It Took Betrayal, Tears and Imminent Death for Me to Finally Learn What Marriage is About

BY: - 26 May '16 | Marriage

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My mother is on her second marriage. The first one lasted 15 years. Her current one is going on 30. Impressive figures by modern stakes. I, her youngest son, carry 11 years under my own belt, yet she still teaches me about the power of commitment and service— especially when times get hard.

Her husband of 30 years is dying. Cancer.

A few days ago, his doctor informed him and my mother that the chemo wasn’t working—and the disease was spreading rapidly. After months of treatment, medicine and therapy, all they can do at this point is keep him comfortable in his own home. This man has been extremely fortunate to have my nurturing mother at his side during his fight for life.

And I think to myself, may we all be so lucky to not have to face death alone.

Is that not one of the reasons why we form lifetime bonds in the first place? Not just for a life partner, but a death partner—and even an afterlife partner for some?

I admit my mother’s relationship with her ailing husband wasn’t the stuff made from fairy tales. Knowing what I do about their relationship, I can’t say I don’t spend many nights wondering whether or not he deserves my mother’s care during his final moments on Earth. Like many of us, this man carries deeply-regretted demons to his grave. Demons that have hurt my mother to her core during what’s supposed to be her “Golden Years.” By most people’s standards, my mother would have every right in the world to tell her beloved husband that he’s brought it upon himself to face sickness alone.

But she’s not that person. That’s not the vow she made. Regardless of what’s been done to her through a lifetime of broken vows, she chooses to keep her “til death do I part” vow.

It’s humbling to witness. And it crushes my soul at the same time. I can only imagine what it does to her. Even through the tears she allows me to see, I can only imagine the deluge she never lets anyone witness.

She cooks for him. She cleans him. Holds him. Watches television with him. When he recently told her that he was afraid to go to sleep because he was scared he may never wake up again, she told him, “If you don’t, you’ll go to sleep knowing that I love you.”

She teaches me grace. She teaches me how to serve. She again reminds me that marriage is not about the self. It’s always about the vow to serve.

Even after he departs this realm, she’ll be left to face the life his decisions have created for her. It reminds me of the responsibility of matrimony. Of unifying two lives so completely that one will always be responsible for the choices of the other, because that’s the vow the both of you made. You made the vow to no longer live as individuals but rather as an interwoven entity charged with figuring out life together. And if you’re going to bail on year 30, why get started with year one in the first place? Guess it’s a question every married couple has to face at some time.

BMWK, what was the moment when you finally understood what marriage was about?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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5 Reasons Why Love Isn’t a Good Enough Reason to Stay in a Relationship

BY: - 27 May '16 | Marriage

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We’ve all had relationship problems. I know my husband and I have. Even that super happy couple you know has their own stuff going on. And if they tell you they don’t, it’s either all a front or a way to keep you out of their business. But having issues to manage doesn’t mean a relationship is in trouble. It just means the people involved are human.

Sometimes, however, issues can takeover, and what was once a happy partnership becomes a daily struggle. And no matter how much we try to manage the struggle, things can continue to go south. One indicator that your relationship is in trouble is when you start to feel like your love for your partner is your only reason for staying with him.

Now don’t get me wrong: love is a wonderful thing. It’s amazing, actually. But everything I’ve learned in life has proven that love just isn’t enough. Love can’t be your only reason for choosing to stay with someone. If it is, you have to ask yourself if staying is the right thing to do.

If you are deeply in love and you think that’s enough of a reason to stay in an otherwise unhealthy relationship, please consider these five reasons why your love—no matter how deep it is—just won’t cut it.

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Love does not conquer all
I know it sounds good, and we all want to believe that love is powerful enough to conquer all, but it’s not. Love is beautiful in so many ways, but love cannot eliminate all the other problems that exist in your relationship. Some problems are deeply rooted and very difficult to work through—and in those instances, love is not able to conquer all.

Without more, you’re in trouble
I love my husband, but if our marriage was just based on that love, I think we’d be in trouble. It’s much more than love that keeps us together. Things like our friendship, trust, supportiveness and respect keep us going strong far more than our love for each other does. Sure, love should be the foundation of your union, but so much more keeps you happily married.

You’ll eventually want more
Love is so wonderful, especially in the early days. If feels effortless and safe. Love feels good. But if love is all you have, I promise that you will eventually want more. You will want someone you can bond with spiritually and intellectually. You will want someone you can trust and respect. You will want someone who understands you in a way that few people do, and appreciates you for who you are. So yes, love is great, but it’s not enough to sustain you for years to come. You will eventually want more.

It’s a tough way to start a family
If you are planning to have children and raise a family with someone, please don’t believe love will be enough to make things work. Yes, your kids need to know that you love each other deeply, but they also need to see how you communicate with each other, how you work together as a team, and how you look out for each other. Your kids need to see a friendship and a connection that goes beyond love. It shows them that although love is a very beautiful thing, your relationship is built on more than that. This is what allows people to successfully co-parent once love has faded. There has to be more to the relationship than love.

It’s a small part of the equation
Okay, before you come for me, let me explain. Yes, I know that love is not “small” when it comes to being in a relationship, however, when you think about all the other things that make a relationship work, love truly is a small part of it all. As important as love is, there are many other moving parts that make a relationship stand the test of time.

Hopefully that same love you share will drive you to work on your issues and develop a greater bond, which might in turn save your relationship. If not, it’s time to ask the harder question: do you love one another enough to let each other go?

BMWK family, do you think a relationship can last if love is the only thing holding it together?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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