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"You Have to Work at It Every Day"

I recently read five articles about marriage in one day. Guess which was my favorite?
By Dave Boehi


Here are some of the online articles I looked at one day last week:

From California: “Actor Bill Murray has been hit with divorce papers from his wife of almost 11 years, who has reportedly blamed domestic abuse, drug addiction and infidelity for the breakdown of their marriage.”

From Nevada: “The governor of the state made famous in part for its quick, private divorces is now embroiled in a breakup so tawdry, so publicly spectacular and so potentially grueling that how it plays out could have implications from Carson City to the White House.”

From New Jersey: “The courtroom in Elizabeth will be dark today, but the McGreevey divorce trial is moving into its third and final phase. Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy will have to decide whether Dina Matos had any right to damages based on her allegation that former Gov. James E. McGreevey not only lied and cheated on her, he deliberately did not tell her he was gay. Cassidy will hear from the lawyers Wednesday.”

From Connecticut: “Last night, my brother told his son that he is getting a divorce. It was the conversation he had dodged and choked on, the inevitability he had hoped to defer or evade. Whenever he came near the subject, he saw himself 35 years before, weeping into my mother's chenille robe, begging her to tell him that the rumors — my father's flight, his irreversible departure — were not true. He saw the hedges going untrimmed, the shingles on the house rotting and then falling off, the basement ruined by an incontinent dog, the illusion of family bliss irremediably shattered. And in spite of all these ghosts, my brother had come to the same conclusion his father had: He could no longer live in the same house with his wife.”

And finally, from Conway, Arkansas:

“J.W. and Patricia Dykes of Conway recently returned to the site of their wedding for a 50th anniversary celebration.

“They were married May 16, 1958, at Bruce Hall at Central Baptist College. On their anniversary, about 75 of their friends and family gathered at a conference room in the Mabee Student Center at CBC for a renewal of vows ceremony. Afterward, an employee of the college let them into Bruce Hall to take photos at the foot of the staircase where they were married 50 years ago.”

So … guess which article is my favorite?

A coworker here at FamilyLife, Bryan Stell, presided over the ceremony for Patricia and J.W., his great-aunt and uncle. This is the type of article I wish we saw more often in the media, because we get so jaded with all those other sad stories of lying, cheating, abuse, and failure. We need to be reminded regularly that it is possible to build a marriage that lasts a lifetime. These are the people we should honor in our culture.

I love how the article ended, with a quote from Patricia: "I always said being married was like having a good job you wanted to keep. You have to work at it every day. Trust each other. Love each other."

This article originally appeared in the June 9, 2008 issue of Marriage Memo, a weekly e-newsletter.


Meet the Author: Dave Boehi

Dave Boehi is a senior editor at FamilyLife. He has written one book (I Still Do), coauthored the Preparing for Marriage workbook, edited dozens of books and Bible studies, and produces the FamilyLife e-newsletter Help & Hope. Dave and his wife, Merry, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and have two married daughters.

 

 

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