Marriage is hard. No one is perfect and I do not have the solutions or answers for anyone. There is an ideal. And I believe that we should promote and strive to that ideal despite the fact that every single one of us comes short of it.
I have close friends and family for whom marriages have ended. But that is not the end of their story or their striving. I love them and look up to them for what they are accomplishing and teaching me.
As I watch marriage in the popular culture there seems to be strong messages that I find really negative. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and they are like, "Marriage is a cage." The only way the characters can be happy is to get a divorce. They sign the papers and suddenly they are free from hurting each other. Lack of commitment has taken off all the pressure, and they can be in love.
Then in Nashville, a couple is not happy in their marriage; they don't want to hurt their children though, who have no idea what's going on, so they come up with this elaborate plan of how to keep up appearances but not have to see each other or work at anything.
I believe in marriage. I believe it is challenging and scary at times but that its that most amazing and wonderfully rewarding thing ever. It's terrifying to put oneself out there. My spouse has seen me at my worst and best. He's seen me be fired from a job, something so utterly humiliating. He's seen me graduate from collage. He has witnessed me pushing a baby out of my body, something he still says was the most incredible but also the craziest thing he's ever seen! Ha!
He has put up with my crazy moods and wacko thoughts. He has to listen to me go on and on...telling intricate details or venting or getting passionate about nursing or child birth or animals or whatever!
It's scary for me to let someone in that much. He could get fed up and leave me at any moment. But I feel that that is marriage: commitment, true trust, and putting yourself out there, even if it doesn't work out. I'm not naive. And I'm very sensitive to the fact that people try so hard and things aren't as they planned. No one but Collin and I and God know what we have been through in our marriage. We have been low, and somehow through the atonement of Christ and the grace of God, climbed out of our pit, together. I hope I am not hurting anyone by saying these things because I am not judgmental of anyone.
I truly believe in marriage. I truly have faith in it. I don't think it's a cage, I think it opens up a million possibilities.