Stephanie Pearce: I commend a lasting marriage commitment
August 25, 2013
Marriage is a commitment. The definition of commitment is: 1. a pledge or promise , 2. Engagement, involvement. My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage this past weekend and my in-laws are on their 54th year. Talk about commitment. I look at these couples and I find inspiration to make my marriage last (we're on year 16).
Growing up, we didn't live in a perfect house like Beaver Cleaver. It wasn't like any sitcom on T.V. except maybe" Rosanne." Yet most of the time "Rosanne" was less entertaining. I look back and think, "How did they ever make it this far?"
They were committed. There was no option for divorce because they had promised each other to be engaged and involved with each other for life — no matter what.
I'm sure this wasn't easy, especially for my mom. They have withstood a lot in their marriage. My mom was a housekeeper, wife, mother, bookkeeper, business owner, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, nurse, chauffer, student; you name it, my mom had it handed to her. Call it stupidity (I have many times), or loyalty (I've called it that too), but my mom never gave up. She prayed, loved and let go of so many things that would have brought me to my knees. My dad has no idea how lucky he is to have had her stick by him all these years.
Then I look at my in-laws. Wow! Their love started in school and has lasted all these years. They've been put to the test as well and always came out together. I see it more and more these past several years in how they rib each other in their own special ways. You know they would never want to have spent these past fifty some years with anyone else.
I think back to when I met my husband. It was at the Golden Cavvy almost 18 years ago. It could have been just another night out with someone else until he made his move and introduced himself to me. It was over from there. We've been together ever since. We both had baggage we brought with us, but we made it through.
No relationship is easy, it won't always be beautiful. It can get really, really messy. You just have to decide if it's worth it to you to keep that commitment. The thing that has gotten me through so many times is realizing I can't change my husband. I can only change me. I have to ask myself if I'm being the support he needs, the wife he needs. Most times, I've found if I focus on that, he focuses on me. When I get really self-centered, and whiney about my needs, he usually tunes me out and we end up fighting, but when I focus on his needs, I don't even have to say anything — he is willing to focus on mine (thank you Dr. Laura!).
I hope my husband and I both live to see our 50th anniversary. But if we don't, I'm happy to have committed myself to all the years that we do see together in this life. Thank you to our parents for showing us real commitment. Your example means the world to us.