What’s In A Marriage?

As often happens, today’s post comes from lessons and experiences in my own life, and being a minister who performs weddings regularly, that means there’s a lot of experience.  But today’s lesson isn’t just from performing weddings, it’s also from my own personal life….and watching my successes and failures, learning from my mistakes.  But just as important to me, is what I learned from my parents’ marriage.

As I’ve stated before, I haven’t had contact with my family for many years.  That doesn’t mean that I forget the family important dates…and today is my parent’s 46th wedding anniversary.  In today’s society, that is quite an accomplishment, and what many people would consider a successful marriage.  If you are only counting the length of time that a couple has co-habitated together, then yes, you could say that  my parents have a successful marriage.  However, if you are basing what you consider success on whether or not they are happy, spend time together, how closely they communicate, then I cannot state that they do have a successful marriage.

You see, in my family’s house, while I did see some attempts at what you could call love…my father would occasionally bring home flowers, and buy my mother expensive gifts, my mother would buy him nice gifts, my parents truly lived very separate lives (and by all accounts still do).  Yes, they still spend time together, sometimes, but more often than not, their activities are very separate.  The conversations I remember were often superficial, and many times was there an undercurrent of stress prevalent through the house due to the tension between the two, and yes, as a child, I was often brought into the middle of it through a form of manipulative control.  After I left the house as an adult, I was having a conversation with my mother regarding the marital relationship and she brought up divorce.  Several years later, we had another conversation.  She had decided to not pursue divorce, not to save the relationship, but to maintain her control over the joined “things”.

As a child I thought my parents had a great relationship.  Obviously time and experience has taught me otherwise.  I do wish my parents a Happy Anniversary.  I hope for them all the best that life can offer, and I hope that they can relearn to have, and love, all the best experiences that they can share.  I also hope that they know how grateful I am for all the lessons they have taught me, both the good and the bad.  I love you, Mom and Dad.

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