carbon monoxide poisoning

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?

3 thoughts on “carbon monoxide poisoning

  1. I think in a mature marriage, I’m talking about one 15 years plus, the whole idea of not being “in love” anymore is bogus. I mean, I look at my parents, who’ve been married for 35 years, and they’re certainly not in the first flush of “in love” anymore – but they LOVE each other, definitely. They have a deep love for each other that is laughing together, looking after each other, travelling together, making a future together. They are soul mates That “in love” stage, that state of excitement that many get addicted to, I think is really just hormones doing crazy things. What really matters is what is left afterwards.

  2. Flying High – I think you’re right that many do get addicted to the “in love” stage – perhaps that’s why so many seek excitement outside of the marriage to keep that feeling going. Thanks for your comment!

  3. It’s funny, because having kids really does change your marriage. But, the second Brendan goes down for a nap or is being watched by someone else so we can go out, we fall right back into who we were as a couple before Brendan. I think it’s important to get time alone, even though I miss Brendan horribly the second we leave him. Taking the time to concentrate on each other is very important. I also think that Mom’s and Dad’s need to share roles. Like, it’s not just Mom’s job to do the laundry and clean, but a mutual task as well as yard work, parenting and caring for the kids. You end up having a much better understanding and appreciation for each other and whatever the other has just gone through. (screaming baby all morning, tantrums in the middle of the store, or scrubbing that grimy shower that just never seems to get clean!) It can be hard to do that sometimes if one person is away or busier at work than the other, but you have to try.

    Kids can create a lot of tension because there are so many things to think about and work through. Problems arise that need to be dealt with (Little Johnny is 8 months old and still waking up to eat at 3 am.. . not cool Little Johnny!) and if you aren’t both on board with how to handle something, things can get sticky. Keeping dialogue going and talking through these times will help dramatically.

    That’s what I got 🙂

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