Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Marriage is what bwings us together too-day"

This post is not meant to spark a debate {nor was that the intention of my previous post}. I'm not writing here to come off as a know-it-all or even that I have the right answers sometimes. Besides, I recognize that I am 'young' and that my beliefs and ideas are constantly being challenged, reviewed, refined and in the end, either changed to fit my new way of thinking, or they grow in credibilty and truth. And, in case you're wondering about the title...it's a line from one of my beloved movies of all time, "The Princess Bride".
I say all that because of where I am headed with my thoughts. Keep in mind, that is what they are- my thoughts. You may agree or disagree, but that is for you to test and find out in your own life. I like to share my thoughts, first, for me- I have them to come back to and to "see" what I was thinking on a particular day or in certain instances of my life. But I write them also, to make you think, and sometimes I get feedback and that makes me think too. That's what I like about blogging versus journaling- there are other ideas coming at me- often times they encourage or support me and even stretch me. It's a two-way street. (At least it ideally, Mr. K...wink!)
I had the rare opportunity of seeing about 7 minutes of the Oprah Show on Monday this week. Oprah's guest that day was Lance Armstrong's ex-wife. (Which, right off the bat fuels the 'debate' that I am addressing here.) The part of the conversation I caught, was about marriages and how the very basis of it requires that a person submit and lose a part of themself to another person- or simply the institution itself.
I listened, maybe not long enough to get the whole story, which is why I am not knocking Oprah and her show, but long enough to want to share some of my own thoughts and the questions it raised in me.
First off, let me say that I fully believe that it is not right for every person to be married in this world. In fact, I know several people who are married who would have been "better off" staying single. Or at least single long enough to learn that they indeed wanted to be married. I think people marry for the wrong reasons all the time. I think weddings have become 'big business' and they create a longing in some hearts- which draws people to 'think' they want to be married, when in fact, they just want a really cool, big, personalized party with lots of fanfare and fun- or maybe simply are craving love and attention...and weddings can certainly fill that longing.
I also have been married for 11 years, so what I'm saying comes from that perspective and that I understand some of the challenges and issues that marriage can bring into life.
The idea that marriage means losing yourself can be very real in a lot of relationships. However, I believe that it comes from things being out-of-balance in the lives of the married couple- not from the marriage itself. Oprah suggests that she hasn't married because she didn't want to give up a part of herself- probably the part she feels she has worked very hard for in life. And I think it's great that she has recognized that within, and not gotten married. It very likely would have ended by now. She has a big name and a self-confidence and lots of people pulling her in every direction at any given time. To think that she could share all that within a marriage and not have issues seems impossible to me (although she could pull it off if she chose to, with the right person and only with God at the center). I applaud her for 'knowing' that she shouldn't marry and for being smart and following her own intuition.
But, I still have issues with the idea that marriage somehow often means that one or the other person loses a part of themselves in the process. That certianly happens alot, but I believe it is a result of people's choices and ultimately can point back to the fact that we live in a broken (sinful) world. So, why would marriages be any different? I think that if a marriage is based on love and respect and keeps God at the very center, it is very difficult for that marriage to fall apart. Not that it can't ever fall apart- because even some of the greatest marriages have failed; not because of marriage- but because the people married are human.
The example of Lance Armstrong's ex-wife made me sad. Just like when I talked about Nick and Jessica. The very fact that I can't type this lady's name because she is referred to as another person's ex-wife is part of the problem. I'm sure her name was flashed up on the screen at various times throughout the show. I'm sure Oprah introduced her and called her by her name- but she talked about losing herself- and yet she goes by someone else's title in life- still! I am not passing blame here, but I would think she would want to go first by her name...and then occasionally use the title- as a reference maybe, for people to understand her crediblity. Or in my case-to think through some of the issues that resulted in her divorce. She talked about always giving and always seeing herself in light of her husband. It's sad that she and HE were willing to sacrifice their marriage for the things that they did. Again, I don't know all the reasons, but I'm sure a big part of it was Lance's career and fame. It's obvious that to be where he's at in his game (biking) required him to take more from the relationship and marriage that he gave.
I think that's what happens in many marriages. Other things- jobs, money, self-image, kids, the belief that you are owed 'more' out of life...any number of things- become the priority, and that sets up marriage for failure. Virtually every time.
In the end, I can say that marriage is not an easy thing. If it is easy for you, then you must be doing it absolutely right all the time- and that can only be done, I believe, with God at the center too. That's how He designed marriage. He wants each person to love Him first, the other second, and themselves last. It should never be a situation where a person loses themself, but it should be a place where you 'find' yourself and become all that God has designed you to be- if He so intended you to be married in the first place.
That's my take on all this. As always, the place for your questions/concerns/feedback/support is open for you to do so in the comments or in an email to me. Next stop for me? To google Lance Armstrong and see how far down I have to go before I find his ex-wife's name. =)

