I know a lot of people who have gotten divorces. Many of them are fantastic people. Full of life and goals and love and faith. They believe in marriage. They see its value and made pledges of lifelong commitment to their spouses they truly intended to keep. They never believed divorce would be the outcome of their partnerships. They are not losers. They are not failures.
But they divorced anyway.
For most of them, their reasons are as personal as they are complex. There may have been identifiable tipping points, but most would say the death of their marriages happened over a long time, rather than in a moment or a singular event.
Although I have listened to story after story through the years, I am no expert on divorce. I’m pretty sure there are really no experts on divorce (who would ever want to be one, anyway?) But I have learned some things that are worth passing on. Here’s one…
Death and taxes are not the only things we can be certain will happen. Over time, people change. You can be certain of that! The question is, in marriage, how are you going to deal with it? How are you going to make room for it?
Over the course of our marriage, I have changed. A lot. My education has changed. My theology has changed. My politics have changed. My hobbies have changed. My physique has changed (multiple times). My hair has changed. My clothing styles have changed. My food tastes have changed. My musical tastes have changed. My confidence has changed. My job has changed. My emotional stability has changed. My health has changed.
The same is true for Wanda.
Most (though not all) marriages I know of that have ended, share a common struggle with change. “He’s just not the same man I married a few years ago.” “She’s different now. It’s like I don’t even know her anymore.” “I’ve just got different priorities and interests.” “We’ve grown apart.”
So what’s going to keep changes from getting the best of you and your marriage? How are you going to combat the potential effects of the inevitable flow of change that will flood your lives over time?
You’ve got to have some unchangeables.
There have to be some shared, immovable, unshakable core beliefs you are both committed to and ideals that form the foundation of both your personal and shared lives together. These need to be beliefs that are bigger than life goals…and have the capacity to draw you together in unity and affect every single area of life.
These beliefs don’t happen accidentally. They don’t happen by chance. They happen because you determine to work on them together. They are forged out of a common understanding that marriage is designed for something more than our personal pleasure.
We have ours. Do you have yours?