to find fault with someone else’.

          Honestly, the depth of “Paul Inberea’s” own personal hypocrisy is astounding. She hides behind a false name from which she renders her judgemental opinions.

          Yesterday she bore a whole lot of false witness against John and his church for being an “Emergent Church” without any solid evidence to support her lies. Please show us evidence, such as exactly where on the website it says “we are an emergent church.”

          You just can’t go around making accusations about people. That is called gossiping, rumormongering, and frequently, outright lies.

          Since you lie about your own name, why would we trust you to ever speak the truth?

          • ts too bad you don’t bother to read closely enough. The very people who are role models are those who persevere and none of us get to have an opinion about the nature of the work anyone does in any marriage because we are not living that marriage.

            If anyone is seriously disturbed by what John P has written, I think its a case of the shoe fitting too well and maybe your own marriage needs attention. But it is so much easier to find fault with someone else’.

  12. Sorry, in this case I can’t help but be cynical. It would have been bad for Hillary’s and Bill’s power and wealth quest to divorce. At least Bill has no need to divorce to “trade up,” since his wife lets him have babes on the side.

      • Benny has been repeatedly asked for non-partisan sources to support his claims and he refuses.

        He has been provided with the same and he ignores them as they do not match his preconceived ideas. He is obsessed with abortion and getting Trump elected because as a good Catholic, he finds Trump’s policies more in keeping with his Catholic faith. No matter what John P writes about, Benny drags the red herrings of his obsessions through the conversation.

        Benny is a troll of a peculiar nature, a theological troll.

        Please google “10 Signs You are Dealing with a Theological Troll!”

  13. I will make one comment about marriage, having been married to one person only for going on 38 years. People who get married at 18 or 23 years of age today tend to go into it with ideas that are just plain untrue. One of those untrue things is “blissful love” that is going to last a lifetime—Romeo and Juliet Syndrome. That wears off—and you have to understand that going in. Marriage—more than anything else—is a committed partnership with a close friend. One day your male hormones are going to wear out. I have so little testosterone left that I can sweat for a week without a bath and my underarms never even smell bad. When your wife loses all her estrogen, you are going to wake up one morning to the sad reality that all that sweet “female stuff” was just a temporary veneer overlay on top of a guy named Buford Fletcher. That’s right Homer Freeman. You were really married to Buford Fletcher for the past 40 years—but just didn’t know it because the estrogen smoke screen was masking it. Most of all. Marriage takes work. It takes understanding. It takes endurance. It takes commitment. It takes the ability to withstand highs, lows, and everything in the middle. You are going to drive her crazy. She is going to drive you crazy. Marriage is not 50-50, as others have said rightly above. Marriage is not about your dick. Marriage is not about your vagina. Those are only temporal things. Marriage is about hanging in there and hanging with your partner through thick and thin.

    If you are thinking about getting married, take a close look at the words in those marriage vows. Can you really do all those things, or do you have another 5 years of the party life to get out of your system? If you do, avoid getting married. Marriage is for when you are READY to be married.

    A final note to the unwary—-you may think LOVE is the grease that lubricates a good marriage. It is not. The only thing that properly and effectively lubricates a sustainable marriage is MONEY. I know that sounds crass and mercenary, but it is the truth. If you and your spouse are in questionable financial circumstances, money issues will be the death of your marriage. The thousand mile highway of marriage is littered with burned out wrecks that have two words written on them “MONEY PROBLEMS.” We no longer live in a society where it is really possible for the female to sit on her can at home and keep house. The whole culture expects the woman to work. When business men sit down to price a product, several factors are taken into account. “We could price our new tuna at 69 cents per can—but most women work today—so let’s make it an even $1.00. The whole American business system and way of life is pitted against home-bound mommies who just want to clean house, take care of the kids, and watch soap operas. The modern marriage takes two people to do the economic tango—and if you do not heed my words here—you are going to find your new marriage in grave trouble after a bit.

    • I agree with much of what you said. And I know the pressures financial difficulties can cause because we’ve been there, but that tended to keep us together, since we couldn’t afford to split up. I’ve been in the same marriage, my only marriage, for over 35 years. We have had some very rough times when we spoke about divorce (thankfully no longer). My tendency to procrastinate and do something about it and my fear of getting into something worse helped keep us together. And of course there was always that tiny hope things could improve.

      Anyway, back to money, I think an abundance of money makes it too easy to divorce.

      I remember attending a special mass for a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. During the homily the celebrant said that there comes a time when romantic love must give way to sacrificial love. I din’t like the sound of that at the time, but I’ve found it to be true, whether I like it or not. It doesn’t seem like or feel like “love” but I think it really is in the truest sense, since it’s a concern that doesn’t look for anything in return. My “love” in my youth was very self-centered and obsessed with pleasure. All that has changed, and not by choice, but I’ve accepted it.

    • Charles – well said.
      As I thought on your points and reflecting on my own marriage of 20+ years – it was my wife’s strength of character, commitment and willingness to adapt (or overcome) to the challenges life has handed us that deserves admiration, respect and love. She understood my professional dedication or making a living in order to secure the resources needed for a home and children. For us, alone time became and often is – harder to find and thus more precious than my words can express.
      Funny, we are not the same young couple today but in my eyes I still see and desire the woman I met 24+ years ago. Yes, you are correct, sex can only take you so far – but if your patient, kind and forgiving – it gets better.
      In my opinion, the mystery of marriage is revealed in and over time – it is in the struggles of life together – where the bond is either strengthen or torn apart.

