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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Kardashian Divorce Causes Me to Think About My Marriage


I know nothing about the Kardashian’s, except their names. And I don’t know anything about the recent events in their family, with the exception of the now infamous divorce. A Fairytale Wedding and 72 days later the marriage ends? What can I say; I hope they don’t try to sell marriage advice books.

Betsy and I have been married for 25 years and we are still very much in love and very happy. We have disagreements, but never had a knock down drag out fight. We apologize and patch things up quickly. And we like to spend time with each other and our children. So, I guess this is what a happy marriage looks like. There may be other couples who are happy for different reasons, but it works for us.

I have always wished that I could bottle our secret ingredient to a successful and long lasting relationship and sell it. I would feel a sense of satisfaction having helped millions of couples. I would also make a ton of cash, which doesn’t make a person unhappy. But I just haven’t been able to pin it down. Just what is the secret to a truly fairytale marriage?

Being a preacher means I am in the marrying people business. I get out my pony and ride up and down the circuit blessing nuptials and eating a lot of white frosted cake. I have given a lot of advice to couples and therefore I have prepared myself by reading lots of books on the subject. I have found them helpful, but lacking. There always seems to be something missing. Communication is good between couples, but it depends on the type of communication. Screaming matches don’t help. Loving gestures are great, but don’t do much to settle disputes. Problem solving and other strategies are all well and good, but there always seems to be something missing. My main problem is that even after the advice and counseling, people still break up. Sometimes the counseling works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I know too many couples who have dug in their heels and let their irreconcilable differences tear them apart.

All of these unhappy couples have caused me to consider once again what it is about my relationship with Betsy that has made us so successful. I think it comes down to our willingness to sacrifice for each other. The marriage vows say; “in sickness and in health”. Standing by our spouse when a disaster strikes is something that we all would agree upon. However, I think what is crucial is the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of our spouses every day, not just when something bad happens like a untimely illness.

Betsy and I have sacrificed for each other over and over again in our life together. She knows that when she needs something she can count on me. I know that I can count on her as well. Neither of us have given up our unique personalities or our little quirks. Instead, we have realized that making our spouse happy is just as important as making ourselves happy. And so we compromise a little here, and give a little there. Sometimes Betsy gets what she wants, sometimes I do. But we are both secure in the knowledge that we can count on the other no matter what. And that makes our relationship very secure.
I don’t know what wrecked the Kardashian marriage. It certainly isn’t my business to know. I do know this; happiness does not come from getting what I want all of the time. Happiness comes from giving as much as getting.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

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