Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The sanctity of marriage…or not…whatever, right?

I am amazed to see each day on my iGoolge home page the amount of relationship failures I see, the amount of extramarital affairs I read about, and the hope that is lost in the sacred vows we take with the one person we love. Then I remember I am on iGoogle and most of what I read is about celebrities and their small lives blown up on an internet page. Was anyone really surprised to find out Tiger wasn’t faithful to his beautiful wife when he could have any whore in the bar he wanted? Were we really appalled at Jesse James when he broke Sandra’s heart with some other tattooed tramp? Do you believe The Don has been faithful all these very few years since marrying his last wife? So now I read about marriages lost to sex with others and I think, that’s too bad, but really, it’s also Hollywood or professional sports, or it’s the price of celebrity. Brad Pitt has yet to fall at my feet and beg me to my knees, so I’ve yet to be tempted. Amy Ray either, by the way. But I’d hope to be a better person and a better wife if either of them did come knocking at my door.
But what I am surprised about however is the lack of respect for marriages that are out of the public eye. In the past few years, I’ve seen three people I know go through divorce. I’ve watched their worlds turn upside down, lives ripped apart only to be rebuilt one tiny Lego at a time after years of hope and dreams. Only one of those three I know was a result of infidelity. Only person of those six was a cheating man. Sad, but almost expected, huh? On the flip side, I am shocked at how many marriages have stayed together while the wives cheat. In just two years, I learned of seven women I know that cheated on their husbands. Some husbands know and have chosen to move forward rebuilding trust within their marriage. Some husbands do not even know. I’ll never understand what causes such disrespect in a woman. I’ll never quite get what she is missing and why she feels the need to risk it all for a romance that could be waiting for her at home.
One thing I can say is I love my husband very much, and sometimes that is hard to do. Marriage is hard. Life is frustrating, and it’s easy to forget the one person you need most – yourself – in a relationship. I don’t know what’s happened in marriages of which I am not a part, but I do know when I feel lost in mine, I have to look at myself and see what I can do to improve myself. It’s those occasions that I am successful that my marriage improves as well. I can’t pretend to understand what it is like in someone else’s shoes, but I can be shocked that so many women are putting their families at risk.
Ladies, ask yourself what he would do if you told him today. Would he leave you? Would you be thrown out on the streets without your cushy stay at home mom job? Hey, I’m a stay at home mom and I know it’s hard. It’s the toughest job I’ve ever had. But there is no commute, there is no boss except your own expectations of yourself, and there are no reviews or pay raises. But compared to what your husband does each day to provide for your family, to keep you at home, to send you to school, to give you Starbucks every day, or simply just to feed you and give you blankets for your bed, I feel the least you can do is respect him enough to tell him you are screwing around while he’s at work and the kids are at the neighbors or that you did screw around on him when you thought he wasn’t good enough for you or fun enough for you or worked too hard and didn’t have enough time for you.
My husband works hard for his family each day. Each week we miss him more and more, but we know that each evening when he’s done working, our day as hard as it may have been was easier than his. I know that our mortgage payment is not contingent on whether or not I did enough laundry that day, but it is dependent on his daily work. I’m a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister and a volunteer….I get angry and I have hard days, and believe me, I complain enough for the two of us being a stay at home mother, feeling responsible for shaping little complicated lives, but I couldn’t imagine disrespecting my husband quite so much as I have heard from some of the women I know. I am in shock with each take I hear. Again, I can’t pretend to know the circumstance. But if you are being abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated, leave him. But don’t teach your daughters that it’s okay to not communicate with your spouse and give your body and mind to someone else because you can’t say the right words to the right person. Please don’t teach your sons to expect the women in their lives to treat them this way. Your children will go looking for these traits in the people in their lives whether they know it or not. It’s ugly and I’m sure it’s not what you want for your family. In turn, we should be treating others as we’d like to be treated and we should be teaching our children to expect the same. It saddens me that so many women I know have chosen this road and it saddens me more to think I am one of few who is shocked.

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