16 comments:

Christine R said...

Wow lots going on here. I've been lurking for a couple of weeks now. Your story is amazing. Good luck in Vegas! Onto marriage...I have been married for almost 15 years. I've lost myself in my marriage. It wasn't due to anything my husband did but more what my thinking a wife is. The times where my marriage was difficult were in those times. I don't have the faith you do. I would not say God is at my marriage center. I would tell you that for me my marriage is now at it's best because I accepted myself and am true to myself. I can't speak for Oprah. To me she has a long time companion and I'm sure their struggles are the same as many who are married and maybe it's just a piece of paper to them because they are committed in every other way. In your mind though if God is at the center of your marriage then marriage might have a different meaning to you then to others. Does that make sense? I enjoy reading your blog...you definitely give us readers something to think about!

Anonymous said...

Hello from Gaylord!
To answer your question of Lance Armstrong's ex-wife's name, it's Kristin.
I have following your blog everyday and this is my first time commenting.
You truly know what I need to "hear" everyday don't you? :)
Have a great day.

Terry A said...

Here is a link to another/additional perspective to marriage you might find interesting. Melody is the founder of CHATTERBOX scrapbooking company(awesome line). Her marriage/family has suffered from a tragic head injury of her husband and you may need to go back through the archives for a little background, but she is writing a book/journal to her children about marriage-her thoughts, advice, perspective, etc. Her first entry or Lesson #1 on marriage is also very thought provoking-http://melodyross.typepad.com/

check it out!!

erin said...

i really enjoy your blogs. i appreciate you putting your heart right out there, along with any and all thoughts you have. this time, i was able to read through your entire post w/o being interrupted, that was nice! i happen to agree, that first of all, not all people should be married, and secondly, being married myself for almost 10 years, i do also agree, that being married doesn't mean you lose a part of yourself. i did see the oprah show with kristin armstrong on there, and i'm sad that she felt that way about her marriage. i also firmly believe when God is present in your life, that with his guidance, you can work through anything. i'm 7 months pregnant, and this being our 10th PREGNANCY, my hubby and i are proof of that! God bless!

Maureen said...

Hi! I found your post while googling other things that were on my mind today :D

Interesting thinking & discussion material here! My take on it is that, in a good marriage, both partners may lose part of who you were, when they were single, but that that loss is part of the growth that takes place as the two of you become something stronger and better, together.

Mutual respect is, most certainly, key. Neither should give up any part of themselves that they are not willing to give up -and- both should acknowledge the sacrifices that the other is making for them.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I've enjoyed reading your blog. I always appreciate people who are transparent about their lives and their faith.

I saw that episode of Oprah when it was first on, and I felt the same way that you did. I was shocked to watch them bash marriage IMHO. It's made me wonder about Dr. Robin's history, so I think I'll go look that up! So glad to hear someone else speaking out about it!

Julie

aimee said...

I have also watched that episode some time ago and wondered why she went by Lance Armstrong's ex-wife. Especially so, because Kristin was also interviewed in a running magazine about how she trained for a marathon after her divorce and how it changed her, gave her strength, and how it was strictly for herself. She is a woman that went through a difficult time in her life and made it through a stronger person and why she let Oprah have her go by that title (ex-wife) I don't know.

linda t said...

Jody, you are so right on!

In a marriage, if both of us are truly committed... and truly making the other a priority... with Christ at the center... we can get through anything... just as you and Chip have shown.

