Monday, June 25, 2012


Have I ever mentioned that I find marriage difficult?  Certainly my own history demonstrates my personal struggle with the institution.

It dawned on me recently, however, that my perspective has been skewed.  The truth is not so much that marriage is hard but that I am hard on marriage.  Talk about high maintenance!  That would be me.

No one believed she was better prepared to be a “Christian wife and mother” than I at the ripe age of 20.  I had been trained by the church my entire life in addition to having great parents as role models.  I understood the marriage thing!  (This is where I pause while blushing and allow a moment of compassion for myself.)

My naiveté and self-righteousness obscured for far too long how difficult I am to live with.  I am rough on husbands!

I mention all this now because as I grow older and wiser I find I have tremendous empathy for couples.  My heart goes out to any two adults who embark upon the journey of lifelong committed, monogamous, honest, supportive relationship.  I have even more compassion for couples stumbling along the way, doubting themselves and one another. Marriage has challenged me in ways I never imagined, and often I failed to meet the challenge.  I’m not very good at it.

Nevertheless, I find persevering and trusting in a lifetime commitment to be an exquisite classroom for self-discovery, faith and trust, compassion and loyalty, honesty and transparency, humanity.  Marriage has benefitted me far more than I have ever benefitted it. Though I no longer believe in saving any marriage if by doing so honesty and integrity are sacrificed, I continue to have great respect for those who are willing to work at it until it is obvious that the next step to regaining or preserving personal integrity is divorce.

I’m interested in your thoughts and experiences.  Has your experience of marriage been easy and comfortable?  Or, like me, has marriage pushed and prodded you, frightened and challenged you, and revealed that you are not who you thought you were?


  1. Good one, Robyn - but the institution has never been a piece of cake for anyone. It's so hard and I keep taking the test over and over again, as the young lab tech said about passing her driver's license exam in one of my favorite Will and Grace episodes years ago. I feel the same way about long-term committed monogamous relationships. I failed more often than I succeeded, but I never quit trying. You are high maintenance, I am high maintenance - we is all high maintenance in our own ways and in different seasons of our lives which makes the longer term commitments difficult and the mistakes easier to repeat. Occasionally we get it right, though and when we do...oh, yeah...

  2. pushed, prodded, challenged...yes. classroom self-discovery and compassion...all that and more. Marriage has been my greatest teacher. Darn sure that's not what I consciously signed-up for, though. Yet, today (even in the midst of pain and struggle) I am deeply grateful. I have discovered myself. There is tension for me today with loyalty, commitment, selflessness and self-nurture. I'm actually wondering if all of those can exist in a marriage! I suspect they can, but I am slightly cynical today. Thanks for your thoughts! Keep writing!

  3. After 5 years I find that I fall in love more as time passes. I realized early on that one of us is the giver and one is the taker - but I do not mean that in a negative connotation. We have talked about this - and feel that I give more and he takes more, but those scales can be tipped in the other direction when necessary. When I feel the anger rising within me, I remember just how happy and joyful I am with him and how unhappy I was before he came along - usually the anger subsides.


My hope is that each blog entry serve as a conversation starter...please feel free to join in!