Sunday, February 22, 2009

Married love: confronting reality

Another week begins, and in the snippets of time I find here and there throughout the day, I read two great articles on aish.com:

Keeping the spark alive in your marriage: a woman's guide

"How can I possibly keep the spark alive?" you ask. "The house is a mess, there are three kids pulling on my dress, spaghetti sauce is boiling over and I don't know how we're going to pay the electric bill. Who has time to even think about sparks?"

... Of course there's no time if creating sparks involves a major effort. But it doesn't need to. It begins with not despairing, with not being resigned to a "spark-less" existence. And with being realistic about how to create them.

... While there is clearly room for romantic evenings in every marriage -- I certainly don't want to discourage that -- we shouldn't feel that we have to wait for those rare moments to work on keeping our marriage alive. Or that there aren't many varied ways of keeping the flame burning. Each couple has to find their unique road.

Is married life the easy life?

... Marriage is for pleasure, not for comfort. If you want a comfortable life, stay single. On the other hand, if you want the pleasure of having a meaningful relationship, get married. Just remember, this pleasure comes with a price.

... So when you start having a "bumpy ride" in your relationship, don't be surprised. Expect it. Relationships are never easy -- even in the best marriages. There will always be things to work out, sacrifices to be made, and changes that we each must undertake to accommodate our spouse.

Highly recommended reading!

14 comments:

lady jane said...

One cannot truly appreciate the peaks without time in the valley.

Love is *an act of will* rather than (fickle) emotion. :o)

jAne

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

The trouble is, alluding to Jane's comment, is that too many women expect marriage to always be on the mountain top; when they hit the valley, why they must have the wrong man, rather than realizing that valleys are part of life too.

MarkyMark

Natasha Haggard said...

"... Marriage is for pleasure, not for comfort. If you want a comfortable life, stay single. On the other hand, if you want the pleasure of having a meaningful relationship, get married. " - I was just thinking about it the other day. My marriage has been the most profound and meaningful relationship I've ever experienced, but it's the most comfortable one as well. "Bumpy" days happen on occasion, but I doubt my single life would be as comfortable...probably less chores that's all:)

Shorty said...

My husband and I naively believed when we got married, because things seemed so easy, that that how marriage should be. We learned, the hard way, and thanks Hashem we have journeyed through some tough waters to learn, that marriage is a breathing living "being" - it needs nurturing and energy. Marriage and love isn't about movie romance, which I think people who watch too much soap operas think it should be. Real life love and romance is so much deeper - saying thank you for things, appreciating eating dinner together, its about those little moments that make marriage so very wonderful.

Analytical Adam said...

Aish posted an article on 10 thing in dating and one was to bash men and say that men don't understand women which this problem is two-sided. Many complained and one of the editor's of Aish wrote to me claiming that divorce is ALL THE MAN'S FAULT because he has less BInah. Uh-huh. OK.

Sad to say Aish has a long history of promoting feminism and saying it is cosistant with Judaism (and they have articles and MP3's on how feminism is consistant with Judaism) and the worst has been their bashing of men. The founder and his wife were seperated and they had a program in Israel for women where the women found out the truth and felt used as they were taking the place of this Rabbi's wife who he wasn't speaking to.

THis men bashing was to protect their own problems as with many problems in Judaism what do you do to deflect the problems. Bash Jewish men which seems to be the main culture of all forms of Judaism sad to say and of course because of this women don't want to get married and are becoming feminist based on lies to protect an organzation's own problems.

Rabbi Noah Weinber recently passed away so maybe some change will happen but I sort of doubt it (although I do hope my comments on Frumster as Aish has thier dating advice there may have some effect as I have pointed out how man's wages have gone done in the last 30 years not women wages going up and that in the 1960's 26% of men were never married and these numbers haven't gone down they have gone up slightly to 29% only women's numbers have gone up from 11% in 1960 to 22% today). I don't consider him to be a righteous man for being so dishonest and attacking men to protect himself because that is what some women like to hear.

So I really don't think they have much credibility and most of their articles on dating are just terrible and women have to live 500 years to get married. They just go on endlessly with no point and couldn't care less about men's strugles.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Adam,

I'm very sorry you are so disappointed in Aish.com. I'm not familiar with the works of Rabbi Weinber, but I can't see any man-bashing in the two articles I linked to. In fact, one of them focuses on things a *woman* should be doing for her man to make him feel special. So I believe that it might be possible, you know, to eat the fish and spit out the bones.

Jessica said...

Good article except I don't think singleness is the 'comfortable' road. I find that comment to have some degree of arrogance and and insensitivity in it. Many singles struggle with their singleness and find it to be a very difficult path! Both marriage and singleness (as John Piper says) have their 'unique pains and privileges'. Neither is better nor easier. There are equal joys and sorrows in both singleness and marriage. It is unhelpful to pit one against the other.

Homemakers Cottage said...

Loved these articles, Anna, thanks for sharing. In a world that seems to enjoy feasting on a sick ideal of love, romance, and marriage, this was a refreshing perspective!

After nearly 7 years of marriage and 3 little ones, I can add a hearty "amen"! Marriage isn't an effortless fairy tale, but you CAN live a "happy ever after" with generous doses of hard work, maturity, faith, and prayer.

~Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Rina said...

"... Marriage is for pleasure, not for comfort. If you want a comfortable life, stay single. On the other hand, if you want the pleasure of having a meaningful relationship, get married. "
What a wonderful article, Anna, thank you for posting!

Joslyn said...

I didn't get married until I was 40, and comparing married life to single life, I have to say that married life, for me, is much more comfortable. Emotionally, spiritually, financially...in every way, it's just so much better than being single. I enjoyed aspects of my single years, and in some ways was nervous about marriage (since my parents had an unhealthy marriage) but I have been pleasantly surprised. I just wanted the single ladies out there to know that for some people, married life is more comfortable than the single life. And I should know...I was single for forty years. :) Funny how it was that particular number.

I agreed with a lot of the other things in the article though. I love novels and movies, but if I compared my husband to most fictional heroes, I would be disappointed (as he would be disappointed if he compared me to most heroines.) However, my husband is a hero in his own, very real, way to me.

Thanks for the article.

Anonymous said...

I have been married for 18 wonderful years.....I wanted to add a comment here because during a small part of our marriage I with-held from having that "special" time with my husband for sometimes monthes. At one time it was 4 long monthes.

I could not figure out why I was not interested in this "special" time.

I asked my doctor and they said this is "normal" at times? I did not feel normal!

Well I hate to admit that I was on birth-control but I was and I took myself off of it to see if that was the problem and guess what it Was!!! I have never been so happy to be with my husband....pray for him because we have alot of make-up time :) I don't think he will ever ask me to be on any kind of birth-control again because it really did hurt our marriage. I look back and feel so guilty!

God has shown me to look to Him! I am not afraid of getting pregnant because I now see that Gods ways are the best way!!

If anyone else is feeling like this please listen to God and not the doctors!!!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon,

You are not the first woman to tell me something like this! Tampering with healthy hormones is never wise. Spread the word.

Joslyn said...

And you know...the more I think about it, I would NOT be disappointed if I compared my husband to fictional heroes. He is just as admirable...just in a less "show off" way. I think there are many quiet heroes out there who don't get enough credit.

Many of our husbands are quiet heroes (your husband appears to be one of them!). I wish more novels and movies were created about those types of men.

Rachel said...

So true!!