We use this definition of love-
Love is the committment of my will to the needs and best interests of another person, no matter what the cost.

If we are BOTH doing this for each other... than how can I not be all that Christ has created me to be!
And likewise, my husband to be all that he was created to be! It's a win-win!

eek said...

Hi there!

I really enjoyed your insightful comments, but I must admit, what drew me into your post today is the title. The Princess bride is one of my favorite movies as well!

I think marriage is in kind of a sad state these days. I agree that many people get married for the wrong reasons and high-profile people really get married for the wrong reasons. To me maintaining your own identity within a marriage shouldn't be a difficult thing because your spouse married you for being you, not for being his/her shadow. Anyways, thanks for always making me think about things.

EE :)

Cris said...

I definitely agree with you on this one. I think way too many people get married for the wrong reasons and that's why the divorce rate is so high. We're in a society where it's always me first and then everyone else last. IMHO that's where a lot of marriages get into trouble. And I also agree that if you don't have God as the centerpoint, then making that marriage work is going to be a lot harder.

My mom and dad got divorced when I was only 5 and I have seen what it was like for my mom to have to raise three girls on her own. So divorce is one of my biggest fears even though we have been married for 9 1/2 years and we have a great realtionship. But I have never worried about 'losing myself' in my marriage, because I also understand that he is also not the same person he used to be when we got married. The bible says that the two will become one. That requires some change as the two of you grow 'together'.

(I hope that makes sense...LOL)
Definitely a great topic today Jody. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one. :)

shawnna said...

i love THE PRINCESS BRIDE --

had to post and say that i jacked your BUMPER STICKER post -- **GASP** i just found myself thinking about what i would say RIGHT NOW on a bumper sticker so I of course HAD to BLOG about it --

hope you don't mind
:D

Trace said...

Sorry, I'm behind a few days, Man I've missed reading your blog, girl!

Bumper sticker: Because Kindness Matters.

Kind of our family motto that I'm trying to teach the kids.

Hugs, Trace.

PS - now must go download your service and prepare for tears.

mellymel said...

Miss J -
I'm not used to going deep everyday - it's a little bit heady.
I have been lurking ("surfing") for about a month. I continue to marvel at your story and your approach to life.

We are approaching our 10 year anniversary and I agree with you that there is definitely a fine balance. Fine because it will never be perfect or equal. But there does have to be the willingness to sacrifice for the other - I think that is where marriages get lost. Often, I think women do the sacrificing, men get used to it and no longer make the effort and that is where people live. I think that is why Kristin (Lance's ex) was careful to not blame him. She realized that she set it up that way, and it's hard for both people to change that pattern. In the book of Ephesians it is the men who are to love as Christ loved the church - giving themselves up (sacrificially). And the women in response to that love giving their husbands respect. Each is tasked with giving what the other "needs", God knows as our creator exactly how we fit together. We are the ones who mess up his design - all the time - until we are called home.

On a lighter note - I am anxious to see your scrapbook pages and wish you all kinds of fun in Vegas!

Juel said...

I know everyone's circumstances are differant than mine BUT for me I do agree that without God as a center I wouldn't have a marriage. I have received so much strength from God that I would have given up if I had been on my own. I would have put my dh out on the curb a long time ago!
There was a time in my marriage that I did loose myself. It took me digging deep into who I was in Christ to get out of the hole I created for myself. I came out the other side stronger, happier and able to let go of a lot of crap in my life. It has also helped me to face the changes that I STILL have to make.
I've been married for 22 years and
I wouldn't have been able to do ANY of it without God.
Thanks for taking us to our thoughts!!

Amy Schubert said...

Jody ... you're awesome ... I love that you're not at all afraid to dig ... anyway ... I've been married now for almost a year, and I love it .. so thanks for your thoughts on that ...

PS. I introduced myy friend Linda (lindathompson.blogspot.com) to your blog, and she just thinks you're the coolest ... and was just so thrilled for your anniversary comment to her on her blog ... so, thanks for making her week!

xo

patterns of ink said...

Here's to "that bwessed union" and days that don't end with "I'll most likely kill you tomorrow."
A Big time PB fan. =)