Marriage is Work

“Marriage is work.” We hear the words all the time (as if to suggest those who divorce aren’t working hard enough). As a result of the comparison, I often liken marriage to a job:  first you have to prove yourself worthy, then you get hired and everyone rejoices because a vacancy has been filled.  There is hope and optimism that the team will move forward and accomplish great things together. You have to show up every day, even when you don’t exactly feel like it. You have to use the skills you have as well as learn new ones as […]

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The Ballad of My First Car (and marriage)

My first car was a 1989 Chevy Corsica, and her name was Cecilia. I named her (as I do all my vehicles) after a song. In the beginning, Cecilia was mostly blue, but her defective paint peeled off in strips, leaving large patches of gray primer. Due to a couple minor accidents, she also sported a silver bumper and one of her 4 doors was red. The red door had manual controls where the others had powered buttons. A few months into our relationship, my dad painted Cecilia black and gave her a red pinstripe. As a finishing touch, I […]

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Get Close to Pain

I write a lot about forgiveness and letting go because I believe these tactics are critical to bringing us through our pain. But today I want to write about pain itself, and why we all need to get close to pain. Getting close to pain is pretty much the last thing anyone wants to do. We humans avoid it in all kinds of clever ways. Perhaps we overindulge in food, drugs and sex. Or we might throw ourselves into the role of parent, friend, family member or employee, and in doing so we ignore who we are. We can also abstain from […]

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What is a Successful Marriage?

I used to think the general consensus was that a “successful marriage” meant the couple stayed together until parted by death. Perhaps that’s the most prevalent assumption, but it seems I was wrong in thinking timing was the primary definition of marital achievement. A few weeks ago, I was discussing marriage and divorce with a friend who believes our culture is too accepting of divorce. She told me that even people in her church family have divorced without social consequence in their community of worship. (I hypothesize the divorced might feel differently) “I think it’s really sad when people can’t […]

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Did S/he Cheat? Does it Matter?

Several years ago I had the feeling my partner was having an affair.  When I questioned him, he told me I was crazy, insecure and possessive.  During that period of our relationship, he did a lot of screaming while I did a lot of crying. Did he cheat on me?  I couldn’t prove it, and he insisted he was innocent, so I stayed in the relationship. Since then, I’ve heard many similar stories from people who desperately want to believe the best about their partners.  Sometimes they justify, “it was only an emotional affair.”  Sometimes they fall back on The […]

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