  14. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I wish to say that my brother and I learned what a good marriage was from my parents’s example. They were married for forty years. Ten of those years before I was born and then my brother came along a year after I did and that was it for kids.

    Mom and Dad were best friends. The best times I remember are Sunday afternoons when we sat at the kitchen table playing cards. I remember the laughter. I remember how much fun they were.

    When I graduated from University and became an actor and musician in New York, they were always there, supporting me. I worked at it for ten years but I had given myself until age thirty-two and it was not happening so I went back to the corporate world where I had put myself through school.

    We lost Dad to lung cancer just four months after their fortieth anniversary. Mom never really recovered from the loss,and we were not too surprised when she followed him three years later.

    My memories of them are filled with joy and laughter. When it came to parents, I really hit the jackpot.

    • –what a huge blessing to have parents like that.

      I think marriage is a great place to work out ones sanctification.

      My parents were well suited to each other, but divorced after 45 years of marriage. Neither re-married. They stayed friends, but Grandchildren (& me & my brothers) missed out on that particular blessing. It’s never made right.

      • “It’s never made right.”

        Except they did what was right ********for********** them. Be thankful they remained friends because too many couples don’t. Be grateful.

          • Were you one of the participants in that marriage? where you the husband or the wife? If so, you get to have an opinion. If not you don’t have a right to an opinion because you don’t have all the facts.

            You only think you do because you have demonstrated to readers of this blog that you will always choose to be judgmental rather than entertain any shade of grey in your thought processes because you only think in terms of black/white.

              • Danny R, Very sorry, I don’t recall your original words.

                If that was your parents’ conviction about their marriage, then that’s their conviction.

          • Methinks you are missing part of the story because they were gracious with each other in front of you, to their credit.

            Apparently you believed it to be wrong for them, but clearly, had they agreed, they would have had the option of reconciling their marriage.

            But a bit of a clue, it was worth your judgment, their financial losses, disappointing themselves and their children and sorting their their own sense of what was right before God for them to make that decision. Unless you really think your parents were flat out idiots, you may want to give them the grace that they did what was necessary for them for some reason.

            Genuinely, I’m sorry for how you are perceiving the loss…and the pain it’s causing you. The fact that you may have suffered a different kind of loss if they had remained married is probably no comfort to you…but I hope you can accept it down the line, or at least stop resenting what you don’t understand.

            • ….hmmm… Somewhere, I guess I misspoke…

              True, I was disappointed about my parents long (45 yrs) marriage ending, but we all respected our parents greatly, we totally accepted their decision to dissolve their marriage, we were very supportive. And we NEVER opened our mouths about it. NEVER. It’s their life. They both did well during their marriage, and after their marriage (health wise & financially).

              We saw them monthly, and vacationed with them (separately) , and did birthdays and holidays together. There was no pall over the family. Our parents were super supportive of us, and we paid them back the same. We all helped them when they got sick (separately), and our attorney said we were one of the few families he saw handle the Family Inheritance as well as we did. No squabbling. No greed. Out of respect and LOVE of our amazing parents.

              –All I said, was, that the Grandchildren did not get that same blessing, as they would have if they had stayed together. It hurt their little hearts. [Just being honest.] And both my parents agreed, and they were sad about that part. We (the living) continue to count ourselves blessed, that they were in our lives. There is no lingering sadness about their divorce. It happened.

  15. “I will make one comment about marriage, having been married to one person only for going on 38 years. People who get married at 18 or 23 years of age today tend to go into it with ideas that are just plain untrue. One of those untrue things is “blissful love” that is going to last a lifetime—Romeo and Juliet Syndrome. That wears off—and you have to understand that going in. Marriage—more than anything else—is a committed partnership with a close friend.”

    That is one of the truest statements about marriage I have ever read. I particularly like the bit about the “Romeo and Juliet Syndrome;” young marrieds would do well to remember how THAT story ended.

    It is important to learn these lessons. Looking back I am not sure what I expected with my first partner but whatever it was I was sure let down and not all of it was his fault.

    My second marriage has taught me the lessons I should have learned: what is important is that your partner be your best friend. There will still be passion, don’t worry about it. But passion has its place. It isn’t the be all and end all.

  16. My parents were just 3 months shy of their 63rd anniversary when my mom passed. He has talked about their struggles with the love and acceptance that helped them carry on through them. He is proud that he never cheated on her although there was a stretch when she believed she loved someone else. It was hurtful but at least she was honest and hurting as much as he was – and they worked through it. Their relationship was respectful and my dad’s shining star will always be how he took care of Mom even when it got more physically difficult for him. They were devoted to say the least. It’s rare now but I’ve seen it and know it’s possible. What a lovely legacy!

  17. ts too bad you don’t bother to read closely enough. The very people who are role models are those who persevere and none of us get to have an opinion about the nature of the work anyone does in any marriage because we are not living that marriage.

    If anyone is seriously disturbed by what John P has written, I think its a case of the shoe fitting too well and maybe your own marriage needs attention. But it is so much easier to find fault with someone else’.

  18. Very well said. My sentiments exactly. Some years ago, one of my favorite Christian radio talk shows was Focus on the Family with James Dobson as founder and host. The last day that I listened to the show was the day he criticized Hilary Clinton for choosing to stay with her husband despite his indiscretions. Dobson called her “that old Hilary Clinton.” It was then that I realized his hypocrisy and that his focus was more on politics instead of the sanctity of family.

  19. Bill Clinton gave a beautiful speech at the DNC about how he met and wooed Hillary. It was so sweet and endearing. He is lucky to still have her by his side. And they raised a lovely daughter.

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