Reflecting on Marriage (Part 2)

expectations.jpgMany people live with disappointment.

 

In particular, many people live with disappointment in marriage.  I am not just referring to people whose spouses seem to have no real interest in the marriage or who have had affairs.  This behavior on the part of a spouse was not expected before marriage and is now so disappointing
and disheartening.  Right now, I am thinking of a more pervasive disappointment.  I am referring to a disappointment that is much more widespread.  Life — marriage in particular — just isn’t going the way this couple envisioned it.

 

We are breathing a cultural air that suggests that one ought to have it all — right now!  In fact, real living is to experience a "high" most of the time.  This thinking suggests that if the "high" is not present then something is wrong.

 

The truth is that there are great highs in marriage.  And — many, many people experience some lows.  Most of the time, however, a couple experiences something in between.  (I am not defining "in-between" as "boring" or "so-so."  I’m just saying that many, many couples will tell you that they generally are not on a high all the time.)  Many married people, however, practically demand that the "high" be almost constant in their marriage.

This husband or wife may begin to pressure one another to fix the situation.  In fact, they may look at one another not as the object of their love relationship but the source of their unhappiness.  ("If you would only get it together, then I would finally be happy.")  Then, the other person may dig in his heels and after a while, a cloud of bitterness and judgment permeates this home.  Meanwhile, it is very easy to compare this spouse with some guy/woman at the office.  With such a comparison, the spouse only seems more disappointing.

 

Some married people get focused on their disappointment in the sex in their marriage.  We live in a sexually charged culture.  On billboards, in magazine ads, and on television are all of these wonderful looking people.  This climate has a way of impacting our expectations.  Yet, what so often happens is that two very tired and exhausted married people come home and they may be doing well just to get through the evening.  One child needs help with his math homework while the other two are in a fight in their bedroom.  Finally it is time for bed.  This couple is exhausted!

 

Compound all of this with pornography.  Maybe a man is looking at pornography on the Internet, night after night.  Does that ever impact expectations!  Pornography is a playground of lies.   It has a way of feeding  disappointment.   Meanwhile, it encourages a man to take short-cuts and to focus on a perfect figure on his screen instead of loving his wife.  As a result, their love does not mature and remains stuck in his immaturity (fixated on porn).

 

Bottom line?  Grounding a marriage in cultural expectations will usually bring disappointment.  Jesus is the only one who doesn’t disappoint.  I must never expect my spouse to provide for me what only he can provide.  Meanwhile, I believe married people can experience real joy without expecting perpetual highs.

 

More later…
 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Reflecting on Marriage (Part 2)

  1. Great thoughts, Jim.  We need to come to terms with people and life: who they are, what it takes to have a relationship, what is truly important, etc.. Our culture (especially through the media) preaches a view of happiness that simply isn’t true.  The "spirit of the world"  makes one feel that he/she is always missing out.  It’s the devil’s way of making us unhappy with ourselves and each other and keeping us under his thumb.

  2. That is a great link.  Thanks.  Jim, pornography is the devil’s foothold in the kingdom.  There are several guys here where I am that have talked to me about it … and the wives.  And with an interesting twist it seems that porn use is growing among younger girls too.  It is the "cool" thing now.  It is a bad omen.  Our world is pretty messed up.

  3. Way cool video LL.

    And more good thoughts about marraige Jim. I’m sitting here in bed watching my sleeping wife and thinking what if any of this I need to worry about.

  4. Yes, pornography is a great lie and a terrible temptation — most often for men. It’s only fair to say, though, that women have their fair share of temptations that encourage them to view their husbands in a less-than-positive light. We don’t hear as much about these, somehow.

  5. Excluding certain extreme situations, I never could understand why people want to blame their problems in life on their marriage. They should grow up and get a life.

  6. Sunny,Thanks for your comment and for the reminder that sometime our own immaturity can be an obstacle in our lives.  (I know it has in mine)

  7. Dave,Thanks for what you said regarding the post.  I showed the video to my oldest daughter who was in town this week and will send the link to my youngest daughter. 

  8. Alan,As you suggest there are factors which influence and tempt women as well.  In fact, I think this is a huge issue that this post only began to touch.Thanks.