One of my dearest friends, Vicky, has been working diligently with her husband to move past the fall out of his affair that he confessed to about 10 months ago. Watching them work valiantly to save their marriage, often struggling, but still persisting, has been inspiring. Knowing Vicky as well as I do, and hearing her struggles and how she has turned them over to God on a daily, hourly and sometimes minute-by-minute basis, has been a powerful reminder to me of how I should live my own life.
I’ve had other friends deal with affairs, addictions and financial trials throughout their marriages. We’ve known a few couples that have split over pretty big stuff.
This Friday on a local Chicago radio show (WTMX’s Eric & Kathy), morning host Kathy announced that she and her husband were separating. She said that they still loved each other and were still friends, but for the sake of their family they were going to go their separate ways. She said that they realized that they were not in love with each other any more and that life had gotten in the way and when the dust settled, they were friends and roommates and nothing more.
This revelation was very unsettling to me because as often as people we’ve known have gotten divorced, most were not explosive endings. Most of the divorces seem to be the result of marital carbon monoxide poisoning.
Marriages are slowly poisoned over time because we don’t tend to them – we don’t feed them, care for them and keep them going. Most marriages die a slow, torturous death and the final cause of death can barely be determined because there were so many minor causes that it’s hard to find just one that killed it.
I have been fortunate in my marriage because Frank’s frequent absences make it hard for things to be dull. In spite of fertility treatments, pregnancy, work, etc – we’ve done a pretty OK job of keeping the marriage alive – but it could be better. With the exciting prospect of twins in just five months, I know we’re going to have to work even harder to keep things interesting between us. We’re going to need to go on dates and ask eachother questions and find creative ways to keep the romance alive.
I heard a pastor say once regarding scripture that presumed familiarity breeds unfamiliarity. I think that sometimes I think I know everything there is to know about Frank, but we’ll be sitting at dinner or driving somewhere and he’ll tell me a story about his life or something he’s learned and it gives me new appreciation for him.
So here is my question to you: What do you do to keep things fresh in your marriage?