With the recent split of former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper, the world seems to be focusing on how divorcing after 40 years of marriage is become more common and more acceptable. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an article entitled "'Til 40 Years Do Us Part".
In it you can read nonsensical gibberish such as:
'I've done my parenting and want to have a chance to have my own life'
'marriage was designed for a time when people died in their 40s and 50s, after raising children together'
'we have to ask ourselves: Is 'ever after' too long?'
I suppose I should give them some credit for devoting the final two paragraphs (2 out of 14) to the idea that it is possible to stay married.
My wife and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in August. So, what do I know about staying married? Nothing beyond 20 years...assuming we make it until August. I am not qualified to give marriage advice, but that never stopped me before.
I see what happened to the Gore's happen around me and always wonder...what happened? Forgetting infidelity (which is a deal breaker), how do you go from being best friends as newlyweds to despising you spouse's company?
It is really pretty simple in concept. Selfishness. Putting one's life above another. I deserve more. I deserve better. What I want or need is more important...he/she just doesn't understand. It doesn't start when the kids graduate high school or when you turn 50. It starts early in a marriage and requires only one spouse to get the ball rolling in the wrong direction. Resentment and anger ultimately lead both parties to start looking out for themselves.
Don't be that spouse. God didn't design marriage to be temporary. 'Ever After' is not too long.
I admit it is very complicated because people do change. Many of you are new runners...or fairly new. Think of how that has changed your life and your priorities. Those changes impact your marriage so be sure to acknowledge that and adjust accordingly.
Communication is key. I often express to my wife that I worry about our life after the hustle and bustle of the kids is no longer there to consume us. She thinks I'm crazy, but knowing those years are not too far away makes me work even harder to make sure the two of us have a life aside from our children.
I pray that I won't look back on this in 15 or 20 years and say "what a dreamer". I do know one thing for sure, I'm going to work harder in the next 20 years than I did in the first 20.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace